When It Feels Like You've Lost Your Shine by Erica Hadaway
Have you ever experienced a season that seems like it’s just one let down after another? A season where you are so hopeful when things are seemingly getting better, and then all of a sudden something else hits? Well if I’m being honest with you, I’m currently in one of those seasons and learning my way through as I go. And in the midst of this season, there are days when I feel I’ve lost my shine.
I have found myself getting fearful of being alone, because in those secret places were the times where I was forced to deal with what was really going on inside of me. As I was getting into bed a few weeks ago, I just began to cry as the emotions of the unknown hit me again. I went to get a blanket to wrap up in when I accidentally knocked my coin jar off my nightstand. Coins fell everywhere. I knelt to the ground in an effort to clean them up, when in reality I was just too weak to get back up. My head hanging, heart hurting, and tears falling.
As I began to slowly pick up the coins, I saw two pennies. One completely clean, it looked as though it was brand new, and the other completely tarnished, dirty, and old. As I picked up the two coins, I went to throw the dirty one away, when the Lord whispered to me, “Daughter, the value of that coin hasn’t gone away even though it’s dirty. It’s still completely usable. It may look gross and old from the outside, but the register doesn’t notice the difference. Its only concern is its value.” It shook me. The dirty, old and seemingly unusable coin is me. Yet He doesn’t see my dirt and throw me away. He doesn’t disregard me. And why not? Because He sees past all of that and sees the value underneath the dirt. He sees a girl that has gone through a difficult season. Seasons and situations that have tarnished her, broken her, and made her appear dirty. Even if she only seems dirty in her own eyes. Yet He picks me up off the ground, smiles at me, and places me back in His collection of valuables.
My friend, your value isn’t dictated by your accumulation of dirt. Your value is dictated by your worth.
This season has been one of hurt, rejection, anger, bitterness, brokenness, betrayal, unknowns, and so many questions towards God. I always considered myself a confident, bold and victorious daughter of the King who can’t be moved by anyone or anything. Yet the truth is, I am human. There are situations in my life where I honestly just don’t understand why I had to walk through certain things. I wonder why the Lord allowed me to experience the pain and hurt that I did. But I think I was so busy questioning and asking why, that I wasn’t allowing the only One who can take my pain and turn it to purpose to embrace me and mend me back together. For Him to take my dirty, rusty, and dull penny of a self and refine me into the daughter I once was. The girl who walked in confidence, joy, grace, boldness, victory and trust in her Father.
Perhaps as I am sharing this you are sitting there and thinking this girl sounds familiar. Maybe you are walking through a similar season and you’ve lost your shine. You are not alone. These seasons are real, and they are difficult, they do hurt, but the outcome is worth every second of the pain. So what do you do now? You recognize that you are the dirty penny, how do you get your shine back? Here are some practical steps that have helped me get through this season. Although I’m not through it yet, I am starting to see it in a different light.
EMBRACE THE PAIN
Embracing this season that you are in is so important. Now hear me right, that doesn’t mean that you should just accept where you are at and then stay there. It means admit that you are walking through a difficult season, but choose to walk it out knowing that you will be better in the end because of it. King David was anointed as king long before he stepped into the position. He was faced with multiple seasons of waiting and difficulty throughout the process. It was in those seasons of waiting and difficulty that prepared him to defeat Goliath. The removal of any season could have resulted in the lack of readiness for the battle that was at hand. He embraced the pain and we are called to do the same. What is this season preparing you for?
SPEAK THE TRUTH
The enemy wants nothing more than to cripple you in this season. He wants you to walk it out alone. He wants you to be embarrassed by your lack of “strength” and in turn keep you from healing from the inside out. He wants you to walk around with a mask. The only way for you to overcome this battle in your mind is to speak what has already been spoken over you. I encourage you to write out different Bible verses that speak to who you are, and place them all around. In your car, bathroom, bedroom, phone, etc. When you begin to hear lies or feel less than, immediately renounce the lies of the enemy and speak those truths over you and your situation. This simple habit has changed everything for me. I feel like I am back in control of my emotions and I am gaining my confidence back.
SHARE YOUR STORY
There are seasons where we may allow pride to come in and keep us from sharing how the Lord has been moving in our lives, especially in one of these difficult seasons. I know for me, I have kept my story to myself because I felt that if I shared it people would think I’m weak. The truth is, the Lord simply wants us to give what we have, even if it’s just a worn and tarnished penny. There is a story in Mark 12:41-44 about a woman who only had two coins to give as an offering, and she gave every penny. Perhaps we as women who are walking through difficult seasons are called to do the same. What if we gave all we have? In this season, all I have is my story, the areas where His grace has covered me and shown me pieces of Him. But what if my obedience to share my story opened up the opportunity for someone to be encouraged by it and in turn redeem the once broken season into something so beautiful?
You, my friend, are going to be okay. But if I’m learning one thing, it’s that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel the pain. Change is only going to take place and polish off that dull penny to its original shine once we allow for the Lord to move. So embrace the pain, speak the truth, and share your story. What He has to teach you in this season is key for the place He is preparing for you. Remember, “The value of that coin hasn’t gone away even though it’s dirty. It’s still completely usable. It may look gross and old from the outside, but the register doesn’t notice the difference. Its only concern is its value.”
“Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1