You Are Divinely Designed
Did you know the magnificent paintings of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tell the sweeping story of Bible, from God’s creation to Christ’s ascension?
Centuries of candles eventually layered the ceiling with soot and smoke until the frescos were a shadow of their original splendor.
Just like the Sistine Chapel, I got covered in soot, too.
God created me to be a reflection of who he is, but years of worshiping false gods, even being my own god, layered soot and sin on me so thick you could hardly recognize any part of His original design.
The pangs of regret I had from decades of habitual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, confirmed I was disqualified from any chance of a future without shame and guilt.
I can’t be the only one.
When someone finally told me that there was a God who loved me so much that He would take my shame and guilt and regrets in exchange for a surrendered life to Jesus, it was the best news I’d ever heard.
I’m not gonna lie — the restoration process from Playboy Bunny to Bible teacher took a while. It was amazing and embarrassing, painful and glorious. It was the best decision I ever made.
You are a masterpiece.
You, too, are divinely designed by the Master himself to reflect his craftsmanship in your life! His print on you is permanent. Even if it gets covered in grime, His touch on you is there, hidden and waiting to be revealed or discovered.
Maybe, like me, you’ve made regrettable choices. Perhaps you got schnookered into believing you could handle a taste of alcohol, or a couple pills to help you sleep, or a quick look at porn just to see what it was all about and the soot started falling on you.
Maybe you thought you’d just strike up a chat with that ex-boyfriend, or the handsome man in the profile picture on Facebook and the relationship escalated till you didn’t recognize yourself because of all the soot that blew up all over you.
Maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and someone hurt you or someone close to you betrayed you or your kids took a detour … and their soot settled on you.
God sees the beauty
Girlfriend, no amount of soot or sin, whether self-induced or sprinkled or smeared upon you, can diminish your value to God.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been accumulating the soot or sin that has stolen your vibrant colors.
I assure you that the beauty of God’s design is still on you and in you, even if you’ve become covered with sooty choices!
God is able to restore you.
NO ONE could have imagined the vibrant colors hidden under 500 years of grime in the Sistine Chapel. It took 14 years to restore the Chapel to her glory. It might take time to get your vibrant purpose and colorful identity in Christ to show clearly again.
Do not be discouraged.
Today, if you feel like you need to be restored, simply ask God to enter the process.
Invite Jesus in. Ask for forgiveness. Let him peel away the shame. Find His assurance of love and acceptance.
Just ask him.
- He loves you. (John3:16)
- He forgives you. (1 John 1:9)
- He is with you. (Psalm 46:10)
- He is trustworthy. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- He has a plan. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Won’t you let the Master Restorer clean you up and show you off as his divinely designed masterpiece- just like He promised?
Verse of the day: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Prayer: God, I’ve made such awful mistakes. It really feels like I’m covered in grime. Forgive me. Restore me. Help me. Lead me. In Jesus Name amen
(photographs courtesy of Wikipedia)
I love your analogies. I’m 79 so I’ve learned LONG ago I have been forgiven of my sins of my youth and bad choices I have made through the years. I know who I am in Christ and have lived many years as a free woman who has the righteousness of Christ.
Alleluia! Oh, how I pray we would all know that to the core of our being. THANK YOU for posting!
Thank you for the encouragement. Robyn!
My pleasure, Laura. Thanks for posting!!
The “soot that covered me” was not speaking up on how our finances were handled. And later not checking if our finances were handled the way my husband and I agreed. We talked about it. I have to work on completely forgiving him and forgiving myself for not being more involved with our business finances. We did nothing illegal but we sure were not using godly wisdom.
Ugh, so sorry, Loretta.
I’m so proud of you for taking part of the responsibility, too. So mature. There’s a real tension between trusting and controlling.
Thank you, Robyn, for this… I needed it right now! God is soooo good!!
Glad I’m not the only one … Thanks for posting!
Thank you for sharing the Sistine chapel. I thank the Lord everyday for everything, including the forgiveness of my sin. Your encouragement is always the best.
Thanks for your words and encouragement.I know God loves me even tho I made many mistakes in my life.
Indeed he does!
You’re an inspiration! Your openness to reach out will certainly be helpful to those who regretted their past mistakes. You’re a blessing and your stories show that nothing is impossible with the help of God. Praise God!
Thank you Ann – I appreciate your encouragement!
I think anyone ultimately self-aware enough (as you have mentioned what your structure growing up was like BEFORE things went crazy in your life) can always find the inner strength (again) to pull themselves back from going “over the cliff” and reclaim true purpose in their life. The gift is the ability of those able to discover the lesson is within themselves to learn (and, just from being a new reader: it’s obvious that you have that gift).
I can’t believe it (lol) you were a Bunny! I’m a tad envious (I regret that I missed out on what were the exciting 60s and 70s as an adult — born in 1974 here; but: a homemade Bunny costume was ALWAYS like the default cute college Halloween party idea and, yes, I admit to once having tried making one out of a strapless blue one piece bathing suit that had a vintage ruching effect to the front and with accessories from a craft store). We know now, obviously, the criminally repulsive things which were really going on behind the scenes connected with that entire lifestyle; however, even if you were “out in the boondocks” like Wisconsin: there had to have been just a small part of you at the time (like when there’s that thing with good and bad voices whispering on each shoulder, LOL) thinking it may as well been New York or Hollywood and, that total strangers suddenly thought you were a glamorous celebrity! Personally, as someone that was an only child that was kind of a wallflower growing up (from having missed a lot of elementary school attendance as the result of chronic allergy and immune system problems I, thank God, DID OUTGROW when I started participating in gymnastics as well as various middle school age group sports): the undoubted adrenaline rush of realizing you could wield (as, and no offense!, “a nobody”) this somehow magical perception of power in such an upside down environment (at its core) fundamentally at odds with respecting women, for starters, as socially equal human beings — must’ve still seemed like the perks could have gotten very addictive and covered up all the downside (even while having one’s own wits about them to cope)!?
A source of contention between myself and my mother (whom, first of all: I’ve been -along with my late Dad- *TRULY BLESSED WITH IN MY LIFE*) is, that: Why do so many women feel they have to arrive at religion OUT OF A SENSE OF “GUILT”? She did come of age in the 60s (but my grandparents were married fifty eight years and, again, they were a close family with she having five other siblings); though, I can tell you right now: if I’d tried something like running away to a Playboy Vegas casino for a job (in my twenties in the 90s on a truth-or-dare): I never would’ve been allowed to go back home. Ever! These stories one reads about the women who worked as Bunnies; where, it’s made out like their WW2 generation parents (supposedly) had no big deal regarding their daughter(s) working there (in view of the morals of society back then) — I cannot fully believe. Their daughter then, either?, must’ve been reeeeallllyyyy far away across country or it was more a big city liberalized attitude than the norm.
Thank you for your refreshing and unique honesty. Have a Happy New Year!
Thanks for the post. You bring up some interesting observations. 🙂
I’m thankful for your family of origin and that you’ve found your way to Jesus.
Appreciate your encouragement.