The voices kept telling her and reminding her of the myriad mistakes she made and how she has reaped what she has sown and how now she has to live with those consequences.
The sins of the past kept worming their way into Ella’s life – disrupting and spoiling everything she tried to do and everything she touched.
Years before she had those three abortions and even further to when she somehow became the surrogate sex partner shared around by anonymous groups of teens, Ella had been a Christian or so she thought.
Her husband of four years knew vaguely of part of her past but even to him she had never disclosed her entire story.
The life she had lived back then and decisions she had made were eating her up inside and in her panic and feelings of unworthiness she was on the verge of depression and isolation.
Ella and her husband had tried to conceive a child – she wanted so much to become in her eyes a ‘real’ family. Many doctors had said it was completely unlikely that she would conceive normally and of course Ella blamed herself and those abortions from years ago.
Her guilt and self-condemnation haunted her every move and nothing would take those feelings of dread, regret, remorse and shame away.
In her early years, Ella had committed her life to Jesus, she had been challenged to learn more and more about Him. ‘
She had found herself wanting to go to church and meet with others of like mind and keep on learning from His word. She believed that in God’s grace and mercy Jesus had forgiven her sins and she was so thankful to Him.
Somehow over the years she had slowly slipped away – a little at first and then the more she missed handing each day over to Jesus the easier it became to become a follower of the world out there and bit by bit the ways of Christianity seemed to slip through her fingers.
In her desperation, Ella found herself sitting in church one Sunday – her mind a total blank – her heart breaking and not knowing where to turn or who to turn to.
She vaguely heard the songs- she vaguely heard the message – she rarely even lifted her head to look around – then she somehow heard these words.
“I don’t know what happened in your life all those years ago but I do know what regret and guilt over past actions can do”
Her breaking heart skipped a beat – she felt like crying out “can you repeat what you just said?’
She kept her head bowed low and listened probably for the first time to what this stranger was saying.
The minister kept on – she seemed to be speaking to Ella personally “Every so often I find myself cringing at the sudden recall of things done or said from my past.”
Ella became like a sponge, absorbing every word and syllable. It was like God himself had sent her to this church on this very day.
The minister went on to say how particularly hard it is when our past comes back to hurt and disappoint those we love the most.
She opened God’s word to Romans eight and from there expounded the Gospel of how Jesus came to die for us all – everyone – no one excluded. no matter what we have done or failed to do. No sin is too gross that God will not forgive if we TRULY repent.
She went on to say that does not mean that we are free of the consequences of such actions. Often the sins of the past have major consequences that effect our future and we have to deal with them in very individual ways.
These consequences as sad and damaging as they may be, do not in any way affect our salvation but they do affect our lives.
Ella re-committed her life to Jesus that very hour. Did things improve? – the consequences didn’t – she still had the past and what that meant but the guilt had been washed away – she was a new creation – a new person in Jesus.
I have no idea what has happened in your life – I know I have a past and I know only too well what that past can do – BUT I also know that I have a future and my future is so wound up in Christ and what He has done for me.
How you deal with past mistakes and the consequences of them is entirely between you and God. You may need to ask for forgiveness, you may need to give forgiveness from your heart and that can be extraordinarily hard.
It may go deeper than that – you may have to own your sin – that is own up to what you have done and bear the consequences – again truly hard and agonisingly sad. All these things need to be taken to the throne of God – He will show you through the work of His Spirit what you should do and how you should act.
Let me assure you that nothing you have done can come between you and God. Nothing is too hard for God to forgive. Of course we have to repent, which is far more than ‘being sorry’. True repentance comes from the heart and it is a ‘turning away’ from that sin.
Charles Spurgeon said ” Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, a mourning that we have committed it and a resolution to forsake it”
So have you hit your limit? Are you feeling you can’t go on? These voices inside your head and in your heart telling you “you won’t get past this one – you are defeated – it’s not real- you are a failure?”
Please take heart – it’s certainly not over yet – God has far greater things than this waiting for us. Far greater than our past and far greater than our uncertainties.
Turn your life over to Him right now; right where you are. Don’t give you past a foothold in your life.
With Jesus we can do anything and achieve so much more.
Life is a race we run so let’s run till the race is won. Don’t look back – keep looking to Jesus – after all He keeps looking at us.
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