Genesis 50:19b-20a, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (NIV)
If you’re like me, 2011 sure packed a doozie! With foreclosures pending, a downward spiraling economy, job losses, major health concerns, bills mounting, empty cupboards and gas tanks for those I love. Family and friends with loved ones facing death, jail, drug and alcohol abuse, grief, depression, cars breaking down, money running out, families being split and ministries closing their doors forever. Personal circumstances should send me spiraling into a deep depression, but yet I hold on. Sometimes I am not sure that HE is in the midst of my turmoil and struggles and I’m not quite sure that I fully trust that HE has my best interests at heart. I’m not sure that he can redeem my past, heal what’s been broken and recover what’s been lost. Can he repair my past completely, so that I can look forward in anticipation for the future?
The truth is God never changes!! He can bring me through the doubt, hopelessness and helplessness! He can restore the years the locusts have stolen! Yet if I begin to be still and be reminded of where I have come from, to where HE has brought me, it puts a song in my heart! I can and will be changed, through his timing and his direction. It is my choice to choose how to respond to my circumstances! I am responsible (or as a friend gently put it, I am response-able) to decide which direction I am headed. I can choose to be bitter, or to become better! I can rise above the victim mentality, woe is me, pity party! If the Lord has brought me to it, he’ll definitely bring me out of it!
At Celebrate Recovery I have learned that isolation and loneliness is a choice. I’ve discovered that my ways are not always right, I don’t know it all, I am not in control, and if I run my own ship….it will surely sink!! I’ve realized that when desperation and despair reign in me, that I need to refer back to the truth. Stories of redemption in the bible and in the lives of those around me, prove that God can and will reverse, restore, renew and revive! He places people in my life to encourage me when I am down, or into “stinkin’-thinking” and can help me to re-direct my efforts and focus (but I have to be willing to be accountable and listen to them). He sees beyond my present circumstances and is sparking a fire to light up my wonderful future with a great future, new hope and great victories! You may be like me and have felt like it’s just another year, my life will never change, I’ll always struggle with that issue, failed relationships, self doubt, depression, fail again, never get it right, etc. The truth is that doubt and hope cannot live in our hearts at the same time; it’s either one or the other. We must come to a place where we decide to change and through his guidance our life can be better and different! Check out Celebrate Recovery, Friday nights at 7 at First Baptist Church, 408 College Street, Clinton, NC 28328. Where it’s okay to not be okay, and this might just be the shot of encouragement and hope you’ve been wanting for 2012! You’ve got nothing to lose and only a new life to gain! For more information please call 910-379-4033.