Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Messed-Up, Beautiful Friends

I have a lot of friends.  Probably because I like to talk which generally includes other people (although I do talk to myself, but that's a whole other story).  I'm one of those people that has never met a stranger.  I love meeting people and hearing their stories.  There is something so fun to me about hearing people tell of where they've been in life.  

Yesterday I got to spend some time with some ladies that I'm honored to call my friends.  They shared with me some stories from their pasts.  They were stories of hurts, but also of God's grace.  They were stories that had me in tears, but also stories that filled me with excitement and wonder of God's love for us.  You know the kind.  You've heard them before from your friends. Stories of hard times, but great victories.  Stories that will make your heart hurt, but will leave you with praises on your lips for Him.  Messes in lives, followed by God's grace and love and mercy and victory!

God reminded me yesterday day that we are all broken, messed up people. We ALL have messes in our past.  I actually can't think of one of my friends that wasn't a little messed up at some point. Do any of you have perfect friends?  If someone has told you they are perfect, well they are not because they are lying and that makes them a liar.  Just saying.

God took me to the following verse today:

2 Corinthians 1:4
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

I love this verse.  When we are in our time of trouble (whether self-inflicted trouble or trouble God has allowed for a season) God will comfort us.  But the next part is the part I really dig.  It says we will be able to comfort others with the same comfort we have received.  Did you hear that?  Do you know what that says to me?  It says, "Stephanie, I'm going to love on you and hold your hand through your struggle, and then you'll be well equipped to love on someone else that is struggling."  God is teaching us to pay it forward!

I want to challenge you today.  I want to think about your messed up past.  I want you to think about how God has brought you through those messes.  And then, I want you to look for ways to love on others as God as loved on you. PAY IT FORWARD, SISTERS!

I love you, my messed-up, beautiful friends.  I can relate to your messes, and you point me to Jesus when I hear about your victories in Him.