Late night reflection: You don't have to be fully healed to help those around you. Your broken places don't make you an ineffective or broken soul. Not in the least.
Sometimes letting down your guard and showing some of your own pain makes it easier for others to start tellling you about theirs. And light is let in through places you thought were given over to discouragement, defeat or despair. His strength is made perfect through human weakness.
And still I fall into a trap of thinking that God will use me later, when I am somehow different, less fearful, having overcome past trauma just like spiritual leaders whose books I ingest like pure air.
But that brand of thinking doesn't help anyone, least of all myself. Far better to say: I'm here, God. How would you like to use me today? I remind myself: the strongest people are those refined by life's fires. They might not smell like smoke anymore or have visible wounds, but there's a knowing in their eyes that helps restore and uplift those around them. Perhaps they don't even know He is working, that their words are the repetition or the new life that someone so desperately needs. He can select any of us to work as His vessels. Not only those we think are the more obvious choice.
I keep returning to the words writer Ann Voskamp recently wrote, "Silence is not spiritual because it's speaking the Truth that sets us all free." This line resonates since I've found that reaching out, speaking my own life's story, to be a healing balm. If I'm waiting until I've somehow "made it," until there are no more inner wounds, I'm more likely to walk with my chin to the ground. Kept low, small, not wanting to take up much space in this world. The time is over for that; I want to raise my face to the sun. Don't you? I'm not necessarily called to take the stage like Beth Moore or Christine Caine, and that's alright. Maybe that's not your natural gifting either. Sometimes there are only one or two individuals that draw encouragement through our shared journeys, and it's just as meaningful.
We can take comfort knowing that He's at work in and through us. He sees beauty and promise where we see lack or "not enough." He decides to use us in others' lives even when we don't see the light He's already given us.