Thoughts From the Mom Who Needs Grace

Thoughts From the Mom Who Needs Grace

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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Thoughts from the Mom Who Needs Grace

It was a normal day at home with my girls. Things were getting a little chaotic and needed to change. Instead of stomping my foot and insisting a different mood, I choose to cultivate one. So I ask, “Would you girls like to help me bake some muffins?”

With holiday tunes humming, and the afternoon light shinning down on our kitchen counter we made cranberry orange muffins.

You pour the scoop, sister goes next. Will you help me stir? Keep the whisk in the bowl!”

We cheerfully made our muffins and I sent the girls on their way while I cleaned things up. 

“It’s so nice when I take time to draw close to my girls instead of griping at them,

I thought to myself.

God’s Grace in Our Chaos

When Adam and Eve were hiding after their sin, God came to them. When his people were miserably missing the point of their relationship with God, God didn’t stomp his foot, shouting “You’d better get your act together or you’re getting a spanking.” No, he came down to Earth through Christ, and he poured out unstoppable love. He draws us to him through the chaos. 

Psalm 18:16-19 is one of my favorite passages.

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” 

Our Families Need Grace

As I was pondering these things, a blog post was starting to form in my mind. Then suddenly my attention shifted to the cries I heard from the other room.

One of my daughters had intentionally hurt the other one. With grinding teeth, I sent one to her room, and fetched an ice pack for the other. I felt tears well up in my own eyes as I cradled my girl. 

“Who am I to write about parenting? I’m such a failure,” I thought.

A little later I shared my experience with a sweet friend. She reminded me about a lot of good things including the enemy’s tricks — the way he derails us from the good we want to do. She told me to write the post anyway.

So here I am. 

The Grace We All Need

It just so happened that my advent study on this particular day was about Rahab. In Joshua 2, we can read about a prostitute in Jericho who hid two Jewish spies and helped them exit the city safely.

She was not a woman of God, but she choose to protect these men, and that’s not all. She choose to believe in God. She and her family are then saved, and as we know she became the great-grandmother to King David, the family line leading to Jesus. Her brave actions inducted her into what many consider the “Hall of Faith”.

“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”

Hebrews 11:31

Who was Rahab to be used in such a way? 

Ann Voskamp’s words about Rahab in her book, “The Greatest Gift” left an imprint on my heart that day. 

Rahab, in a godless place with a godless past, believes fully- and so lives fully. She’s steps out not in competence but in faith… Great faith is the greatest equalizer, the greatest eraser, and the greatest definer… No personal choice that muddies your life can ever trump the divine choice to wash your life clean. No situation is more hopeless than your Savior is graceful.” 

Grace Doesn’t Compare

I don’t need to compare myself to others, feeling greater or less than. We are all in desperate need of God’s grace. 

Of course, the good news isn’t that we are all sinners. The good news is that we have a way out. 

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  

Acts 2:38

Praise Him! 

So I reminded myself once again, that I don’t have to be perfect. He is the perfect one. I am the one saved by his grace. My girls won’t be perfect either. They need his grace too. 

Who am I?

I am the one to whom God entrusted these two sweet babes. I am the one who can be the giver of his grace. It may get chaotic, but I can go to them still. I can find them, and pour out my love over them. 

So once the “talkings” were had, the consequences laid out, and the tears wiped away, I gathered them close. We curled on the couch a read some stories.

Our favorite, The Little Drummer Boy, reminded us that even when we feel we have little to give we can always offer praise. With holiday music humming in the background, and the glowing of the tree shining on us, I knew that I was giving my best to him in that moment. 

Living Our Faith

Rahab didn’t need competence to save those men, she needed faith. The Bible is filled with many more who did great tasks they weren’t qualified for. God did the work. They believed he would. 

So here I am. I’m not a perfect parent, but I serve a perfect God. He has called me to do great work. Right now, that great work is raising my daughters. It’s the greatest work he’s called me to yet.

I don’t feel qualified. Oh, every day I don’t feel enough. That’s okay. He is enough. He will do the awesome part, and I will have faith. Glory to God in the highest! 

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” 

James 4:8

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Father God,

Oh, help us! The task of raising our children is not an easy one. We love our children in a deep, maddening sort of way. As we look on them and realize that you look on us in a similar way our hearts are softened.

How great is your love, O Lord?!

It’s both a question and a declaration because we can’t comprehend! Thank you for your grace. Work through us and help us to tenderly show your grace to our children. May we offer to them an expression of your love. May our faith be great! Lord, you are the Holy One! 

In the name of Jesus, Amen 

Are You Willing to Be Humiliated?

Are You Willing to Be Humiliated?

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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Are you willing to be humiliated? As the kids and I read through Isaiah 20, this was one of the main questions that came to mind.

Are you willing to be Humiliated?

What would be the most humiliating thing you can think of that God might ask you to do?

In my wildest dreams I would not have thought God would ask this of anyone, but as I read it out loud to my kids, I realized that what God asks us to do is often for the benefit of others and can put us in an earthly humiliating position.

How was Isaiah Humilated?

[God] said to [Isaiah], “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.”

And [Isaiah] did so, going around stripped and barefoot.

Then the LORD said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exciles, young and old, with buttocks bared – to Egypt’s shame.

Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame. In that day people who live on the on this coast will say, “See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!

How then can we escape?”

Isaiah 20:2-6

3 years of Nakedness? Really?

I’ve been to topless beaches in Europe, where I kept my suit on, and even then I couldn’t fathom being uncovered.

But without hesitation Isaiah took of his shoes and his clothes. Yes, it was sackcloth, and I’m sure he was relieved to not be wearing that itchy, old, uncomfortable piece of clothing, but naked for 3 years!

Isaiah exchanged his sackcloth for nothing that would protect him from the sun, insects, or the chapping wind!

For 3 years, he boldly walked in what others would consider humiliation. This was surely a sign that did not go unnoticed by the population of people he passed by.

Although he may have seemed like the emperor with no clothes, he knew he didn’t have any clothes. However, he had a calling and his crown is definitely waiting for him in heaven. He obeyed even in the midst of earthly humiliation.

Will we be as willing?

Will we be as willing as Isaiah to go through with what God asks us to do?

I pray so, if it comes to that. If so, then we truly will be following in Jesus’ steps as earthly humiliation followed him being beaten and nailed to the cross.

“Remember what I told you:

‘A servant is not greater than his master.’

If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey your also.

– Jesus, John 15:20

Humble ourselves to God

Although, I do believe that God won’t call many followers to replicate Isaiah’s physical act of obedience in order to warn others, I do believe God expects us to humble ourselves to Him every day.

For the Sake of Others

Most definitely, Isaiah streaked across the countryside not in fun as a college student who is trying to get into a fraternity but as a man of God who was trying to turn the attention of others back to their Creator and true Savior.

You see, what was happening was any time God’s people were in trouble or scared, they would run to others instead of running to the only One who has ever truly delivered them, the LORD.

Who Do We Run to In Times of Trouble?

This is a question that we must ask ourselves. Because if we don’t have the courage to ask this question, we stand to be humiliated but not by choice.

Isaiah made the choice to humiliate himself to the world by humbling himself to God.

If we choose to not humble ourselves to God and put our trust in others, we will be humiliated for all the world to see. It may happen in this physical life or it may be the ultimate humiliation that leads to damnation and destruction in the next.

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, you suffered the ultimate humiliation for us on the cross. Physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, you sacrificed your whole self to save us!

Lord, we pray we will lean into your courage and strength and trust you above anyone else on earth. May we hold your opinion and your truth in it’s rightful place and seek your approval over the approval of man.

In Jesus’ powerful name we pray – Amen!

Flash Flood of the Spirit

Flash Flood of the Spirit

Jayne M

Jayne Michener has been married for over twenty years to a "son of thunder" and is mother to two adolescent daughters, one delightfully immersed in nature and another humorous, artistic girl who is devoted to cats.The better days are spent developing Christian culture and character with the educational principles of Charlotte Mason in mind.The worse days are spent with lightly held sanity, tightly gripped coffee, and semi-vocalized prayer.She is on a journey depending on the Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth, whether unseen spiritual realms or earthly ventures, such as education, healing arts, nutrition, neuroscience, and art.Oh, and her children would be horrified if she did not mention that they live with two cats, Blacksmith and Beauty.
Jayne M

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Flash Flood of the Spirit

Like the rising flood waters of Noah’s time, water rises again and again as a prominent character in the epic biblical tale. 

The Role of Water

In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, the water teemed with living creatures, streams came and watered the ground and the garden.  Later, water swallows the Egyptians as liquid walls rush into a torrent of destruction, saving the Hebrew people.  Then, water gushes from a rock when Moses strikes it in anger.  Elijah’s jars of water, poured out in the legendary contest between the Lord and Baal, prepared the way for the Spirit’s fire, a prophetic act.  Naaman’s leprosy was cleansed by the wet hand of the Jordan. 

In these instances, we see water involved in creation, destruction, preparation, and restoration.

Flood Waters in the New Testament

The New Testament opens with a Hebrew hippie bursting onto the scene, eating organic bugs with a side of honey and sporting leather-belted camelhair.  This second Elijah baptizes with water and prepares the way for the Lord. Then Jesus opens his ministry with a little water to wine transformation. In the background of these scenes we see the Jordan river, the Sea of Galilee, the Pool of Bethesda, and more. 

The action comes to a climax when Jesus offers access to the highest water feature of all—living water that wells up to eternal life, vanquishing death like a haughty Egyptian and quenching thirst forevermore:

On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out,

“If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink!  The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” He said this about the Spirit.  Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been received because Jesus had not yet been glorified. (John 7:37-39)

Intimate Acquaintance with Water

While some have experiences with more exotic bodies of water such as the Amazon or the Nile, my most intimate acquaintance with water is a charming neighborhood pond within sight of our home.  This unobtrusive little pond is framed by tall families of cottonwood trees hung with oriole nests, while gossiping cattails fuss over bullfrog tadpoles and adorable turtle hatchlings. Baby ducks paddle close to their mothers, peeping their tender dependence, while turtles crawl onto floating tree branches to fully stretch legs and necks in the buttery warmth of the sun.  This is living water. 

Holy Power of Water

Earlier this year, Oklahoma’s spring storms highlighted the trinitarian nature of water, from the moody clouds and torrential rain, to the misshapen globes of hail. 

A shallow creek flows into our duck pond, but when heavy rains come, we witness the vigorous power and intense energy of water. What is benign in a drop, and refreshing in a shower, suddenly has the power to completely reconstruct a landscape when it grows to violent rapids.  We witnessed a heavy railroad tie that had been grounded for several seasons in a muddy marsh be lifted with ease by the deluge and go sailing off to distant lands unknown.* 

And this is what water does when it moves.  It transforms with ease what is arduous or impossible with human strength.

A Cleansing Flash Flood of the Spirit

Without the cleansing rains, however, pools of water can become stagnant, rank and putrid, emitting noxious odors and growing harmful microorganisms. 

Similarly, without the cleansing of the Spirit, people can become toxic bogs, filled with such parasitic organisms as jealousy and resentment, or contaminants such as hidden sins, shame, fear, or even unrelenting sorrow.  Whether it is willful sins or innocent wounds, long-standing, death-filled pools cannot be flushed clean with a drop of water here or a touch on the tongue there. Water’s strength to transform is found in vigorous torrents.  We need a flash flood of the Spirit to lift dead material from the depths of our souls.

The Power of “Living Water”

Jesus said that those who believed in him would have, “streams of living water flow from deep within him.”  And deep within is just where we need these streams to flow, in order to reach those places that may be obscured even from our own eyes, but are dripping with pernicious poisons, nonetheless. 

Jesus also clarified his figurative language, explaining that the streams of living water were the Spirit, which Jesus later poured out at Pentecost (Acts 2:33). Peter then preached that those who repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins would receive the Holy Spirit.  Later, the apostle Paul said that we were redeemed through Jesus so we might receive by faith the promise of the Spirit (Galatians 3:14).  

Continual Cleansing

Although our repentant faith in Jesus results in immediate forgiveness of sin, the work of cleansing and transformation is an ongoing work of the Spirit. 

Unfortunately, many of us, even having received the Spirit through faith and baptism, still build dams and close the floodgates. We receive the Spirit, but we are still thirsty. 

Apparently, the Spirit’s flow is released like a spigot, and we are not supposed to turn off the faucet. As Paul admonished, “Do not quench the Spirit,” (1Thes. 5:19) and “be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

The process that removes the sludge of the soul seems simple. 

The outpouring of the Spirit is a natural consequence of faith, repentance, and baptism, but the continued flowing of the Spirit is a matter of choosing to turn on the faucet, or if we really want to move some gunk out of our souls, then opening the floodgates. 

Ultimately, God honors our choices. We can choose either to quench the Spirit or to be filled with the Spirit.

This much is certain: no soil is richer than that deposited by floodwaters, and once the Spirit has flooded the soul, it leaves rich, fertile soil—ideal for planting the seed of the Spirit.  The resulting fruit of the Spirit is recognizable and sweet: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23.)

*This was written before we saw whole houses swept away on the Cimarron River.  That’s the power of water!

Be Challenged & Encouraged with these posts…

Is My Dedication Really to Christ?

The Sparkle Box: A Christmas Tradition

When Prayer Doesn’t Come Easy

 

 

A Race We Can Never Win

A Race We Can Never Win

Pam J

Hi! I grew up on a farm in Kansas but moved to Oklahoma when I got married and have been a city girl ever since. I’ve been married for 36 years to a generous, loving, hardworking Christian man (who is currently an elder in our congregation), and we have been blessed with 2 children, a son and daughter. Both are married, and our son has 2 little girls (so much fun being a grandmother!). I enjoy running, hiking, reading, playing the piano, and singing. I’m passionate about my family, personal spiritual growth, teaching God’s word, mentoring, and serving others.
Pam J

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Comparing ourselves to someone else is a race we can never win.

We will always lose – we lose relationships, we lose contentment, we lose the ability to see anything good in our lives, we lose spiritually, and we lose emotionally.

How do we feel when someone else has an ability, a characteristic, or material goods that we want? When does that wanting turn into jealousy?

Envy – Jealousy – Coveting

“Envy/jealousy/coveting is best defined as a tendency to hate other people for having what we want. Envy says, ‘What is inside me is bad. What is outside me is good. I hate anyone who has something I desire.’” (from “Safe People” by Drs. Cloud and Townsend).

Envy can taint our thinking so much that the loving and generous people in our lives become the “bad guys”. We end up hating people who are really good to us, good for us, and who love us.

How twisted is that?

Those who want the best for us become our enemies because of the extreme jealousy we have over their abilities.

Jealousy Destroys

Comparing ourselves to others and wanting what they have will result in jealousy. Jealousy kills relationships, and it destroys us.

This truth is evident in the relationship between King Saul and David. David is just a young shepherd boy when he’s sent to the Israelite camp to bring supplies to his brothers. When he arrives, he sees Goliath, the Philistine giant, taunting the terrified Israelite army. David takes his sling and a bag of rocks and kills Goliath, crediting God for his victory. David becomes a war hero, and Saul eventually puts him in charge of his soldiers. They have a good relationship.

Then in I Samuel 18:6-9, that relationship changes because of Saul’s jealousy. The Israelite army comes home from war, and the people are crediting David as a greater warrior than Saul.

After that time, Saul saw David through this fog of jealousy, and he was never able to shake those feelings. He’d try to kill David, then he’d be sorry, then he’d get jealous again and try to kill him. His jealousy started as a tiny seed and grew until it defined his entire life. David could have been Saul’s greatest friend and trusted general, but instead Saul allowed his jealousy to see David as a threat and an obsession.

Glorify God with Your Gifts

God has made us all unique, and gifted us with abilities for us to use, for His glory, not ours. Isaiah 43:7 tells us we were created to glorify God:

…“everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”

We need to use the abilities God has given us and do them as best as we can. We can fine-tune what we are good at and keep learning something new (we might be really good at that, too), because we are each individually filling in a gap that someone else can’t do.

We need to look at other’s abilities and rejoice that their skills are glorifying God in ways that we can’t do.

What do we do when we have jealous feelings?

 

Pray about it and stop feeding those jealous thoughts.

Self-control over our thoughts is possible. We don’t have to entertain thoughts of jealousy, we can yell “stop” in our heads (or out loud!) and do something else. By entertaining jealous thoughts, it’s like we invite them in, give them a coke and some popcorn, and put them in the guest room. They will never want to leave!

We need to run the race we can win.

We need to do what we can do for God’s glory, to the best of our abilities, and let others do their best for God’s glory. In this way, God’s family is being built up, and we achieve the purpose that God has set out for us.

More Encouraging Posts

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No Longer a  Fly By Friend

No Longer a Fly By Friend

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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Have you ever labeled yourself in such a way as to isolate your feelings? I did that when I labeled myself a “Fly By Friend,” but I have decided to call myself that no longer.

What is a “Fly By Friend”?

I dubbed myself this after realizing I had a tendency to gravitate to those who seemed to really need a friend or felt left out in some form or fashion and then would fly off as soon as they found someone else. It may sound silly, but in a child’s mind, even in an adult’s mind, we find ways of coping, when we have relationships that are no longer close like they once were.

So I dubbed myself a “Fly by Friend” and I honestly didn’t mind being one at all. I love being able to be there for people, to encourage them, and motivate them on their journey. And although I may have wished for the relationship to last longer, I knew it served a good purpose in their lives and I was content with that.

I understood that each person came into my life for a purpose, even if only for a time, so I didn’t mind only being there for the time they needed that encouragement.

A part of me, held onto this identity because then it was easier to encourage the person to fly onto their next growth phase and not be hurt or offended when we weren’t as close as before.

No Longer a Fly By Friend!

As I was speaking to my husband today, I realized that I hadn’t thought of myself as a Fly by Friend in a long time. I am no longer a Fly by Friend!

And you know what I realized…I have more deeper relationships now than I had before!

I had begun to pray a part of Psalm 68:6 over myself and my family.

Lord, we trust you wherever you take us. We know “you set the lonely in families” and so we pray you will bring us to those who will be like our family wherever we go. In Jesus’ holy name – Amen!

I was ready to receive deep friendships and God provided them!

Yes, there are still people that will only be in our lives for a certain time, but now I’m ready for these deeper relationships and I realize that I wasn’t completely ready for them before.

Watch What We Speak

What we speak to ourselves or others becomes our truth, whether it should be a truth or not. This is not to say there isn’t an absolute truth! No, God proclaims absolute truths.

It is to say that what we think and say becomes our reality often times. This is one of the reasons why I believe God tells us to guard our hearts.

Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
– Proverbs 4:23-26

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
– 2 Corinthians 10:5

Capturing My Thoughts

When I believed I was a “Fly by Friend,” that is exactly how my relationships looked.

But in not identifying with that idea for the past several years, I have been ready (mentally, physically, and emotionally) to have deeper, long lasting relationships.

And you know what?

God, has answered my prayers! And in his mercy, He is teaching me how to be a better friend to those I have the blessing of calling friends and family!

Question to Prayerfully Ponder

Have you ever labeled yourself in such a way to isolate your feelings?

Is there something in your life you would like changed?


Consider how you are talking to yourself about that area of your life and then take those thoughts to God in prayer.

Prayer Over Our Hearts

Lord, you are holy and awesome and beyond compare. You teach us the meaning of true friendship. You do not force us to love you. Freely, you gift us your friendship and allow us to choose how we engage or disengage from you.

You encourage us to love and be friends to others as you have been with us. As you have walked with many physically and spiritually, you know the heartaches and the blessings that can come with befriending others.

May we not allow our fears to keep us at arms length from others, but trust that you have a purpose for each interaction.

May we seek your guidance as to whom we allow to walk closely with us so that these close friendships would encourage our faith and not steer us away from you. We pray that as we walk with others that we would bolster their faith in you too!

Lord, we trust you wherever you take us. We know “you set the lonely in families” and so we pray you will bring us to those who will be like our family wherever we go.

In Jesus’ Holy Name – Amen

Be Encouraged by these Posts as well…

Souls Informed by Truth

Trees are the Answer: Questioning Adversity

Let Me Live That I May Praise You


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!

 

 

 

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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. 🙂

 

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