GUEST POST Written By: Brenda Warburton
I always thought I could handle any trial. After all, I knew Jesus. I loved Him and said I would follow Him wherever He would lead me. I attended a Christian University and upon graduating, spent 8 months serving in the mission field. God was my rock. No matter what I could stand strong in the midst of trials. Right?
Once I returned from mission work, I encountered a series of unexpected hardships and heartaches. I was slashed by storms and trials that seemed to be more than I could bear. Hope began slipping away, and gave room to growing bitterness and resentment. I slowly started to drift away from God and from those who were closest to me.
Weakened by bitterness – alone and vulnerable – I felt empty inside.
Empty. The “Lord, I’ll follow you anywhere!” me was long gone. I justified my search to fill the emptiness I felt inside and I sought to find love in the arms of a man. I went from one relationship to another in an attempt to fill the emptiness that loomed inside. Seeking for something more, lead me on a path of sin and immorality, resulting in pain and heartbreak.
I thought the emptiness was gone when I married a man who loved me very much. We got pregnant and had a beautiful baby boy! But after all of the excitement of finding a husband and having a child left, I still felt like something was missing.
However, deep in my heart, I knew I wanted my son to grow up with values and a life that was better than the life I had chosen to live. So I started taking my son to church. I accepted Christ in my life again but due to shame and guilt, I settled into believing that although I will go to Heaven when I die, the life I once knew of loving God with all my heart and seeing God move in my life here on earth was something of the past.
Then one day I read these verses in the Bible. Isaiah 54, specifically verse 6-8 says,
“The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit- a wife who married young only to be rejected, says your God. For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you, says the Lord your Redeemer.”
This word melted my heart, all the bitterness fell away before God, I felt like this word was written just for me, a personal message for my life at this time.
After that I started a journey of God’s love pouring out over my life again, better than it ever was before! He gave me such peace knowing that He loved me even in my darkest place. No matter how far away from Him I was, He still loved me.
And yet…. the shame and guilt from my embarrassing past burdened me. Every time I thought about it I would beat myself up and thought God would never use me again because of my mistakes.
I was talking to the Lord about this and He spoke to my heart and gently showed me that I am my own worst enemy. He questioned me about why I keep reminding myself of a past that He has already forgiven.
Psalm 103:11-13 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.….
What’s done is done, the past is behind me and I knew I had to look forward. The most important thing is I am forgiven, redeemed and I am covered by His love.
I have learned that I have to stop listening to the lies that my past has destroyed my life and future, to stop living in the past, and to stop standing in the way of the love He wants to pour out.
Jesus took my terrible life and made it beautiful again. He doesn’t hold my past against me, He has forgotten it! And now I live in His freedom and love.
Follow Brenda on Twitter @esltutorbrenda
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