Wash Away the Past

 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland (Isaiah 43:19 NLT).

If we’re honest, we all have stuff—things we’re not proud of, mistakes we’ve made and decisions we wish we would have made different. Many of us keep a box of ‘if onlys” in the back of our mind. When we reach a point of transition—where things get hard or it feels like you’re not moving forward, it’s easy to drag that box to the forefront and begin to revisit the failures of the past. That’s exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to do.

If your focus is on the past and where you’ve been, it’s easy to get stuck there. Then you don’t have the courage, energy or strength to push forward and accomplish the purposeful future God has for you.

My husband, Blaine and I made a promise early on in our marriage. We were stuck in a hard place. Our marriage was going nowhere. Once the word divorce escaped my lips, God gave me a picture of Blaine and me passing our toddler back and forth each week—raising him in two separate homes. As a child of divorced parents, I didn’t want that for my children. So, we came together and prayed, asking God to intervene.

We felt like we weren’t physically where we belonged. We agreed in prayer for God to place us wherever he would have us. We promised God and one another that day we would always go wherever he sends us.

We’ve moved many times during our marriage as God led us. The transitions from there to here were difficult each time. It’s hard when you know God wants you to do something, but you have to stand firm and wait for him to order your steps and open the door. I’ve had to fight discouragement and doubt while waiting. I’ve found the enemy will challenge you, and based on your past, try to convince you that you didn’t hear from God.

God desires for you to look forward to the new things he is doing in your life.

Right now you may not see it. It may seem difficult to hold on and believe, but the rewards are great. Let him wash away the past.

Make a conscious effort to throw away that box of “if onlys” and trust him to lead you to the new.

 

“The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.” Christopher Columbus

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The Sky Kissed the Sea

My husband, Blaine and I took advantage of the beautiful sunrise and sunsets every morning and evening during a special vacation on the Florida beaches. The gulf coast waters are my most favorite of places. The sands always sooth my heart. Those particular beaches are the places where I find the most peace and rest.

One evening the sky hung low with clouds that threatened to open up at any moment and drench us with a cold shower. We risked getting caught in the downpour for a chance to see the wonders of the low tide—a pelican scooping up his evening meal, a sand dollar that survived the crushing waves, crabs running here and there—thinking they were hidden under the safety of the water.

After walking for more than half an hour down the beach, the rain clouds made good on their promise. We had no place to run. We braced ourselves to endure the cool water.

The sky opened up and kissed the sea.

Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed (PSALM 85:10 NLT).

Delighted, we found ourselves caught in the middle. We stood for a moment and breathed in a sweet peace. In that sliver of time we were unaware of the cold sprinkles, then suddenly they pricked our skin. We laughed as we both turned to hurry back down the beach toward our condo.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
SARAH KAY

Your Father Knows the Steps

(An excerpt from Love is Not an Emotion)

I carry vivid pictures in my mind as a four- or five-year-old looking down at my little white, frilly laced, sock-feet, as they move without effort from me. My tiny hands grasped tightly by my father’s rough and sturdy ones. My little feet rest securely atop my father’s heavy, leather work boots—each tiny foot planted on top of his.

An image like that from my childhood reminds me of God’s love. It is easy to go from that memory into my imagination—watching myself dance with my Heavenly Father. No matter what age I am, I see myself as that little girl moving with him.

Repeatedly throughout Scripture God shows His great, divine, everlasting kindness. Nehemiah 9:17 says:

And they refused to listen, And did not remember Thy wondrous deeds which Thou hadst performed among them; So they became stubborn and appointed a leader to return to their slavery in Egypt. But Thou art a God of forgiveness, Gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, and Thou didst not forsake them.[1]

He knows the tune we dance to, and the steps necessary to gracefully complete every dance we will ever dance through the moments of our lives.

As a young adult, I thought my plan was better.

I believed a lie that still prevails today. If I gave in and did things God’s  way, I’d have to give up on my dreams. I’ve discovered over the years He put most of those dreams in my heart. And he knows the way to get there far better and easier than I do.

Now, I want every movement to be within His rhythm—His plan. I have learned I can flow through life’s dance floor, never missing a beat as long as I keep my feet planted firmly on His. From experience, I know when I let go of His hands, step off and venture out on my own, things become shaky. I suddenly become aware of the obstacles I hadn’t had to navigate while in step with him.

Once I realizing my mistake, I search and find Him. I don’t have to look far because He calls my name . . . and once again I’m secure, moving in step with Him.

Your Heavenly Father knows the steps required to gracefully complete every dance you will ever dance.

[1] NASB