Using your bad and ugly for good.

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Those things you’re ashamed of? Those mistakes you’ve made? Those embarrassing moments? We all have them, and they aren’t meaningless. Well, they can be, but I want to encourage you to take the bad and ugly things in your life and turn them around and use them for good.

Doesn’t seem possible? I get that. Some things are just so far down the beaten path that you don’t think anything good could possibly come from these experiences.

BUT Romans 8:28 says,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

God can take literally anything – good, bad, embarrassing, sinful, shameful, sad, depressing, hopeless, you name it – and turn it around for GOOD: your good, His good, and the good of others too!

That’s what is so amazing! We all have experiences throughout life – we make mistakes and learn lessons and grow into better, more Christ-like people. And this journey is important because this journey is your testimony, and your testimony is what is going to speak truth and life to a hurting and broken culture. So it’s time to no longer let shame and embarrassment keep you silent and instead share how God has pulled you out of pits, forgiven your mistakes, and brought you closer to Him through it all.

Your journey is important because your journey is your testimony and your testimony is what is going to speak truth and life to a hurting and broken culture.

I challenge you to use your bad and ugly things…

To relate.

SO MANY people feel alone in this world – they feel lost and alone in their experiences, overwhelmed by the weight of all they carry. Do you know how powerful it is to be able to relate to someone because you’ve gone through something similar? It instantly breaks down a wall of shame. And when walls start to come down, deep, vulnerable, meaningful relationships are able to grow. And these types of relationships can bring healing into people’s lives.

The wonderful news is, no matter what, when we come to Jesus with our sin and shame, it is taken away and we are fully forgiven. Imagine being able to share your story of freedom from addiction with someone who is in the trenches of it, or whatever your experience may be. Talk about bringing hope to some serious darkness!

To empathize.

Have you ever lost someone you love and then find out that a co-worker has recently gone through the same thing? That happened to me a couple of days ago, and I was able to comfort and encourage my new friend because I could actually understand what she was going through better than others could. I’d been right where she was just a year prior.

It’s not something in my life I’m happy I had to experience, especially at such a young age. But it’s reality, so instead of wallowing in my grief, I chose to use my pain to empathize with someone else so maybe they wouldn’t feel so alone in theirs. Saying I understand what you’re going through, and actually being able to mean it, takes empathy to a whole new level.

To challenge, encourage, and most importantly, love.

If I can make it out of depression, you can too!

I know you can do it!

Here’s what helped me.

Here, let me pray for you.

Here’s a funny Instagram meme – I hope it made you laugh.

Here’s my number; call me if you are ever having a down day and want someone to talk to.

Here’s one of my favorite Bible verses, one I quoted often during my darkest times that really helped me.

I’m here for you.

And truly be there. Not because you feel obligated, but because you’ve gone through it. You know what it’s like. You can be the love, encouragement, and push they need.

My journey so far in life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. But instead of hiding behind the things I’ve done and or sulking in the terrible things that have happened to me, I do my best to give it all to God and let Him show me how He wants me to turn around and use it all for His glory and for the benefit of others.

What’s your story? How can you take all the bad and ugly from your journey and use it for GOOD?


Photo by Neal E. Johnson on Unsplash

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