Closets full of skeletons

My past is riddled with scores of bad decisions and multiple closets full of skeletons.

Honestly, I have often prayed that those skeletons would remain hidden away, out of sight, forever. But good grief, those things seem to clatter out when I least expect them to, and Lord have mercy on whomever happens to be around when those skeletons of mine start rattling around all out in the open and such.  EEEEEEKKKKK!!!!

Because ya’ll some of my past is shocking and shameful. And there are things I have done and said that STILL cause me great embarrassment.

But because of God’s great love for us…..ALL of my skeletons (and yours) are covered by His grace.

Every. Single. One.

Considering this soul cleansing, amazing grace, one would think it should be easy to talk about our past mistakes and the grace that erases them.

But it isn’t.

Because despite the amazing grace and compassion we have received, it is often not grace and compassion we choose to give. All too often we choose judgment.

I have been praying about this a lot lately. I have been asking God to help me replace my tendency to judge with a desire to choose grace and compassion. I am asking Him to help me speak life giving words and to withhold judgment on things that I was never meant to judge in the first place. Things like the skeletons in your closet. And mine.

Yesterday, God showed me grace and compassion in action.

I was having a conversation with a woman from my church. We were discussing ways to help another woman who is in the midst of a very difficult season. As she shared how this woman’s past is coming back to haunt her in the midst of her struggles, I felt led to share part of my story. I shared with her that I had an abortion when I was in my twenties.

My heart skipped a few beats as soon as the words left my mouth. And I waited to hear the shocked gasp. I waited to see the judgment in her eyes.

Neither came.

Instead, I saw tears fill her eyes as she chose grace. I felt compassion pour from her as she hugged me.

And something inside of me shifted a little. That something reminded me that it is important for me to share my story. Because my life is a wonderful example of a God who chooses grace and compassion. A God who has taken all the ashes of those skeletons in my past and has given me beauty.

For this I am forever grateful.

And to the woman who chose grace and compassion yesterday, thank you. God used you to inspire me to do the same.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Colossians 3:12-14 (MSG)

Lord, thank you for your grace and your compassion. You are the example we are to follow, help us to be more like you. Let us give grace, compassion, and kindness. Help us to love you and love others more. Thank you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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