Less naked jiggling, more good stories please

So we watched X Factor last night.

Aside from the half naked man that totally creeped us out, we liked it. In fact at the end of the show, they had a great story about a young guy who has been sober for 70 days. He sang his own rap song and when they interviewed him at the end, he talked about the three best days of his life:

  1. The day his son was born
  2. The day he got sober
  3. The day they put him through on X Factor

I always pretend not to cry when I watch TV, but as I looked from underneath my bangs at Mom and Sam, I could see tears in their eyes too.

Whew! I wasn’t alone.

I let a few spill over onto my cheeks.

There’s nothing like a good story.

In the midst of my tears I found myself fiercely hopeful for the guy: that he’d stay clean, that he’d be the dad he wants to be, that he’d succeed in his dreams.

Good from bad, life from death, hope from addiction.

This morning in my quiet time, I was reading about the Israelites. God was forever reminding them to remember. Remember what I’ve done. Remember where you’ve been. Remember what I saved you out of…

He commanded them to have festivals and parties and all out celebrations so they wouldn’t forget his goodness.

So I sat on the porch and I remembered.

I remembered when lies flowed as easy as the truth.

I remembered when addictions were more appealing than life.

I remembered when I hurt people I loved and didn’t care very much.

I also remember the way God loved me in the middle of that, how He sent people to be nice to me, to reach out to me, to provide for me when I didn’t deserve a single thing they did.

I remembered my own Egypt and how He, like a fiercely devoted lover, rescued me out of it.

When I think of how I’m different now, I know it’s not my own doing. I’ve tried to be better “tomorrow,” only to put that off one more day: “For sure, tomorrow I’ll be a totally good girl. Seriously!”

But tomorrow never came.

What changed me from the inside out, what continues to mold and shape me, is a love I can’t explain and don’t deserve. It’s a love that fashions and forms me as I sit in its presence. It’s a love that rescued me from Egypt and tells me to “Party on” as I remember that incredible work.

So blow up some balloons, hang some streamers, toot a horn, bake a cake, eat cookies and laugh until your belly hurts.

You’ve been rescued.

Or maybe you’re being rescued.

Whatever it looks like for you, take a moment to remember. After all, there’s nothing like a good story worth celebrating: Life from death, hope from despair, freedom from addiction.

Way better than naked jiggling – any day.

Thank you, Lord.

10 Responses

  1. I remember the many tomorrows I, in my own efforts, had tried to be the “good girl” and it never worked until I realized He was my strength, hope, and rest for every today and tomorrow. Today, I will celebrate WHO I AM because of HIM. However, these balloons sure are getting harder to blow up the older I get so I think I will just go out and by me a really cool tambourine! <3 Many, many hugs again and thanks for your daily encouragement.

  2. Wow! Now it’s me with a few tears trickling down my cheeks – You are writing MY story, too. Each day He gives me JOY in the pain I’ve caused others; He gives me peace in a world full of turmoil; He gives me unconditional love I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around – but I know I crave it;
    “Commanded to celebrate” – How cool is that??? I believe I’ll buy some purple balloons on the way home tonight – they have special meaning to my rescue story. 🙂 Yeah, let’s bake that cake and eat those cookies . . . . .but not after 7:00 pm. XO

  3. Every now and then, when I’m facing a storm, I’ve questioned God asking why it took so long for me to be saved because the troubled waters are from past mistakes/wrong choices I made. They were either wrong for myself or a bad choice I made as a young parent. Then God reminds me thru my grandchildren that His timing is perfect and although I didn’t raise my own children to know Christ, I am teaching my grandchildren and I believe God will use them to draw their parents to Him.
    Thank you for this gentle reminder of where I was and where God has me now – so thankful for His love, His grace and mercy! And may we always remember who died for us to have this salvation – thank you, Jesus!

  4. Speaking as a recovering “good girl”, let me add another perspective. Lost is lost. God, in His infinite grace, chose to teach me my need for HIm through my futile and exhausting quest for perfection rather than through addiction. The end result was defeat and humility. Not so far off from the guy on stage, right?
    So, whether we are the prodigal son or his “perfect” brother, let’s all run into our Father’s arms together and celebrate wholeness in Him.

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