Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Life is a journey, NOT the destination.

A few weeks ago I posted a blog titled, "Forgiveness and Resentment", talking about the people who have hurt me in the past and how difficult it has been to forgive them. Along those same lines (referring to those people), I have really done a lot of thinking lately, and come to realizations through different situations and circumstances in my life.

Let me explain.

When I was really hurt, part of that hurt made me question what my purpose in life was a,nd why I was going to Moody, and even why I was with Eric (like I didn't deserve the life that I had with him). It has been a really long journey filled with pain and tear. The pain that came from what happened a year ago is still very present with me, and has really been difficult to try and overcome. However, I really feel as though I'm on the other side and I'm beginning to see the hope from what happened.

Through meeting with certain people in my life, I have been so encouraged that though I definitely made mistakes in the situations which hurt me the most, I also did whatever I could to try and make things right. Also, just because I made these mistakes doesn't mean that I'm not fit for ministry or doing well in life. It just simply means that I'm not perfect. Though I struggle to see it sometimes (or often) I am coming to realize that God can use me in the midst of my imperfections and failings. 

One of the biggest things I have come to realize is that I don't always have to rely on the opinions of others. Whether it is their opinion of me or the fact that they have a different perspective, I don't need to take that opinion and treat it as right simply because it's their opinion. I need to be wise and discerning about what I allow to actually make a difference to me when it comes to people's opinions (especially their opinions of my character).

Now, don't get me wrong: This doesn't mean that I think I should only listen to the good things that people think and say about me, but rather take what people say as criticism and line it up with either what I've done or said, and see if maybe what they've said truly is a weakness of mine.

For example, a year ago I had my integrity called in to question. Because I wasn't discerning, I let this person's opinion of me rule my heart and mind and I began to wonder who I really was if I didn't have the integrity that I thought I did. Once I thought about it clearly and objectively however, I realized that I did have integrity in that specific situation, and this person just saw me completely wrong and misinterpreted the situation without understanding my perspective and my own situation at the time. 

God really is teaching me and growing me so much. I have learned so much about what it means to follow Him and how it's okay not to be perfect and to make mistakes. When I was right in the heart of all my mess, one thing that Eric told me really stuck with me. He said that it doesn't matter what mistakes I made; it matters what I did afterwards to make it right. Though the people that I tried to reconcile with did not accept it... It doesn't matter. That's their decision, and I can't change it. All I can do is change my behavior, so that I know that I can stand before the Lord with a clear conscience, knowing that I did whatever I could to make things right.

My dear readers, we don't have to be perfect. We aren't called to be perfect. We are called to take each day one step at a time, steadily becoming more like Christ. 

Did you hear that? We don't have to be like him right now. This life is a process. It's a journey - not the destination. We are going to make mistakes, and we are going to hurt people, be hurt, and feel like we can't do a single thing right. 


We will never get to a point where we are no longer acceptable to God. We will never reach a point where we have made too many mistakes for God to take us back again. He will always take us back, with arms wide open. 

Friends, if you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will always have this hope available to you. God will never leave you, nor forsake you. And my dear friends who may not believe, you can have this hope available to you, if "you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead." (Romans 10:9) It is through this belief that we are saved and we can have eternal life with the One who rescued us from eternal punishment.

And like my beloved husband said, 

It doesn't matter the mistakes we make - what matters is how we make things right.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Bethany! Thanks for writing this. It is an encouragment to me today, as I recall similar instances in my life. Learning to accept, change, forgive, its messy business. Even when we are hurt, even when we sin, God can still use us. Thanks for the reminder of a God who can work through our human nature, and give us strength in him to follow in integrity! Miss you girl!



Thanks for visiting my blog, friends! Let me know you were here by writing a note, if you'd like! Love you all! :)