19 June 2016
Gut Wrenchers: Has it all been a waste?
Has everything I've poured into the church--the time, energy, money and devotion--been a waste?
Looking back over my life at certain points over the last few years, it was easy to hear the enemy of my soul whispering that it was all a waste. To entertain and become mired in disdain and see as worthless the years I sought to serve the Living God through my membership in the LDS church. To give power to the one who only comes to steal, kill and destroy the work of God in me, and to let myself be filled with despair, disappointment and regret.
And yet the Holy Spirit would whisper comfort, and Jesus would come alongside and point out the many things I learned in those years that He has promised to use in His work. Even now, I am beginning to see some of those promises fulfilled--character traits and personal discipline that I carry because of my religious upbringing that are necessary strengths for such a time as this, in the place God has planted me.
And as I have moved forward one step at a time, I've found beautiful confirmation and encouragement to forgive myself, both from hearts that carry the love of God, and directly in the written word of God.
"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better." ~Maya Angelou
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God." ~Romans 8:28
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” ~Colossians 2:13-14
"Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." ~Hebrews 2:14-15
Don't despair. And don't fear. Our God is big and strong, and He can handle every and any question you might have. He knows how to turn your defeat into victory. And He knows how to comfort and heal you, no matter what might be wrong. He cannot be offended by the earnest in heart, and His treasured joy is to answer us and to comfort us when we are seeking and wrestling and struggling.
Our God is a good, good father.