Letting Go of Guilt

Letting Go of Guilt

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Clinging to our past is drenching, isn’t it? It keeps us from experiencing the fullness of the present.

Sometimes we just need to let go.

Perhaps it’s pride from past successes, insecurities that we’ve allowed to define us, pain from hurtful experiences, or crippling guilt from our mistakes.

Is there anything from your past that you need to let go of?

I’d like to share a little bit of my personal story with you, and why I am learning to let go of the guilt and shame from my past. 

First, let’s consider the following scriptures.

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:22-23)

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 17-19a)

 

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

 

There is beauty in the letting go of our past. 

The source of this beauty is God and his love for us, his chosen and dearly loved children. In his great grace, he forgives our sins and offers us a life filled with hope and assurance in what truly matters.

He wants us to let go.

 

My girls and I often walk in our local arboretum. Recently we’ve been enjoying the changing leaves and crisp autumn air.

I believe it reflects God’s grace. He paints the trees such glorious colors as they prepare to let go of their leaves. They let go of their leaves in order to sustain themselves through the winter, and so that they will be able to produce new life. I’ve been pondering this and reflecting on my own story, particularly a chapter I haven’t been able to turn the page on. 

 

During one of our evening walks, I watched my daughters giggle and play. I soaked in the sweet thoughts my five year old was sharing with me. I gave recognition to the value and blessings in this season of my life, and I knew it was time.

It was time to let go.

If I was going to flourish in the here and now then I needed to let go of the old parts of my story that left me feeling insignificant, stuck, and unfit for kingdom work.  I wanted to embrace the new chapter God was writing.

The specifics of my guilt aren’t really that important. In our selfishness, we all give way to sin. We all have reason for guilt. 

Dwelling on our past or how we thought life was supposed to be is a useless waste of energy. We can’t go back and do things differently. We can however, look to our past and see how God has worked in our life. We can remember lessons learned. We can consider where God’s brought us, and look for ways to bring him glory here, in our current circumstances.

We can’t grow in the past, but if we let go of what’s holding us there we can grow in the present.

 

It’s easier said than done. Letting go of guilt is especially difficult when we are living in the consequences of our sin.

There may be other people involved, you might be dealing with mental health issues, regular health issues, or you might have suffered loss. You might have a cost to pay.

Through this, it’s important to keep an eternal perspective.

Yes, we have to deal with the results of our actions, but we don’t have to wear the shame as our label.

We can let go and grow!

Doesn’t that sound better than clinging to our past mistakes, and wallowing in our guilt?

Which response will cause us to be more effective for the Kingdom?

Life is certainly filled with hills and valleys and some people face more difficult times than others. These chapters are hard, but even in them we can serve the Lord.

The purpose of bringing God glory exists in all of our chapters, not just the easier ones.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness and into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

 

 

“Letting go” isn’t about forgetting all of our bad memories or ignoring what other people think about us.

It’s not even about feeling happy. It’s about letting go of our sin and guilt, experiencing the fullness of our salvation in Jesus Christ so that we might be fruitful. 

So how do you do this?

Well, I don’t have all of the answers for you, but I know a good place to start. Fill your heart and mind with scriptures that speak of the assurance of your salvation. The above scriptures are wonderful ones to meditate on and memorize if you are struggling to release your guilty past. 

Here is the truth, friend:

If you have accepted salvation in Jesus then God intends for you to live with joy and freedom.  Without Christ we were headed toward death, but with him we are forgiven of sins, made clean, and headed toward heaven!

So let go of your sin and guilt, and live in the light of your eternity!

 

 

 

**

If you have not received salvation in Jesus and you would like to know more about God’s life changing grace then please reach out to our Creating a Great Day team. It would be our privilege to talk about the Gospel with you. 🙂

 

Waiting on the Lord

Waiting on the Lord

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Vivid memories still linger from my childhood of those aching days before something exciting was going to take place. Perhaps it was spring break or a birthday. In my teen years it was summer camps.

Countless times I’d count down the days. Those periods of waiting might have felt unbearable at the time, but they were also exciting because I knew it would come to an end. The activity was marked on the calendar and I knew how long I’d have to wait.

Waiting on the Lord without a Set Date

Oh, but there are many times when what we desire isn’t marked on a schedule or calendar. Recently our 4 year old cashed in $5 worth of allowance quarters for a small Minnie Mouse doll- an item she’d spent months longing for.

Every time we went to the store she’d ask us if she had enough. We counted her money over and over, but without a clear concept of the value of money, she didn’t really understand. To her it felt endless. We were all weary from her waiting and it was a time of rejoicing when the wait came to an end.

Why Is It Taking So Long?

We can so relate to our children in their times of waiting, can’t we? Waiting is a life long experience in one way or another. Sadly, even as adults we don’t always handle it well.

I’ve had a particular request that I’ve been lifting to the Lord for years. At times I’ve been in such distress over it that I’ve found myself in doubt and anger.

“Where are you God? Why is this taking so long?”

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

The Opportunity in Waiting on the Lord

In the last year I’ve been challenged to consider my desires a little more closely. Could it be that God has withheld this good thing from me because he wanted me to draw closer to Him?

While I can’t know for certain the reasons for my situation, I can (and should) analyze the status of my heart. In the past, I’ve held this request as something that is of the upmost importance for my happiness and worthiness on this earth.

Through this time of waiting, I’ve grown closer to the Lord and found more of the happiness and worth that comes through Jesus. He’s given me comforts and answers in other areas. He has blessed me with the assurance of his presence in my daily life. In this time of waiting I have been able to more fully know the joy that comes from God alone.

God’s Faithfulness While We are Waiting

“Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, ‘The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the person who seeks him. It is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” –Lamentations 3:22-26 (CSB)

I’ve always loved this passage from Lamentations 3. It was written in the context of waiting for an earthly deliverance, but it is a reminder for all of us that God is merciful to us and that He is enough. Our joy today is that He offers us salvation through Jesus. We have an eternal deliverance from our sin, and the gift of His Spirit.

My Heart While I’m Waiting on the Lord

I will continue to offer up my request to the Lord. He knows my heart and He tells me I can bring my burdens to Him. I will not complain to Him though, as if he hasn’t already filled me with the greatest joy I could ever know. My happiness and worth do not depend on my unmet desires, my happiness and worth is set in Christ alone. “The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore I will hope in him.” (Lam. 3:24 KJV)

Encouragement for Your Heart

Are you waiting on the Lord in an area of your life?

Sweet one, I know that it is not easy. Waiting never is. I encourage you to draw yourself closer to the Lord when you are tempted to back away and doubt. Open your Bible and read it’s accounts. Start a prayer journal. Fill your soul with songs of praise. Feel His gentle whispers on the other pages of your heart.

What we long for we may never receive. May our true joy come not from our earthly circumstances but from our eternal destination. Praise Him, we are rescued!



Looking to Him

Looking to Him

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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Looking to Him in Our Shame

David is known as a man after God’s own heart, but if you study his life, it won’t take you long to realize that he wasn’t without blemish. While known for his courage, he also faced moments of fear. One of these times is recorded in 1 Samuel chapter 21.

“That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish, king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: ” ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.”

1 Samuel 21:10-13, emphasis mine

Afraid…David?

I’m a little taken when I read that David was afraid. Is this the same man who so confidently defeated Goliath? I can only imagine the embarrassment our strong and confident David felt after giving such a display. The Bible doesn’t really tell us that David felt shame over his actions. I have to wonder though, how would he have handled the situation if instead of fear, he’d felt as confident in the Lord as he did when the giant came down?

When the king saw his unsound state, he insisted that David leave. David fled to a cave. It is believed by scholars that at this time David wrote Psalm 34.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
Psalm 34:4-5

Their faces are never covered in shame. 

Shame

I wonder if David felt shame while drooling and scratching at the door. I wonder if he was looking back at his past actions and wishing he’d looked to the Lord in his fear. Be my thoughts inline with David’s thought process or not, I find comfort and direction in his psalm.

I so often feel ashamed with myself.

Ashamed for opportunities missed.

Ashamed for comments said or judgements made.

Ashamed for my idleness.

Ashamed for my shortcomings.

The shame is heavy and holds me down. In this pit, I’m only looking inward at what I can do. In this pit, I feel inadequate for kingdom work. In this pit, I’ve forget who I am in God.

Never Covered in Shame

I believe that David forgot who he was when he was faced with this fear. He forgot that God had chosen him to be king, that the battle was the Lord’s. But as he later says, those who look to him are radiant and their faces aren’t covered in shame!

Oh how, I love David’s declaration!

In Romans 8:1-2 Paul tells us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

When I look inwardly it’s no wonder that I feel insecure. When I focus on God, and what He’s done for me I don’t have to feel ashamed. I can move on and be empowered to take advantage of the opportunities He gives.

We must remember to look to Him and see that we’ve been forgiven, and that our flesh might be weak, but the spirit is powerful!

David was able to move on from his lowly encounter. He gave praise to God for delivering him and continued to seek God’s will. Yes, he would stumble, but David was a man of worship. He continued to look to God and seek His will. Oh, that we might do the same!

A Prayer Over Our Hearts

Father God,

We praise you for the mighty God that you are, and for delivering us from sin! In all circumstances, may we look to you. Draw us to your presence and help us to remember who we are in you. May our lives not be liven selfishly, but instead for your glory. Use us to advance your kingdom! 

In the Name of Jesus, 

Amen 

 

 

 

 

 

No Matter Your Defects, God Can Use You!

No Matter Your Defects, God Can Use You!

Kristin J

I am a girl who loves to sit with a cup of coffee and daydream. I am most passionate about Jesus, my family, and family ministry. My husband and I live in Oklahoma with our two precious daughters. I spend my days with my girls, discovering and growing alongside them! You can usually find us either in our sunroom, the park, or taking long walks through Target. :)
Kristin J

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“Oh, stink!”, I grumbled to myself as I pulled my wilted produce out of the refrigerator. I needed to make a batch of baby food, but I’d put it off too long and now my green beans, cauliflower, and zucchini were looking past their prime. I’m not sure if they would have even been sold in their condition if they were sitting on the shelf at the market.

I decided to go ahead and use them though. As I was snapping, and washing, and chopping, I couldn’t help but feel like those veggies- worn out and less than. Life had felt a little overwhelming and was only starting to spin faster. I was feeling guilty about all of the ways I wasn’t measuring up to my expectations.

The vegetables turned into a delicious puree that my baby loved. She didn’t know or care that the veggies didn’t look their best when I used them. Isn’t God able to use us in the same way? Couldn’t He still use me to be a loving and caring mother? Time and time again the Bible tells us of when God used someone who was “less than” do something great.

God Can Use You!

Just this morning I was reading about when God called Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites.

“But Lord,” Gideon asked, “How can i save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all of the Midianites together.”

(Judges 6:15-16)

For God’s Glory

God’s plan for Gideon was less about Gideon, and more about showing mercy to his children. Perhaps that’s why God likes to use the ones who feel like they don’t measure up. The truth is that all of us are blemished with sins and shortcomings. Even the strongest among us still need God. The arrogant ones take the credit, the humble ones know it’s only through God they can do great things.

Gideon’s story was centered around God’s glory. God wanted to make sure Israel would see that it was He who saved them. God sent home more and more men from their army so that Gideon had only 300 men with him to attack their enemy. God gave Israel their victory through Gideon, but make no mistake, it was the work of Lord not of man.

As a wife and mother I fall short in many ways, but I don’t want my story to be about me. Like Gideon, I want my story to be a reflection of God’s glory. With his help I can do great things, but not for the purpose of fulfilling my own superficial expectations. No, with his help, even though I am selfish I can offer life to my family in the way I tend to their needs and build our home. It is for the glory of his kingdom, not mine.

Take the pressure off of yourself to perform and decide to let God work in you. Let your story be about showing God’s grace and mercy to others. Let your story be about Him. Pray continually. Read the scriptures. Listen. Obey. Let him take you from wilted veggies to a yummy puree! No matter your defects, God can use you!

 

God Answered a Prayer that I Did Not Mean to Pray

God Answered a Prayer that I Did Not Mean to Pray

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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I sit here in awe of God, once again, as I remember how God answered a prayer that I did not mean to pray!

How He Answered a Prayer that I Did Not Mean to Pray

What actually happened was that my heart and body called out to God because I had no idea what we would do. For the first time in my life when finding out I was pregnant, my heart sank, I balled my eyes out, fell to my knees, and cried out to God:

Now? What are we going to do? God my husband still doesn’t have a job! I can’t handle another c-section. 

Please don’t misunderstand. I was not upset about the beautiful life growing inside me. It had just been a loooong 17 months. We had been taking care of my husband’s grandmother and my husband had not worked that whole time.

Not only that but not three weeks prior I had gotten rid of practically all of our baby items including clothes. So the things “we needed” we no longer had and there was no job available to provide for it.

And the c-section. That 4th c-section in conjunction with Diastasis Recti had taken so long to overcome that I did not want to have another one. I was told by my current OB/GYN that I could have up to 8 c-sections, but I knew there would be a price to pay for doing that.

God’s Gentle Reminder

In the midst of my ugly cry, I felt God say,

“Have I not taken care of you?”

That was enough to calm my spirit. God had definitely taken care of us for the year that we had been taking care of my husband’s grandmother. Actually, he had been taking care of us our whole lives!

So armed with that reminder, I dried my tears and asked God to help me trust Him.  Never realizing that he would answer something in that prayer that my heart longed for but my brain would no longer dare to ask.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:25-26

Two Weeks Later God’s Answers the 1st Part of My Prayer

Within two weeks, my husband had two job offers!  One was within two hours of where we lived and was my top choice. The other was in a place that I had been to decades before but sadly, all I could remember about it was counting the roadkill as we drove into town.

After visiting both cities with my husband and praying about them, I was overcome with another ugly cry.

Apparently, my 5th pregnancy was filled with lots of ugly crying!  Lol!

I knew in that moment that God wanted us in the city that was four and a half hours away and lined with roadkill!

God always has a plan. Sometimes we see some of the “whys” immediately and sometimes we do not.

Within a Month – Surprised with Gifts!

Upon learning that I was pregnant again, friends reached out to me and gifted our family baby items they no longer needed. From a car seat to a breast pump to clothes to cloth diapers to a jumper, all the basics that we needed were taken care of. Once again, God was reminding me that he would provide.

Every time I use one of the items gifted to us, I say a prayer of thanks to God and for those who shared their blessings with us.

Within 6 Months – The Prayer I Didn’t Mean to Pray Was Answered

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect God to work things out the way He did after we moved to Texas.

The quest for a doctor to deliver our precious daughter began. Within a few weeks, a hope began to rise that I never thought was possible. A midwife had told me about a doctor in Denton, TX that specialized in Vaginal Births After Cesareans (VBACS) after multiple c-sections!

God was answering the prayer for which my logical mind couldn’t even ask. I didn’t dare ask because I knew it was impossible. But God isn’t limited by the impossible!

No hospital in Oklahoma, that I knew of, would perform a VBAC after having 4 c-sections. Yet, here, in another state that God had sent us to, there was a man who was willing.

I sent my records over to this OB/GYN hoping and praying that he would accept me as his patient.

At 35 weeks, with eagerness and cautiousness, I saw Dr. Cummings for the first time. After discussing in depth with him my desire, past medical history, and my understanding of the complications, he agreed to allow me to not only be his patient but to have a natural birth. I was going to get my VBAC4!

I must stop here and explain before continuing. 

It was my greatest desire from my first pregnancy to have a natural birth. I know c-sections are needed in some cases, but after having so many, I have to admit that it takes a toll on the body. It is major surgery. Our bodies were not made to be cut open again and again and again and again.

Every time, recovery was a little harder. Every time, my longing to be able to have a child the way God intended grew, but with every c-section my hope faded away until God made it happen! 

God Made It Happen

On June 16, 2017, our family welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family. We would have rejoiced even if I had another c-section, but we were in awe of God rose up a doctor who loved him and believed with all his heart that God made women’s bodies to give birth.

He was humble and trusted God through the whole process and clearly stated this when I asked him,

“Why? Why do you choose to do this when other doctors won’t?”

His answer was simple. He said,

“I’m a believer. And I believe God made women’s bodies to birth babies. I’m just here to help them along.”

Now, I have a bold new prayer!

I pray that God will raise up more OB/GYNs like Dr. Cummings. He is one man. He cannot do it all and there are many of us, who know our bodies can deliver a child the way God intended, even after having a c-section. We want the chance to have a natural birth. We want hospitals to allow this to happen. And so I pray with all my heart that other doctors will trust God the way Dr. Cummings has trusted God. I pray that with a humble spirit they will be willing to wait for a woman’s body to give birth, encourage the mother to wait for God’s perfect timing in when their child should enter the world, and be ready to step in when it’s necessary.

Being able to have a VBAC4 was a redemptive experience for me. It allowed me to grow closer to God in ways I didn’t realize and brought a new understanding to light, but that is another post.

For now, I’ll just continue to be in awe of how God takes care of each one of us!

 

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Romans 12:12 {My Favorite Verse}

Candace B

I am a proud wife and Mother! My hubby, Tyler, and I both attended Oklahoma Christian where our love grew! We got married, had two beautiful kiddos, our son Gunner and daughter Brooklyn, and we are living a truly blessed life! I am a Kindergarten teacher in the great state of Texas and most importantly a Christian. I strive daily to keep God #1 because he is the reason I have all the amazing blessings, I give him all the praise!
Candace B

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My Favorite Verse

Romans 12:12 (NIV) “Rejoice in hope, [be] patient in affliction, [be] faithful in prayer.” 

I think that as I have grown there have been different verses that “speak” to me or become my favorite verse. When I first became a Christian at twelve, I loved John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

I still enjoy this verse. There is something about it that speaks to the world and most people know this verse…which is AWESOME!

I believe there are times that you read the Bible and God speaks to you. Verses that you have read before suddenly have a whole new meaning. We know that God shows us these in times of need, or to get us prepared for something, or to show us someone we can bless with God’s love.

Romans 12:12 has been my favorite verse for about six years now. It reminds me, quite simply, what to focus on and to show Christ in ALL I say and do.

Rejoice in hope:

Hope is something wonderful to have in anything you do! I have been known as the eternal optimist, and I love that. Most importantly I have hope that stems from the life I live in Christ. I have hope, no matter what the cost, no matter how good or bad the situation is. As long as I have hope and faith in God, He will take care of whatever it may be.

Patient in affliction:

I don’t know about you, but this is something I have to pray for daily because I seem to never have enough! Kids, marriage, LIFE, there are so many stresses that require a constant need of patience. This portion of the verse is very powerful, because it shows me that I can show God’s love by being patient.  By being patient, it shows others that I am different, that I am set apart. Christ is shining through me.

Faithful in Prayer:

This should bring it home for all of us. How is your prayer life? I try my best to not only pray daily but have a constant communication with God because this is how we strengthen our relationship with God. How do you strengthen any relationship you have? As a wife, mother, and friend, I make a point to be a part of their life. I have communication with them on a daily basis to show that I love and care for that person.

My husband and I encourage our kids to pray for the sick, the good and bad situations, and also to pray for things that they might be struggling with, such as talking back or throwing a fit when they don’t get their way. When we bring it before God, we are putting our full faith in him that he will help us in whatever we need.

Contributing to the Needs of the Saints

Verse thirteen concludes by adding that Christians should be “contributing to the needs of the saints, [and] practicing hospitality.” I love that this verse solidifies what we have focused on. By focusing on others’ needs and showing love and care to everyone we encounter, we are given daily opportunities to demonstrate how we rejoice in hope, have patience in trials, and are faithful in prayer.

What a wonderful world it would be if we would facilitate love, patience, and hospitality to all we know! Let’s be prayerful and focus on these words that God has gracefully given to us and simply show more of God’s love to all we see.

We want to hear from you!  Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

 

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