April 23, 2007

God's Light Can Be Seen Through Your Cracked Clay Pot

What a weekend! We had a busy couple of days around here. Doesn't it seem like the closer we get to the end of the school year the busier we get? About 6 weeks and it will come to a screeching halt and we will be sitting around the Swim Club with friends and giggling. The greatest concern will be how to preserve a pedicure while wading your feet in the pool for 25 hours a week.

Our Coffee Group (ladies speaking group) went to the most wonderful camp this weekend to share our God stories with a wonderful group of women from the Western Hills Church in Temple. We had a great time. One of the best parts about travelling to speak is meeting the Christian women, we are sista's!

My talk started out on Jack and God calling me to be joyful in HIm in the midst of struggle. My notes always have a couple of tears on them by the end. This time I felt like God was hitting me with a sledgehammer to talk about the importance of authenticity and sharing our lives. I feel SO convicted about this subject. When I moved to Abilene, I left such a sinful, mess of a life behind. The other thing I left behind was some very good friends, friends that knew me inside and out, friends that knew me and loved me. I am glad to say that I am still friends with those women and we have all grown, matured and have families. When I moved to Abilene I was in the midst of people who looked like they had never sinned once. I told the women this weekend that I walked through our church building for almost a year thinking that I was the only person that had ever sinned. Many months after I moved there, like 8-10 months, I was invited to a small group from a church in town and God's fingerprints were all over that. I joined this Home Fellowship group of real people, with real sin, and they were truthful about their struggles, but they were committed to follow Jesus. When I joined this group it took me several weeks, maybe even months to open up about the past sin, so many tears flowed but there was no condemnation, no one ran away screaming. That was the first day for the healing process to begin.

During that first year I missed my friends so much I just wanted to move home, they offered unwaivering friendship, good times, laughs, and fellowship. That first year and truthfully many years after were very lonely for me. But I knew I was doing the right thing by staying. God had moved mountains to get me here, and I told Him I would never leave Him again and that I would follow Him to the ends of the earth. And for me that was Abilene.

The good news was I sought God with ALL of my heart, there were no distractions, I was living in a home filled with love, staying with my grandparents. Even in such lonely times, I had never felt as safe as I felt at that time.

What I know now is that the more I know God, the more I read scripture, the more I obey and abide in God's word, I might look like I have never sinned to some people who don't know my past. I am thrilled to have a clean heart that was transformed by the power of Holy Spirit. Sometimes I would like to have a clean slate on the outside, it wouldn't be a bad thing (in my head) for me to just pretend like things were never ugly in my life. I could just claim the appropriate "Christian" sin of gossiping and say that God is working on that. But that is not true. In my days I am required to humble myself on a regular basis to meet people at their level in order to share the good news of our sweet Jesus. And now it seems like God wants me to share the importance of being authentic.

The men and women in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11, Abraham, Moses, Samson, Rahab... were all broken people. They were flawed and made so many mistakes. They all knew they were sinful, lacked wisdom, lacking in ability but they loved and trusted in God and allowed Him to use them to write our history. The one's that looked like they had it all together were the Pharisee's. They were flawless on the outside. But their insides were condemning, legalistic, coniving and proud. I would rather look like a mess and let God's light shine through the cracked clay pot that I am and have peace through abiding in Him, than look light I have got it all figured out and have a hard heart on the inside. Praise God.


yvonne said...

Sista - You authentically display God in your life daily. Thank you.

Amber Joy said...

Thank you, Tammy, for another touching testimonial. Truly, you have been graced with a timeless gift of words.
I'd like to talk to you sometime; what's your email?
Send it to: amberjoyc@yahoo.com

Lisa said...

wow, Tammy. I'm sending this blog to my sister, who seems to feel like you about her past. She is struggling with the whole redemption thing. You have a gift of saying just the right thing, and your words might help heal her broken spirit. Thanks.