starting over

A Fresh Start

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Do you ever feel like you need a do over?  A fresh start?  Sometimes our lives don’t turn out like we had planned.  We make decisions thinking we are headed in the right direction and then somehow we make a left turn and get lost.  

I always thought I’d marry a preacher or a missionary and together we would amazing life changing things for God and serve Him together and live happily ever after.  I even went to a christian college and majored in Religion to be better prepared for the work I just knew I would be doing.

A Change of Direction

Guess what?  None of that happened.  You see my dad died while I was in college.  He was a strong christian man with great faith.  However, during one especially hard hospital stay, I remember him looking at me and saying I was going to have to have enough faith for both of us.  He was tired.

I prayed like crazy!!  I read every Bible verse on faith and prayer and people in the Bible who had great faith.  I studied all the miracles of Jesus and I just knew that if I had “faith the size of a mustard seed” that this mountain would move.  If I believed with all my heart and acted like “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) then my dad would be healed.

After all, Jesus performed all kinds of miracles in the Bible and God says He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He never changes.  He hears every prayer.  If we put God first and make Him the center of our lives then He will give us the “desires of our hearts”.

I was wrong again.  My daddy, my best friend in the world died.  I was sitting up with him that night and watching in disbelief as he got worse and died.  You see I was still thinking up until the doctor said there was nothing more they could do, that he was gonna be healed.  It shook the very foundation of my faith.

I was devastated!  Heart broken doesn’t begin to describe how I felt.  I had let my daddy down.  I wasn’t the christian I thought I was.  That had to be it.  There was no other explanation.  In my grief stricken state I believed this was my fault.  I found these 11 verses for when you are hurting to be helpful during this time.

A Temper Tantrum

Boy was I mad at God!  All of a sudden the faith I had built my life on was a lie.  The Bible, the book I read daily was just a book of stories that weren’t real.  I was lost.  I would go to class and only half listen and make fun of what the professor said in my mind.

I would walk out of chapel because “it was all a big fat lie and I wasn’t going to be brainwashed anymore”.  I withdrew from activities and my friends.  I would drive around crying and screaming at God, just mad all over.  But I had a smile on my face in front of people.

The worst part was that I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone how I felt.  After all I had a reputation to uphold.  People were watching me to see how I would react.  So I went through the motions.  Furious on the inside.

A Fresh Start

God was patient.  Fortunately He is a big God and He can handle the temper tantrums that we sometimes have.  He was kind hearted and compassionate.  I could never be God.  I would get tired of listening to people pout and whine and zap them!  I’m not that patient.

Little by little God started working in my heart.  He showed me that He loves me, and that if I’d let Him, He would heal this big, bottomless pit of a black hole in my heart.  Little by little God has shown me that He is not some judge sitting up there waiting for me to mess up.

He truly is a God of love.  He had different plans for my dad.  He reminded me that my dad had said he was tired of fighting the cancer.  He wanted to go Home.  God lovingly answered my dad’s prayer.  He answered mine to it just took me several years to realize it.  

A New Way of Thinking

You see, He did give my dad complete healing.  He did hear my prayers.  He did listen.  He did answer. Since that time He has answered several of my prayers.

He has shown up in very big ways and in the small ways where only I can hear His “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12).  He constantly reminds me all the time of just how much He does love me.  He shows me this in the sunrise every morning.  When I feel the breeze, hear the birds singing, smell the grass or the woods after a fresh rain.

He has taught me so much about His love for me through my children.  The 5 children I was told I could never have.  When I was told before my first son was born that he would be developmentally delayed and we should seriously consider not having any more children.  My first born, like the rest of my kids, is perfectly healthy!

He has taught me that His mercies really are new every morning.  He has taught me about unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy and grace.  He has reminded me so many times that His love for me is so much more than my love for my kids.  I don’t know how that is possible but I know it is!

A New Dream

God has used me too.  No I’m not a pastor’s wife or a missionary’s wife.  I have been a Sunday School teacher.  Vacation Bible School teacher.  Led GA’s, sang in the choir, played the piano, given my testimony, and spent a summer in college as a summer missionary for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.  

Now I have an amazing opportunity to talk to you through this blog.  I completely understand that I am not or do I claim to be the best writer.  But I can tell you without a doubt that God loves you.  Even when we walk away from Him and get mad and yell and shout and act crazy for awhile He loves us.

God has a plan for you.  I saw something on Facebook the other day that said something like “When you think you have messed up God’s plan for your life you need to realize that you, my dear friend, are not that powerful.”  I LOVE that!  God is sovereign.  His plans are not our plans.  His ways are not our ways.

An Honest Confession

My life has been marked by struggles, stupid decisions, consequences of those stupid decisions, and heartache.  My marriage is not perfect.  My kids are not perfect.  I’m not perfect.  But I am loved.  

I am loved by a God who promises to “Never leave me or forsake me” (Joshua 1:9), He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).  His mercies are new every morning.  He is more stubborn in his pursuit of me than I was in my defiance of Him.  Praise God, He didn’t give up on me!

He is all of that for you too dear friend!  God doesn’t give up on you either!  I’m not gonna lie and say it has been easy.  I have had to, and still do from time to time, give up my pride.  I’ve had to admit my shortcomings.  I’ve had to cry out to Him and beg for forgiveness.

Let’s face it we had all rather talk about other people’s problems and mistakes and shortcomings than our own.  But it is only when we get real with God and are completely honest with Him and ourselves that He will come in and start the process of cleaning us up.

Only when we realize our dependence on Him will He begin to work.  God doesn’t make us do anything.  I’ve often wondered why He gives us a free will.  I don’t mean to sound judgmental here but some people just don’t have enough sense to have a free will.  They mess up everything!  (Yes, the face in the mirror said that’s me! lol)

I don’t have all the answers.  I don’t know why God allows some things to happen in our lives.  Why do people stop loving us?  Why do people we love have to die?  Why are babies still born?  Why do people lose their jobs through no fault of their own when they have bills and families?  Why do bad things happen?  

I don’t know all those answers.  I do know that God has a plan.  He has a plan for me and He has one for you.  I do know that every word of the Bible is true.  And if every word is true then the part about how He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) is true too.

I know if God can give me a fresh start then He is willing to do that for you too.  If He forgave my sins, He will forgive yours.  God loves you my friend.  Try talking to Him today.

Be blessed, be faithful, live fearless!

Karen 

 

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3 thoughts on “A Fresh Start”

  1. This is such a beautiful testimony of God and His faithfulness. Thank you for sharing! I also was a Sunday school teacher and a VBS volunteer. God continue to bless you and your family.

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