Several years ago my family went through a very long season of crises. I became numb and disbelief took root. I began closing off parts of my heart to God and it eventually lead to not trusting Him with anything. I stopped bringing Jesus everything. I doubted His goodness and ability to ever make something of all the mess. I doubted His calling on my life and didn’t know what His purpose for my life looked like anymore.
Not spending time in God's word and in prayer, combined with heart wounds, disappointments, and lost hope lead to rebellion. These were the times I should have come to Him the most but I stopped abiding in Him. I began carrying the burdens of loss and confusion and tried to fill the emptiness myself. I resisted the rest and freedom that Jesus offers because I was so unhappy and had grown tired of waiting on things to change. Over a period of time I began to believe the lies of the enemy and culture around me. Storms raged and I stopped coming to the One who could still the waters and satisfy my soul. Is there an area of your life were this seems relatable? He still calls for us, even when we’ve turned away.
One morning I came to the end of myself and cried out to God. In a pivotal encounter with the Father, I was rescued. My journey of redemption, healing, freedom, and the restoration of my marriage began. God has fully restored my life, marriage, and family. We are stronger than ever and live freely and joyfully in His plans and purposes.
In the process of healing and restoration over the last few years, I have learned God allows storms and suffering into our stories to grow our faith and redeem it for His glory. He doesn’t cause the trials but He allows us to walk through them. We each have been given roles in a story that is about something so much bigger than us. We have to get to that place where we know God is good - no matter what. It’s in this place where we can weather the strongest doubts and darkest storms, and come out on the other side a better version of ourselves. He can give us new beginnings.
Have you ever needed or wanted a new beginning? Have you ever been afraid to take a step God was asking you to take because of fear of the past? Perhaps you struggle with fear of the unknown, feelings of inadequacy, or opinions of others? If so, what was it or what is it? Name the fear holding you back. If you don’t have a name for it, ask God.
Read Isaiah 43. Notice verse 25 and 26. Despite the spiritual failure of God’s people, we see here how He showed them great mercy, brought them back from captivity, and restored them. He lavished them with an outpouring of love, not wrath. He protected them in times of trouble. We are so important to God. We are loved by Him (see verse 4), no matter what we’ve done in the past or what we’re currently carrying that we need to lay at the feet of Jesus. In verses 15-21 we see that an exodus would take place through a new desert. The past miracles were nothing compared to what God would do in the future.
I wonder how many times we get stuck on the greatest thing we’ve seen God do in our lives, or that of another, and place Him in a box – somehow thinking we’ve used up all the grace God has to give us, or fearing we only get rationed blessings from Him. The Word tells us there is no end to God’s goodness. He is continually making a way for us, knowing that trials will continue and we need Him daily. We serve an omniscient, sovereign, grace-giving, merciful God. His love is unending. Our past never has to determine our future, because He is doing a new thing in and through us.
With your journal
Read Romans 6:4-6.
How can self-condemnation of failure or your past keep you from living fully in God’s promises? How do you think God sees you? Do you fear God is disappointed with you? Do you wonder if you’re not doing enough or you’ve messed up too much for Him to love you? Invite God to show you your past through His eyes. He is merciful, forgiving, and kind.
Father, Forgive me for the times I’ve let my past affect how I see my future instead of through the lens of Your love and promises. Thank you for your mercy, forgiveness, freedom, and restoration. Help me to live fully in your power and walk in the full measure of your love. Amen.
With your Bible
Read and say the following verses out loud: Nehemiah 9:17| Psalm 86:15 | Psalm 130:3-4 | Jeremiah 31:3 | 2 Corinthians 5:17-18| Ephesians 1:7 Next, choose one or two that stand out to you. What is God saying to you through scripture and prayer about His forgiveness and plans for your future?
Tell us in the comments below!