My one word for 2015 is “Shine”. There is this image of sparkles, light reflecting brightly, a clean slate and all around perfection when the word “shine” crosses my path. Everything is working together and producing a goodness for others. Well, that is not me-not even close!

I am not shining and God has so much work to do on this girl to get the sparkles going!

shine necklace

So now that February is waning and March is hovering close by, what do I have to show for my one word? You will be surprised when I share the answer – “a lot”! I am also surprised at the sheer messiness of it all and how God is working it out for His good. All I can say is He is amazing and loves creating much out of the mistakes and rough edges of our lives.

Reality shows that when I reflect on how well I am taking care of myself you will see failure. I wrote A Closet Eater’s Diet back in January and have struggled with releasing it all to God. I let myself get sucked into the tug of war that I can do this myself when everything points to the difficulty of self-care when we do not let God take charge. In order for me to shine, I need to be physically strong to take on the future God has planned for me. He is still working on me and He will never give up and this is good.

Reality shows me my days of always being the strong one have come to a screeching halt. My outer appearance has begun to take on the inner turmoil I have experienced since January. Getting “real” has been God’s way of working on me to shed my “everything is fine” exterior. Getting “real” means I admit when I am weak, I ask for help when I need it and I share how God redeems me through it all. My writing has been a call to share the real, which I have done in An Invitation: Come As You Are…The Weekend Brew, When Life is One Big Exhale and Where God Found Me in 2005 …A Guest Post@Testimony Tuesday. It has been a stepping out of my comfort zone, a sharing of the inner turmoil that God is working for my good, and a peeling back of the strong facade that I wear as my armor everyday. It is real, messy and it is all me!

I have the sparkly “shine” necklaces that you see above but my reality does not match the beautiful, unflawed appearance of these necklaces. My reality matches the necklace below and reflects exactly where I am today and the work that God wants to continue in me.

brken vessel shine

When I found this necklace and ordered it, I knew the message was God’s way of telling me how He was going to help me “shine” this year. He promises that the broken become whole, the tarnished become shiny, and His light will always break through darkness. I am His work in progress and He has so much more to do, but through it all He teaches us, carries us and brings us through to the other side. God never gives up on us but chases us relentlessly to make us His own creation.

God doesn’t ask us for perfect and shiny. We are made perfect in Him. My brokenness and flaws are cradled in the Hands of Jesus who loves them into His beautiful perfection.

Join me in my brokenness as I invite God into the middle and accept His reality as mine. Walk the path of uncertainty into His amazing light. Become real and allow God’s presence to become yours through every messy imperfection that is made new through God.

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24

Blessings,

Mary

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