Tan Lines and Testimonies

The Memorial Day opening of the pool this year got the best of me. I spent all day lounging with friends, and got home to see that my reflection in the mirror looked more like a lobster than a girl.

I missed summer. I missed being in the sun. I missed laying out by the pool and just relaxing. I was so excited to have all of those awesome things back that I got reckless and lazy and didn't take the necessary precautions to protect myself.

I was FRIED. My skin was red and hot and stinging for days. I was reminded with every bend or twist or brush against something that I had been foolish, my skin in burning pain.

I looked in the mirror again today and saw that the fire that was once on my skin had faded to just a tan. I was excited, because I really believe everyone looks better when they have a good tan.

I have some serious tan lines going on, the lingering effect of my stupidity and lack of adequate sunscreening, but the stinging and burning and pain is gone.

They were all good, these things I wanted so badly. They all had appeal, they all were enticing, they all taunted me with old memories and new visions of who I could be this time around. I just wanted them too badly, I was too willing to sacrifice what was good for me just to have them, all of them. I forgot about what was wise and what would be best for myself, throwing all caution to the wind just to grab on to as much of those seemingly good things as I could. And those good things weren't so good after all. They burned me. They hurt me. They left me in pain for days. They weren't all that great in the end, and I was left with regret and wishing I had done the wise thing, the right thing, guarded myself. I'm still left with the reminders, the lines on my very skin that show proof of poor choices. I'm left raw and exposed, wincing every time something or someone comes too close while I'm still hurting. But, in the very end of it all, I learned a lesson. And I learned about myself. And on the other side of those lines that show mistakes, is skin that shows a deeper shade of beauty, the proof of things experienced, a story in itself, full of grace and mercy. I go back to the things that soothe the pain, the solid truth and endless love and truly good things, and I put as much of those things on as I can, like aloe to my fiery skin. I cling to the Son and throw aside all I had been craving in His place, and I start to heal and see beauty coming out where the pain once was.

Sometimes it's tan skin and sunburn and tan lines, and sometimes it's testimonies and battles and scars. We're tested in the fire, in the temptations of good things and the wars in our soul, so we can come out on the other side refined, purified, more beautiful and full of praise. I'm done trying to soak up more of that sun, I'm on to chasing the Son. 

On Fridays, I freewrite. No editing, no stopping, no planning, just writing. Whatever comes, comes. Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think-- good, bad, or ugly. I'm all ears. Happy Friday, friends!