I know what it feels like to try an outrun your own thoughts. Your own guilt and shame.
It feels hopeless. And it makes us desperate.
Desperate for anything that will silence the noise or at the least… something that’s louder than the noise.
We shut our eyes tight in the dark when the memories won’t let us sleep. And we struggle in how we show up for life.
Because, sometimes.we don’t show up at all. We hide out in the corner afraid that if we bring attention to ourselves everyone will see how dirty we are.
Or we show up guns blazing. Hoping that maybe if we’re good enough now they’ll forget who we were then.
The problem is though… we can’t forget. And we can’t forgive.
The guilt’s too heavy so we blame others for our mistakes. Maybe if they can carry some of this for us, it won’t be so hard. If our parents would have been better or our spouse would have been kinder. If our friends were loyal or our kids better behaved.
We play the victim because victims have no power. And if we have no power then we can’t possibly be responsible for the decisions that we’ve made.
I know… those aren’t the words we want to hear. The words we want to hear are: You were right. It’s not your fault. You couldn’t help it. I don’t blame you…
But those words… those words that are meant to just tickle our ears… they may feel good. But they don’t bring good.
Those are the words that make it easier for us to stay right in the middle of the big messes that we’ve made. And honestly, easier to just keep making a bigger mess.
Those are the words we hear on dead end roads.
Understand this… the enemy can use your past in two ways. He can try and crush you underneath the accusations and reminders of just how fallen you are. Or he can try to convince you that you haven’t really done anything wrong. And if you did, it was completely justifiable.
But here’s the truth. The only way our pasts are justified is through the blood of Jesus. On the scales of righteousness, we all lose. If we’re standing there alone.
I know the truth can be painful. But the truth is much like the Law. It’s here to show us our absolute failure to do anything at all to save ourselves.
Can’t you see? Every single thing you’ve ever done… you messed up as a daughter, as a mother, a wife, a friend, an employee… and every single one of those mistakes HE CAN REDEEM.
All of those mistakes, He’s got a plan for them. For you. Because most often it’s when we look with honest and open eyes that we find our purpose.
He loves you. I wish I could look you in the eyes right now. I wish you could hear my voice as I say it again. He loves you. Just as you are.
Sure, He has some things He wants to heal, some things He wants to grow and some things He wants to weed. But He’s not changing you so that He can love you. He’s changing you because He does love you!
He loves you!
I don’t care if you’re the daughter that’s disappointed her family. (I’ve been there.)
Or the mom who has messed up big time with her kids. (I’ve been there too.)
Maybe you’ve been the wife that left. (Yep, I’m still with you.)
Or you broke promises and confidences with friends. (Me too.)
And maybe you’ve got more you want to add to the pile. Good. I do too.
While we’re piling it up, though, how about we leave it there? Leave it there at the feet of the Carpenter. The One who can take all our broken pieces and make a masterpiece from them.
Things won’t be perfect. In the here and now, there may still be some consequences for those mistakes we’ve made. But that’s OK… because He’s in those too.
Tonight, when you put your head down on your pillow, don’t be afraid of those thoughts and memories when they come. Instead take each one of them and hand it straight to Christ. The only One who can take them and bend them… mold them into praises to Himself.
And if they come faster than you can catch them. Here’s a prayer for you. Just close your eyes, get on your knees and open your hands to the only One who can take the bad and give the good. And say these words out loud. Over and over again until His peace has covered your heart.
Jesus, I don’t know how I got here. Here, that seems so far off track. And Jesus, I can’t even hold my head up under the weight of all I’ve done. My mistakes and my sins. They are too heavy for me to hold. I want to hide Lord. To hide from these things, to hide from myself, and to hide from You. But I know that Your Word says that I am more than a conqueror in Christ. That You are making all things new, including me. That You are working all things for the good of those who love You. Teach me to love You. Use all of these ugly things for Your purpose and Your plan. You are so good. And all Your ways are good. Thank you, Lord that even though I can’t see it now, this is the beginning of something new. Thank you that each of these things that threatened to take me down will, through Your blood, be used to bring You glory. In Your precious and Holy Name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.