Monday, January 25, 2010

How then should I Live?

How do I live today without letting my past influence every moment? This question I have struggled to get an answer to for years. Growing up, I always felt like I was chained to my past and I could never get free. I always thought that I had to either let it overwhelm me, or completely ignore it and act like I was totally fine.

I read verses on being free; I did Bible studies on breaking free from bondage, I would pray and beg God to make me normal. Nothing seemed to work, and there were days when I would get so angry at my birth mother. I would blame her for everything that was wrong in my life. I would say, “If only she hadn’t drank. If only she had loved me, If, If, If” …. And I would become bitter, angry, depressed and lash out at everyone around me. It wasn’t my fault that I had all these issues; it was somebody else’s! So I just decided to be a victim and make everyone suffer for the bad choices my birth mother had made.

I don’t know if you have struggled through this confusing maze that leaves you discouraged and desperate for answers. If you have or still are, I want to tell you that, ‘confused’ is exactly where Satan wants us to be. If we are upset, hurt and confused, then we will turn on not only the people that love us, but we will also question God’s character.

“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33a)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

It is pretty clear what Satan’s goal is when it comes to our lives, and it’s also just as clear that God’s heart is quite the opposite. He wants us to have a rich, full, happy life that is not filled with confusion and turmoil. The hard part is how do you and I make it our reality today?

We have to believe that God loves us as we are right now, but He loves us too much to leave you and I this way. We have to accept that this day God has something good planned for our lives and to actively seek out the good in spite of the negative. We have to put aside the questions, doubts, upset and tears so that God can start the process of healing. It is a day by day choice. Sometimes we will have to go over the same things repeatedly and God is willing to go with us! Trusting God with the past is the scariest thing, because it no longer becomes ours to control. God will do with it whatever He believes is necessary, but you can be certain of one thing! God will create something beautiful out of your story.

Does letting go of whatever happened to you mean it erases the pain? No, it simply means that now God can walk through the pain with you and help you sort everything out so that you can go on to live a happy life.

Even today, thirteen years after my adoption, I still struggle with letting go of my past and not being defined by my early years in Russia. The pain never really disappears; it only gets easier to give back to God when it comes creeping in.

Jesus is on your side, He is for you during every step of this journey!

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
(Mathew 11:28)

“I am the Lord your God who teaches you what is best for you and directs you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. The sorrows for the appointed feasts, I will remove from you, they are burden and a reproach to you.” (Zephaniah 3:17-19)

Monday, January 11, 2010

We are truly loved

“ Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many were of noble birth, But, God CHOSE the foolish things of the world, to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one can boast before Him.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-30)

When I read these verses, I get so excited, because here I see beyond a doubt that God loves..I mean really LOVES to take the worse possible circumstances and turn them around. He chose you and me because He saw lives that He could transform, that He could bless and lavish with His love. When we grasp the amazing miracle of a second chance at life, we can with all honesty say, ‘I have done nothing to deserve this gift!’
God has chosen us out of the depths of the world to Love him, to know Him and praise Him.

At one point in our lives, we were nothing in the eyes of the world; we were mistreated and left to fend for ourselves. What Satan intended for harm, God has turned around for our good. He gives us a promise that He will never leave us or forsake us and God will never go back on His Word.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. THEN you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when me seek with all your heart….I will be found by you declares the Lord …(Jeremiah 29:11-14)

All throughout the Bible, God over and over states His commitment, His affection for the fatherless, the orphans. God has clearly chosen us, but like in every friendship, we also need to choose. Today, we have a choice; we are no longer powerless, because God has put freedom in our hands. He will not push us; He will walk with us, love us, encourage us, believe in us, hope and wait with open arms.

Today if you are having doubts or questions about who God is, don’t feel guilty! Everyone has to work out the knots and kinks in their lives; it is part of this messy world but remember that God wants to help you with the process. Give God a chance and a little room in your life, because, “He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion”... (Philippians 1:6)

“Be still and know that I am God…..Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor my covenant of peace be removed says the Lord who has compassion on you, O afflicted city lashed by storms and not comforted….you will go out with Joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and the hills will burst in song before you and all the trees of the field will clap their hands…I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name…You Are Mine.” ( Isaiah 54:10-12; Isaiah 55:12; Isaiah 43:1)