Dents and Scratches

Oh my Darling, yes, it’s true…beautiful things have dents and scratches too!~author unknown

I have not lived a life unmarred by hurt and pain. I have not escaped the harsh words and unfair judgments of others. If truth be told, I was born into a family of meager existence. I was picked on and bullied through the first 6 years of my schooling (the most sensitive children usually are). I lost my best friend to a rare disease at the age of 10. My parents separated and eventually divorced when I was 11 landing me in an even more financially strapped position. At the age of 21 I buried my younger sister, Kim. Three short years later had me saying goodbye to my earthly father, my daddy and the only stability that I had encountered in my life. Around the same time, I met my very best friend, Jesus.  But guess what…My new found church family did not offer the security that I longed for or expected. For many years I have watched ego driven (albeit broken) people literally hurt and judge and bully the “least of these” in the name of Christ. Leaders who are more hell bent on making a name for themselves then they are in affecting the lives of others with the hope of the gospel or any other kind of hope for that matter. Christians who, if they have ever read God’s Word, certainly don’t feel the need to live according to the principles contained therein. I lost my mom at age 31 and effectively became an orphan.

I have always admired those creative people that will take a discarded piece of furniture or clothing and turn it into something amazing. There are those who have a gift of being able to see beneath the outer appearance of an item.  They see the potential that is just underneath. You know the ones. That friend who holds up some piece of junk that she found by the roadside and explains how it’s going to be something beautiful. You, like me are thinking….sure, if you say so. They find a dresser that is missing 4 of the 6 drawers and turn it into a gorgeous bench. Maybe the find is a bike frame with one wheel and the next time you see it, there is this amazing planter sitting on their front porch.

Everything that I have shared in this post has been the unadulterated truth as it relates to my upbringing and life thus far. However, I don’t see my life that way. At a very early age I learned to re-frame my existence. I learned to see the beauty behind the loss. I trained myself to refuse to focus on the ugly…to always search for the gold glittering somewhere in the dirt.

I am 47, and I have lived an amazing life! I was born into what would become a family of 6 in Feb. of 1969. Although finances were tight, I have memories of waiting up for Santa with my sisters and brother and  playing outside in the summer catching lightning bugs. I recall memory after memory of laughter and good times. My elementary school years taught me how to stand up for myself and to have a heart for the underdog. At age 10, my best friend went to be with Jesus, making heaven so much more real to my young mind. My middle school and high school years taught me that I could change my path. I wasn’t stuck; I had choices. At age 21 I lost my sister, which is the thing that set me on the path to meeting  Jesus. I have had the privilege of working with inner-city children in Chicago, living for 3 years in Ghana, West Africa and meeting many amazing people with amazing life stories. After losing both of my parents, I learned just how real the person of Jesus Christ can be. I, truly, have never been alone. I serve an amazing and real God, and I serve Him based on what our relationship dictates. I am free of the judgments and parameters established by institutions and groups. I spend my days loving my life and enjoying my friends and family. Every experience of my life has led me to my passion. I am a trash picker!

You see, Christ is a “trash picker” too. The ultimate “upcycler”!  He never met anyone that He didn’t help get cleaned up and help their true beauty to shine forth. He took the most broken, discarded, unloved people, and He “refurbished” them completely. This is how I choose to live my life as well.


Can I tell you today that, no matter what has brought you to this place in your life…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Can you take just a few moments (whether or not you agree with everything I have said here) to re-frame the hurts and losses. Realize just how amazing you are and embrace whatever changes you need in order to become the person you long to be. Begin the process of Refurbishing yourself!


Say it with me…

You are beautiful. Yes it’s true…beautiful things have dents and scratches too!


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