Over the past few years, I’ve learned that one of the reasons Christians can come across as condescending or hypocritical is because we don’t want to share the dark parts of our testimony. The struggles with alcohol, drugs, addiction, mental health, anxiety, depression… The parts where we don’t have it all together.
But we can’t glorify Jesus unless we are willing to talk about what He’s delivered us from. Instead of preaching, “You need to fix this in your life,” we have to start with, “I’ve been there.” We have to make it personal. We have to be real and transparent with each other if we want to earn the right to speak into each other’s lives.
But it’s hard to be vulnerable. It’s hard to let people in, especially after we have been hurt.
That’s where I was almost three years ago.
I was a new mom and during what was supposed to be the happiest time of my life, I was struggling with postpartum depression. I was having anxiety attacks. Words I constantly found myself using were: overwhelmed, guilty, disconnected, failure. And I confided in someone I trusted. I admitted how unhappy I was and how lost I felt. Only to have my words taken out of context and used to make me feel like a bad mother and a bad Christian who “just didn’t have enough faith.”
I lived with that pain for a year. Even after I began taking medicine and recovered from the depression, I still felt broken. Betrayed. Confused. Wondering if they were right. Wondering if I just didn’t have enough faith.
I felt so guilty and so ashamed that I could hardly even bring myself to pray about it.
And then one day God told me: You have a decision to make. You have to decide that you’re tired of hurting, and sick of the pain, and ready for the miracle. You have to decide to heal so that you can minister.
And He revealed that I was letting my hurt hold me back from the things I wanted to do and the person I wanted to be. I was letting my fear of not being good enough keep me from sharing my testimony. I was letting my scars speak louder than my Savior.
It was during this time of revelation that I felt led to read John Chapter 20, Verses 24-25:
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
And reading this, I realized that I was like Thomas. I was holding my pain up to Jesus, saying, “I can’t see the healing! You say I can be healed from this pain, but what if I don’t have enough faith? What about these scars?”
And Jesus answered me the same way He answered Thomas. With His scars.
He told Thomas, “Put your finger here.” Touch where the nail was. So he would know that the nail wasn’t there anymore.
And that’s what God was trying to show me. The things that held Jesus on that cross—not just the nails, but the sin, the shame, the guilt, the condemnation—they weren’t there anymore. They didn’t hold Him anymore. And they couldn’t hold me either.
God spoke directly to my heart and said, “No more guilt, Jordan. No more shame. I already nailed those to the cross.”
I don’t know where you came from or what you came expecting, but I know that God is fully capable of removing hurt from your life, the same way He did for me. Even hurt that’s come from the church. Even hurt that’s come from family. He’s ready and waiting to heal those places that you’re broken.
So often we want someone else to fix us. We look to relationships—with our friends, spouses, pastors—and we think that they can make us whole again. But we forget to look to Him.
We forget that all we need is to sit for a few minutes in His presence.
We forget that all we need is to touch the hem of His garment.
So tonight, if you are ready to go from your breakdown to your breakthrough, you have to get out of your place of bondage and into the presence of your Savior.