Transformed and Transparent

Transformed and Transparent

If there’s one thing others often notice about my husband and I, it’s the fact that we are very transparent people. We are not only open books when it comes to our individual pasts, but we are real and honest when it comes to our past together as well. My husband doesn’t shy away from the fact that he use to inject his veins with heroine. I could care less if people know that I had my oldest son at a young age and lived a promiscuous lifestyle. Neither of us hold back when it comes to sharing the fact that we had a rocky start to our marriage and it took a while to get to where we are now. We unashamedly share our testimonies, gore and all. And they aren’t just about his former drug addiction and me not knowing the true value of my body. There’s so much more to each of our stories, I’d be here forever if I shared every detail. Oh, and I’m sure some of it would blow your mind.

The point is, we don’t live in the land of regret when it comes to the poor decisions we’ve made in our pasts. We embrace them. Why? Because the more you share, the more opportunities there are to help others overcome their own obstacles. The more you share, the more glory God receives. See, we didn’t just wake up one day and decide we were going to get our lives together. God Himself radically grabbed a hold of our hearts in a way that was so profound, we couldn’t deny Him even if we wanted to. He called us to a higher purpose. However, the level to which we are willing to go in this purpose is largely dependent upon how open and humble we are willing to be – not only with ourselves, but with others. This applies to all of us Christians.

Pride, as the opposite of humility, sometimes rears it’s ugly head and holds people back. It likes to create an image of perfection and sweep things under the rug so others can’t see our mess. But if we want to see God move like never before, we need to practice humility and transparency on a regular basis. When our lives are an open book, it often brings people’s guards down. It also creates a sense of relatability that in turn, opens the door for a deeper dialog with those who are disconnected from God. We should be willing to bare all and share all for the sake of seeing others come to Him too.

The next time you’re sharing your testimony or even listening to someone else’s, keep these things in mind.

1. No one can discredit your testimony
It is your personal experience. If God changed your life or even just an aspect of it, no one can tell you “no, He didn’t” (especially those who knew you best before your heart was transformed). The way we live our lives is the highest form of worship. Be bold and confident when you share what He’s done. Don’t allow yourself to be held back by worry, shame or even fear. You know He deserves the credit for your newfound life and that’s all that matters. If others try to refute it, that’s between Him and them. Dust your feet off and keep it moving.  There is also freedom in being transparent. It’s easy to be fearful of our weaknesses being exposed, but if you openly admit them and successfully overcome them, then what can anyone say? I once posted on Facebook, “If all someone can do is bring up your past to try and hurt you, then you must be doing something right.”

2. Your story brings more hope than you may realize
People are hurting. They are lost, scared, angry, desperate and even confused, but every human heart is crying out for more. The sad thing is, many either don’t realize it or they do but simply choose to ignore it. I mean who really wants to tap into the deep, dark abyss of our souls anyway? In today’s world, it’s more common to just laugh through the phrase “I have daddy issues” than it is to thoroughly explore those feelings and begin a journey to healing. Unfortunately, our culture promotes chasing instant gratification as the way to live. No one wants to deal with an extra few seconds for Facebook to load on slow Wi-Fi let alone take the time to get to the bottom of life issues and discover what it truly means to be whole. But, like I mentioned above, every human heart is crying out for more. Some don’t believe in God, some hate Him and some are just wandering about aimlessly unsure of what to believe, but none of that changes the fact that He is still our Creator and we are still His beloved creation. That connection is there whether or not we are willing to acknowledge it. Therefore, when someone’s listening to your testimony and it sounds an awful lot like their present life, a chord is struck in their heart. A feeling of hope that is oddly familiar, arises and encourages their spirit. They realize if God can do it for them, He can do it for me. And don’t underestimate how often people are watching you and listening (especially in this world of social media. It’s stalker central, am I right? 😉).

Your greatest struggles become your most effective weapons. Use them.

3. What you share works as a faith booster for other Christians
There’s a special excitement that comes along with giving your life to Christ. Once you make that decision and get a taste of His love, you want to scream about Him from the rooftops. We eagerly put on our armor of God, shine it up and smile at the thought of battle. But over time, even if you cultivate your relationship with Him, the excitement can decrease.  We begin to take Him and all He’s done for us, for granted. Hearing the testimonies of other Christians is like fanning the flame that already exists within us. You get pumped up all over again. When I hear others share about the work and miracles He’s done in their life, my eyes usually fill up with tears.  I love all stories that point to Him, but I especially love the testimonies of former Atheists.  That’s when my tear-filled eyes usually become full blown cries.  Even though we are already familiar with God’s character, it does the heart a world of good to be reminded of His power, love and faithfulness through others.

I pray this post encourages you to think more about the bigger picture. If there’s anything left under your rug, let God help you clean it out and then go testify to someone!  There is so much power in being transparent about your transformation.

“Only God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, and a victim into a victory.”

Please see the scriptures below and feel free to share your testimony in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

The bible is rich in powerful wisdom, beautiful analogies and inspiring stories that help us to better understand God’s character and successfully grow in the midst of life’s ups and downs. There are so many more scriptures that tie into what I shared today, but I will leave you with these for now.
“I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done.” – Psalm 22:22
“But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” – 1 Peter 3:15
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” – Revelation 12:11
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
I encourage you to mediate on them throughout your week. Study the context. In addition, pray for God to show you exactly how you can apply them to your life now. Nothing is too small for Him to use; you just never know what He’s up to! And as always, I am on this journey with you so let’s do this!

 

2017-10-12T13:05:43+00:00 15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Tammy October 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Thank you for encouragement to share testimonies, and respect towards the variety of paths which that would entail. The scriptures in the end are awesome. I think I linked my testimony to one of my about me pages linked in my blog (right margin for computer format, under search bar). Do you have a thorough testimony published somewhere? I am going to try Bio.
    Blessings in Christ,
    https://grandmamarymartha.blogspot.com

    • Natasha Grantz October 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you!! I will check yours out as well. My biography is available here on the site. I have an upcoming video interview soon and I plan to share my testimony in even greater detail then. I will be posting the video when that time comes. 🙂

  2. Maggie October 11, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    This was very encouraging to me, thank you! I hid the abuse from my ex-husband for years, so very afraid and prideful of letting anyone know. God took me through a journey to discover my Worth in him and now I try to tell other women how much Christ cherishes them! I sometimes think that what I have to say doesn’t matter and I know that’s a lie. So thank you for reminding me because it’s a battle at times.

    • Natasha Grantz October 11, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

      This is so beautiful and encouraging. Thank you for opening up and sharing. I get chills thinking of all the women God helped through you and your story. He is the Master of ripple effects! And I agree, believing what you have to say doesn’t matter is a lie from the pit of Hell! You keep on testifying of His love and watch what happens!!!! 🙂

  3. Rod McLeod October 11, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. Every Christian needs to be able to explain their lives to others. Very encouraging, especiallly for those of us with a few more twists and turns in their lives. (ex windy stair drongo in Oz.)

    • Natasha Grantz October 11, 2017 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you! I definitely have lots of twists and turns in mine lol. Gives me whiplash! 🙂

  4. laura picciafoco-brown October 11, 2017 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Love your blogs, your writings are heartfelt on the side of the writer and of the reader. Keep writing and I will keep learning and reading.

    • Natasha Grantz October 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Laura. Your encouragement always means a lot to me 🙂

  5. Rod McLeod October 11, 2017 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Part the 2.
    Oz has a different outlook on ‘sharing’, as it is seen as too much weirdness before breakfast. Oz is a fairly secular culture, so ‘sharing’ is just your story, along with many others. We are all just wandering around. I can do this at my church, but I can say that I have had only 2 or 3 opportunities in my life to share my testimony with other people outside the church.

  6. Stephanie Grosick October 11, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Wow this really touched me, almost like God brought me here to read this. I have a story that I have to admit I have shared with very few people besides my immediate family. I guess I have always felt ashamed to tell people of the abuse I went through and I also never wanted people to pitty me and treat me differently. Not sure of what else to really say here, I really just wanted to thank you for this . God bless you 🙏

    • Natasha Grantz October 11, 2017 at 11:19 pm - Reply

      Funny that you shared that because God led me to a specific blog post today too. His timing is perfect. I appreciate you opening up and sharing this. I too was a abused and its so incredibly sad and heart-breaking how common it is. The devil is very real and he wants you to keep it all to yourself because you have the ability to encourage other women to speak up and seek healing. You’re a threat to him so give that part of yourself to God and ask Him to use it. I’m telling you it will be so worth it… crazy things happen when we humble ourselves and give things to Him. Thank you again. This encourages me too… <3

  7. Shona McCarthy October 12, 2017 at 4:49 am - Reply

    I guess I always believed that God was a reality. My parents made sure I went to Church as a child, even if they didn’t, and they made sure I grew up knowing about the secular world and mindset so that I wouldn’t lose my faith as soon as I met with it. The church I grew up going to had a strong apologetic curriculum for their Sunday school, which gave me the tools I needed to defend and maintain my faith in the face of criticism. But within my heart, till I was about 24, I didn’t really believe God loved me and I didn’t obey him whole-heartedly. In some ways, I felt he was like my parents; always telling me what to do and then abandoning me when things didn’t go well, or even laughing at my problems. There were even times I felt like God was a hunter and I had to hide from him and trick him into liking me. I feel like the real change came for me when I began to vary the Churches I attended and I met my wonderful boyfriend. It’s the first relationship I’ve had where the boy I’m with is fully invested in God and just about obsessed with sharing his faith. It means that I get to learn about God from someone who is very loving and warm towards me. But it also forced me to notice the way some forms of faith don’t really let you feel loved, because they keep pushing away anything that feels good and saying we should just notice what faith demands, which isn’t really how things work.

    • Natasha Grantz October 12, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

      Wow, thank you for sharing this. For one, it’s awesome that your Sunday school taught apologetics. I’ve never heard of any doing that… it’s very wise (especially for youth). I love that idea. It’s interesting that your view of God was based on your parents. So many of us can relate to that and the devil tricks us big time into thinking He is just like them. We humanize God by bringing Him down to our level and holding the same expectations of Him that we have with people. On the bright side, your parents knew the Truth in their hearts and did their best to make sure you knew about it. It’s the best thing anyone can do for their children. Its so beautiful how God used the situation with your boyfriend to show you what His love really looks like. I agree, its sad that some churches (if that’s what you mean), pushes people away and neglects the fact that we live in a fallen world rather than teach people how to overcome the things that dishonor God. Thank you again for sharing, I loved reading your comment! 🙂

  8. Kayla Burton October 12, 2017 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    Hey Natasha! Great blog post. Hope you are doing well.

    • Natasha Grantz October 12, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you!!! <3

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Natasha Grantz