I am excited to have Ruth (aka Sparkly Mess) visiting the The Scenic Route today. Ruth is passionate about sharing how the mess becomes the message. Please read her beautiful thoughts below and then head over and check out her blog Sparkly Mess. Connect with her on Twitter at Sparkly_mess and Facebook.
‘I’m not saying that I have it all together, that I have it made. But I am on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me’. Philippians 3:12
For a long time I have wanted to share my story. After a lot of thinking, consideration and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that the messy years are only part of my story. My testimony is not in the messy childhood and the teenage pregnancy and the bad relationships – my testimony is what has come out of that, the way that these experiences have shaped me, strengthened my faith in God and created a passion in me to help others who have had similar experiences.
I have come to believe that God created us all with the potential do big things, positively affect the lives of others, to love, to give, to have peace, to be MORE. Along the way, life beats that out of us. Our confidence gets knocked, our self-esteem gets destroyed, our self-worth disappears. We forget how to love ourselves and how to be loved. We end up simply surviving instead of living to our true potential.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
A childhood complete with abuse, violence, anger, instability and constant fighting resulted in me being a very insecure, bitter, irrational mess. I like the word mess These things that had happened to me and around me had caused me to completely lack any self-esteem and I became extremely self-destructive. Despite being brought up a Christian by my lovely mummy (another beautiful mess), it never occurred to me to turn to God. Instead, I went from disaster to disaster – eating disorders, depression, bad decisions. I then fell pregnant with my extremely beautiful, talented, intelligent, amazing daughter when I was 16.
Now, as a bitter, angry, self-destructive mess and also a young mum (convinced I was damaged goods) I went on to have bad relationship after bad relationship. I was also not a very good friend. I was so wrapped up in my own mess, I didn’t have the capacity to properly support and love my friends. I was at times an absolute backstabbing, nasty, selfish moose (I have friends who will vouch for this!!). Being a certified mess, I felt I was justified in feeling very sorry for myself because as far as I was concerned, I was a write off. I trained as a nurse, which gave me some sense of worth, but I was still very negative and bitter. A mess.
‘God has said: ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’ Dt 13:5
Over the last few years, something has changed. There wasn’t a sudden light bulb moment, it has been a gradual transformation and it is very much ongoing. I have a very patient and supportive husband who is with me for the journey – THAT helps! The truth that I AM loved by God, that my past doesn’t have to define me and that God can restore to me what has been damaged is finally sinking in. And I want to help it sink in for everyone else!
I have a particular passion for messy ladies. Ladies who have been through it, survived to tell the tale, but have been left broken. Ladies who feel limited by the labels put on them (single mum, teenage mum, abuse victim, and the rest). These labels do not come from God. In God you have unimaginable potential and do not need to be defined by the things that have happened to you or that you have done. You are a new creation, redeemed and beautiful. A daughter of God.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire and fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4
I am also passionate about being a good friend. Making sure that no one ever has to feel alone, unsupported or unloved. Being a woman is tough and there are so many who take pleasure in tearing others down. We need to be there for each other, build each other up and help each other go from just surviving to reaching our full potential. I don’t have it all right, I am still an unpredictable mess, a work in progress – but I am a sparkly mess, doing my best to reflect Jesus and trying to show his love the best way I know how!
‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine…You are precious and honoured in my sight… I love you.’ Isaiah 43: 1,4
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