Would anyone really want to talk about being raped? After finally overcoming the trauma, getting healed, and moving on, would it be something nice to talk about? Someone was heartbroken listening to Joy Tanchi talk about what happened to her in the past and asked, “Why is it that you have to share it all over again?” Joy’s answer was, “How can God be glorified if I keep it to myself and how can others know that they can overcome this and they can move on with their lives if I don’t share it?”
In her blog, Teachwithjoy.com, Joy talks about her past experience which she shared with the women at CRIBS, a center for abused women. Please click this link to see that post. In this other post about life detours, Joy says, “For every detour in life, we must believe God gives us a story to tell that will minister to others.” She looked beyond herself and her pain to give hope to women who think they have no hope. It gives them a vision of how they can be overcomers in their circumstances. The story does not end in the sad parts (abuse, rape, violation, oppression, destruction) but in the victory that Jesus gives, the new life that is available for all who are willing to receive what Jesus offers. The story does not highlight the story-sharer but the Hope Giver.
Contrary to the trend of creating an image of perfection and having it all together, which barely ministers to anyone, authenticity in life’s struggles and brokenness tells the hurting:
- You will get through this. This will not define you but refine you.
- You are not alone.
- God will heal you.
- You are not condemned. Jesus intercedes for you.
- The Holy Spirit will help you in your weakness.
- Jesus makes you More than Conqueror in your difficulty.
- Crying and pain will end.
- You have real hope. You can rest.
- This is not the end. In Christ you are made new.
- God is the God of Justice.
- God will restore you.
- God will use it for your good.
Matthew 5:14-16 MSG “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
2 Corinthians 4:6-12 MSG 5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
I had been having the struggle about keeping this blog hidden or open since God allowed me to start it in 2011. Who wants to talk about the failures and mishaps? Who wants to be known for such? Who wouldn’t want to have the best foot forward and a spic-and-span image to showcase to the world? But comes the reminder that God didn’t make me for the world. He gave me life today for His own purposes.
Joy Tanchi’s example of boldness to share her story for God’s purposes and glory encouraged me. Last Tuesday night, I was talking to my friend, Coco, about the Matthew 5 verse about God not being a secret to be kept before it was the YouVersion Verse of the Day the very next day, Wednesday. Wednesday night, I sought counsel about whether to keep this blog up or take it down and the pastor reminded me that Wednesday night’s devotion was about seeking to be an encourager like Barnabas, “the son of encouragement” and the blog is precisely about encouraging faith. This morning came the text of a dear friend, “Today’s message [referring to today’s CCF Fasting Booklet’s scheduled devotion] is ‘Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you…” Acts 18:9-10.”