“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Memory Verse, Philippians 1:6
I get up and work out. The coffee pot begins to drip filling the house with that scent. My heart prepares in excitement for Donna Goodrich’s all day workshop. The day begins a mystery. I don’t know what each hour will bring or whether it will live successful. Will I absorb the wisdom of someone so much farther in her writing career or will my eyes glaze and my mind become a useless rubbery form in my struggle to focus? A good Starbucks will keep the blood flowing all day. A good lunch will silence the hunger like good knowledge will feed the hungry soul who yearns to grow, always grow.
It’s my birthday and my life holds moments, some steeped in waters of regret, and others glad moments that shine above the others through the veil of tears and the smoke of anger. I am 37-years old today and I feel as if I was just born eight years ago; still feeling so young and yet old, too from the experiences of my past. What could I possibly wish for in this life at 37-years old? More things? A larger house? A New York Times Best Seller manuscript? Always the word ‘more’ haunts our steps, mixes in our tears, and fills in the gaps of boredom; we’re always searching for ‘more’ and not one of our ‘more’ wishes include more God.
What is there in me that could be hidden from you, Lord, to whose eyes the abysses of man’s conscience are naked, even if I were unwilling to confess it to you? In doing so I would only hide you from myself, not myself from you. But now that my groaning is witness to the fact that I am dissatisfied with myself, you shine forth and satisfy. You are beloved and desired, so that I blush for myself and renounce myself and choose you, for I can neither please you not myself except in you.” -Augustine of Hippo, “Confessions,” From Prayer and Contemplation of From The Library of A.W. Tozer, Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey, by James Stuart Bell
The peace of the morning light fills the empty places of my home like the peace of God filling those empty places in my soul. I get out my Bible and open it to something that I have read before in the Book of Esther:
When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” – Esther 4:12-14
God has a purpose for my life. I wasn’t born 37-years ago to live life as some people see me—a burden, a screw-up, a loser, someone who could not live through their dreams, or a by-product of a bad relationship. He separated me from them by cutting the ties that kept me back from fully living. Doubts once filled in my steps like ocean water in a freshly dug hole; or like the waves that always retreat. I will never retreat. I will never quit. I will never again think of me as a loser or a screw-up. I will never believe the lies again because Someone thought I was worth dying for on a cross.
And I call Him Christ.
I call Him Father.
I call Him Friend.
I call Him Dad.
Just because they call your life less-than, purposeless, and people tell you that you are a loser or a screw-up, it doesn’t mean they tell the truth. I once thought I was drowning. I could see the light gleaming on the surface of this great ocean of anger, grief, and confusion and tried to kick upward to break the surface and take in great gulps of air. The others held me down drowning me. They were like islands of seaweed in the ocean. The only one who dived in and wrapped His arm around my waist was Jesus. As I broke the surface I breathed in air and saw land in the distance. A struggle doesn’t last long and in the longsuffering comes redemption, joy, and love and a deeper relationship with Christ who saved me.
The world did not end today. I didn’t believe it would because not one of us knows the hour or the day according to scripture. I get another chance to love better. I get another chance to believe deeper. I get another chance to soak in the morning sunlight on my favorite chair. I get another chance to touch the lives around me and to be touched. I am 37-years old and tomorrow holds great promise.
Describe your trials. How did you allow Jesus to help you to overcome them? What did you get out of that harsh time in your life?