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One of the first things we do when we have a fresh cut, stitches or a blemish is to usually cover it up. If a scar forms, we use concealer or modify our wardrobe to hide the “ugly” mark. Who wants to see skin marred by injury or physical vulnerability? Many times we translate that same opinion toward our past hurtful experiences. We apply makeup to our souls in varying hues to “beautify” and show no hint of weakness. But maybe it’s time to acknowledge what’s happened and think about how that very storm can bless others. Many times I’ve found the personal losses and trials I’ve come through help other people when they face a similar challenge. Being real about what happened and our feelings help others to know it’s okay and they are not alone. I don’t want any of us to be afraid to bless others with stories of God’s mercy and grace because we are too scared to put on our proverbial “sweatpants” and let it all hang out. I’ve experienced deaths of precious loved ones, unemployment, heartbreak, illness, financial setbacks/lack, depression, etc. Some of these issues still remain and I don’t want to be fake about where I am. It doesn’t mean I will stay here. Life is never stagnant. Beginnings are happening all the time. Our stories are not finished. Our beginning is already here — we just haven’t seen it with our own eyes yet. But there is so much beauty in a life that has been marked by challenges. The appearance of scars in the timeline of our lives reveals the power of God to work everything for His glory.

“We are assured and know that [[a]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” Romans 8:28 (Amplified)