Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5)
There I was standing in front of the church with my husband, our sons, and our baby girl in my arms. It was her dedication day at our church and after the service, a woman came up to me and said something that to this day remains in my heart. She said, “You have a glow about you. Your smile is radiant.” I found my mouth open and before I knew it, what came out was, “It is Jesus’ light shining.” I was taken back by such words as I typically am one to stutter or fumble around with words when complimented.
The part that she did not realize was the journey I had been on and the shame that haunted me for years. My face was the furthest thing from being radiant during that time in my life. I looked down more than up. I tried to hide and be alone more than stand in front of people. The pain and the shame that overtook me landed me into a dark and confused state where all I wanted to do was flee in hopes to get some relief emotionally.
But something happened that changed it all…I fell deeply in love with my Savior, my Divine Potter. You see, I had been a dull lump of clay that laid worn out in a heap there on His wheel. Not knowing what my life had become, I became tired of holding on to the appearance that everything was okay when everything was not okay. And there on His wheel, He held me and as we journeyed through the pain, the grief, and the shame, form began taking place in my soul. The rough edges were being smoothed out by His forgiveness and love and the more I leaned into His hands, the more I found myself feeling secure, known, and loved. You see when I came to the end of myself, I was able to realize that He too once came to the end of himself when He died on the cross, a death He did not deserve in order so I could live a life a did not deserve. Allowing that truth to penetrate down to the deepest part of my heart, my heart felt extreme remorse and sorrow for the pain my sin inflicted on His body. I felt for the first time what it meant to be unconditionally loved. I felt His grace gushing over me. And there under the Divine Potter’s hands, I, the clay, looked up to Him and found myself smiling as the truth soaked in that I was indeed accepted, forgiven, and loved by Him.
Today, are you hanging your head low out of disappointment and battling with the raw emotion of anger towards God? Is the heaviness of grief weighing down your shoulders and it is just too hard to look up? Or are you guilt-ridden due to sin in your life and the shame that you are carrying around with you keeps you from truly looking at Him because you feel exposed and embarrassed before Him?
What if, the area of your life that is keeping you from coming to Him in your rawest of forms (like the clay of a potter) is the one thing that He can use to mold to create beauty for others to see? What if you were to look to Him in and through it all and be able to speak with the truth that it is indeed well with your soul?
The day I stood holding our baby girl in front of the church dedicating her to the Lord, was a day that I never thought I would see happen. The road to that day was long and painful and was full of so much grief, shame, and guilt… it was a road that had several bumps of infertility laced with a miscarriage, and later that road would lead to my adultery which almost tore my family apart. But on that day, I stood basking in the miracles of God, and yes, my face was radiant because of ALL that He had done.
Whatever you are facing today, face it with God. Come to Him, raw, exposed, vulnerable and He will hold you, support you and shower you with His love. He is waiting for you to look away from your circumstance(s) and instead look up to Him and let the radiance of His love penetrate down deep into your heart.
Author Carrie Park