So it didn’t turn out like you thought?

There are different moments in life that we all plan out our future. What career we will pursue, college we want to attend, where we want to live, or the person we plan to spend the rest of our lives with. It doesn’t take the long on this earth to find out our plans, no matter how simple, just don’t work out how we expected. 16 years ago today I said. “I do…till death do us part.”  Today also marks the first year that I am no longer legally married, and no longer have an anniversary to celebrate.  Last year I was separated from my wife on this date, and 2 years ago today was a terrible time for me. I felt like the world was ending around me.

So much has taken place in the past 2 years, and today I find myself reflecting on where I have been, where I am, and where I am going.  Along the way I have realized a few things.

I was and I am always in desperate need of a Savior. When I thought I needed my wife most, I realized that I needed Jesus more than anyone or anything. 

  • as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE (Romans 3:10)
  • “I am the vine, you are the branches ; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5)

Sin destroys! Once sin entered into my heart, marriage, and life it took root, and wreaked havoc.

  • And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,  in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. (Eph. 2:1-3)

I am not in control of my life or anyone else. God is truly in control.

  • “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other ; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure ‘; (Isaiah 46:9-10)

God is loving, and gracious. When I could not forgive myself, I found forgiveness in Christ Jesus.

  • But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved ) (Eph. 2:4-5)

To not plan my will for my life but pray for knowledge of His will for my life.

  • Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Trust that He will use what happened for good, and His glory.

  • And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Today after all the pain, anguish, fear, and hopelessness I have experienced in recent years I can say without a doubt that because of Jesus I have:

  • overcome the pain
  • no longer live in fear
  • have hope for the future

I never thought I would be were I am today. In my darkest moments, I gave up my plan for my life and accepted His plan for my life.

I am blessed beyond measure!

I live daily in relationship with God Almighty through His Son, Jesus. I belong to an awesome church family. I am surrounded by amazing people, and get to live in relationship with them. Know that there are seasons of life that we wish would never happen, but know this more. That we have a loving God that wants the best for us! That He will rescue, that He will give you the grace to endure hardship, and that if you allow Him to will redeem and restore. It may not be the way that you expected or according to your plan, but know that God has a bigger plan for us. One that is bigger than ourselves.

Today I did not celebrate a 16 year marriage anniversary, and that is fine with me. I don’t have to carry that burden, Jesus took it at the cross. As time brings me the 1sts of all things single such as today, holidays, and birthdays I can seal closed the past. I no longer need to dwell on the past or what could have been. I can live for a new season in my life. I can make new memories, and celebrate not just special days but each day. I am genuinely excited about what the future, and what it holds for me. So if things did not turn out like you expected, let it go, and grab onto Jesus. In Him there is hope! Not just for today but for eternity!

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

(Jeremiah 29:11)

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Whatever it is your holding onto, let it go.

Holding on to things or people is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, but sometimes we hold onto things that are not good for us. Things that become a hindrance for us and our relationship with God. Whether we feel something is holding onto us or we are holding onto it we need to sometimes disconnect and let go. Letting go is not always easy. We tend to hold on to the past, past failures, hurts, grudges, and hopes & dreams that never came true. As I read and study Exodus I think about Pharaoh, the Hebrews, Moses, and God’s plan. How we too can ignore God’s commands to let go.

The LORD said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. (Exodus 3:7)

God heard the cry of the Hebrew people, and was going to use Moses to deliver them from Pharaoh, and their bondage. God at the right time would be faithful to His promises for His people.

And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,’Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.’ ”  But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:1-2)

There were many reasons why Pharaoh would not let the Hebrew go, but there was one that took precedence over the others. The root cause of his decision to keep the Hebrew people in bondage.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. (Exodus 7:14)

There in lies our problem.

It is a heart condition. We sometimes unknowingly hold onto things that should have long let go because of a stubbornness in our heart  to relinquish them. When we refuse to let go of things we should, like Pharaoh, we are displaying pride, stubbornness, and rebellion to God. Even after we have heard the good news of the gospel we hold on. Doing so keeps us in a similar bondage. We don’t experience true freedom found in Christ Jesus, and withhold glory to our Father in Heaven.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

There is no question that sin always causes destruction in our lives. Whether is is caused by us or someone else make no difference. We cannot change the past, and living in regret will not produce the Godly living that our Father desires for us.  We must allow the gospel to shine on every every area of our heart. Light overcomes the dark areas of our hearts, and magnifies the cross in our lives. The gospel allows for grace and forgiveness to overcome all things. The love of God can infiltrate our heart to produce healing, peace and joy.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

God has provided a way through Jesus for us to let go of whatever holds us back spiritually, and grab on to the cross. The cross puts to death those things and produces life. We can abide in Jesus, and He prunes away the things that have taken residence in our heart, but no longer belong.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:25)

So as I take time to reflect on my life, past, and present I want God to expose anything in my heart that I need to let go of. To soften me, and for me to surrender ALL things to Him. I have come to know that I can trust in His promises. God is faithful even when we are faithless. We can be assured that God will accomplish His will, and surrendering all things to Him allows us to be a part of His story. One that is bigger than ourselves. When we live for His will in our life over our will we can avoid needless pain, and frustration. So whatever it is your holding onto, let it go.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)