Mess Into Message

Erin Davis 11/06/12 | Twitter: @ErinGraffiti
Category: Myself ; 22 comments

I've written about Aly before on this blog, so you may be familiar with her story.

Aly is a Christian. She's a straight A student. She has always been involved in her church. But two years ago, Aly was living a double life. She was dating a non-Christian behind her parents' backs. The relationship turned physical. This led her to make other compromises including using drugs and alcohol. She hid her sin for months, but eventually the truth came out.

Aly had to endure a painful process of repentance and making things right. But as she did, God did something amazing. He gave her opportunities to share her struggles with other teenagers who needed to hear that they could experience forgiveness for their secret sins. When I asked Aly if I could write about her story she said, "If one girl chooses God's truth because of my story, it would all be worth it to me."

God took Aly's mess and turned it into a message about His forgiveness. flower in garbage

While doing some recent research for a coming book project, I heard about Emily. Emily's dad has ALS, a devastating disease that causes loss of muscle control. Watching her dad suffer is painful for her, but when we asked her about purpose she said that she has a feeling that her dad's disease will play a role. She believes that God will use this messy part of her life to accomplish something big.

It shouldn't surprise us when God works this way. In His Word He promises us that He will.

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

God has a plan for you, and there's nothing in your life that He can't use.

I have a good friend who was going through a difficult season in life when she sensed that God had an odd assignment for her. She felt Him nudging her to only use what was in her pantry as she cooked for the next several weeks. She came up with some "interesting" culinary creations, but as she did she felt God teaching her that He could use everything in her life, even the yucky stuff for His glory.

Are there parts of your life that are messy? How about an area of past sin? Have you experienced pain, trials, or heartbreak? These are the areas of your life you may be tempted to toss out with the trash, but God wants to use them.

In 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 we read, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

God comforts us. We comfort others. It's a simple mission, but one you can accept right now. Wanna do something big for God's kingdom today? Find someone who is going through something you've been through and find a way to comfort them.

We all have messes. The question is will we let God use them to share His message?

Note: Portions of this post are taken from Erin's coming book, My Name Is Erin: One Girl's Mission to Make A Difference.

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    Christina
    God's Miracles
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:23 am
    That is the amazing thing, He does use things in our life for good! I have a story, and many have seen how i've changed and God uses that to change their heart. I have many different stories, but here is one that caused my life to turn around:

    In 7th grade i wasn't even on the right path. I hung out with the wrong friends, i've been saved since i was 5, and though i wasn't walking with Him, i still had the Holy Spirit in me so i knew not to do the bad things, i still knew right from wrong. So, thankfully, i never did anything really bad. But, there was still sin. I hung out with the wrong people, wore innapropriate clothes, listened to wrong music, and watched bad TV. Then a friend of mine killed himself, February 18th. I went into a deep depression. I wouldn't smile, i wouldn't laugh, my hair was layed in front of my face, i was not a happy person. Most people see people kill themselves and different people act in different ways. Why did i go into a depression? I thought part of the reason he killed himself was my fault. I had found out that he was thinking about killing himself, so i said that i was gonna make it over that weekend to his house to talk some sense into him. Well i got busy and never made it over there, i said ok i'll make it next weekend. Well that week, on a Thursday, he killed himself. So much guilt was upon my shoulders, i ended up being aneorexic on top of all of that. That summer i was going to a church camp, the Wilds, it was my first year. I was depressed, and i was sick. I wouldn't eat anything, i wouldn't drink anything, and i wore a sweatshirt in 90 degree weather. One day Willy, one of the main guys at camp, spoke about suicide. I started cryin, at the end i didn't wanna go up and talk but my friends kinda pushed me up there. He told me that it wasn't my fault and Kyle already had it in his mind to kill himself and he would've done it sooner or later regardless. This slowly started me out of my depression, because i thought and he was right. I made decisions at camp and kept them for a week once i got home, because i was home for a week. Then i went to New York to visit my dad and everything that i had changed went back to the way it was. This happened for a while, but even at that, i was still growing and i could tell that i was. Through the past few years i have lost the eating problem i had, i listen to the right music, i don't watch bad tv or hang out with bad friends. I'm very modest. I have changed and continue to do so. God has changed my heart over the years and i continue to grow in Him! I give thanks to God and the Godly people that He has put in my life, He is shaping me and molding me into the way that He wants me to be for His will!
    marie sumo
    GOD OF WONDERS
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:14 am
    I am speechless of all these people stories i just read. and i can relate to some part of Christina story about hanging out with the wrong people, wearing inmodest clothes, and some of my own like partying every weekend, drinking and dancing without self control when im drunk. dating a guy who i knew was dating other girls and yet having sexual relations with him on the regular. but last year God had a hold of my heart and made me relaize that this is not what he have plan for me. I stopped hanging out with those people,( i still talk to them,but not like before), stop parting, and drinking, cut off the relationship with the guy, and made a committment to not be in a sexual relation with any guy from now on till i get marry. It's been a tough decision, and temptation. God blessed with with godly mentors such as my pastor and his family who treats me as if im part of their family, they even asked me to move in with them because of my bad living situation. Two old missionaries ladies that teaches us every friday at their house and introduce us to the book'Lies Young Women Believe'', that lead me to this website. they are seeing the changes in me and how God is working in my life, and every day i asked God for his continually help to please Him.
    monica
    Re:
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:33 am
    I used to think that there was something wrong with me- something wrong I had done in my life to cause bad things to happen. When I was six, I started having panic attacks, but nobody knew. Not even me. So I got into a lot of trouble at school for many years because i got so freaked out. People yelled at me. I yelled back. It felt like no one understood. It felt like no one wanted to. EVen after I got over it, I still felt like I was a bad person because of what happened in my past. It took a long time for me to believe that even though my past makes me a part of who I am, it doesn't make me a bad person, it makes me better because God wants to use what I learned from that experience for something.
    Brittany
    Re:
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 11:36 am
    This is a great post because I have bipolar disorder and I struggle everyday basically. But, I know I have it for a reason, I'm still trying to figure it out. I also trust God that he'll show me.
    Cara31
    Re:
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 11:53 am
    thanks. i needed that today.
    Elaine
    Re
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm
    Oh my, this really spoke to me!
    I have gone through so many though things in my life and it feels like I'm going through the toughest thing right now.
    Thank you!
    Smile:)
    @Christina and Erin
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm
    Christina-I love the Wilds!!!! Best camp ever! Willy is such a great guy. I have made so many decisions there.

    Erin-When is it appropriate times to actually say the sin I struggled with? When I went to a godly woman for help with my sin, she told me that I shouldn't really talk about it to people my age (teens) because of the immaturity level and stuff. I don't know if I could tell people my age what I struggled with because it would be so embarrassing. Do you think that it is better to not say the sin or to say the sin? (if it helps any I struggled with stuff I looked at and read on the internet)
    GG
    Slightly off-topic
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm
    First off, thank you for the post. It means a lot to be reminded and to know that God can make something beautiful come out of something broken, and that we can use our stories to help encourage others.

    Secondly, I'm sure that at the blog you get a lot of requests for posts on different topics...but I thought I'd ask anyways.

    I've struggled with a lot of fear throughout my life, and I know that's not a good thing...I thought it had gone away, but it just recently resurfaced again. Please know - I don't mean to make a big deal out of it, since it really isn't as though I've gone through terrible trials as a child or anything, it's just something that I can't seem to get over. It's not even fear of human things, exactly, just...I don't know, fear of some really big stuff.

    Anyways, if you happen to read this and would consider doing a post on fear and how to overcome it (or even just recommending some other posts in the past that could help, or good verses to read are always great as well), that would be fantastic. If anyone else has suggestions, those would be great too. :)
    Christen
    @Elaine
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm
    "His strength is made perfect in my weakness". The Lord will use this time in your life for your good, dear one. He will not put you through a trial that you cannot endure. He loves you. He feels acutely what you're going through, for He has "engraved you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah 49:16). He sees you and He watches over you. He even endures the pain with you. Since Jesus was man too, He has also already endured the pain. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin." ( Hebrews 4:15). The Lord hates to give you pain even more than you hate to feel pain. But He has a reason for it all. Trials help to sanctify us. We have to learn to lean not on our own strength, but on God's. He is drawing you to him. When have you been most aware of God? When everything was fine, and it seemed like it wasn't necessary to cry out to Him or thank Him for everything? Or is it now,when you might soon break?
    you see? The trial is a blessing in disguise. The only riches that we can ever have is the wealth of knowing God (Philipians 3:7). God cares for you. He wants to bring you to Himself- He is bringing you to himself.
    As I was finishing this comment, my computer starting freezing up. It asked me like two or three if I wanted to end the program or wait for it to respond. I kept on clicking "wait" because I didn't want the comment to get lost. I prayed that God would make the computer work if he wanted Elaine to read it. Ironically, I started to freak out a little-as I wrote a message on how things that go wrong work out for good! :) Anyway, I might've clicked end program, the screen blanked off, then the internet came back up, clicked "restore program"-which I don't think I've ever seen my computer offer to do before- and I got back here and my comment was saved! Praise the Lord! That was like a miracle!
    I thought these two songs might help you
    -Leave it in the Valley by Mandisa and Even the Winter by Audrey Assad.
    Rest in His strength!! What you're going through is all part of his divine plan for your edification!! Remember that He is the "the God of all comfort", and run into your Father's arms for consolation!! He longs for you-his beloved daughter whom He sent His son to bleed for! This is your blessed right, duty, and privilege!

    Peace be unto you, sister,
    Love,
    Christen
    Bela
    Re:
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm
    Thank-you for this post!! I needed it today, today was tough and I'm feeling depressed because a friend made a wrong choice, and she knew better. My heart yearns for her to repent.So, anyway, thanks for the reminder that God is faithful!
    Aden Kay
    Lessons in Life, Love, Family and Character
    on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 10:56 pm
    Indeed! God is the God of all comfort. We may not know why certain things in our life are happening at that moment, but if we look back on those moments, we will realize that God has planned them because He has something better and bigger for us. They may be lessons in life, love, family and even character. It's His promise.

    I always have these trials in my life that God is giving me in order for me to learn the value of patience, trust, faithfulness, courage and discipline. But if you may ask, why is God repeating or giving us the same trials over and over again? Maybe because we haven't learned from them, so He continues to put us in these trials, so that, eventually, we can face tomorrow refined and ready for more challenges (Isa. 48:10).

    Thank you for this post Erin! May God keep you. :)
    Anonymous
    GG
    on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 6:03 am
    Hey GG,
    What you are going through with your fear of 'some big things', sounds like what I have. I have severe Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Emetephobia (a phobia of 'sick'; literally), and possibly mild panic disoreder and agoraphobia.

    I spend alot of my time being worried and being afraid. It has stopped me from doing alot of things that I love because I am just so afraid. Now, this message isn't meant to make you more scared or sad, because anxiety can definitely be managed. I suggest maybe talking about it to someone (an adult), like maybe a parent or teacher and the school counsellor.

    You might not even have anxiety at all, but if you do, it really helps to nip it in the bud :)

    If you have any questions or worried you want to talk about, feel free.

    Remember 1 Peter 5:7, "Give all your worried to God, for He cares about you."

    If you want, I can post some more bible verses about fear that have really helped me.

    Keep praying!
    Anonymous
    P.S. I will be praying for you GG
    Larissa
    And yet another miracle...
    on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 10:22 am
    On the past year, I lost my house (THREE times), my father moved away from us, I had major crisis with my best friend, my sister and I could barely look at each other, my mother got sick and here I am now: living with mom and sis on a small room in my aunt's house. If you think I had a big house and even two maids in January, you can see how "messy" I thought my life to be, right?
    But Who is our God if not a Daddy? Of course He had a plan.
    Living out of charity make wonders for your trust in God. Having no way to fix things, even more.
    My fights with my best friend led her ultimately for Christ. And to a deeper friendship.
    But I must admit I was quite depressed lately... Christmas crafts used to be my favorite thing for as long as I can remember. But no home + no money = no party = no crafts. So I was kinda blue.
    Then on a certain art site, I got an email talking about using your talents to make crafts for sick people this Chistmas. At first, I was like "Oh, c'mon, no way I'll give to others something I don't have!" and deleted the mail. Ladies, the Holy Spirit convicted me right away by basically quoting the whole Proverbs 31 and reminding me of Jesus. Remembering I'm a child of God, I immediately began to feel like there ARE people who have a lot more to worry about than not having crafts!
    Now, talk about a miracle: whole 5 minutes later, the mail showed on my mailbox again, saying that "It couldn't be deleted by unknown reasons". I had to pray while laughing.
    So God is turning my misfortune into a way to relate to His people, and I'm SO glad!
    Funny thing: I have no money to give. My personality isn't very angel-ish. Let's say I'm no nurturer. The only thing I can do is stepping in faith and obedience and watch Dad do all the work!
    Timely post!
    ellie
    Re:
    on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 11:37 am
    God is so good. It is amazing how He can redeem sinful pasts full of shame for His glory!!! It's so beautiful and goes totally against how this world thinks.

    Praise God! Only He can make the dry bones live.
    Janice
    Fear and others
    on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm
    Thank you everyone for being so open. I really believe God will work in each of your lives if you let him :)

    I used think, If we're Christians, why do we get so messing all the times? That was one big deadly lie. Everytime I experienced fear, emotional outburts etc. I would be angry with myself and think that something is wrong with me. Why am I so emotional? Well, only this year, my friend told me that isn't true.
    Because Jesus said, there will be many troubles, but take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    In our lives it's a constant battle (a war that's already been won, praise God!!) and the enemy, the one who wants to kill and steal, Satan. May have set up many stronghold in our lives (this can range from fear to a sin we always go back to).
    But God wants to take down these stronghold and he gives us strength to do it! Sometimes this may take ages, and I doubt it happens over night. But I guess if God is for us, who is against?

    I've struggled with fear of man for so long. I still do now, and usually the more I'm closer with God, the harder Satan hits sometime. But I'm learning. I'm learning that Jesus absolutely loves me and when all other opinions fade, his doesn't. His precious thoughts about me, they are all in his book. The book of life. Which means I gotta do a lot more bible reading haha!

    Anyways,

    Love and bless you all.
    You are not alone in any of your struggles, God is with you and he promises he will never leave.
    Carrie, with the LYWB team
    @GG
    on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    You’re not alone, friend. Fear is a common struggle. You’ll find encouragement through Erin’s Story about the fear she struggled with growing up: http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=76 . You can hear more of her story on the broadcast “Freedom From Fear”: http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/freedom-fear-1/ .

    Here are some additional posts that will encourage you.
    • http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=1892 – The Lessons Autumn Teaches
    • http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=1798 – Let the Dog Off the Leash

    Thanks for commenting, GG. Praying for you today.
    Carrie, with the LYWB team
    @Smile;)
    on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm
    The woman you talked with is very wise, friend. It is best not to share the details of your struggle with peers for the reasons she mentioned. You need the counsel/help/prayers of one who is more mature and will take you back to the Word of God for help. Keep talking with your older friend, Smile; sounds like she’s right on track.
    GG
    Re:
    on Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 10:49 pm
    Thank you all for the encouragement and prayers; they are really appreciated, and I'm sorry it took me this much time to reply.

    I'm...hesitant, I guess, to talk much about this with an adult, first off because it seems like others are going through trials so much greater that this seems really insignificant, and second because it's something that comes and goes...I actually thought I was over it, until recently when it appeared again. If it gets worse or even just continues, though, I will certainly do so. Thanks for the thoughts, support, suggested posts, and prayers. I really do appreciate it.

    GG
    Smile:)
    thanks
    on Friday, November 9, 2012 at 6:59 am
    Thanks Carrie!
    Sarah, with the LYWB team
    @marie sumo...
    on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    You indeed have a MESSAGE! You have blessed us so by your story! One of our team responded to your post: "So sweet! I just want to hug her! And those two old missionaries!" I agree; I'm so glad I get to be the one to write and tell you so! We are so proud of you for following Christ and changing your life to reflect Him! God bless you, dear, dear one! I post this with a prayer of praise, and seeking God's continued great grace and goodness in your life!
    Smiley:)
    Re:
    on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 8:41 pm
    There are certain things that I have been through-things that are big enough in my life that if they hadn't happened, i wouldn't be who I am. I wouldn't be here to encourage anybody if none of it had happened because I wouldn't be able to empathize. This may sound sick, but although I never want to go back to the hard times, I am grateful for those times. It was those times that taught me to always be thankful, even through our trials. I feel that God used it to remind me that life is too short to be watching life pass me by. We also must remember that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    From suffering, I have learned that God has a plan for all of us and that without Him, we are nothing. Without Him, we can't get through our trials. With Him, you will be able to get through it, my friends. Even though it is hard, always know that God loves you and that with God, anything is possible.
    Your friend,
    ~Monica~
    Carrie, with the LYWB team
    @Re
    on Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    We wanted to let you know we have decided not to post your earlier comment. You haven't done anything wrong, but in past experience we have found it best not to put comments where a serious threat of suicide has been made on a forum as public as this one.

    However, we do want to help you and encourage you to choose to believe God's Truth which is that Jesus came so that you may have life (John 10:10) and that taking your own life is NOT God's will for you.

    We want to encourage you to tell someone about how you are feeling. Talk to your parents. Reach out to your youth pastor. Call a friend who is wise and loves the Lord. Will it be easy? No. But neither is the pain and isolation you are feeling right now. Drag those feelings into the light and borrow strength from those around you until you are able to see clearly that you are loved deeply by God.

    Praying for you tonight, friend.

Write a comment

Blog Ground-Rules

If you want us to publish your comments, stick to these guidelines:

  1. No crude or profane language.
  2. No hurtful comments targeted at other girls.
  3. No personal information such as email addresses or MySpace and Facebook accounts. (This is for your own protection.)
  4. Protect the innocence of others. (Not everyone has had the same experiences.)

If you have trouble reading the code, click on the code itself to generate a new random code.
Security Code: *
 

© 2008-2011 Revive Our Hearts. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | Permissions

A Gospel.com Alliance Member