Everyone knows that their past shapes them, and many allow it to define them.
Lately, I have been reminiscing and reflecting on mine. I have been looking over my growing up years, through childhood years, through my teenage years, through my young adult years up till now. I've just had a birthday and lately, over the last few months, I've been looking over my life and been wondering at how I got here. At twenty-five, I wasn't sure what to expect from my life. I wasn't sure what this time in my life would look like. Sure, I hoped that I would be married with at least two children, both of which I have; but everything else was but a hope and passing dreams that developed and changed with me over the years.
Periodically since I have been married and over the last few months, I have been fascinated with how God has been working in the background. I don't think one usually notices how God is working towards His great masterpiece for our lives until some time has passed. Then the person is able to see in hindsight God's fingerprints in the artwork that is the person's life being molded into something impressive and mind-blowing once everything comes together. Only God over the course of a lifetime could consistently move a person's life toward something so beautiful as a single great masterpiece for His sole glory.
I'll admit that I definitely see God's work, His brush strokes all over my life… and my smudges to His work. He uses them to add texture to His great painting, but I am just fascinated by His work. Looking over the hard years of my life I see the situations that can be defined by hurt and harm and pointlessness… and be tempted to allow all that to define me at times. Then I remember that through Christ I can be made new, and through His perspective, I can see that hurt and harm and pointlessness be turned to order and purpose and a peace that comes from knowing it's all for a purpose--that the pain isn't pointless, but it can be used. Only God can do that. Only God can take those times when I wondered why and show me years later that He was teaching me lessons then, and He was even leaving hints to lessons I should learn now. God can do that. Communicate in the past and through the past. He is that remarkable.
Seeing the past struggles through God's light sheds a calming understanding that He was in control then and even more than ever in the present. He can guide and help and comfort now just as much as then. He loves me just the same, even though I smudged His painting a few times. He can still smile and show me His love in special ways because He never changes and His love is just that powerful.
If you doubt God and His love, I urge you to look back over the years with honest, open eyes. And even before you begin, ask God to help you to see what He’s been doing. He will show you a reason for those hardships and hurts that seem so pointless then. He will maybe even show you something that you learned from it then for encouragement and even show you something else that you can learn now.
To say that God has finished His masterpiece with me would be a lie. Maybe I've learned a lot staying so close to God just about my whole life, but like I eluded to before--I've made mistakes. I still do. God won't be done with me yet until I meet Him in heaven someday. The same goes for you.
Monday Motivation: be honest about your past and allow God to show you his brush strokes on your life. Allow Him to show you that you can be a masterpiece, not just a wreckage. Your life may be riddled with hurt and hardships. Don't allow them to define you and be pointless. Allow God to show you the order and purpose for it all. Embrace the peace that He gifts with that knowledge.
Embrace God's love for you ❤️
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