I’m beginning to understand everyone has a story. It seems we all have had struggles we’ve had to endure which have made us into the people we are today. (DUH)
I walk around the local mall and see the variety of stores and styles available to suit the desires of individual shoppers. I notice the amount of people looking for ways to uniquely express themselves. I saunter into the store that has the perfect style for me and spend ample time looking for just the right colors and patterns. I want to express a bit of what I’m feeling on the inside through my clothing for the outside.
I walk away with a vintage silk wrap made in Pakistan. Flowers and paisleys intertwine to form an eccentric pattern which distinctly expresses my taste. Does it really suit me? What does it say about me? I’m a whirly twirly girl in love with design. Baubles and beads suit me well. A bit of the bohemian, I suppose. Until I look up the origin of the word…
No, I’m not bohemian on the inside…but those who know me best have made that assertion. Do they really know me? So I examine myself…and…get all confused once again. Discombobulated? Eccentric? Distinctive? Maybe…Unique? Yes, that’s the word for me.
AND…for you. We each have a story to tell, but do we know our personal stories?
We (Phat and I) met at eighteen. We were both desperate for love and acceptance. We knew our parents loved us, but other things, the struggles of life and the “squeaky wheels”, received more of them. So when we found eachother and knew it was true love, not just teenage hormones , we hung on tight.
I was already in counseling with the college chaplain so, many times, Phat came along. We joke that we had two years of marriage counseling before we were even engaged. The best advice we received from those sessions: Remain teachable. Socrates said it another way: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Each of us has experienced “stuff” but not everyone wants to deal with “the stuff of life”. Some people don’t want to examine things, to look at the source of the wounding or test the bacteria which caused an infection. They are bound to carry the wound with them, festering and never completely healed. As hard as it is, I think it’s best to get wounds lanced. Cut that wound open, let all the “gunk” drain and apply the healing salve of God’s Word. We do heal when our wounds are treated effectively.
Phat and I have been cutting away at some sources of infection; we’ve spent many years helping one another grow up in the Lord. We don’t think we have all the answers; we do continue to seek professional Christian help when we need it. But, daily, we rely upon the Son of God to lead us through our trials.
He will never fail us. He promised to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us, yet He also commanded us to do some things too. Please note the bold lettering (our responsibility) and the italicized promise at the end of the 1 Peter passage.
And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering. And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him belongs the power forever. Amen. ~1 Peter 5:5-11
A person should examine himself first… ~1 Cor. 11:28
Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless, indeed, you fail the test! ~2 Cor. 13:5
But examine all things; hold fast to what is good. ~1 Thess. 5:21
Have you examined yourself lately? Do you choose to participate in the sanctifying process God has ordained for your life?