"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
I have been taking a closer look at the garments God wants me to be wearing. After taking a good hard look at my scars yesterday, I am learning that I can either hide them in shame or allow them to prepare me for the garment of compassion. If I am willing, the ugliness of those scars can take on a new beauty. When this happens, they no longer have the power to embarrass me or drag me down. In fact, just the opposite is true. Because of those battle scars, I can learn to look someone hungry in the eyes and offer them a meal...kindness. I can get to the point where I celebrate another person's victory even if I am not sharing in their success...humility. I can get to the place where I face each day with confidence and peace regardless of my circumstances, and put others before myself...quiet strength. I see that I no longer have to be swayed by my moods or emotions. Instead, I can learn how to step up and do the right thing regardless of how I am feeling...discipline.
"Dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline." If I have compassion in place, the other four garments listed in this passage begin to fit as well. And they are a perfect combination...nothing seems out of place. Not that I am wearing them yet! I have so far to go to and SO much to learn. But I am grateful to have the perfect Tailor for the job. He knows how to take all of those battle wounds...all the past injuries...whether inflicted by myself or someone else, and give them new value and meaning. I love this! I can throw off the garment of self-pity and wear the robe of rejoicing instead. Those injuries, though painful, are preparing me for my new attire. God is suiting me up so I can go out and be a blessing to others ~ the best part of all!
"To possess true beauty, we must be willing to suffer...women who are stunningly beautiful are women who have had their hearts enlarged by suffering." ~John and Stasi Eldredge