A Decade Ago by Bombi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was 29. I had just one child and she was only 5 years old. I was living out my last years as a resident of Arizona. I was in a much different place mentally, physically, spiritually, and I can tell you I was a mess. I remember not believing in myself. I didn’t believe that I could be strong or beautiful or fully capable of living out life. I was struggling to be a good mom to Avery and juggling so many bad habits and hang ups that it exhausts me to even recall it. I was drowning in a sea of anxiety, stress, drama, and depression. My body and mind were so weak, my spirit was broken, and my faith was barely there. Friends and family would try to speak life into me, but I thought they were trying to pity me or be nice. I was in a place I never planned on being and I hated it.

A decade ago God had me in His hands. He had me covered so well, yet I couldn’t fully see it. God was providing the strength and all that I needed to make it through, but I couldn’t fully grasp it. A lot can happen in 10 years, like living in a place I never knew I would, or now having the son I longed for, and an amazing husband who knows what, “I love you,” truly means. He shows it to me everyday. I can now look in the mirror and accept the woman looking back with gratitude. 10 years ago I never planned on even being able to look back on anything. But humbly, here I am, and I love it.

I don’t know where you are in your life. You could be living out a bad year or a bad decade yourself. But when you’ve dedicated your life to God and surrendered to Him, then your life is in His hands. It might not look like He’s in control, but He more than is. It might look like you don’t have a place to call home, or a friend to call upon, or a promise to even pray for, but God has you in His hands. You might look in the mirror and feel shame because you see a person that you don’t know anymore and it scares you. But God is growing you. He’s pruning you. He’s watching you, He’s keeping you. He knows exactly where you will be 10, 20, 30 years from now. He knows what time it is, even if you can’t even tell what life season you’re in. He’s ever loving and interceding for you with a love so powerful that nothing and I mean NO THING can separate you from. You might not even love yourself yet, but His love will fully persuade you that you are more than your habits, hang-ups, and circumstances. You’re so much more, because through His love, you’ll find that you are even more than a conqueror.

Romans 8:37-39 (NKJV)

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Grace by Kenika

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Whenever we do everything right, make all the right decisions, and take all the proper steps to do anything in life, our expectation is that all will work out perfectly.  If you stay in school and study hard, you expect to get good grades and graduate. If you show up to work every day, punch in and punch out, and do all of your work, you get a paycheck at the end of the pay period.  If you are kind to others typically you will receive kindness in return.  These are simple principles that anyone can follow, and there are also biblical principles to be followed as well. Give and it’s guaranteed that you will receive.  Make yourself friendly, and you will have friends.  Obey the commandments of God, and you will be blessed.  Sounds simple enough right?  However, I’ve found that there can be a certain level of pride and self-righteousness that comes along with doing everything just right.  At some point we can start to think that we are the ones that cause great things to happen to us based on our good deeds.  We can easily look back at our accomplishments and pat ourselves on the back.

So crossing all of our “t’s” and dotting all of our “i’s” will probably get us a pretty good life, but more likely than not we would end up depending on ourselves and not God.  There is an element to life and salvation in Christ that is a complete and total game changer.  That element is grace.   Grace kicks in for the many times that we do not get things right, for those moments and instances where we feel like we’ve done everything wrong.  Maybe we haven’t done everything wrong, but deep down we know we’ve done something wrong or at the very least we haven’t done everything right.  Grace is a gift given to us by a loving God. A God who knew that no matter how hard we tried, we could not get everything right. We were born with a nature to do the opposite of what is right, and He knew that we would need help.  If doing the right thing has the propensity to produce pride, doing the wrong thing has the ability to produce shame.  Grace takes the shameful part of our incorrect actions and gives us what we know we do not deserve.  There is nothing more humbling than having God…or anyone for that matter…continue to be good to you, even when you are not good to Him.  Grace is mysterious, all consuming, healing, encouraging and powerful.  Grace at its highest expression has a beautiful way of taking all of our wrongs and making them right.

 

Photo Credit:  Dreamstime