I had to be faithful, to be a steward of this brokenness.
I heard that phrase the other day as I climbed into my car and turned on the radio. It was the end of a soundbite. I didn’t catch who it was, but the depth of that statement struck me.
When we think of stewarding, we think of money. We think of our time, talent, and resources. We don’t typically look at our pain and failures as something that need to be stewarded.
FRANKLY, OUR PAIN NEVER SEEMS VERY USEFUL.
Who, in the middle of great loss, says joyfully, “Well, let’s just give this to God. Let’s do something with this. He is going to use this in big ways!” We don’t look at our pain and say, “God, I’m going to let you use this.” Instead, we say, “God, help me fix this and then I never want to look at it again.” For the most part, we do not enjoy our weakness. We do not enjoy being broken.
BUT THERE IS A BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN.
When God asks us to surrender our lives to Him, to take up our cross and follow, to drop our nets and be fishers of men, He never quantifies that statement. He never says, “Just give me the good stuff, and you can have the bad.” He never says, “Well, we’ll just sweep that under the rug and pretend it never happened.” No. He has this way of shining making trophies of grace out of little busted up shards of nothing. Why? Because that is who He is. That is what He does.
YOU MEET JESUS, AND EVERYTHING CHANGES, AND THAT IS THE BEGINNING.
It doesn’t end when you meet Jesus. How can it end with that? How could someone honestly in their right mind say, “Then I met Jesus” and consider that the end of their story?
Now, are there people who are raised in a Christian home, meet Christ at an early age, never rebel and have a ‘boring’ testimony? Yes, those people do exist, but from my experience, even they would agree that meeting Jesus is not the end of their story. It is the beginning. How much more for those of us who have been rescued from the pits of darkness?? How much more for those of us who know sexual brokenness and know the pain and hopelessness of that place?? How can our story end with Jesus?!
There is healing, wholeness and beauty and this huge, life-long process that comes after that. That is the hope of grace. That is the truth of grace. It is more than mercy. It is more than forgiveness. It is a restoring, restructuring, heart makeover that ends up pointing back to the cross, and there is a way to tell that story that keeps the focus on the cross.
YOU HAVE A MISSION. YOU HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY.
YOU HAVE TO GO BACK.
There are hundreds– thousands– of women trapped there. You know that. I know that. We all know that. When you bottle it all up and pretend to be the woman you have always pretended to be, you help no one.
They are waiting for the hope you know and you have a call to share that hope with them. The gospel of God’s grace is not just “Jesus loves you.” The gospel of God’s grace is not “God so loved the world that He gave.” The gospel is that Christ died for dirty rotten no-good sinners just like you and me. Dirty rotten no-good sinners just like female porn addicts, and how do I know that? Because I have been there. That is your story. That is your message.
Does it mean you walk around with a nametag that says, “Hi, my name is _______ and I am addicted to porn?” Probably not. Does that mean you get up in front of the church and divulge all of your deepest darkest secrets for the entire audience and end with, “Then I met Jesus and life has been a field of roses?” Certainly not.
You know what it is like to be there. You know the fear, the hopelessness and the desire for one person to stand up and be real and be honest and say,
“Yes, it hurts. No, it isn’t fun, and no, it doesn’t all go away the moment you meet Jesus. No, I’m not proud of it, and I may not even be over it. I’m still healing. This is still a journey, but I want you to know there is hope and I am willing to do whatever I can to help.”
That is what it means to steward your brokenness. You don’t run around waving it like some banner or wearing it like a medal. Do you steward your money that way? No. You don’t divulge every detail and expose your checkbook for the world to see. You carefully look at it, plan for it, and ultimately, hopefully, surrender it to His purpose and His priorities.
Our stories work the same way. You don’t run around bragging about it so people can be impressed with you. Never let people be impressed with your sin. Your sin should impress no one. His grace should blow them out of the water. You use your story for His glory, for His kingdom, for His purpose as He calls.
Does it mean that every one of you is called to full-time ministry to the sexually broken? Of course not, but it does mean that each of you should be willing to use that brokenness when He sees fit. Never be afraid of it.
YOU CANNOT ERASE IT FROM YOUR STORY, AND PRAISE GOD YOU DON’T NEED TO.