(Read Shine, My Darling – part 1)
Newsflash: the world is a broken place.
People experience brokenness all the time, all around us, every day — and often those who have not been broken themselves cannot recognize the red flags. It is those who have experienced healing who are able to let God’s light shine through them into the darkness, to see the signs and gather courage to speak up. Once you’re a survivor, you find it nearly impossible to stay silent and watch someone else suffer when you might possibly be able to help.
And what do I see flying like clouds to Israel, like doves coming home to their nests? They are ships from the ends of the earth, from the lands that trust in me, led by the great ships of Tarshish. They are bringing the people of Israel home from far away… (v8)
If you dig into that symbolic language… God is saying when you let your light shine, when you speak boldly and clearly about uncomfortable subjects, when you are willing to put your story out there, and when you’re willing to be honest about how God has brought you through pain, and share with other people — your story will draw those who also trust in God.
Our authentic, genuine stories draws those who need comfort; those who need healing. Raw stories bring people home emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. Your story has the power to break others out of prison and captivity. Your story of God’s healing can return someone else from captivity to freedom.
They will honor the Lord your God, the Holy one of Israel, for He has filled you with splendor. “Foreigners will come to rebuild your towns, and their kings will serve you… I will now have mercy on you through my grace. Your gates will stay open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands. (v9)
When you start speaking and sharing about your path toward healing, it takes boldness and courage. Not everyone reaches that sharing point at the same time, and you shouldn’t rush it. But if you are actively pursuing healing, there will come a time when God calls you to start saying something, even if you don’t think you’re ready yet to be used to help others.
Is that happening to you right now? Isaiah 60 is for you.
This is your chapter full of promises.
When I started speaking out about things in my own history, it was because God opened my heart to finally say, “I’m willing and ready to be used by God to help others; I am tired of silently carrying this in darkness; I want to be a light. I want to rise and let God’s light shine through me.” And God surrounded me with support, mentors, tribe members who kept me accountable, nurtured my growth, and encouraged my response to His call on my heart.
When this happens to you, God includes a promise to rebuild you as a result of being willing to speak out. He will bring those around you that will give you what they have, to invest in you as you begin to minister. I have experienced that so many times, in little ways and in big ways.
The glory of Lebanon will be yours, the forests of cypress, fir, and pine, to beautify my sanctuary. The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the Lord, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel. (v13)
Now let’s not get self-aggrandizing here. People are not going to come and literally worship at your feet. If they did, your story would turn into self-worshipping narcissism in short order anyway!
God isn’t talking about hero worship. He’s talking about bringing things full circle. He’s talking about revealing reality to those who were deceived by people who hurt you, as you speak out and He brings them on their own journey.
God’s talking about reconciliation with those who were persuaded of the lies that caused you pain. God brings reconciliation from the most unexpected places and people, drawing out layers of healing as you own your story and you speak out.
Though you were once despised and hated… I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations. Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need. You will know at last that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. (vv15-16)
For everyone who has been through a trauma at home or in your workplace or in your church that just left you shattered and broken down — it often feels like everything you touched turned to dust. Like things you treasured just rotted in your hands.
I will exchange your bronze for gold, your iron for silver, your wood for bronze, and your stones for iron. (v17)
He recompenses for unjust loss, and He trades up. Whatever you have that is completely broken down and without value — God can take that and He will transform it. As you heal, as you speak out, as your light shines — He transforms those human things left in your hands, and He makes them divine. He makes it glorify Him.
He is faithful to take whatever you have and turn it to something better, in ways that you never could. A lot of it is our mindset, the way we use our words, how we stay faithful to him, our way of thinking, our way of praying, our way of taking our story and surrendering it to Him and handing it forward and saying,
“God, if you can use my brokenness, if you can use my story, if you can take me being humble and being vulnerable, if you can share this out and let my light shine, and heal someone else through my story, I’m all good.
I will be vulnerable.
I will let other people see my brokenness.
I will let other people see the journey of how you are healing me.
And when other people try to shut it down and say I am too broken or I am too damaged or I am to paranoid because of what I have been through, I will just keep standing there and speaking truth and letting Your light shine.
I will hold my head high because I know where you are leading me God.”
God will honor that; your humility, your kindness, your steadfast faithfulness. And He will take what you have, what has turned to dust, and He will turn it into gold. Not necessarily financial riches; but the things that really matter in the heart.
(Read Shine, My Darling – part 3)
Catch the YouTube podcast of this teaching here:
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and this post is one of a series providing resources addressing DV in the faith community. Increase your knowledge and understanding with fact videos, articles, live presentations, bible studies, and encouraging music playlists from Sarah McDugal on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
More than anything else, I want to support you in your journey toward emotional healing as you leave your wilderness behind and learn to #liveWILD!