God Sees You!
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) [emphasis added]
Paul understood that our life journey often requires straining and pressing on to win the prize laid before us. Paul had a past he wanted to forget, just like I did, maybe like you do. He persecuted Christians, and had many killed at his command! But, God used his painful past to bring many to salvation!
Paul’s past did not define his future.
Paul knew his life had to be open to God’s healing, allowing God to remove the pain, guilt, and shame of his past. And during this process God not only never let him go, but He also had a great plan for redeeming Paul’s past! Regardless of where his journey took him, Paul knew and believed enduring until the end was worth it because although Paul had a past, Jesus has a promise, a plan and a prize.
Over the many years I have served in woman’s ministry, I have discovered a startling trend.
Sometimes those of us in churches are just as bad, if not worse, than those outside the church when it comes to running and hiding from the past. Of course we declare that Jesus has “saved us” and “forgiven us”, including forgiving our past. The problem is, many times we stop there and neglect to allow Him to heal our past and use it for our present and future.
When we stop–we get STUCK!
You are STUCK when you can’t share as God calls you to share!
You are STUCK when fear of your past does not allow you to share what God has done with your children, Grandchildren, friends and loved ones!
You are STUCK when anger, un-forgiveness, shame, fear–hold you back from the abundant life and ministry God has for you!
The Bible tells the story of Hagar, a woman who knew what it was like to run from the past. Hagar was a woman much like me, and maybe like you. Her dreams for family, youth and love did not go the way she planned—the way she had dreamed since she was a girl. Please take some time today to read her story in Genesis 16.
You will see in Hagar’s story how she responded to a seemingly hopeless situation by running away as hard and fast as she could. I don’t think she stopped to consider where she might end up or what consequences her choice would bring. She simply responded to her pain and loss with desperation and panic.
I can identify with her because I have been like Hagar.
Perhaps you have, too.
Have you responded to some memory, loss, or heartache the way Hagar and David did in Psalm 139—running? Did you hide those heartbreaks away, never to see the light of day? Perhaps you always feared should they ever be uncovered, you and others you are trying to protect would simply fall apart. Just like Hagar, many of us have felt lost, alone and betrayed. So we ran and made a choice that would change us forever. It may have been a choice that seemed to be your only hope or option at the time, but desperation doesn’t make sound choices.
Hagar’s flight to the desert left her at a spring beside the road. The angel of the Lord met her there and told her to return to Sarai and submit to her authority. After that encounter with God, Hagar gave God a new name. She called him El Roi: The God Who Sees Me (Gen 16:11-15), the very God that David is beginning to understand himself.
God’s word beckons us to gird up in His power and strength and confront the past. He calls us to share our losses and pain with him, realizing He has already seen. Why? Why share our wounds, painful losses, or horrible decisions from the past with God who already knows it all? Because inviting Jesus into your pain and secrets allows God to use all our past for our freedom and His kingdom. An Unstuck past allows Him to completely heal us and move us into His complete kingdom plan.
I am sharing on Periscope this week on Tuesday and Thursday some very practical steps for facing backward to move forward. Join me will you? (You can “KATCH” past scopes on this link!)
Also, leave a comment below telling me that you visited my blog this week and I’ll enter your name MY WEEKLY FREE BOOK drawing and the EXTRA WIN for my FREE PDF on the 8 Steps to Peace with the Past.
Congratulations to last weeks winner! @RachelTemple
Remember this UnStuck Truth: Sometimes we have to go back to get ahead.
More times than not, our past weighs us down from a Life Unstuck.
Hope awaits when we understand God wants to use EVERYTHING we have gone through, to bring us the peace, purpose and passion He desires for us.
He SEES YOU!!
Your words in this blog spoke directly to my heart. I can relate to Hagar as well. So many bad decisions because of running from the past and desperation. Thank you!
Please enter me in the drawing as well. I would love to have more of your materials to study.
Thank you Vicki! Isn’t it cool how God connects our hearts across the miles.
We are HIS family for sure!!
I always come away from reading your blog posts with an encouraged heart. Thank you for the chance to win a book!
Wow Linda! Your words touched my deepest desire–to INSPIRE and encourage others with my post. Thank you for being that someone!
I noticed you weren’t on periscope today. I hope everything is okay, & you were just busy.
I do think every day would be a bit much pressure to maintain, so I don’t intend this to be a push to get there every day.
(I am learning I need to create a new boundary for Periscope because it’s so time consuming with everyone I want to see, so I’m experimenting with which are live or replay or not going to continue because they go for an hour & so on. I’m sure you’re adjusting to the time concern as well & hope it’s nothing serious.)
Looking forward to seeing you there soon!
Aren’t you a sweetie! YEP– I missed it 🙂
I am PRESSING ON but oh so not all the way there LOL!
Thank you for nothing and joining he journey!!
Pat, I’m a first time visitor from Holley’s link up – so blessed by your beautiful post. Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement to leave the past behind. I had forgotten what a past Paul had – talk about shame & guilt…but he received grace, too. Thanks for the reminders.
Thank you for the visit new friend. I love Holley so much and have really enjoyed joining the LINK UP! Blessings to you today! I’ll visit your blog next!
This is my first time visiting your blog. I loved what I read here and I love the feel of your little corner of the blog world. A warm place to rest 😉 I love the story of Hagar and the God who sees! It is so difficult to stop running. Sometimes we pause and lay a little bit down, but then we carry on with the things that we just are too scared or not ready to share. I see this in women’s ministries, too. It aches my heart for women to sit around a table being sweet and saying “I’ll pray for you.” But if someone gets brave enough to reveal true hurts – the true burdens, the shuffling of uncomfortable feet begin beneath the table. Averted eyes. Quick prayers and quick exits. God has put on my heart to create small groups of women to be REAL together. Safe environments where we can stop running and we have invested prayer warriors to encourage us as we lay it down!
Thank you so much for the beautiful post! I am so glad we were neighbors at #CoffeeforYourHeart!
Blessings and smiles,
What an honor to have new friends take time to stop by and say hello. I truly LOVE Periscope. It feels like face to face with new friends.
I am So happy to meet you!!
BIG Blessings today!
Individual submissions from programa developers come in daily and are checked for viruses and made available for download.
Well there are a few specific industries and business types which
seem to move forward and prosper better thsn others so here is a list oof some oof the top small business indusstries you
may want to lokk at annd wwhy they are so successful.
At other times, the wordk you do may only be seasonal or temporary.
In my opinion, the best small business to start is one that iis out off your home.
Surprisingly individual pleasant website. Immense info readily available on couple of clicks