I struggle with wanting to be real and wanting to be healed. And, I realize the two go hand in hand. Yet, I shy away at times with being raw and revealing a tattered version of myself because in those moments of transparency and vulnerability – I am broken. I am not whole, and I am most definitely not healed. We do not stay there though, it is a moment in time revealing the road leading up to a certain point, not the end of the road.
The enemy wants us to see the road as a dead end. He wants us to give up and remain broken. The goal is for us to not trust, to question the intentions of those around us and to halt any progress we may be making. Those are the days we stay in bed, the days we listen to the lies and mimic an unhealthy and sometimes jealous self-talk. We tell ourselves we are not good enough, that God may have forgiven me but no one else has. Everyone is keeping tabs on my mistakes. I will never be good enough and I will always be judged.
These are lies we choose to believe when we feel hopeless. We choose. You and I choose each time we utter a word of hate to ourselves or anyone else. We have power over our enemy and we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
The darkness of my past, my failures and all the hopelessness throughout my life is not only what led me to a closer relationship with Jesus, but also what led me to my love of writing and now you. The days I am patient with myself are the days I love myself even more for being flawed. If it weren’t for that hopeless place. The place that had me chasing unhealthy relationships, the place that allowed my self-talk to mirror my enemies. The place my worth was calculated in hands that held deceit and pain – I would not be who I am today. And, I love who I am right in this moment, and who I am becoming more of each day. Because God, created me to be more than the lies, more than the judgement and more than my shortcomings.
It was here that I discovered the hope buckets and my desire to fill others buckets regardless of how empty my own bucket was because I knew God would provide an ever-filling bucket.
Imagine each of us carries two buckets, one for ourselves and one for whomever we meet along the way. The bucket for who we meet along the way is full of hope, and our bucket is empty. Each morning no matter how empty the full bucket became the night before, it fills again. But our empty bucket only becomes full by pouring into others. God provides an overabundance of hope in the buckets but if we do not pour it into others, we suffer an internal drought of hopelessness.
The empty bucket is a life without God, without service and without the act of love. It is not just hopeless but also helpless. The full bucket is comprised of God’s promises to us, love, hope, guidance and a desire for more than we could ever hope. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the rainbow after rain storm, new life following death. It’s the positive to every negative and elation to every depression. Hope springs eternally and it is freely given.
So, I set out on a new path a Jesus and I path, where for every pain, question, fear or frustration I started going to him and Gods word. And, there is power in that little book of mighty words let me tell you! Each verse brought me to life, each story reminded me how imperfect some of the people Jesus’ so dearly loved – and it gave me hope. And, I wanted to do the same.
Each day I began speaking to others what I needed to hear, and what I heard when I went to Jesus. If I was feeling down, I reminded others how to feel empowered. If I felt unloved, I reminded them of Jesus’ love for us and how it never waivers. If I felt lost, I reminded them that each time one sheep wandered off, Jesus left the ninety-nine. No matter who the one was. Or who the ninety-nine were. We are all equally favorable and loved.
And this gave me hope. Giving hope to others, filled my buckets each time. There was no resentment when someone else didn’t fill my bucket, because Jesus was pouring into me as I was pouring out for him. There was no question of my worth to others because God told me I was more precious than rubies, and worth more than many sparrows and my redemption wasn’t covered by silver or gold but of the blood of his dear son. Man’s opinion of my worth could never compare.
That’s the beautiful thing about hope, there is no limit nor price for it. Faith, hope and love are a trinity of the heart in my opinion, and these three sentiments will never run dry as long as your pouring into others. Our lives are much better examples of God’s grace with the tattered edges and holes of failures and struggle strewn throughout. Because in those moments of repair, the moments of stitching each flaw together and taking our broken pieces and interlaying them in gold that make us the precious daughters we’ve always been.
Jessica Griffiths is a small-town wife and momma to three busy teenagers (yes, three!) in Eagle Point, Oregon.
In 2012, she became a stepmom and realized quickly the stigma that followed, and the unfair rap stepparents were given and created the blog Totally Jessifiable – justifying love regardless of biology.
The faith-based blog has since transformed into a blog for the everyday woman who is tired of trying to be an insider when she has the heart of an outsider. It boasts an unapologetic confidence focusing on ditching the shame of your past, taking back ownership of your life and realizing that what God restores, no man can destroy.
While sharing her own personal failures and hardships she hopes that offering support, motivation and love along the way – will make you see you’re not all that bad after all. The truth only hurts if it remains hidden – and she is an open book! 2 Corinthians 11:30