One morning in Uganda, I had the privilege of sharing a devotion with the Team. I shared how I was hurt as a child and how broken I had become because of it. I wondered how God was ever going to love me or use such a broken vessel. How could something so broken ever be fixed or used for good? How could there be beauty in something so cracked? I went on to tell them how God picked me up out of the miry clay and set my feet upon the rock. How God had used my experiences to be able to speak into the lives of many young women who had experienced heartbreak like myself.
Richard, a sponsor child who was now grown and working for the organization who had helped him, held my hands, with tears in his eyes and thanked me for sharing so personally with him. He told me how it had touched him deeply, and how they have the same problems in his country. He was greatly encouraged by my story and now held a renewed hope for girls in his community.
So there I was, this joe average, nothing special about her, white girl sitting in the middle of Uganda, completely out of her comfort zone, never thinking she could do anything like this, but touching the lives of people around her with her personal testimony!
Same problems…….Different Country!
You know, we so often think we are the only person in the whole world going through what we are going through. But I can tell you everybody goes through stuff, whether you are sitting comfortably on your sofa, eating takeout with your air conditioning on, or if you are sitting in a mud hut in the middle of Africa, sweltering in the heat and wondering when and where your next meal will come from.
At some stage in life, we all feel worthless and wonder what we are doing on this planet, wondering why God would create us and for what purpose?
But you know what? We also all have a choice. We can choose to be a victim of our circumstances, or we can choose to rise above them and do the best we can with the cards we have been dealt.
Many years ago I made the decision that I was not going to be a victim! Sure, I had every reason to sit and wallow in my self-pity, but how was God going to use me in that state? I picked myself up, dusted myself off and told myself, even though I am cracked a little, I am still usable!
“God please take this messed up life and use it for good.” I could never have imagined that I would be sharing my story with a young man in Africa who was brought to tears by my truth and honesty.
Maybe I wasn’t so far out of my comfort zone, after all. I can speak truth and encouragement into a life, whether they are black or white, rich or poor, living comfortably or just surviving.
I can speak of God’s love. No matter where I am in the world.