Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lessons Through Humor

I have a few humorous stories that I've been wanting to share for quite a while now.

When I went to Ellerslie Leadership Training in the fall of 2011, I wasn't prepared for how I'd feel like I didn't quite "fit in." I would say this was me judging myself because nobody there at that time gave me reason to think they judged me or my past. Most of them didn't even know about my past. But, that didn't keep me from feeling out of place and from comparing myself to the other young women there. I felt like everyone had a spotless past *but me* and how could any Christian young man, like the kind of man I want to marry, want to pursue little ol' me when he could have "one of those girls." I didn't have words for it then, but I felt almost "branded," like others could tell of my past, simply by looking at me. As if I had it written on my forehead, all the sins I had once committed.

Here's where the funny stories I mentioned come in.

When I first met my now very dear friend, Karen, from Australia, at Ellerslie, and we sat on a bench outside together talking, she later told me her initial impression of me, which makes me giggle just to think about. She said she thought to herself, "I better watch what I say and do around this one," meaning she thought I was super prim and proper. Those that know me well know I like to laugh a lot and can get quite silly. Karen and I like to get silly together (she has an awesome laugh). :)

Another story is one about my friend Beatrice Jean. I shared my testimony with many of the other young women during my Ellerslie semester. Beatrice later told me how she was telling her sister back home about my story over the phone. Her sister wanted to put my face to my story, so she looked up my photo on the student website. When she saw me, she said to Beatrice, "That girl?! She looks like a saint!"

And the final story I'm going to share is when a friend of mine told me that at the beginning of the semester, she noticed me during one of the class sessions and thought to herself, "I bet that girl takes really good notes." There I was, feeling like I was out of place and feeling self-conscious and so "unspiritual," without a clue in the world that other people were struggling as well.

These stories make me laugh, but I haven't forgotten them in over three years not because they are funny, but because God taught me a powerful lesson through humor.

I might see my past when I see myself, but God doesn't. I am in Christ, and therefore He has removed my sin as far as the east is from the west. I need to see myself the way He does! And not only that, but trust that God has given other people His eyes to see me. I am not marked. I am not stained. I am white as snow, I am His.

Isn't that just like our God? Using the weak ones, the foolish ones, those with "pasts," the least likely among us, to speak to all who will hear of His redemption and healing. And how He truly does make all things new.

We also never know how other people are feeling or struggling. We are not alone!

I saw a quote on Facebook by a man named Dr. Russell Moore, which says, "The woman who had the abortion needs to know that if she is in Christ, God doesn't see her as that woman who had the abortion."

Isn't that so beautiful? And it's true for anyone, no matter what their past holds.

I am reminded of something Corrie ten Boom wrote:

"When God forgives, He forgets. He buries our sins in the sea and puts up a sign that says, "No Fishing Allowed."

Dear friends, let us rejoice in putting away our fishing poles!

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