This past week has been a little difficult for me. I had experienced something on my birthday that made me feel like I had let God down. I know that I am faulty, but I also know that God wants to forgive me and move on. I heard somewhere that God forgives all of our sins and he puts them in a lake. He then posts up a sign that says "No Fishing!" Well, I went fishing alright and while I went fishing for what was bothering me, I also caught some old ones I left behind years ago. Why do we do that? I guess while we are down we mind as well remember other things right? Well, He does not remember them so we shouldn't either. At the time though, no one could tell me that.
I had to pick up some medication for Maddy on Saturday from Dandurand Drugstore. Everytime we pull up here (we only make this run 3 times a year), Maddy's eyes light up. "Oh, I like this store!" she says. Maybe because it has "cute" and pretty expensive toys there. I am sure she is not excited to pick up her medicine. I quickly let her know I am not spending money here except for her medicine. She goes off and looks at the toys. When I walk over I notice a basket of silly looking stuffed animals. "I like these" she says to me. I said "yeah, they are called Ugly Dolls and we can make those, not pay 10 bucks for them." She was super excited at the thought of making something and she put it down.
On the way home I stopped by Goodwill and picked up an assortment of fabric for VERY cheap. I told Maddy that since I had to babysit that night we could make the dolls after church the next day. She agreed and began sketching her "Ugly Dolls."
That night after I was done babysitting and Maddy had fallen asleep, I decided to make her one and surprise her. I knew Maddy would love it so I began sewing (by hand) away. I felt like a child making something for their mother. I was pleased with my finished result and turned the lamp off.
When we woke up Sunday, I showed Maddy the doll. Her voice was so gentle and soft. "Oh, I love it mommy, thank you! You did a good job!" she (being proud of her mommy) says. We then began to talk about why it is called the "Ugly Doll." I wrote the word "ugly" down on some paper and began to make words out of the letters. We figured that "G.L.Y." could stand for "God Loves You." Maddy asked me what "U" could stand for and I said "Unchanging." We wrote out the words "Unchanging God Loves You" and we were excited! Not only did we create our own doll but God showed us how he can help us make good out of what seems to be "ugly."
At church this morning I was taking on the burden of what I had gone through on my birthday. As God would have it, the service was titled "Peace". It told of a testimony of girl at church who had began "cutting" herself for temporary relief of struggles. It showed how she had hit rock bottom and began to lean on the Lord. During that time the preacher was saying, "no matter what you have done to someone or what they have done to you, Jesus is the only one who can give you peace." He then said turn to the person to your left or to your right and tell them "you are forgiven." I turned to my right and told the girl "you are forgiven" and she told me. The testimony continued and I began to weep silently. I wept over how unclean my heart was and how I was not worthy of being loved. The Lord reminded me of the "U.G.L.Y. doll" and I wept more. I could have rambled on but the Lord intervened. The girl that was on my right sat in the seat next to me and said, "I just want you to know the second I sat next to you I noticed Gods spirit all over you. I could just feel it. You are going to be used so much. I just want you to know." I was weeping and I all I could say was "thank you." Later I found out that that was her (Ashleys) first time visiting the church and speaking out in faith. She had never done that before. What faith that was, for me to see!
After coming home I told Maddy how happy I was that we found "Unchanging God Loves You" out of "ugly." I also told her that if anyone calls her ugly again, that was alright. She could just smile at how God sees love through the ugly. We all have it. We can deny it or own up to it. Our hearts are not always pure, clean, or beautiful. I have learned that going "fishing" for our sins and old ones don't solve anything either. I don't always "get it", but I am learning that their is beauty is out of ugly.
"I desire a heart like you Lord. I cannot look at my own strength to get me through. Help me to have a heart like you. In your beautiful, precious, and holy name-Amen."
"The enemys angel did his best to get me down, what he in fact did was push me to my knees...My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become." 2 Corinthians 12 (The Message)