written a few days ago:
I woke up this morning after a few brief hours of sleep. I was up until 3:00 am writing my life story. Writing and remembering made me feel depressed, dissatisfied, and disappointed; especially in myself and the choices I've made. My friend Kristen sent me a message expressing concern for me--somehow she always knows when I need a lift. I went outside to pick basil from my garden. My husband had just watered it. It was wet and the basil smelled wonderful. Bees were buzzing around and a beautiful butterfly flitted by. I realized how happy my garden makes me. How I love the fresh smells and tastes, especially of the basil. I started talking to God and thanking Him for my garden. I reflected on the previous night and my dissatisfaction with my life, wishing I had made different choices. In my spirit I felt God saying that this is the life He chose for me. I argued, "Chose for me? Isn't this what I chose for myself?" He responded by saying "Yes, you have sinned and made poor choices at times, but this is the life I have chosen for you now. You would do well to embrace it." I walked back inside with my basil.
A couple of nights ago I went to hear my friend Christy speak at a women's ministry event. She spoke about how God uses our circumstances to take us "infinitely beyond" with Him. She talked about how God wants to use our life experiences for good; and how we are to share our story. I asked God how He wants to use my story --all of it. Even the ugly part that's hidden. Maybe its time for me to write my story--all of it. Maybe its time for me to embrace it; even all the imperfections, sinful choices, and foolishness. There is so much of it I want to keep hidden.
I went back out to the garden to pick more basil. I thought about what I had just written, not wanting to post it, worrying about what people would think of me. God seemed to speak to me and say, "Everyone feels this way. No one has had a perfect life. Think of the people who would benefit from your story." Then these sweet words came to me: "I will make you like this basil--I will make you fragrant and useful." Even though I doubt at times, I am going to trust that as I embrace my life, all of it, God will indeed, bring good. As Philippians 1:6 says, he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." The Lord spoke to me one last time in the garden. He said, "I love you." It was a message spoken to me (not audibly), as clear as any message I've ever received. How good the Lord is to let us know He loves us. He will use all our life experiences for His glory and for our good.