Thursday, July 23, 2015

Joy and Regret, He's Been My God Through All of It

One of the things I have felt most deeply over the past several years is regret. It has weighed down on my entire being like a ton of bricks. Did I ruin God's plan for my life?

Through the years, when I felt Him and when I didn't, He was there. His sovereign hand was on my life, He was guiding and directing me even when I couldn't see that He was. He has been my God through all of it, through the joys and the regrets. He has been working out His plan for my life, not just in spite of my past which has caused such deep regrets, but in many ways through it.

I haven't ruined His plan for my life. He was not surprised by my choices: my abortion, not saving sex for marriage, my unplanned pregnancies, Lily's life and death. He knew what was to come, even when I was a little girl. And He was always working, weaving the story in such a way that only He can do, in such a way that beauty and light would shine through the deep darkness and sin.

I remember when I was around 15 and I felt this impression on my soul that God was calling me to ministry. At that point, I wasn't sure exactly how that would look or what the specific call was for. He was calling me to something that I didn't even understand yet. Only through my experiences over the next several years would He awaken my heart to what my purpose on Earth is. He knew what was to come and knew that He had a plan and purpose in it all! So much so that He would show little ol' 15-year-old me that He had a plan for my life, in serving Him with my life. The choices that led me to my call weren't made yet, but His plan for my life was already crafted, waiting to be unfolded in His perfect timing.

I have always loved writing and remember when I was in middle school and high school, teachers would compliment my writing (not saying this to brag, but showing God's hand in my life). He knew what my future held, before I had any clue. And I believe He gave me the gifts He did because of the specific calling on my life. He gave me the ability to articulate my story and the work He has done in my life. A big part of my sharing over the past several years has been through writing and it is only through His enabling grace to write that I have been able to do so.

On the other hand, not only do my gifts point to His sovereignty and hand in my life, but my weaknesses do as well. I have never wanted to be a public speaker. In fact, during my adolescent years, I was extremely awkward and shy. In many ways, I am still an introvert and can still feel uncomfortable in social settings. I think I express myself much better in writing than speaking. BUT, God is much greater than our weaknesses and insecurities. Just the fact that I am compelled to speak out and share my story is proof to me that it is God calling me to do so. It is so far outside of my comfort zone. I never imagined or desired to speak publicly before crowds of hundreds of people, especially about a topic so intimate and personal. The fact that God has enabled me to do so shows that His grace and strength meets us right we are. He provides what we are lacking. When I am standing before a crowd speaking, even though I can get nervous beforehand, I feel a peace and I know, this is exactly where I'm meant to be.

These are just some of the ways God has shown me how He's been present in my life always and how what is unfolding right now has been His plan for my life since the foundation of the Earth. He has shown me His sovereignty both in my gifts and in what I lack. I am grateful that I can see these things now. It brings comfort knowing that He has been my God through all of it. And He can redeem the regrets. Ask Him to show you how He's always been there through your life as well because He has been, even when we don't see or acknowledge it.

I randomly turned to a radio station a few days ago and heard this song (I know I was meant to). It made me tear up to think of my God being there with me through it all, the joys and the regrets, and how His hand has always been on my life. In His will, I am safe and I am protected. And nothing can take me away from the love of God or His plan for my life.


by Colton Dixon

There are days I've taken more than I can give
And there are choices that I made
That I wouldn't make again
I've had my share of laughter
Of tears and troubled times
This is has been the story of my life

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

You were there when it all came down on me
And I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story's always gone

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Through all of it

And this is who You are
More constant than the stars up in the sky
All these years of our lives
I, I look back and I see You
Right now I still do
And I'm always going to

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy
I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

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