Masterpiece— a work done with extraordinary skill; especially : a supreme intellectual or artistic achievement
What it means to me: True beauty has imperfections.
I used to have a gambling problem. I never decided if I was actually an addict. What I really had was an anxiety problem. One of my huge anxiety triggers was anything that had to do with money. Just thinking about having to pay the bills would put me into a tailspin. I somehow thought that I could make up the difference of what I needed by making more at the casino. I know, it doesn’t make any sense. What can I say? I used to be a little nuts. Anyway, there are no words to explain the stress I put myself through. I have actually gambled away an entire paycheck. So on top of the increased anxiety and depression, I now had a whopping load of shame to carry around.
The last time I gambled away a lot of money, I got a miracle. Instead of the usual self-loathing, I got a word from God. Now you will probably really think I’m crazy, but here goes. I felt so dejected that I couldn’t even pray. I just sat down and stared at the floor. That’s when God basically put into my mind that it doesn’t matter what I do, I am still loved. Unconditional. And that’s not all. I had the most beautiful sense of peace. It was as if God was saying “ Don’t worry. I will take care of you.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what grace looks like. How could I possible deserve God’s help after being so stupid? I didn’t deserve it, by my standards, but I still came out on top. I haven’t gambled a dime since, and I don’t struggle with anxiety anymore either. Yes, miracles do still happen.
I’m writing this because I want to speak to the one who is in that dark place. I’m talking to the one who thinks life is always going to be this way. This is for the alcoholic, the addict, the thief, the adulterer, and the liar. This is for you. Even when you have screwed up one more time, after you swore it was over. You feel like you are stuck in your own horrible patterns and you have no control. Yes, you.
First of all, you are not broken. What you are going through is horrible, I know, but one day you will understand that right now you are hip deep in a story that will one day be your testimony.
You feel like you are going through this alone, but there are thousands of us out here who know exactly what you are going through. The best thing you can do to survive your life is find someone to talk to. Find a chat room. Find a support group. Find a good church; any place where you can speak honestly to someone who cares without judgment.
Next, know that you are Loved. What you need is to feel that connection to a higher power. I can’t overstate how this has saved my life. There is no right way to do it either. You don’t need to know how to pray. I talk to God like I’m talking to a friend. If that feels weird, look up some stuff online and practice meditation. All you really need to do be still. God will find you. Just listen and be open. When you feel real grace, your life will never be the same. Also, when you begin to see yourself the way your Creator sees you, the last step will be much easier.
Lastly, you have to forgive yourself. Yes, you’re a bit of a mess. You make mistakes. But you are learning. Look at each stumble as an opportunity to learn and grow. You probably don’t have a huge problem in forgiving others when they are sorry. Why not show yourself the same consideration.
By the way, there is a spot in the bible that says “Blessed are the humble, for they shall inherit the earth. (Mt. 5:5). It’s impossible to believe now, but the whole world is open to you when you start from a point of humility, and there is no better place to start than when you are deeply disappointed in yourself.
When we feel weak, that is when we know we can not to this alone.
Takeaway: You are beautiful and perfect, just the way God made you. The strongest, most amazing people are the ones who have been through terrible things. Your story is incredible. You are almost done with this chapter.
Today’s goal: Today I will not dwell on the past. I will forgive myself and look forward. I will remember that I am God’s masterpiece, even if I am still a work in progress.
Affirmation to go: