Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Friend to Friend
I am told that in the famous lace shops of Belgium there are certain rooms used for spinning the finest and most delicate designs of lace. Each room is completely dark – except for one small window. Through this tiny window, light shines directly on the work at hand. A solitary spinner works in the darkness, sitting where the narrow stream of light will fall on the delicate thread. The choicest pieces of lace, the most exquisite designs, are created when the worker is in the dark and only his work is in the light.
When it comes to dealing with our past, we often find ourselves sitting in the darkness of frustration and pain, wondering if anything good can possibly be salvaged from the broken pieces of our lives.
I will never forget the day I learned how God really can turn tragedy into triumph. I was sitting at my desk, working on an assignment from the counselor I had been seeing. For months, I had been wrestling with my past; slowly, methodically working through painful issues and buried memories that seemed to be feeding the clinical depression I was battling. As page after page filled with harsh realities, a memory slammed into my heart and mind.
The pain was overwhelming as a vile scene from my childhood slowly took shape. I could hardly breathe as I frantically tried to escape the certainty I had been molested. The perpetrator had been our family doctor and a trusted friend. He had even provided free medical treatment when we couldn’t pay for it. I trusted him, counted on him. As a nurse, my mother worked beside this man every day and often babysat his children to earn extra money.
Anger unlike any I had ever known fueled violent thoughts of revenge and retaliation. I was angry with this man – and angry with God. How could He have let this happen? Where was the light in this dark place?
For months, I worked through painful memories and raging emotions until I saw the first glimmer of light. It was wrapped in chosen forgiveness. I began to see that had I never been wounded so badly, I would never have been able to forgive so freely – and in doing so, discover a depth of healing and freedom only the greatest pain can produce. Today, I can honestly thank God for all He has accomplished in me through the sin of that man.
There are no accidents with God, nor is He surprised by anything or anyone in the life of His child. God uses even the most horrendous circumstances for our good. Every circumstance comes to us for a purpose, bound by God’s love and plan and faithfully delivered with His permission. While we cannot go back and change our past, we can change the way we respond to our past and determine how much power it has in our lives today.
Only God can take the broken pieces of your life and make something beautiful out of each one. He is waiting for you to let go of your pain and trust Him. And you really can. No one loves you like He does. You may not always understand or even like His process, but you can always trust His heart of love for you!
Father, I am so tired of the darkness that greets me every morning when I open my eyes and stares me down at night when I try to sleep. I am no longer willing to be a prisoner of my past. Show me the sins I need to confess and turn away from. Heal the wounds that have hurt for so long. I give you my past and ask You to make it a cornerstone for the new life I can have in You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Take a few minutes to think back over your life. Make a list of the “mire” that has settled in your heart and soul. Be specific. It may be a sin you need to confess or the pain of a broken relationship that needs to be healed. Ask God to show you the things in your past that have become footholds of darkness in your life today. Face each one. Deal with it and let it go.
Read Romans 8:28. What good things has God brought out of the pain in your past? Is your faith stronger? Have you been able to encourage others who have experienced that same pain?
More from the Girlfriends
Are you struggling with the pain of your past? Jesus is asking you to let it go. If you need help, get Mary’s CD set, Getting Past Your Past and The Power of Forgiveness.
And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.