Imagine you’re a piece of cardboard. (Humor me.) If I had to speculate about the life goals of cardboard, I’d say you’d want to generally avoid getting wet. You’d try to steer clear of fire. And you’d probably do whatever it takes to stay whole—uncompressed, unstretched, and undamaged. You know, the qualities that make cardboard useful.
Unfortunately, we all know nobody gets through life unscathed. In that regard, we are a lot like cardboard. We’re easily wounded, cut up in some places, twisted in others. We feel strong until we’re crushed by the weight of our circumstances. We carry with us the hurtful things others have said, scribbled in what feels like permanent ink. Oftentimes, we’ve written the worst things ourselves.
It’s painful to have a piece of yourself torn away. Broken relationships, betrayal, lies—they all whittle away at our souls. We just do our best to patch our scars and drag our brokenness with us another mile.
But there’s good news: We serve a God with scissors.
“We just do our best to patch our scars and drag our brokenness with us another mile. But there’s good news: We serve a God with scissors.”
Like a surgeon, He lovingly takes the mutilated pieces of our lives—areas that have brought so much shame and grief—and begins His work. Whether the wounds were self-inflicted or brought about by the sin of others, He dries our tears and eases the pain. He prunes away all unfruitfulness.
He restores us.
It hurts, and it’s a journey. I’m not minimizing that. But, one day—if you cling to Him and trust Him, if you yield again and again to the Holy Spirit’s work in your life, if you praise Him in good times and bad, if you don’t isolate, if you share your struggles with honest vulnerability, if you pray—friend, the scales will fall from your eyes, and you’ll realize you’re not the chunk of damaged cardboard your struggles have made you feel like.
You’ll see that you’re a puzzle piece. And that you fit perfectly into the body of Christ—unique, gifted, set in place by the Father. The weaknesses that held you back, the wounds you fear might never heal—they’re the very things that will connect you deeply to the family of believers. If you’re willing to share them.
“You’ll see that you’re a puzzle piece. And you fit perfectly into the body of Christ—unique, gifted, set in place by the Father.”
Have you ever stopped to consider that God doesn’t need us to fulfill His mission? If it was God’s will, Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus could happen to all of us. Instead, He allows broken, scarred sinners to speak into each other’s lives, discipling one another shoulder-to-shoulder.
I can’t explain God’s preferences, but I can say, if you want to get up in the morning, feeling like your life is making an eternal impact, lean into relationships with other believers. God won’t disappoint. Before long, I pray you’ll see what I’ve seen: the people in your life aren’t there by accident. And you can heal together to the glory of God.
That’s been my story. When I dragged the darkest things in my heart into the light, transformation happened. Redemption happened. Not everyone can relate to every aspect of my testimony, but it’s been amazing to see God bring people into my life who need to hear the hope He’s blessed me to share.
“When I dragged the darkest things in my heart into the light, transformation happened. Redemption happened.”
Vulnerability isn’t easy, but God will supply the courage. Community takes time and intentionality. It’s worth it. Praise God, your Heavenly Father knows exactly who you need in your life.
Ultimately, you aren’t your pain. You’re not your struggles or setbacks. You’re a living stone in the house of God. You’re His friend. Even better, you’re a child of God—adopted, seen, and loved.
You’re a living testimony to the One who’s redeeming you by that love.
Please tell that story. It’s one piece of a beautiful picture.