You Don't Need To Be Perfect To Be Used By God

I used to think I had to be perfect to be used by God, and to be honest, I still wrestle with that thought from time to time. How can God use me when I’m still dealing with the circumstances and trials of life? How can I influence anyone or make a difference for the Kingdom when I still make mistakes?

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I remember one particular weekend when I almost didn’t serve at church because I felt so unworthy. The devil was for sure trying to attack me and with the perfect way that unfortunately he knows how to do. I’ve been leading worship since high school. That’s over 15 years, and yet, I still have Sundays where I don’t feel good enough to lead people, let alone come to God with my sinful nature.

I bawled for 10 minutes before I had to leave for sound check and I couldn’t stop. All these awful thoughts were running through my mind. I was sick to my stomach. My mascara was running, eyes all puffy, and I had streaks down my cheeks from the tears that cut through that nasty layer of makeup. I looked in the mirror and didn’t like who I saw. Ouch. That’s a scary feeling and I’ve always been so hard on myself.

But then God spoke to me with His tender voice, the voice that I desperately needed in that moment. He said, no, you are a worship leader and it’s your brokenness and your transparent wholehearted desire to keep seeking forgiveness and the Lord’s transformation that sets you apart.

He reminded me that perfect doesn’t exist in us and that God looks at the heart.

He is the only perfect One, and in ALL of His ways, and that is why we need Him to begin with. I’m convinced that people don’t need to see “put together” to be inspired and to see Jesus. And we cannot let the devil’s lies scare us into thinking we are not good enough, that we aren’t called, or that we are too dirty to be used by God.

It doesn’t matter what past you have, what seasons you may be battling, what your kids did, how old you are, or what talents you have; I hope and pray that we never lose sight of this truth:

But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, a HOLY nation, God’s SPECIAL possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called YOU out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

Overcoming An Eating Disorder

At 18 years old, I was at the peak of my eating disorder. I weighed 95lbs and when I looked in the mirror, I truly thought I was fat and ugly. I know, harsh.

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I was working at a hair salon at the time and my boss noticed I never ate, was getting thinner and thinner, and that I cried a lot in the bathroom. He tried so hard to get me through it that he would actually bring me food and sit there with a spoon encouraging me to take a bite of food. It rarely worked.

In looking back, my eating disorder began in 7th grade. During that season of my pre-teen life, my oldest sister had gotten pregnant (she was only 16 years old), my other sister was experimenting with drugs, and we had to deal with a lot of our friends and even family passing so much judgment on us. Needless to say, my parents were overwhelmed, and my 12 year old secretly introverted self could not process and express my emotions. It was then that I started cutting and making myself throw up.

I found myself in an abusive relationship when I was 16 and by the time I was 18, my life was completely out of control. I dropped out of college, lost all my friends, and I distanced myself from family because of this relationship. I didn’t recognize the person I had become. Worst of all, I distanced myself from God. I struggled so much with shame and my worth. I thought He hated me, like He was disgusted with me. Sad, right?

What I didn’t realize, and what others didn’t understand, was that it didn’t feel like a choice for me….to eat or not eat. My mind had taken over. For me, not eating felt like I was in control of my awful life. But deep down I was just a hurting little girl who dug herself in such a deep hole and didn’t know how to get out.

During one of my routine doctor’s appointments I had a wakeup call. He told me if I didn’t get help I could die. That was the breaking point for me. I knew that I had to make a change and that I needed help. The first step was admitting that exact thing, that I needed help and couldn’t do this alone. More than anything, I needed the Lord and His truth to reign in my heart in such a way that I could find freedom.

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

By the grace and power of God, and the professional help that I chose to receive, I overcame one of the hardest times in my life. Today I still battle with my weight but because of knowing my worth in Christ Jesus, I can rebuke the voices in my head telling me I’m not good enough and that I’m not a beautiful creation. No matter the circumstances, His word says:

“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalms 139:14

and I know that He is so much greater than any stronghold this world drags you into.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, consider getting help. We’d love to connect you with some resources.

Hang In There Mama

Two weeks ago, we started sleep training our two year old daughter, and let’s just say, it has been the most exhausting process. Shia had been climbing out of her crib even with the mattress at it’s lowest level and nearly injuring her ankles, so we knew it was time to transition her to a “big girl” bed.

If you’re a Mom and have been through this process, I’m sure you can relate to the 20 times you walk them back to their bed, the countless songs you try singing to them, saying prayer after prayer, rocking them till your arms want to fall off, sitting in front of their bedroom door holding it shut while they’re pounding on the other side, the tantrums, endless patting of the back, the one more sip of water, and the guilt trip moments when they shout, “Mama, huggy!”

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar!

But aside from all that, what surprised me the most was the despair and failure I felt as a Mom during all of this. I couldn’t believe how this process drained me so much, physically, mentally, and emotionally, that even spiritually, I was losing sight of who I needed to call on to sustain me even in this…God.

Psalm 55:22 says to “cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.”

See, we often call on Him for the big things like a new job, wanting to get married, buying a house, getting the kids into college, etc., but we forget that in one second, we can call on His name and ask Him for something as simple as energy, patience, gentleness in our tone of voice, a sound mind and a kind attitude towards self. We also forget that we can speak scripture out loud and that it can instantly soften our hearts, give us hope, make us strong, and remind us that God made us for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).

Yes this, being a Mama; changing diapers, the thousands of hours spent doing homework, rushing to their games after a long work day, tucking them into bed night after night even when you’re so exhausted, the teenage attitude and battles with dresscode, the grocery shopping, cooking dinner and packing lunches year after year, the carpooling, the laundry, the bills, the “Donuts with Mom” days, the painful pregnancy and weight gain, the list can truly go on and on.

But remember this;

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3

You are not alone. God is with you and will sustain you.

Hang in there Mama!

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