When I was a little girl I would often create elaborate stories to get out of trouble. It was an attempt to soften the punishment. It would be partially true but somehow a major turn of events would happen and it just seemed to make the story better just not necessarily believable.
There was this one time….
I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys. I had a few girls I would hang out with but the boys just seemed to have more fun. However on this particular morning my neighbor (a girl) and my little sister and I decided we were going to see what would happen when fire touches dry grass. I mean what could possibly go wrong? We laughed a lot and finally got the spark we needed and we were mesmerized by it. But before long we looked at each other and knew we were on our way to burning down every house surrounding those woods. We started stomping and throwing soda on it and after a lot of panic and a whole lot of soda it finally went out. As we walked away from the smoke billowing over a huge black charcoaled patch of what use to be grass my mind started churning with what I was going to say the story was. I mean the grass was dead and it no longer served a purpose. It was how I would explain to my mom if she found out. I had it all planned out in my head but she never found out until now so now she knows but she can no longer ground me or spank me.
As I thought about that story this morning I remembered the question I was once asked and that was this “what do you regret most in life?” Maybe I should have answered starting an almost forest fire, or lying to my mom growing up but instead I answered quickly “my relationship with my father”. As I think about that question a little deeper I realize that it was so much more than just my relationship with my father I regretted. As a kid I couldn’t truly verbalize just how angry I was at him and so that led to years of pain frustration and vulnerabilities that led me into sin. I would dress and do whatever I could to gain the looks of boys, I would hide food and binge simply because I felt pain and I would do and say what I needed in order to gain friendships. You see the anger I had for my father gave root to lots of different sins in my life which led to many regrets along the way.
James 1: 22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
As women we are control freaks. We want our marriages to be happily ever after, our friendships to always be in BFF mode. We want our houses to be spotless with beautiful decorations hanging without a bit of dust on them and perfectly behaved kids sitting by the fire-place reading their lengthy chapter books with smiles on their faces. For some of you this may be your lives and I say to you WOW!! But for most women we struggle to keep the dish piles out of the sink, clean underwear on our kids and dust off the ceiling fans ha (well I just keep my going so no one will notice). What I realized is that all throughout my life I have done things in order to gain some type of control just to keep the anger and hurt from surfacing. Food was a way out for me. Boys were a way out for me and so on. When I read verse 25 I see one word and that word is FREEDOM. I desperately want to walk in freedom from guilt of measuring up as a perfect wife, mother and friend. I will always fail and yet God’s perfect grace is what causes me to walk in any type of confidence what so ever. The first part of that verse says but whoever looks INTENTLY into the perfect law. God’s word is the only thing we can know that brings about change in our lives and circumstances. When we look INTENTLY into God’s word it always reflects the parts of our hearts that is keeping us from gaining freedom. This morning I was reminded of this beautiful truth in John chapter 8 verse 32 ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set free.”
His word will set me free I just have to open it up and listen with the intent to change.
So what do I regret most? It is not the relationship with my father nor is it all my past mistakes. You see God’s word tells me I don’t have to walk in regret because he keeps NO records of my sins. Today as the enemy reminds you of ALL the wrong things you have said or done in your past remember you are a NEW creation and the Creator of the universe loves you with a love that knows no bounds yet will ALWAYS bring about change within us.
In His presence EVERYTHING changes.
About the Author: Holly is a pastor's wife, mom of two teen girls, church planter, speaker and ministry leader. She and her husband, Richard, founded Revolution Church in North Carolina where she's also the President of Unbound Ministries. Holly also serves CKM as an itinerant speaker.
She is passionate about helping others surrender to God's beautiful grace. She has experience freedom from her own struggles with self-image and desires to help others experience the same freedom in Christ that comes through surrendering to His grace.
She loves to share her story with youth groups and at ladies events. She specializes in encouraging messages about freedom, identity in Christ and embracing God-sized dreams.
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