When will I stop this endless effort of building a perception that “all is well in my life”?  It’s an act I’ve grown accustomed to and have a hard time imagining what my life would look like without it.

What’s the point anyway?  To impress others and put off the false image that perfection is possible?  Perfection is found in Christ alone.

And yet do we not often fall into that temptation to believe that we should have it all together?  I remember the first moment I experienced that lie.

I have such a clear memory of that one day at softball practice.  I was probably ten-years-old and I was struggling with some pretty strong feelings of jealousy towards a girl on my team.  She just seemed to have it all together.  She was well liked by all twelve of the other girls on the team, she had great hair, and she could hit a fierce line-drive.  I mean she had it all, right?  Amidst an array of discouraging thoughts I remember a glimmer of truth from the Lord coming through and knocking all the rest down.  It was simply the truth that none of us are perfect, and just like me, she too has her struggles.  As odd as it sounds, that truth helped me fight those feelings of jealousy.  It helped me treat her with love and respect, knowing that while the outside appeared perfect, she had a story too, a story of flaws, a story of falling short of perfection, and, prayerfully, a story of redemption.

A story…we all have one, don’t we?

Chapter after chapter of joys and trials.  Page after page of decisions made, both good and bad.  A story that is our own…a story that needs to be told.

And isn’t that what Scripture is?  The greatest story of all, told in a thousand stories.  Stories of mankind realizing his need of a Savior, realizing perfection can only be found in Christ.  Perfection that we can’t attain on our own, and thus our reliance on Jesus.

A story that goes something like this,

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.   (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)  For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” -John 1:14-17

A story that started out in love, and finishes in love.  A story that traces God’s grace in our lives through every line.  A story that is still being written today.

What’s your story?

Who needs to hear it told?

How has God rescued you?

How is God restoring you?

As we consider these questions, let’s trust in the greatest Author of all time.  Let’s embrace His story.  Let’s remember that we are a part of that story, and share it with others.  May we remember this life we have is a gift, and it is not forever.  Let’s share the stories God’s given us now.  Let’s open up and illustrate to others that no one is perfect, and that’s why we needed a Savior.

My encouragement for us all is that we walk in the freedom of Christ’s love and forgiveness.  May we strike truth into the fear that often holds us back, whispering lies to us about our stories.  Lies that our story is too boring, or that everyone will judge us if they knew the truth.  Lies that our story isn’t ready to be shared yet or that no one will care.

Let’s fight those lies together.  Let’s bring them into the light and see them for what they are.

May we admit our cracks and share how only Christ can restore broken vessels.  Let’s break down those walls and remind ourselves, as we share with others, of our daily need for God’s grace and forgiveness.

May I never forget the lesson learned on that softball field all those years ago.  I pray we continue to see our stories and our brokenness, as a beautiful way to share Christ’s love and forgiveness to a hurting world striving for a false attainment of perfection.  I pray we share our stories with each other in the church, and then with those we encounter everyday outside the church.  Let’s be real and trust God to speak His love and grace through our stories.