Lately I’ve been thinking about how far I’ve come on this journey to wholeness and freedom.
I received Christ as my Savior in 1977 on a day when I felt hopeless about life. Steve and I had been married only two years, and yet it seemed our marriage and our love could not survive.
That day Steve asked me a question. “Can’t Jesus save this marriage?”
I said “yes” to that question and to Jesus’ invitation to let Him come into my heart and life.
As I’ve continued saying “Yes” to Jesus, He has healed my hurts, helped me forgive those who have wounded me, and given me a desire to be all I was created to be. Even though we’ve been through tough times, our marriage is more than I ever dreamed it could be.
It was at the Growth in Faith women’s retreat recently that I reflected on what a different person I am from the insecure, depressed woman I was years ago when I attended my first Christian women’s retreat.
At this year’s retreat, the speaker, Sheri Rose Shepherd, talked about how much God loves us–that He is our King and we women (and little girls) are His princesses.
In years past, I could not grasp this concept. I felt unloved, unlovely, and often overwhelmed by unhappiness. I felt unworthy of God’s love.
But over the years God has convinced me He cherishes me. And as I have become willing to receive, He has lavished His love on me.
“Let God love you, so you can love others,” Sheri Rose urged at the retreat. I have finally been able to do that, and it seems to be a key to living a fulfilling life.
She also said, “If you are the author of your life, you won’t be happy, but if God is the author of your life, and He is writing your story, you will be happy.”
Too often I have tried to make things right in my life–often by trying hard to change people–so I can be happy. It doesn’t work. All I really need to do is to stay right with God and let Him keep working in me and through me. Amazing things have happened as I do this.
I’ve discovered the key to true happiness is trusting God. Proverbs 16:20 puts it this way:
And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.
Some days I feel like I’m not making the progess in the matter of trusting I should. Often I feel I’m slipping backward.
But the promise I hold onto is this:
he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:6
God, give me the grace to continue to cooperate with the “good work” You are doing in me.
What about you? Are you celebrating how far you’ve come? Or are you on the wrong path–a path that leads away from God? Believe that no matter where you’ve been and no matter what you’ve done, God wants to do a good work in you. Draw near and let Him lavish His love on you. Then be amazed.