Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where We've Come From

I think too often we get so caught up in where we are right now that we forget where it is we came from and what God has brought us through.

Life gets busy, we have bills that need paying and people who need calling and we can get so caught up in the urgency of today that we overlook the miracles of yesterday.

I had somewhat of a wake-up call in that department myself this weekend.  It started Friday when I was reminded it was 7 years to the day that I had one of my surgeries.  This was a very defining moment in my life as those who have been following this blog for a while or know me well would recognize.  It wasn't just a moment that passed by in time, it was a defining event in my life as I experienced pain like I had never known before (or thankfully since) and as it set the course for my health (or lack thereof) for years to follow.  As I thought back on those days and made a point of going back and re-reading some of my journal entries I had a hard time believing that I actually walked through those days.  And not only walked through those days and survived, but emerged on the other side stronger, better connected with God, and so refined that my life will never be the same again.  At the time all I could see was pain and suffering and destruction, but in hindsight God was writing a different story.

On Sunday morning I got another reminder of just where I came from.  My brother was giving his testimony at his church and invited me to attend.  Sitting there listening to his story, which in a lot of ways is also my story, I was floored as I realized just how much God brought me through and just how different my life would have ended up if I didn't have Him in my life, creating purpose from the pain.  My childhood in a lot of ways was not an easy one, but when I look back today that's not the way I see it, neither do my siblings or my mom.  When we look back and remember we see the hand of God, protecting us from harm and providing us with the kind of love, support and community that we needed to walk through those days and emerge strongly on the other side.  Yes we all have our wounds, but as the years have passed I've seen firsthand those wounds turn into healing in a way that only God can.   I've also seen God cement my relationship with my family as a result into a very powerful thing.  With God, who we are today is not where we came from.  Who we are today is who we became with the God of Redemption writing our story.

As I looked back this weekend and took the time to remember, both the good and the bad, I realized that looking back is something that we all should do more of.  After all, how much stronger would our faith be for the circumstances we face today if we looked at them in light of what God did yesterday?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

13 Years

Today marks 13 years to the day that I made the best decision I've ever made and that decision was to surrender my life and heart to Christ and choose to follow Him.

Some people think that surrendering means giving up something.  In this sense I don't agree.  Looking back over the last fifteen years I don't see loss, I see trading for gain.

I've exchanged,

Feelings of unworthiness for unconditional love.

Regret for forgiveness.

Wounds for healing.

Bitterness for grace.

Loneliness for belonging.

And ultimately, death for life.

That choice 13 years ago, that decision to allow God to start working in my life set off a domino effect in my life and I've seen His Hand bring healing and redemption.

Does that mean my life is perfect?  No, far from it.  What it does mean is that I don't walk alone.  Following Jesus brings purpose, but it also provides His Presence and having that with me in this life is just as valuable as what is now waiting for me in the next.   It's an experience that not only brings me peace, love, joy, grace, and comfort, but has transformed me so that I can extend that kind of gift to others.

Does that mean I have arrived?  Hardly.  I like anyone have a far way to go when it comes to being perfect, but with Jesus I am on that journey and every year it is my goal to become more Christlike than I was the year before.

That's the Christian life in a nutshell, less of me makes room for more of Him.  And when you've experienced what having more of Him looks like, you're willing to clear up the space in your heart that's needed to allow Him in, because there's nothing on this earth that can compare to what He brings.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Something To Think About

A good reminder that problems like running out of gas or having to wait in line at the grocery store aren't actual problems...