It’s a privilege to introduce you to my friend Bridget Edwards, who writes this week’s guest post. Bridget is a private person, so I consider it an honor that she allows us into her afternoon reverie. Many of us may have asked ourselves a similar question, “What would I do differently in hindsight?” Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t pigeonhole us in our pasts. He offers us new identities as he takes the giant eraser of His love to our life histories. Thank you, Bridget, for this honest reflection. ~Juliet~
While sitting here on my patio enjoying a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the thought ran through my mind, “If I had life to live all over again what I would do differently?” The question was followed by a flood of memories, emotions, resentments and regrets. But I quickly push the thoughts out of my head. “You cannot live life over again, that’s foolish.” Unfortunately, I have to live with my bad decisions; I have to suffer the consequences of my behavior; I have to endure the shame of my sinful choices.
You see, the devil offered me an alternative life style to that which God offered. And NOT consciously choosing it, I took it – pushing aside all the sermons I had heard, all the bible studies attended, blocking out the many family worships and ignoring all the prayers prayed on my behalf. I sought to numb the pains of life with the pleasures of sin, not realizing at the time that this behavior would only cause more pain.
You see I wasn’t sure of what I was running from or what I was running to for that matter. It was years later that I even realized I was running. But then it was too late. Sin was so deeply embedded in my life that all felt hopelessly lost. Stains of sin started to alter my appearance, my judgment, my compassion and my will.
Every time I looked at myself, all I could see was a life of sin. The results of my sinful behavior appeared in my marriage, in my children, in my work and in my play, preventing me from having a relationship with God. After looking over my life and realizing that there was no escape from the clutches of Satan, I cried out to the Lord, “I am unworthy Lord, please save me.” It was my cry of desperation, but I was not desperate enough to totally surrender to God’s leading.
You see, I struggle with surrender, I struggle with giving up total control, and I struggle with trusting another person, being, and thing. Nevertheless, my awesome God knows this about me, and in His infinite wisdom He uses kid gloves to deal with me. Nudging me ever so gently, offering me forgiveness and reminding me of His promises.
I cling to the promise found in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I breathe the promise of Hebrews 13:5, “For He Himself has said, I will never leave nor forsake you” and Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;” I pray daily “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit (Psalms 51:10-12).
I wasted many years of my life doing foolish sinful things, but because of God’s goodness, those experiences are now testimonies of how God will leave the ninety-nine to go look for, retrieve and restore the one lost sheep. I am that lost sheep, safe at home in the fold with the Father. God redeems broken lives and restores identities that we thought were lost.
Bridget Edwards is a wife, mother, friend and born leader. Upon completing her Bachelor’s Degree she was called by God to work with children instead of pursuing her passion for law. Obedient to God’s call, Bridget has changed the lives of young people in and outside of the classroom. When not working with children or assisting in church she enjoys camping, bike riding and avoiding cooking. Bridget is striving to have a Christ-like character. Her motto is “In God I Trust, live and breathe”.