(Photo by Zac)
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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS AND CONTENT FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
Bad Girl Gone Good
Lessons Learned From Black Widow
By Tori Martin
I have a confession. If my testimony had to be described as a Marvel character, Black Widow would be my girl. If you’re not familiar with the Marvel Comic Universe backstory behind this character then allow me to enlighten you. From a young age, Black Widow (also known as Natasha Romanoff) was trained to be the ultimate weapon, a KGB spy and dangerous assassin. She was cultivated to do bad. Fast forward many years later, she finds herself being recruited by S.H.E.I.L.D to ultimately use her bad, for good. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now before you get super excited thinking you’re about to read an extraordinary testimony on how I went from assassin to angel, please remain calm; I was not a former assassin, but I was a bad girl. From a very early age, I had experienced rejection and emotional neglect leading me to believe something was seriously wrong with me. “I must be bad” was like a record on repeat running through my mind. In turn, these thoughts birthed unhealthy behaviours and characteristics within me. Fast forward many years later, I too was given a second chance when I encountered my very own Avenger who not only wanted to rescue me, but wanted to use my bad, for His good. And His name (drum roll please) was of course, Jesus.
When we go through adverse experiences in our childhood and adolescence years, it can have a devastating impact on our mental, emotional and physical health. ViewIing ourselves as “damaged goods” can cause us to make bad lifestyle choices. When we have a low opinion of ourselves, we believe we deserve a low level standard of life. The “I had a bad start so I will have a bad life” mentality is very unhealthy and very ungodly. It’s a vicious cycle which leaves you (and often the people around you) feeling hurt, empty, and just outright exhausted.
But there is hope. And that hope is found in the name of Jesus. We can either allow the bad stuff to make us bitter, or we can allow God to make us better. You may have the bad girl /bad boy past, but through Christ, you have a good girl/good guy future. God is the master of restoration, it’s kinda His thing. Our God loves an underdog, and I don’t know about you, but for an ex bad girl like me, this is the best news EVER! God uses imperfect people for the sake of His ministry. Don’t believe me? Just look at the Bible and all the biblical heroes we know and love to read about. They all had a “bad” to their story, yet God took it and used it for His good. Elijah was suicidal, Joseph was abused, Moses was a murderer, Samson was a womanizer, David had an affair, Rahab was a prostitute, Peter denied Christ, and Paul persecuted Christians! And that’s just to name a few! God uses broken people to show the world that He is exactly who He says He is.
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive.”
– Genesis 50:20 (AMP)
When we give our bad to God, everything works out for good. You’ll start to feel good, live good, and you’ll want to do good. Give it to Him by confessing your sin, your pain, your shame, whatever your “bad” may be, and don’t hold back. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to vent, vent. If you need to fall flat on your face, well, fall flat your face. Please know that whatever your “bad” is, it is not too much for God to handle or use. Acknowledge and agree that you need Jesus and receive His forgiveness, His love, healing, and purpose over your life. Gradually over time you will start to see God’s “good” manifest over your “bad,” transforming you from zero to hero!
“At some point, we all have to choose between what the world wants you to be and who you are.”
– Black Widow Trailer
Make the choice today. There is someone out there right now desperately counting on you and your story of redemption, to bring them hope, encouragement, and of course to Jesus!