Has your last decade been full of restoration or regret? Either way, God is with you!
Have you seen the 10 year photo challenge going around social media? I chose not to participate on there… ya know, in case it’s actually an FBI + FB plot to update their facial recognition software. (JK. Sort of.)
But I still think it’s worth it to take a look at your progress over the last decade… if for no other reason than to be reminded of what God has done in your life.
10 years ago, I was in full wedding planning mode. I got married in April of 2012, so January of 2012 was a busy time! We were short on funds in those days so I DIYed a lot of our wedding stuff. Most of my Facebook Memories from this time 10 years ago include photos of me in my living room, trying to DIY the decor. (And as a non-crafty person, it’s pretty comical that I assumed I could do that!)
More importantly, 10 years ago I was in the middle of an unhealthy relationship with my fiance and an unhealthy relationship with drinking. I didn’t know Jesus. I didn’t read my Bible. I didn’t go to church. I didn’t make good choices. I was living for ME.
It hurts a little to look back at the Chrissie of 2012. I kind of want to shake her… wake her up from her selfish state and point her to Jesus…. But honestly, I wasn’t ready to hear it yet. I wasn’t ready for Jesus yet.
A year later, I was ready. Desperate. Excited to change and start living for the Lord.
But not in 2012.
God’s timing is perfect and I fully believe He knew I wasn’t ready yet. He knew my husband wasn’t ready yet either. But somehow God kept us together, against all odds.
Looking back, I can’t figure out why on earth I went through with that wedding. I was not happy in that relationship. All I can figure was that God wasn't going to let me out of it because He knew what was to come.
And by mid-2013, my husband and I were both sober, both falling in love with Jesus, and both working hard to build a beautiful relationship and family. (You can read the whole miraculous story in my book - What If I Name Her Grace?)
But whew, 10 years ago, we were NOT there yet. Not even close.
So while it hurts to look back, it also is incredibly encouraging. Look at all God has done in my life! The restoration of my relationship with my husband. The three beautiful children we have now. The amazing careers we both have. The good health in our family. Such blessings!
God promises to work all things for good. Not some. All.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
I can look back now and see how all that pain from 10 years ago has become something good. Yes, my family is restored. But I also have a testimony that I can share with others in similar situations, encouraging them that things can get better. That God is a god of miracles.
I know not all of you can see the good yet. But my pastor always says, “If it’s not good yet, God’s not done yet.”
So if your 10 year challenge didn’t bring a smile to your face… if your last decade isn’t full of miraculous change and growth… that’s ok! It’s not too late. God is always working. Keep the faith. Keep praying. Keep asking. And I’ll pray right alongside you.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11