Beautifully You – Melinda

Today’s Beautifully You story comes from Melinda:

Life is sweet and profoundly beautiful, but it is definitely not easy. Sometimes it’s really hard.

When I think back to my hardest seasons, it

was not the crushing betrayal I experienced, or the lonely places I stood in, or the pain I felt pounding in my chest, that I found most

debilitating and dangerous.  It was the paths that those experiences tempted me to walk down.  I had some set “non-negotiables” in my life – one being the belief that God is good all the time.  But when the pain went long and confusion refused to lift, I started questioning everything.

I remember walking a lot through my neighborhood, telling God – “I don’t know how to believe any more. I don’t know how to even want what I used to want.  Please, help me to want to want it.” So much darkness.

It was not long after that, I was in a powerful service.

In speaking on the Shield of Faith, the preacher started telling about the Spartan people.  He told how they were consumed with battle.  They trained their young sons to fight with all they had.  When their first battle came, the mother would carry the family shield to her son and hand it to him as she whispered in his ear, “Carry this shield home to me, or let them carry you home upon it.”

Fierce.  Her message was clear – “Never stop. Never give in. Fight for all you know to be true, even if you have to die doing it.” I knew God was speaking to me directly.

All the weeks of crying out… He had heard me, and now He was beckoning me to a point of decision. “Okay, God.  I hear.  I choose to believe again.  I choose to believe in the things I once thought I’d willing take a bullet for.  I choose to believe in Your goodness. You are good all the time.  I will carry the shield home to you, or they will carry me upon it.”

Not ten minutes after I prayed that pray to God, the speaker looked at me and said, “…I don’t know what you’ve been through, but man, you’ve been through it.”  He spoke of my great struggle, and then said, “You’ve wrestled it, but it doesn’t matter now…because you told God that you’d bring the shield home, or they’d carry you home upon it!”

What kind of God rescues one in the very midst of doubting Him?  Only mine.  He has spoken to me through strangers, sent dreams to people on the other side of the country for me, sang songs over me, and breathed life back into me…many times.  He is the truest of all friends.  I watched

Him put on sackcloth and sit in the ashes and cry with me.  And He has never failed to lift me from those ashes.

He will do the same for you.

He stands beside us, sword in hand, fiercely fighting off cynicism, weariness, fear and, yes – even doubt.  I’ve seen too much.  I’m fully

convinced.  I know it, at the core of my being…

God is, indeed, wrecklessly and relentlessly good

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