If we lingered over coffee this morning and honestly shared our hearts, I would tell you how mine was once deeply broken, betrayed, abandoned, and voted out. I would share with you how that came to be… a long and tragic and truly unbelievable story from my life. But once I shared the pain and loss and heartache I've known, I would tell you with a smile on my face and a sparkle in my eyes another story from my life, a stunningly redemptive story… the story of what God did for me in the midst of such great tragedy.
I would tell you how he came for my heart and drew a sword on my behalf and fought against the many forces of evil that have desperately tried to destroy me and hold me down and keep me small. I would tell you how he set me free from toxic people and relationships, and how he took the false and hurtful and horrible words spoken of me and crushed them with the truth… the truth of who I am and who he's made me to be. And I would tell you how he held me up when I could stand no longer and how he carefully pieced together my broken heart when I was certain it was irrevocably shattered. I would tell you how my life has been beautifully transformed and forever changed by a God who has loved me more fiercely and faithfully than I have ever known.
And with tears spilling down my cheeks, I'd share with you how he said to me, "You were made to shine. You were made for life. And even though you've lost your way, turn and you will hear me say… You were made for more, so much more, child of everlasting light, made to blaze away the night. So, burn bright... Burn bright."
And then I'd tell you the beautiful truth that those words are meant for you, too. No matter how your story has played out, or what its chapters have held. No matter the pain and loss and heartache you've known, or the choices you've made, or the current mess of your life. You, too, were made to shine. You were made for life. And even if you've lost your way, you can turn and hear Jesus say… "You were made for more, so much more, child of everlasting light, made to blaze away the night. So, burn bright… Burn bright."
And then I imagine, we'd cry tears of joy as we'd marvel together at the fabulous, life-saving and life-giving love of Jesus. We'd wonder at his incredible mercy, his favor and kindness, and his unyielding power on our behalf. And with full and grateful hearts, we'd run with abandon to his safe, comforting arms where we'd find strength and joy and hope over-flowing. And in response, we couldn't help but to rise up from the ashes and make something beautiful from all the broken pieces.
You were made to shine.
You were made for life.
So, burn bright…
This post was inspired by the beautiful song, "Burn Bright," by Natalie Grant. Listen here
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”