Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-15
Oh Lord. I am ever thankful that the wisdom written all throughout the Bible. The promise of a fresh start has been so life-giving to me.
Oh yes, I admit my past failures. But it’s nice to know I don’t have to keep looking back. God wants me to move forward.
For a time in my life I hid one particular past failure. Why? Perhaps it was fear of man. For sure it was pride.
Shortly after I graduated from college I married the man I had dated off and on for five years. (The off and on pattern should have been a clue but I ignored it.) We had a huge wedding. I sewed almost all of the thirteen bridesmaid/flower girl dresses. It was quite a production.
But this beautiful fairy tale wedding ended six months later in a painful annulment. Both of us had deeply hurt the other in our selfishness and pride.
We sought the council of priests and friends but in the end I made up my mind it would never work. My heart had wandered away and I did not want to turn back.
This was one of the most difficult seasons of my past. I moved to Dallas, TX to start over.
But I told no one in my new home about my failed marriage. I was too embarrassed (or prideful) to tell the truth. I wanted my new friends and coworkers to like me. I thought they would think less of me if I told the truth about my failed marriage. I was full of pride.
Because of the guilt and shame I worked hard to somehow make it up to God by volunteering in the Sunday school class room and going to Mass several times a week. I went through the long process of obtaining an annulment in the Catholic Church. I worked hard at looking good. It didn't suit me well. It was ugly.
Oh how the enemy loves it when we choose this way over the truth. This cover up left me in bondage for years.
So God wants us to give it all to him and receive His forgiveness without looking back.
I’m so thankful that He has given me another start through Christ’s life and the forgiveness offered by His Grace. It is powerful. It is life changing.
If you need another start, I hope you will come clean with God and move forward. If you need to talk to someone about your situation please feel free to email me so I can encourage you in your walk.
I'd love to help you find a new start where mercy and forgiveness runs deep.
God Bless Your Heart,
The idea for this blog post came from the February 1 devotional in "God Calling" edited by A.J. Russell and published by Barbour Publishing.