Sometimes we can’t seem to let go of the past.
It haunts us and hurts us and holds us back from fully living the life God has created us to live.
And living a half-life, with much of our heart in darkness, causes those around us to suffer for the Light inside won’t shine as bright.
This is when we must turn to God and think His thoughts towards us. We must choose to stop focusing only inward and look up and He will create in us a new heart.
A heart that is free to live forward, both hands open, receiving all that God wants to give and then freely sharing that gift with the world.
Are you ready to take the next step?
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love…
and renew a right spirit within me.
From Psalm 51
When our sin is breathing down our back and heavy upon our shoulders it can seem like we are doomed to be forever dirty.
At least that’s how we feel.
Especially if we have a relationship with Jesus and we know what scripture says about what’s right and what’s wrong.
We may be thinking we’ve blown it one too many times. Like there is no hope for us anymore. We’ve lost our joy and it feels as if God is shaking His head.
But He isn’t.
So we cry out to Him for forgiveness and mercy. Because He loves us so much He diligently forgives and forgets, showering us with cleansing.
He wipes our slate clean. He drops our sins into the bottom of a bottomless ocean where He remembers them no more.
Allowing us to put the past behind us and start living for Him for real this time. No more shortcuts. No more pleasing self above God.
For when we sin we sin foremost against our Father.
And He will in grace and tenderness towards us create in us a clean heart.
A heart that will grow soft again as it understands how deeply it is loved.
A heart that can lift its head for its shame is taken away.
As we surrender our will to Him, and keep surrendering over time, we will again feel His presence ever close — even though He was always close by — and our joy in the Lord will return.
But it may take some time.
Especially if we’ve been dallying in sin for a season.
Or believing satan’s lies for too long.
And how our enemy works overtime to convince us we are worthless, unloved and unlovable.
And the lies stick when we are not giving our brains a good washing each day with the water of the word.
Being in God’s word, tucking it deep within our hearts, helps us avoid repeating our mistakes from the past. And helps transform our thinking about the present.
While it’s so much better to just say no to sin in the first place, we can join hearts and do life God’s way at any time. With no regrets, no fears, no shame about our past.
It is finished, Jesus said.
There will still be surrender and sacrifice and our self may balk, but at the end of a day lived for Him and through Him we will be able to exhale, close our eyes and sleep in peace knowing that we have pleased the Father.
Trusting and resting in His love, knowing He is watching over us.
And in this we will rejoice with a deep holy contentment unlike anything we have known before…
***Today’s post is adapted from Day 21 in my new book Heart Cry: 40 Reflections for a Woman’s Soul.
Heart Cry was written to help your heart as God has helped mine to heal and continue healing. And the reflections in Heart Cry are based upon what I received spending time in the Word from the One who journals all our life stories.
And to further help you, Longings End will launch Heart Cry Healing.
This free, private Facebook group for women opens January 31.
Structured as a journal writing workshop, the online group will continue at least through the end of February.
By invitation only, this confidential community will include:
>>instructions for journaling
>>questions to get you started
>>prompts from Heart Cry, scripture, poetry, photos and song
>>encouragement to continue writing your heart out offline in the privacy of your own time
>>a place to share your comments as you are inclined and comfortable sharing
>>a haven of mutual support in a respectful environment where words of edification are exchanged in love, free from condemnation
>>and always the truth that God’s love for you is your greatest healing tonic
Whatever has caused your heart to hurt, whatever pain you are struggling with, you will find a warm welcome at Heart Cry Healing.
While I will administrate this page, offering direction, encouragement and prayer, the intention of Heart Cry Healing is to point you towards the Wonderful Counselor, our Everlasting Father, from whom true healing flows.
And journaling helps.
For many years I have used journaling with prayer as a method of healing, receiving countless benefits. There is great therapy in letting our pain spill from our hearts and via our pens onto the page.
Journaling helps us process loss and sorrow, understand our sinfulness, and can in time help reveal nuggets of gold — God’s will for our lives.
Whether you grab a notebook, a beautiful leather-bound journal or create a private online file, get ready to write. Rest assured you don’t have to be a writer to keep a journal. And no one will be looking over your shoulder grading your efforts!
But healing, like writing, takes time and can be lonely when done alone.
So will you join me on this journey by becoming part of the community at Heart Cry Healing?
I hope so! Please email me at Sheila@LongingsEnd.com for further information and let me know you would like an invitation to the page. Please put HEART CRY HEALING in the subject line. Thanks.
And then we can all meet together at Heart Cry Healing on January 31.
Here’s to hearts being made new and free, intentionally set upon healing through the power and love of Christ, and the power of the pen.
God bless you and keep you, my sister friend…
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