Spiritual Growth

Sorrow in 30

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to write this post only to let my words sit with me for over a year. It’s been quite a year. December 15, 2013 changed the direction of my life forever; everything familiar, gone. The past 12 months and five days have been a whirlwind.

You never think having a broken heart could cause so much hurt, isolation, and destruction in one’s life, but it did mine. I picked up old habits, fell into depression so heavy I stopped caring about my weight and my life. New Years Eve of 2013 I remember wanting to end it all. Typing this is hard but even through the midst of the hurt and wanting to give up, God was in the midst of it all. He was in the girl who sat with me that night in silence as we both struggled together in our hurt. He’s been through the tangible and the unseen, He’s been with me through everything; I see it clearly now.

Everything in my life over the past year had a domino effect. When one part of my life fell, the rest went with it. I lost “friends,” gained friends, and lost some more. In the end though, I gained community.  The gain in finding people who were and are willing to walk with me through life was worth all the losses I faced. I’m learning now people who are truly for you will never allow petty arguments, theology, or their own feelings ruin what God so clearly brings together to display His glory.

All I felt over the past year was an emptiness, I felt incomplete. The familiar of what I had known for most of the past two years was gone, people who I confided in, trusted, and carried were merely strangers. Even now when we walk past each other, there are no words, only the cold shoulder. I’ve had nasty things said to me in public and in private. People who swore would have my back were quick to stab me in it the moment there was disagreement. 

Everything felt like an assault on my character. When one thing kicked me down another was right there behind it ready for the next beating. Yes, I felt like a helpless victim. 

When I turned 31 in October something inside me changed. I owe a lot of this to the women in my life who have supported me, encouraged me, and have been willing to carry my burdens when I was too weak to stand. Most of my writing over the past four years has been out of hurt and rejection. Yes, most of it is me playing the victim. This was/is my place to bleed. I have no regrets for being transparent and vulnerable with my story. Whether in the private space between me and a friend or in a public space like this blog. There’s no shame in that and no one should shame us for sharing our story. More people should learn to keep it real, God eventually exposes it anyway.

I may not have everything I want at this point in my life. Honestly, I saw my life completely different than it is now, but I did find one thing; real love. Real, gut wrenching, in your face, love. Not from a man, not from porn, but from the hearts of women who openly share their struggles and walk with me through mine. I see Jesus in every single one of them.

There was a lot of sorrow in 30, I won’t lie. A lot of hurt that spilled into other areas of my life and reopened wounds, but I can close that chapter of my life now. Thankfully and without regret or remorse. There has been joy in being 31, a joy and peace I can’t explain in words.  I can walk into a new year knowing I have what God knows I need and leave what He knows I don’t behind.

No matter who has hurt you, wounded you, or left you, don’t carry it around any more. Release it to God and let Him have it. Don’t try to pick it up again to relive what God has clearly told you to put down. I’ve had to tell myself this repeatedly every time I’ve wanted to send that text, e-mail, or show up at their door.

When God closes a door, leave it shut. Your heart will be better for it and so will you.

How will you spend the rest of your year — with regret or freedom?

#heartcheck

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If Our Faith Ceased to Exist

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I remember who I was before I turned my life over to Christ.

I remember what I was doing before I turned my life over to Christ.

I remember the pivotal moment in my life when everything changed.

I don’t know how to describe my life before Christ, I just know I spent a lot of it lost and depressed. Most of my depression came from situations with bad relationships and toxic friendships. I remember the night when I finally reached the point of no return and felt this pull inside to turn to the Lord. I can’t explain it but it was an inner knowing and from that moment forward, everything in my life changed.

The thing is, I didn’t change, not immediately anyway. Even now, almost three years later, there are still old parts of me I haven’t fully surrendered. And it has me wondering if I’ve ever really been saved; if I’ve truly been set free.  I know deep down if I didn’t have faith, if my faith ceased to exist, it would bring the darkest parts of my life back to surface. I remember those dark moments well. Sometimes in the chaotic corners of my mind, I feel them.

We’re more than followers of Christ, but we’re not absent from struggle. When I started following the Lord with my whole heart, it shook everything familiar and comfortable in my life. I stopped watching pornI learned how to handle rejection, I learned I had a fear of marriage, and I learned there’s power in humility and vulnerability.

But even with everything I’ve learned and am learning, I still struggle. I don’t struggle because my faith isn’t strong, I struggle because having faith doesn’t promise happy endings. Faith promises it will be tested, we will be tested. and it’s through these tests we learn what our faith is really made of. It’s through these tests, we learn what we’re really made of and who we’re really following and trusting.

If my faith ceased to exist, I’d still exist but there would be something missing. Apart from God, I’m nothing.

I know a number of people who have chosen to walk away from their faith for different reasons. Having authentic faith in a world that continuously tries to steer us away from truth, truth that’s supposed to bring love, peace, and hope, only breeds hate and a set of rules. I’ve vowed never to be this kind of person, but it’s easy to get lost in the mass of religion than having an authentic faith in Christ and allowing this faith shine through you in love.

I’ve lost friends and gained a few the moment I started taking my relationship with God seriously. I lost most of everything I thought was supposed to matter. But nothing changed or challenged me until the Holy Spirit entered my life and changed the course of my life forever. 

Jesus told His disciples He was going to send a helper who would guide them in truth. The Spirit was sent to help us persevere and give us courage when we face challenge, trial, and adversity in life. When the Holy Spirit enters your life, everything will change, including you. 

If our faith ceased to exist, we’d still have His promise and help.  We won’t be left to fend for ourselves. When faith exits, hope enters.

If your faith ceased to exist, would you?

#heartcheck

photo credit: Martin Gommel cc

The Truth About Change

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I used to hate change but it’s inevitable because God loves us too much to keep us the way we are. 

This sounds really cliche’ but it’s true. God must love me a whole hell of a lot because when I look back on my life 5 years ago, I can’t help but sit in awe of how much His love carried and rescued me. I was the person who would follow the crowd and cater to every sin imaginable. I drank. I smoked. I did a number of things I’m not proud of. I’m not the same person I was then but  now I feel more alone.

Being fully accepted in our new skin is hard because when we’re living our life completely committed to the Lord, people will find any reason to bail.  Friends who promised to be there through everything will leave because people reject what they don’t try to understand – you.

People don’t understand why I’m the way I am or why I think the way I do. Most common ground I found with others in my past were from my own experiences but they were experiences I’m not proud of.  I did things with people to win their love and approval and I desperately wanted to fit in. It was only in the darkest point in my life where God grabbed hold of me and pulled me from my destructive life style and friendships.

Change means we will have to give up our right to happiness.

In the light of real change, nothing in our life that was the source of our happiness will last. This is the hard truth about God’s change in our life and hearts.  Change sucks because in order to experience real and lasting change in our life, we need to surrender whatever in our life we think really make us happy. God has to be the center and source to everything that matters in our life because without Him everything we think matters is meaningless, it’s nothing.

A lot of us spend our life making excuses for the way we are. We recognize areas in our life and character that are flawed but are unwilling to take necessary steps to change them. Change is hard, but excuses are easy. When we recognize our desperate need for God, the desire to change will deepen. God will never let us continue down our destructive paths without pointing us back to His ways first and His way always points to love.

Nothing about change is easy but we have to stop making excuses and start making real and lasting change in our lives. It won’t happen over night and we will fail. I fail daily but I also recognize my need for God in every area of my life. Not in areas where I want to compartmentalize to avoid total surrender. No, every area in our life and hearts need to be wholly surrendered.

This is the truth about change.

Are you living it?

#heartcheck

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The Sin of Success

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This week I had the privilege of writing over at Jeremy’s blog again. Jeremy has grown as a writer over the past year and very proud of his work. He has been a continuous support to me when I struggled with writing and has become a true blogger friend. You can read more about Jeremy and his life here  and follow him on Twitter here.

The beginning of 2014 marked a milestone in my life and career, I was promoted. A career was never a word in my vocabulary, I had no real plans for a career, only being led where God wanted me. I was conflicted with accepting my promotion. One part of me felt I didn’t deserve it another felt it was owed to me after everything I’ve been through in the past two years both personally and financially. I prayed continuously for a year and half straight for an opened door and opportunity professionally never knowing God was going to provide. Yet, I still felt conviction for accepting it and allowing the success go to my head.

Some blessings birth an attitude of entitlement. An attitude of entitlement leads to pride and pride is sinful.

I could feel the pride in my heart and it completely wrecked me. I needed to take a step back and realize being promoted was less about me and more of what God was purposely doing in my life to display His glory. God wants to see good things happen for His children but not until they’ve been through test and trial and  learn to be faithful with little.

It’s when God’s children learn to be faithful with little when stripped of everything they learn to rely on Him through everything.

Read the rest of this post here.

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Show & Tell

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As I reflect on the past month, I can’t help but feel disappointment at others’ actions towards me. It’s a crazy cycle. One day I’m over it, the next I’m reeling. God tells me to forgive, my heart speaks differently. All the while, every moment hangs in balance as I try to fix my eyes on Christ, not my conscience.

As I think back on every word exchanged, not a single person have kept their word.  “I’m willing to walk with you.” “You’re not alone.” “I care about you.” “We’ll do this together.”  Words are faulty and when they are, so is trust.

What we see from others is a reflection of what’s in their hearts. When a heart is hurting, it will hurt another. When a heart is bitter, it will resent another. When a heart is fully surrendered to the Lord, it will love and help another. Regardless of our best efforts, we will never understand a person’s heart. It’s in a person’s heart their true motives are known and only God knows them.

As an adult, we can only focus our attention to what is shown not told.  We can only see what others’ are willing to allow us to and more often than not it’s their true colors.  I’m not perfect and don’t expect any one else to be. But it would be foolish to take everyone at their word when their actions speak differently. 

When I look at my life and my every weakness, all I want is human connection. People who genuinely understand and are willing to walk with me through the fire without fear of being burned. We need people who are more than their words, they walk in integrity, and their actions prove it. Yes, we will fall short. Yes, we will disappoint. It’s recognizing we are imperfect and are willing to humble ourselves and admit it.

All I’ve heard are excuses. We need to stop our excuses and start taking responsibility.  We are responsible for how we treat others. We are responsible for our words towards others.  We are responsible for everything we do this side of Heaven.

We have two choices in life, God or self. God is glorified when we keep our word and show His love towards others. God is glorified when we walk in integrity and humility. God is glorified when we honor our commitments and keep His commandments.

God is glorified when we reflect Jesus to hurting hearts. 

Which are you doing more, showing or telling?

#Heartcheck

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Teach Us to Number Our Days

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Last week I had the honor of guest posting for Jeremy. Jeremy has been a huge support for me over the past year in writing. I went through a season of writer’s block and he always encouraged me to keep doing what I love.  This was the first post I wrote after a two month writing hiatus. Thank you for everything, Jeremy. 

As 2014 approached, I told myself I wasn’t making any new year resolutions. While I appreciate the effort most people put towards making them, if we’re honest, resolutions don’t last. For the past few years, my only resolve was to draw closer to God.  God always shows up to remind me of His truth and what He’s been telling me lately has brought both fear and comfort. Fear in knowing our days are numbered but comfort knowing we’re only promised today and need to make the most of today and right now.

God’s Word is absolute and stands firm through waves of uncertainty, insecurity, and trial. Most of us either deny His truth or don’t spend enough time meditating on it to take His Word seriously.

Everything He has spoken clearly to me brings both joy and pain. It’s been through a discerning spirit God has revealed what most of us spend our life ignoring. Our days are numbered. If we let this truth sink into the depths of our core, we wouldn’t make resolutions, goals, or resolve to do better at anything, we’d start right now this very moment.

Read the rest here.

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Trust Without Borders

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Outside of the will of God, there’s nothing I want, and in the will of God there’s nothing to fear – Tozer

Following God into the unknown into uncertainty is hard and obedience hurts.

If you’ve ever followed God with your whole heart, soul, and mind then imagine walking into another season with no clear direction but an inner knowing. It’s all there in Scripture, His Word is flawless. His fingerprints are all here, again, but this time it’s different. It’s a different knowing than before, it’s returning, an awakening; it’s trusting.

Fear has never been an enemy of mine, I’m not afraid but I struggle with doubt. God’s ways and plans are never clear in the beginning but there’s a knowing through the Holy Spirit it’s right. When the world is shouting “Run”, God is saying, “Stay.” Because this isn’t about me, it’s about God.

In life, we want to take the escape route when things become difficult and unbearable. We want the quick fixes and the easy answers in life, but following God and trusting Him completely is dangerous, it’s risk;  It’s faith.

Nothing I’ve done in the past year has made sense to any one but me and the people involved. Nothing I’m choosing to do now will make sense to any one but me and God. Somehow I think this is the way it was meant to be. When I stand before God I want to stand before Him secure knowing I did everything I was asked to do, even the hardest things I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing two years ago. Everything two years ago was about me, my wants, my needs, my desires. 

Now, here I stand faced with the unknown and it’s all about Him.

This isn’t easy. There are days like now when I simply want to throw up my hands and quit.  I’ve always been a fighter but sometimes there’s no fight left and quitting is easiest. Though there’s a war raging inside and I’m in constant conflict, the Holy Spirit has been my guide and continues carrying me.

The Spirit has been my guide from the beginning, I’ve seen it’s fingerprints in everything, I see them now and it brings me joy and sorrow all in the same hand. I don’t want to tread on certain waters because truly trusting God with our entire being means stepping into uncertainty with open hands to receive what He promised in the beginning; Himself.

Though I’m faced with a great unknown,  I am His and where ever He leads, I’ll follow. Trusting completely His will will be done, not mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

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Love Will Find You

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“When you least expect it, love will find you.”

I can’t think of a single moment in my singleness where I didn’t hear this line repeated to me over the years. Thing is, I didn’t know how true this is and how I’ve had the wrong perspective of love for most of my life. It’s funny what reflection and hindsight will do for you when you stop searching for love and let it find you.

If you’ve followed my writing over the last two years, you know I’ve had my heart broken and have been rejected. It seemed to be the only theme of my blog since I started writing. It’s amazing how much is expressed when we hurt but when God redeems those hurting parts, we grow silent.

I’ve been silent for months.

It’s been almost a year since one act of obedience changed my life forever. There was confusion and hesitation, but I knew God wanted me to obey. I didn’t know the reason or understand, but as I sit here almost a year later, He knew all along what my heart needed better than I did.

I don’t know what love looks or feels like because love is more than something we see or feel; It’s knowing and trusting. The love we don’t think we need or even know is there, is eternal. It’s the kind of love which walks in the light of faith, not feelings. 

I spent the past few years searching endlessly for love in all the wrong places — in chat rooms, porn, and whatever else I could fill emotional voids.  With the weight of the hurt I carried, my heart hardened to the idea of ever loving again.  But love always reconciles our hearts to truth. 

The love we don’t think we’ll ever find will point our lives back to Jesus.  And that’s where love found me.

 Broken heart, stop searching. When you least want it or expect it, love will find you. Love is never early or late, it’s always on time. 

Song of Songs 8:4

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.

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Get Up and Eat

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I had the honor of guest posting for a good friend and fellow writer, Jeremy Riley. Jeremy is passionate about writing and has inspired me to pursue my passion in writing as well. One thing I’ve always respected and admired about Jeremy is how he always follows through, he’s consistent, and never gives up.  I’m grateful we’ve crossed paths and honored to be featured on his blog today!

I have a confession:

I used to hate reading the Bible.

I never understood why reading the Word was so important. It seemed more like a chore than a commitment. I never approached the Word with passion and zeal, but with fearful restraint. What I didn’t know then God has since revealed to me now.

God has revealed to me His Word has the power to transform our heart and renew our minds. When we’re burdened, worried, or afraid, God’s Word has the power to focus our attention where it belongs; on His truth. 

Spending intimate time with God and reading His Word has been both challenging and convicting. It’s been in His Word I’ve been set free from a 16 year addiction, learned the healing power of forgiveness, and how one simple of act of obedience can transform our life. I had to face many obstacles and trials to get to this point in my life. I hit rock bottom, stayed in my sinful pit, and cursed and damned the Lord for putting me there. I ran from my problems, hid my sins, and lied to myself and others.

I was a mess. 

Read the rest of the post here.
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What Are You Praying For?

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One way to know if we’re growing spiritually is to pay attention to what we pray for.

About a year ago, my prayers went something like this:

“Lord, please change “insert name here” heart so they will love me.”

“Lord, please provide my Dad a job so I can finally save money.”

“Lord, I want a relationship. Please put someone in my life soon.”

My prayers were laden with a lot of “I’s” not a lot of “Yours” and “Us”. It was focused primarily on me. Obviously, my prayers were selfish. I was focusing on my wants. Rereading my old prayers make me cringe but also make me smile. In those moments of prayer, I didn’t know what God was going to do in my life a year later, but He answered every prayer of mine in His own way. This is the beautiful thing about God’s timing. 

God knows our need and He supplies our needs in His timing. He knew I wanted a relationship, He knew my Dad needed a job, and He knew my past.God knows everything about us and what our life needs when it needs it. This is a hard truth for many of us to swallow, it was for me. We go to God with a list of our wants when He is waiting to supply what He knows we need when He feels it’s best. It’s the waiting we have a difficult time navigating through.

Is it wrong to pray for things we want? No. I believe in the power of prayer and I believe it’s okay to pour our hearts to the Lord and ask Him for anything. But if we’re sitting at His feet daily with a growing list of wants greater than our desire to know Him, then we have to examine our hearts. 

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wanted to stop praying. I went through a brief period where I did stop praying; I stopped praying for me. I stopped praying for things I felt were owed to me and started focusing my prayer life on others. Now, I spend more time keeping others the center of my prayers. In these moments of prayer, I’ve been able to forgive those who’ve hurt me and reconcile a friendship with someone who has changed my life forever. 

Now, when I pray, I always think about the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6. Jesus gave us a design for prayer that expands our vision beyond ourselves, making God’s will our highest priority. One thing I always say in my prayer is, “If it’s Your will, let it happen. If not, end it.” I want what God wants and if He doesn’t think I need it, then I don’t need or want it.

When we pray with an eternal perspective, we see God and His Kingdom. When we pray selfishly, we see ourselves and the kingdom we’ve created in our own hearts we think is better than God’s. 

What we pray for and how we pray says a lot of where we are in our growth spiritually. Keeping God and His Will the center of our prayers will always reap more in return than selfishly asking God for things we know in our hearts aren’t right for us right now. When God doesn’t answer our prayers immediately, it’s not punishment; it’s pruning.

God wants us to live an abundant life and He wants what’s best for us. If what we ask for will glorify Him and His Kingdom, our prayers will be answered. There may be a time lapse between the time of asking and the time of receiving, but everything is perfect in His timing. 

Do you really believe this? 

Matthew 6:9-13

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[a]
but deliver us from the evil one.[b]’

What are you praying for?

#heartcheck

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Season of Wonder

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About a month ago, my car died.

It couldn’t have happened at the most inopportune time. Every season God has brought through, I’ve always looked back with thankfulness and praise. This season has been different, a good different, but still I find myself in wonder and awe of God’s love through waves of uncertainty.

This season has been about preparation and change, and when my car died, it didn’t make sense. I handled the news about my car with ease and without stress because at the time, the problem was fixable. After I realized the cost to fix my car was more than the car was worth, I was at a loss. I didn’t understand. Why now, God?” was all I could think to ask. I was about to go through a big life change and now this. The reason then didn’t seem clear but as I look back on the past month, I understand.

Up to that point, God had answered every single prayer of mine in His timing. His blessings continued to pour in and out of my life like wine. I felt strong, blessed, and undeserving of His endless favor on my life. Everything in the past year has been a blur because I’ve kept myself busy. Busy doing stuff and piling more and more things on my plate. If I wasn’t taking care of my family, I was helping with ministry, helping women recover from addiction, and helping a close friend spiritually. Things in my life kept moving and as I look back, I don’t know how I was able to keep up. I still don’t. When my car broke down it was definitely a stumbling block but it was a stumbling block that turned into a blessing.

God wanted me to slow down and fall in love with Him all over again. He wanted me to love Him, not His  blessings. He wanted me to rest in the wonder of His character, in the wonder of His creation, and He wanted to break areas in my character that could never be broken while always on the go.

Not having a car taught me something I would have never learned had I not been without need. I learned humility in asking for help. I’ve never liked asking any one for help. For most of my life I’ve taken care of myself. Whenever I asked any one for help I was always met with “Not now,”  or “Later” which eventually turned into never. So for most of my life I’ve done things on my own and depended on myself. When my car broke down, I was forced to ask for help and it helped break the part of my character that always wanted to do things on its own.

God also wanted me to realize areas of my life I haven’t fully surrendered and kept guarded. The wake up call happened one evening while I was on my walk. Since I didn’t have a car, I couldn’t go to the gym. Because I’ve vowed to keep my commitment about living a healthier life, I started walking more. It was on an evening walk, I realized I wasn’t being entirely vulnerable with others and it was time to tear down my emotional walls for good.

This was hard. Maybe it’s because deep down I’m emotionally stubborn or maybe it’s fear. Either way, God wanted me to stop being afraid. He wanted me to be myself, the broken, the messy, the fragile; vulnerable. While there is victory in vulnerability there is always fear that the person receiving what you have to offer won’t accept it fully and will reject it. God made me realize this is a lie from the enemy and it’s been in this season of wonder I’ve learned there’s power in vulnerability. I’m learning it’s okay to be messy and broken.

In this season of wonder I’ve also been more aware of God’s presence. We sometimes forget the presence of God is everywhere. Slowing down and being without a car made me more aware of His presence and involvement in my everyday life and tasksI stopped and noticed the birds, the trees, I stopped and spoke with neighbors, spent more time outdoors, and enjoyed being in the presence of the Lord wherever He planted me. I became more intentional in conversations with others without feeling hurried or rushed and I spent more time in God’s Word and studied it than I have in years.

Why did it take not having a car to get to this point? Because God knew the only way He could get my attention was by taking the one thing I relied on more than sometimes Himself. My car broke down because I was too busy doing for others, neglecting to sit at His feet, and He wanted me to slow down to enjoy the wonder of Him.

I’ve made a vow to never be too busy to miss the wonder of God again. I’ve since slowed down and allowed my soul to catch up. It’s been in this season of wonder, I’ve learned to breathe life differently and see life from a new pair of lens –a lens of clarity and wonder.

Lord, bring on the wonder.

Have you been too busy to experience the wonder of God?

#heartcheck

photo credit: Martin Gommelcc

Weight Lifted

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Three years.

That’s how long those memories collected themselves, stayed, and remained. I never knew there would be power behind a “Delete all” button, but yesterday, I found myself staring at memories gone and lost and I had enough. I was tired of reliving the same memories, the same broken record, and refusing to surrender certain areas of my past my heart still wanted to hold on to.

Letting go has always been difficult for me. Not because I don’t want to let go, believe me, I want to. Sometimes when we think we’ve moved on our heart and minds want us to relive every moment from the beginning as a reminder there are still fragments of our past that will always be a part of us.  Frankly, I was tired of the reminder.

I stared into my past and wanted to forget it all.

I deleted every e-mail, message, picture, anything that reminded me of those three years because I realized I was carrying around dead weight. It was toxic. I struggle and still do with forgiveness. I tell myself, “Yeah I forgive them. I have to.”  It’s easy to sit behind a screen and speak about the power of forgiveness, it’s another to sit with your own thoughts and realize how much you haven’t fully forgiven. That’s where I found myself the past few days.

There were still people from my past I hadn’t fully forgiven to the point of surrender because sometimes forgiveness hurts more than it heals. My refusal to surrender and let go made me no different than the person who hurt me. They couldn’t let go either and I didn’t want to live in their shadow any more.

I had a moment of clarity though. The moment came in the stillness of my thoughts the night before. There were things triggering memories from my past and I was putting expectations on others in my life because of it. It wasn’t fair and above all, it was hurtful. I didn’t want to hurt anyone else in my  life because of the hurt someone else did to me.

The weight I carried was damaging. Not to me but people close to me. It was also damaging my relationship with God. For me to continue carrying what was meant to be surrendered, was conviction I carried too long. So, I let go, for good.

I know there will always be remnants from my past I will remember. No one fully walks away from their past without memories. But I try to remember what I learned and less what I felt. When I focus less on what I felt and more on what I learned, I see God’s hand in it all. I see how far He’s taken me, how He never gave up on me, and while the hurt didn’t make sense then, I see the purpose now. That’s the beauty in God’s plan.

God knew the desire of my heart. He knew what I’d have to go through to get here now. He knew the abuse, abandonment, rejection, and hurt would restore and renew me one day.

It’s been a long three years, but when the moment of clarity forced me to release the weight of my past for good, God birthed something new inside me — freedomThis is what makes forgiveness and surrender worth it. It’s knowing despite what we’ve been through God can and will set us free.

It’s in fullness of surrender, the weight lifts, and sets us free.

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

What dead weight from your past are you still carrying?

#heartcheck

photo credit: visualpanic cc