So You Have a Past

Gwen Smith Blog, Devotions, Forgiveness, Grace, Healing, Worth 151 Comments

The New Testament begins with the book of Matthew and showcases more drama than a Hallmark movie. The book starts off with a genealogy trail that leads from Abraham to the birth of Jesus. This list of names might make you yawn, but it’s actually really important – and even exciting. (Yes. You read that right!) It’s fascinating because it gives evidence to a family line that shows Jesus was a descendent of both Abraham and King David, thus fulfilling what the Old Testament predicted about the lineage of the Messiah.

Scandal steps onto the page in verse three of Matthew chapter one when a woman’s name shows up. (Traditionally, only the names of men appeared in these family lineages.) But this wasn’t just any woman, it’s one from the shady side of the family tree … Tamar. She had a past, and any Jewish scholar worth their salt would know about it. She was used and abused by men that should’ve loved, protected, and provided for her. Once scorned, she schemed for revenge and ended up having twins to her father-in-law. One of the twins, Perez, is an ancestor to King David.

As the list goes on we see a few more eyebrow-raising names…

Rahab’s name is listed. Remember her? She was the prostitute who “turned good” when she helped Joshua and the Israelites capture Jericho. Bathsheba’s on the list too, but they don’t even mention her by name. She’s recorded this way, “David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife.” (Matthew 1:6) Nice. Archived as the woman who had an affair with King David while she was married to a soldier named Uriah.

All three of these women were known, but not necessarily for cleaned up good things. Seeing these women listed among the relatives of Jesus seems very… messy. It seems to me that historians would want to hide those names, not put them out there for everyone to see! But that’s not God’s way.

He doesn’t sweep things under the rug and pretend they aren’t there.

And strangely enough, I’m encouraged by the presence of these women in the lineage of Jesus.


Because they are powerful displays of His grace.

They are proof that God does not require perfection from us in order for His will to be done through us. The apostle Paul summed it up nicely in his second letter to the church of Corinth. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

So you have a past. So did Tamar, Rahab, and Bathsheba. I do too. Who doesn’t?

So you have a few people in your family with rusty reputations. So do I. So did Jesus.

So you have some shame or pain regarding things that were done to you… things that were or are beyond your control. You’re not alone.

God’s mercy reaches beyond the muck and mire of our pasts to recreate us in the grace and love of Jesus. He lifts fallen heads, purifies rebellious hearts, and places slippery feet on solid ground. Nothing about having a “past” or “complicated associations” can keep you from walking out the freedom and hope of Jesus.

God uses the broken to showcase His beauty.

Believe it.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for grace… for not holding my past against me… for declaring me a new creation in Christ. Please help me to trust you with my past and with my future.
In Jesus’ name, amen.



Read Isaiah 41:8-14. What does this passage tell you about God? Where do you sense He is leading you today? Talk to Him. Seek His help, healing, and direction. Then click over to my blog and post a prayer of response or post a prayer need.

Remember: my blog is not a monologue! It’s a dialog. I love hearing what’s on your heart and watching you love on and encourage one another in the comments.

Thanks for doing life with me!

In Christ,


{Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast during your commute to and from work… or while you run errands, cook dinner, fold laundry, eat chips and guacamole… all the things}

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Comments 151

  1. To God be the Glory!
    I thank God for saving me. I too had a past, my divorce was cause by my infidelity but through Jesus Christ I am forgiven. The only hard part I had was forgiving myself. I am still in the healing process but it’s getting better. It encourages me knowing that I am not alone and that the Lord God is with me. Only through him may I be a new creation. Praise the Lord for His goodness!
    Thank you Gwen for what you do for the Lord. I do not have a girlfriend or someone I can speak to about theses things.
    Thank you God for leading me in this direction.

  2. Jesus sees my struggle with my divorce from a man whom was not good for me. And yet I still loved him. Reading the passages today made me realize that it Is Jesus who I can depend upon. He’s always with me. And I need not think of getting back at those who have hurt me. That Jesus will take care of that.

  3. Wow this is a repeated message from the current Bible study I am in. Seeking God Revive our hearts. God’s grace is amazing. The chapter we are on for this week. Allowing God to shine light on the dark places of your heart and then facing that sin and forsaking that sin. But not having to do it alone. God is with us. I want to be free from satan’s continued pokes of what I think is hidden and be free to God’s amazing grace. Again Ps 139 shows His abounding love for this mudpie girl and I PRAISE HIM for making me a daughter to the King of Kings.

  4. This was a very powerful read. I appreciate how real, frank and honest it is. It is very encouraging to be reminded that my ugly will not be held against me…that yes indeed, I have been redeemed from it all. I thank God for how He uses you Gwen, to speak in easy to understand truth but with a deepness that goes beneath the surface. This article blessed me tremendously. To God be the Glory.

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    2. Amen. I echo your comments. I feel like I know Gwen as an old loyal friend. Kind, loving but honest about me having something green in my teeth. Lol thank you for your obedience to write truth without candy coating.

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  5. These verses are yet another treasure to hide in my heart.. Thank you for your encouragement this morning! I needed to be reminded that Jesus background was messy, just like mine. I can hold my head up and yet walk humbly. Our God is just so amazing to take care of all of the details of our lives!

    1. Thank you ladies for reminding me that I am who am I and it’s ok . That I can speak up and not to be afraid. To stop second guessing Him. Thanks for the encouragement I needed!!

  6. I would like to request a prayer for myself. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my past and I’m starting a new journey and i ask That you pray for my patience as God reveals His plans for me and orders my steps. I ask For prayers that I’ll be ready for what God has for me

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  7. I’ve been encouraged through many of your articles. I would like to request prayer for my fiance John and I. We got engaged in December 2017 after dating 3 years. We both have been through lots of healing and deliverance over our lives from past hurts and sin patterns. I have a hard time fully trusting any man after my past and because of my fiance past life. We both had been in very dysfunctional sexual endeavours. I had been married previously for 17 years. He’s older than me and never been married. We do ministry together at local Prison. I struggle with jealously also, due to previous ridiculous things that was throw up sometimes right in my face. My current fiance and I have not being sexually active and I hope to be someday. We just meant with our Pastor this week regarding some of these struggles. Our Pastor and his wife plan to continue meeting with us to try and get further healing and direction.
    Prayers for our continued growth and healing is greatly appreciated.

  8. For anyone out there dealing with the destruction of infidelity, DON’T GIVE UP! I will be the first to admit I didn’t believe God or anyone else when they said I would be rewarded with a stronger marriage for staying. I will also admit I didn’t stay and fight for myself or my husband but I fought for my grown son and my grandchildren. Life is hard enough but a broken family only makes it worse. Today I give all the glory to God my marriage is better and stronger than ever. It took 10 years to get here and I wanted to give up almost daily. It only takes faith and trust in GOD to move that mountain!

  9. Praying for God’s word to speak to our 5 children!!! They are not believers. I pray for them everyday!
    I struggle a LOT with my past, even though I KNOW God has forgiven me. And my struggles with things I shouldn’t be doing, praying for God’s strength!
    AND I’m praying I can get to the conference on October 6, in Michigan!! I LOVE me some GWEN!!!!
    Praying everything in Jesus name! AMEN!

  10. Thank you God for choosing me!! I have nothing to fear with you watching over me. You give me the strength I need and no one can come against me. Help me to remember that I am chosen, loved and protected.

  11. Thank you for this post!God is ever faithful and is reaching out to me. i went through a divorce 3 years ago and i have been struggling with bitterness and unforgiveness for all that i went through at the hands of my ex and his family….. God has just reminded me that He is there for me, i feel lonely and long for someone to love me amd my kids as i am…. God has just assured me that He has my back!

  12. God’s grace and mercy are enough! He has been faithful in protecting and defending me! His love never fails ❤️ I was in the right place at the right time tonight. God has a plan! Praise the Lord

  13. God’s grace and mercy are enough! He has been faithful in protecting and defending me! His love never fails ❤️ I was in the right place at the right time tonight. God has a plan!

  14. I believe he is leading me to believe he is always with me and drawing me towards him more recently I feel he is with me I can sense he’s there because I have more peace thank you with all my heart

  15. I enjoyed today’s reading, thanks! A friend sent me a link to this and have never heard of Gwen before. I’m in New Zealand.
    I’d appreciate prayer as I’m struggling as a mother with teens. I’m so impatient and unloving in my responses to their ‘moods’ and they are disrespectful to me and each other. I need God’s peace in my home. Feel v defeated in this area but know God has them. The eldest is mot wanting to know God. It’s heartbreaking for me as a mum. Thanks for joining with me in praying for this.

  16. My first time I rode my phone wasn’t working right. But I need prayer for my past it just keeps popping up in my head. And I know God has forgiven me. And I have I don’t like it when it comes through my mind.I want to thank U for taking your time for sharing God’s word with us to help us to believe he is in control. Thanks again

  17. I am in awe of the fact that God has chosen me, He is with me and He will help me. So I will not be afraid. This devotion was a blessing to me. Learning to trust Our Heavenly Father to be there for me and with me and that he has my back and is taking care of His daughter when I am hurt and going through bad relationships.
    Thank you so very much!
    God bless!

  18. My need n pray is to let go and let God … I have not been able to do this for ever .. I am in recovery a step study with CR … My sponsor n I spoke about this very thing … Thank you my God continue to Bless you for Blessing me (us)!!!

  19. Thank you for this encouraging post. I’m writing a song about being more rahab than Sarah. Also, I’ve just finished writing my memoir about the same subject, having a painful past and finding grace in Jesus! Please pray I find an agent and publisher to get the book out there where it will glorify God and comfort others with the comfort I’ve been given.

  20. I know God is telling me to not be afraid he is with me. Right now I am still ashamed of my past and even afraid to enter my future. I have so much going on I just don’t know which way to turn sometimes. I am thankful for his love, grace and mercy. I know God loves me and he died for our sins. I will keep pressing on, because he’s not done with me yet. Thank you Jesus.

  21. Lord Jesus, thank you for cleaning up my murky past with your precious blood, thank you for forgiveness & new life in you.
    Lord, please help me to forgive myself and live in Your newness of life for me, amen.

  22. I LOVE my Girlfriends in God devotions, and I just began the Psalm Adventure. I am praying Isiaih 41 today for my friend and sister in Christ, Melissa, who is battling metastatic cancer. She just got the results of her tests yesterday and is praising God that she has been given a 75% chance of survival. She is continuing to pray for healing, and asking for prayers for her son Caleb and her husband Gary as they deal with her cancer. Please pray with me for Melissa.

    But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you I said, “You are my servant”, I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you.; do not be dismayed, for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
    Isaiah 41:8-10

  23. Thank you for that passage. (Isaiah 41:8-14) Tears immediately streamed down. I am reminded despite everything I am facing today He is with me and I should not fear. Please pray for me for closure from a very bad marriage and relationship with the father of my children. For this chapter to end soon and for me and my children to heal from everything we have been put through. And that I have strength to be what Christ created me to be, and be able to provide for my children’s needs. I have 3. Through it all I am stronger and closer to him than ever. So it was all worth it. For me to have joy and peace today. To be renewed starting today on my birthday. For my #34 to be the year where I start living with the purpose God created me for. To share the gospel to those who need it and need to have God in their life. To lead by example. Sorry that was more than one prayer request. This morning I will pray for all of you. Love you all in Christ, Karen.

  24. I have finally read your post
    , I have subscribed but never went through with reading what made me read today I can only think God is reaching out to me. God knows I have struggled with my past for as long as I can remember. Shame and guilt has kept me from reaching out and following my savior. I am so glad I’ve read your reading today because it hit home so much. For years I’ve tried asking for forgiveness and at a point I have felt it and years later self doubt has set in and again I’m thinking of my past. I am glad I read today because I know God is trying to reach out to me.

    I want to thank God for all he has given me I really have been blessed. I am now asking for prayers for my health I have a bad cancer which every day brings me down, Dear Lord please help me and my family through this situation.

  25. I’m praying that the Lord will satisfy me fully with Himself; that instead of being drawn away from Him by my lusts, deep longings, loneliness and pain, I will abide in Him.

  26. Thank you so much Gwen for this message. I struggle with my past. I struggle with feeling shame and guilt for being loved so much by such a gracious God. Prayers for me to be at peace with my past deeds and help me move forward and walk in His beauty and His will. Thank you

  27. Asking prayers for my son with type 1 diabetes. Hoping for a cure one day. As the bills build up, he struggles in making ends meet.

  28. Romans 4: 7 – 8 “ Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered. Blessed is the one who whose sin the Lord never count against him or her. Romans 5 : 1. I am standing in God’ grace !!!

  29. Hi Gwen,
    I have been doing your devotionals for about a month now, and I thank you wholeheartedly for allowing God to work through you as the message is always what I need to hear. I am writing this response to request a prayer. I just began college a few weeks ago, and have been dealing with anxiety about the many changes. For about three years on and off I have been dating a boy who I truly love, but since school started I have been feeling kind of anxious towards our relationship. He assures me things are fine, I just think my anxiety is creeping into all aspects of my life. I just pray that he will be saved by the Lord. Thank you for every thing.

  30. God has truly shown His grace and mercy in my life. The things I’ve done in my past have left broken pieces and scars that I once believed could never be healed…..but God! But God has shown his light thru all the cracks in my character, and the broken pieces and ruin are being rebuilt into something stronger and more beautiful than what was there before. I marvel at His handiwork every single day; at the marriage He has rebuilt; at our family, fortified and stronger than before. I can say with confidence and humble gratefulness that He HAS lifted me up out of the mud and mire. He has given me a firm place to stand. He has put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise! Many are seeing and will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him. (Psalm 40:2)

    I need prayer, please, for my sister’s heart to be softened to me; that the darkness of my past mistakes and the light that is now would draw her in. That she would feel less judged and more understood. That she would come to the alter to receive grace as well.

  31. Thank you for the encouragement. I needed that! I’m struggling hard in my faith walk right now. A combination of bad decisions, health issues and plain bad luck has led to me struggling financially. A couple of months ago, I felt God telling me to tithe 10% I’ve been tithing, but it’s been closer to 4-5%. But God told me to up it to where it belongs.

    I’ve wanted to tithe, but financially, it’s so tight, I didn’t feel like I could. I have some big bills coming due at the end of the year that I don’t know how I am going to pay them. I decided to go out on a leap of faith and tithe the 10% joyfully and willingly without resentment and pray that I can withstand this test of faith and grow from it.

    I still don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills. I’m still trying to figure out how to pay for everything this month, let alone the end of the year. I’m putting my faith into God that He will show me how it will happen. I’m reading and praying over Malachi 3:6-10.

    Every morning, I have a devotional with Girlfriends With God and every morning, I feel God speaking to me through you and the other ladies who provide the material for it. Thank you for helping me stay focused!

  32. Dear Father God, I need Your guidance, comfort, strength, and courage. I often fear to take even one step because I have made so many false ones. I feel Your presence this morning telling me to just take one step at a time. You’ll meet me where I am; You’ll guide my path; You’ll take hold of my right hand and say to me, “Do not fear; I will help you.” (Is. 41:13).
    Abba, most of all, I need You to heal my brokenness from the past. There is a great sadness that follows me all the days of my life and I need to replace that with joy and hope. I know You are loving me into Your kingdom, one step at a time. Provide me the forbearance to be patient, to “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait; I say, on the Lord!” (Ps. 27:14).
    In Jesus’ Precious Name I pray these things. Amen.

  33. Please pray for my mom, Penny, who is battling stage IV colon cancer. Please pray the tumor in her abdomen and two spots in her lungs go away permanently. Pray no more cancer ever enters her body. Pray for no fatigue, no digestive issues, and no hair loss from the treatment. Pray for complete healing. Thank you! ❤️

  34. I have a rough past and have been cheated on. My hurt, insecurity, and lack of trust from being cheated on, having my heart broken, and my world crushed in my past, is threatening to destroy my future. I pray that God can heal my heart and let the past be in the past. I am grateful for the wisdom I gained from that experience, but I don’t want that experience to define me or my current relationship. I want to have trust again and not let jealousy destroy my happiness. I feel the devil is on the attack and using this weakness against me. I pray that the man in my life has a pure heart and and that God will work in his heart to keep it pure and not let Satan attack him.

  35. This passage reminds me once again to not fear, for the Lord is with us always. Thank you, Lord, for being my strength and guiding me through life.

  36. Thank you God from delivering me from my past. I know I am forgiven for all the choices I made. Thank you for loving me inspite of. Help me to put my trust in you to know my past not hold me back any longer.

  37. Wow, this really hit home. I feel like I have done so much wrong in my past. But God forgives me. He gives us the strength to get us through each new day. I need to forget about the past. I need to keep looking forward. God is for me and not against me. As I go through each day, I can forget about what I have failed to do and start anew.

  38. I’m behind on all my reading so after I read Psalms 1 – 4 I read Colossians 1 and then when I got to work I was going to listen to the first Psalm Adventure video and take notes until I heard you mention checking my email for Psalm Adventure freebies (I like freebies) and when I did the first email I came to was, So You Have a Past and after a tearful prayer this morning I needed to read it and after I did it gave me hope for so many things.

    To answer you question, What does this passage tell you about God? I’ll answer it this way. (sorry for being so wordy)

    My prayer this morning was to be reconciled to my children, Carmen and Jeremiah whom I sinned against when I chose my own selfish way and abandoned them but God saw me and saw my struggle and is reminding me through this devotional He is my strength and my help.

    and my answer to your question Where do you sense He is leading you today?

    To trust Him to be my strength when
    I’m feeling emotionally weak; having a hard time controlling my feelings over mistakes I’ve made in the past that make me feel unworthy of the grace God has given me that leads me to beat myself up
    mentally weak when I have moments of memory lapses that makes me feel stupid and not worth any ones time because I keep asking the same question over and over, “What was your name again?” or when I’m searching for something throughout the house because I can’t remember the last place I put it which makes me feel like I’m loosing my mind
    physically weak when the pain from spinal stenosis and scoliosis acts up and when I find out there’s further deterioration of the disc in my spine because He is and will be my strength.

    Now I’m getting ready to go home and on the way I gonna reflect and pray for God’s understanding of all I’ve read and heard today.

    God bless ya. Love ya, Later.

  39. Hi Gwen ! My name is Susan from NJ and just wanted to thank you for your interest in helping other woman … I was wondering if possible if in NJ , you would be an awesome speaker at Keswick .. in Whiting NJ .. they have speakers throughout the winter months .. I am also pursuing music ministry , it’s been a very slow process but I am hopeful the Lord would open new doors to serve his people in a deeper way …please pray for me .. god bless you ❤️

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  40. This post is SO inspiring. Members of my earthly family constantly like to remind me of my past. This passage/book helps remind me that no one should delight in reminding others of their faults. It also helped me t try and remember, more often, that God doesn’t hold onto my past so why should I let it bother me when others decide to do so?
    Dear God,
    I want to thank you that no matter what my past is, you can help me improve each day when I read new decrees. You renew my spirit and allow me not to feel trapped in guilt or blame! Thank you for giving me this body and reminding me through many books of the bible (1 Corinthians, Philippians, etc.) that my body should be used to glorify you. You know my heart and my intentions, and I am so glad that you pull me in closer everyday that I ask you questions and intentionally follow the path that you have laid out for me. Help me to remind others, today and other days in the future, that their past does not matter as they think it does. You can transform us and renew our hearts, souls and minds. (Romans 12;2)
    In Jesus’ name,

  41. I wanted to say a prayer regarding Philippians 1 because the other blog post was deleted. Paul really inspires me through this book, and I wanted to share my thoughts with God about it publicly.
    Dear God,
    I hope to be the type of person that people feel safe to go to in times of trouble (because they can see you in me.) Please instill in me the wisdom to know when to talk to others of your gracious love and miraculous victories. Also, I want people to know you, so I pray that more and more people will come to you each day and be able to find refuge in you! You are my only hope Lord, and I want to follow you for all the right reasons not “out of selfish ambition,” (as Paul mentioned) but because I want people to know about your majesty and unfailing love. Please give me the strength to know that you are always with me, even in times when others are slandering your name. I want other people to be able to see your virtues in me!
    In Jesus’ name,

  42. After reading this I realize it’s ok to not be perfect. I have always disappointed myself by not setting higher standards for perfection as a mom. It’s hard. I have a special needs son who requires my attention 24/7 365! I have a daughter who often times I feel is left out. At night her and I lay in bed and pray about our upcoming day! Trying to make a change and be the light and non perfectionist that my kids need me to be.

  43. Good Morning,

    After reading this message and reading the scripture that went with it. I am Thankful to God for Him choosing and calling me to be a servant of His inspit my inperfections and feeling on unworthness. I have no reason not to continue to serve the True God who I know created heaven and earth. I know God is real because I am standing here on earth in which He created. Genesis 1:1-2. Inspired By God.

  44. God I praise You for You alone are always with me, why do I ever doubt that? I take my eyes off You and allow the ‘what if’s’ to creep in, yet You wait patiently for my return! I love You, JESUS, help me to stray less and trust more. Amen

  45. Thank you Gwen for this study and for helping us acknowledge our brokenness from sin in our lives. I know I need to trust God to take that which is broken to be made whole in Him to let his blessings flow in and through me so I may be a blessing to others, His forgiveness is so unfathomable yet real to me, that I pray for others to experience His life-giving grace through saving faith. Blessings to you all

  46. Lord, thank You that You are with me always. Please help me trust You in this. Thank You for Your Word of Truth, and for devotional blogs such as this. Thank You for Gwen’s passion for You, to reach women for Christ. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  47. Hi Gwen,
    I enjoyed the article on “Fallen Women” in the Bible and like the fact that you said that Jesus doesn’t ” sweep these women under the carpet” but helped them to repent and come into His Light! We all have pasts that are colored by greys and Jesus knows when we are sincere and want to come to HIM.PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!

  48. I need prayers for healing. I am 68 yrs.old old. I fell last Thurs. and hurt my ribs and tore muscles. My husband has been great in taking care of me, but he has health issues, too. With this and RA on top of it, healing is slow . Dear Lord , please hear my prayer for a speedy recovery. Amen

  49. Hey Gwen
    Thank you, I needed to read that today, I’ve always enjoy reading your work, they are uplifting.
    You were the first person who greeted me, my first Sunday at life fellowship.
    God bless you, continue doing his work.
    Norveline Thomas

  50. The passage encourages all whose has their faith in God He will be by their side and hold their hand in all circumstances. I know at all times but I have times that God needs to remind that He is their when times are not going as smooth and I seem to feel lost in that circumstance. I do praise my Lord for His constant care and watch over me and my family where ever they are in their lives. As mother of grown children and ones who have their own lives I still their Mother and am concerned and pra for them everyday. I know my god watches over them no matter where they are and that can be many places over the world. God cares.

  51. I am praying and seeking prayers to quit a nasty habit that I have had far too long. I am going to quit smoking through prayers and meditation and help from you powerful group of praying women 🙏🏼🙏🏼

  52. Happy Tuesday(:… Wow, I am in awe of my Savior & Redeemer! His timing is perfect!! Yes, I have a past but God, His grace is greater than my pitiful past. Ta DA! My past has closed doors but God has opened a new door to the start of a teaching career that my past can’t close. Ta DA!

  53. Thank you Jesus for your grace and forgiveness when we simply and sincerely ask. And thank you for turning my past sin into a blessing. My life has been blessed so much more than I deserve. I love You and I thank you Jesus.

    Gwen, your messages touch my heart every time. God bless you and your family.

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  54. Fear not for I am with thee…. We can be as close to God as we choose to be because He never leaves us! Thank you, Father! Love you, Gwen! God bless you!

  55. Good Morning. Thank you for the newsletter today. I believe the Lord is sending me to learn so much more. I’m to begin a new job in 2 weeks. I pray everyday for this new journey. Isiah 41 8-14, lets me know God has gone ahead of me. Preparing the way, that I need not worry. He has taken care of it. May God be with you today and guide you on your journey. Bless you !

    1. Happy TuesYay(:

      Blessings & Godspeed on your new job!! I too start a new job (career) soon… read Isaiah 41:8-14 as well this morning and was greatly encouraged by our Abba that He is already there, no need to fear.

  56. please pray for me had pins put in foot a few weeks ago and now 9am having a flare up of my lupus and fibromyalgia. I did my calling from him working with the homeless for 35 years and now I believe he wants me to take care of me but still help feed homeless once a month with my church and now do a lupus and fibromyalgia support group and do a gluten free blog.

  57. Gwen,
    I am sorry to hear about your house. We had a similar event last year and were out of our house five months. I want to tell you about the blessings that came out of it for I truly believe God let it happen to give me better than I had before. What was soon going to need replacing, what was old and out dated are now new and beautiful. From Broken into Beautiful! It’s hard to keep a happy heart when these things happen, so I decided that if anyone started telling me how sorry they were for us, I would say “I think God had that storm come just for me so I could have a new roof, a freshly painted house, etc…, We are making lemonade out of lemons”. Truly I believe He will give you better than you had before. I am sure with your faith you believe that too. So this is my encourage meant to you as you encouraged me when you visited Callaway Gardens in Georgia for the First Baptist Church Ladies Retreat. I asked for a hug and you gladly gave it. I wanted to return the hug!

  58. Hi Gwen,
    I had a fixation on several men in my life & it’s hard to get rid of this “sin”. I was hurt by the men because I wouldn’t stop emailing them.The Lord helped me stop and I still ask him to stop. Please pray for me and the men I fixated on. I ask God to forgive me.
    God bless

    1. Hi Gwen,
      my obsession has lessened considerably. I am doing other things at my Home and Fall has brought a NEW TIME for me. I just PRAISE & THANK THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS & LOVING KINDNESS.He always sends me an angel to help me when I need one to assist me and I feel great joy in His LOVE.I pray for my small family-my sis, her hubby and their son who’s to be married in 2019 and their daughter Karen.Pray for my on-going health problems. God bless. Marion

  59. Thank you so much for gig. I’ve been reading them every morning for years. This is a tough one, as many other women have posted as well.
    I see my sin as the worst sin a woman can commit. I don’t have the excuse that I didn’t know the Lord, that I didn’t know how deeply wrong it was nor was there circumstances that made the choice impossible. I was just scared, stupid and selfish.
    I believe with all of me that He is…everything that is wonderful, bright and beautiful He is. I am so abundantly blessed in a thousand ways and I see each of them as His love. I feel and am so unworthy. I live with the consequences now as I am alone. I struggle with shame and so often feel less valuable than other people. But I cling to Him every moment. I see the beauty in His creation. I do not understand very much at all but I believe and pray for a faith so bright I might show others His mercy and astounding, amazing, unfathomable love. Believing in what I do not see and certainty of what I hope for.
    Love, prayers and downpours of blessings.

  60. Thank you so much for your lessons daily …. Reconfirming Gods unconditional love

    As I struggle with my own journey … Please pray that I hear God talking to me in his way …. As child who strayed from the Lord and is rekindling that relationship … I am ever so scared that I am ignoring him or not hearing his plan my life.

  61. Please pray for my family. We have been through 6 years of turmoil and distress. In 2010 we found out my husband has cancer and there is no cure. He lives in pain everyday, he is not working due to stress makes the cancer grow faster. I am the only on working and I drive and hour and a half to work. I am very stressed. I am praying for a job closer to home. And we need a financial miracle. I have been having health issues due to the stress. We need a miracle.

  62. Thank you Gwen for such a timely and much needed article. As always Abba knows what I need and when. I am currently in a season I want to end and the past keeps rearing its head but I know God loves me, always will and will never ever forsake me. I just have to be strong and remain in His strength and stop being afraid. I am His Daughter regardless of my messes and brokenness and I know He knows my Heart and how much I just want Him. God Bless us all as always.

  63. Thank you Gwen. Any verse relating to anxiety calms my heart and mind as this is a daily and minute by minute mental struggle for me. I appreciate your words and thoughts and they provide me great comfort ans power in the word of the Lord. Thank you!

  64. Gwen, so needed to read this today. It really hit the nail on the head for me. Lost husband of 49 years a year & a half ago & have been trying to find myself. Really hard to live & be alone. You are blessing.

  65. A friend named Fay shared Girlfriends in God with me a few weeks ago. Everyday at work I read Jesus is Calling and look forward to reading daily devotionals, so I started reading GIG too. Gwen’s So You Have a Past must have been written for me, to me, straight from God. One of the hardest things for me to do is to forgive myself, which makes it difficult for me to forgive the people around me. I have ridiculously high expectations for myself that I often force on to others. The past month or so I have struggled, realizing I can be rather unlikeable and downright hateful. And it is taking a toll on me. How can I live the life God wants me to if I don’t even like myself? Reading Gwen’s words on the screen and attending mass this morning are like little miracles that happened for me today. I hope that I can interpret these miracles and move forward in a more loving and peaceful way. I want to recognize God more in my life. I want the people I care about to know that I love them unconditionally. I want to be a new creation!

  66. The WORDS “Do not be afraid,” are wtitten over and over by The Holy Spirit! The Lord Almighty, the All-Knowing, All-Present, All-Powerful One, Who created us- tells us time after time not to be afraid! He knows all and has authority over all, so the fact that He COMMANDS us, “Do not be afraid” should be a joyful comfort to our hearts! Hallelujah, Praise God! He is in control and if we let Him- He will take hold of your shaking hand….

    “14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord , your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
    Isaiah 41:14

    “1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in Me.” “- JESUS
    John 14:1

    “2 Truly He is my rock and my salvation, He is my Fortress, I will not be shaken.”
    Psalm 62:2

    “7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
    9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?”
    Jeremiah 17:7‭-‬9

  67. Good Morning Susan
    This messages was on time from my fellow sister to me this am Last night me my Daughters had a heated conservation about me as a mother i raised my children i was married for 17 years and 1/2 with my high school sweetheart gotten pregnant in high school 12th grade I graduated walked with my class my appearance full.
    My Ex-husband came home and stated he did not want to be married to me had already had is divorce drawn and to remarry another woman which he did i have went through the fire My eldest daughter look at me with much resisted to me as though i was a total stranger our relationship has not been close over the years,
    and yes i have past and i wanted share this with you. because i needed it and i thank Our Heavenly father God and Isaiah 41: 8-14 Its for me personally.
    Thank you Susan for being here to spread the word
    Mae here is my personal e-mail Jyce754

  68. WOW..just WOW GOD! I sent this out today on FB and different websites before I even read this Gwen! So inspiring and more personal confirmation for me! Thank you for this devotional today:)
    My first official devotional entry today…I’d so appreciate it if you’d please consider me as a guest writer on Fridays Friends! sorry this is so long

    MARCH 21, 2017

    Amy Wallis Hood

    “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, “My grace is all you
    need. My power works best in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-9


    He loves me, He loves me not, He loves me, He loves me not? God, do you still love me? Have You
    forgotten about me? Do You still hear me? Is my faith too thin, because I can’t see You in this
    weedy, stinkin’, overgrown, onion garden? Have you ever found yourself asking God similar
    questions? Then read on, my friend…

    If I showed you my personal 7-layered onion of the past, it would look something like this:

    Layer 1-guilt, Layer 2-neglected, Layer 3-insecure, Layer 4-wayward, Layer 5-lonely, Layer
    6-despair, Layer 7-broken

    Can you relate to any of these seasons or “onion layers?” I needed God’s grace and power to weed
    out my weaknesses. These layers had suffocated me over the years. Every 7 years or so I’d let the
    blooming onion crowd out what could’ve been a pretty, manicured garden, by adding another layer,
    another wall. These layers began to define me. Before long, I forgot who Amy was. I forgot who God
    made me to be. Oh, I
    kept the onion hidden, because my extroverted personality and genuine concern for others kept me
    afloat and functioning on the outside. But on the inside, that onion stinch was invading every
    aspect of my heart. There wasn’t room enough for Jesus to grow. I’d meet with Him over the years
    and share my struggles, but He had to totally break me before everlasting “heart change” took
    root. Or, the enemy was gonna have his own way with me. And that wasn’t the hymn I grew up

    Yes, I am VERY interested in being a guest writer some time on any of your devotional websites(see devotional pdf attached please). My name is Amy Wallis Hood(posted my first devotional on my FB page today…TABLE FOR TWO PLEASE: LOOK UNDER MY FATHER’S NAME). In the past, I have posted many devotional type entry’s but today was the day to share the title(TABLE FOR TWO,…) I am working under. Blogging is on the radar but I am in the beginning stages of networking with writers and speakers, Christian leaders/businesses in surrounding communities, and praying for open doors. I have journal entries from the past 4 years where plenty of writing and speaking could originate from.
    We have been active members/teachers at First Baptist Church Trussville, AL and I am ready and waiting for my next assignment. Praying and expecting “God” things to come
    In His Love,
    Jer. 29:11

  69. Gwen,
    I thank God I found your page. I’ve been dealing with so much. My husband left me early this year and I’m told he’ll be filing for a divorce next month and it’s all been too much for me to deal with. I pray everyday that God would restore my marriage. I truly believe he is my soulmate. We met in church but We’ve strayed away from God over the last couple years but him leaving has brought be back to God. It’s been a battle to trust God’s plan for my life and at times I feel like such a hypocrite even asking God for help. How can I? But you helped me see that God doesn’t see me as ugly he sees me as His child and knows my heart.

    Thank you so much for your insperational words. I pray God continue to use you for lost and confused souls like me. Thank you.


  70. This is an area where I sometimes struggle. Because of my past wrongs that led me to divorce and my praying for reconciliation, but meeting the rejection of my ex who remains in contact with me but does not want to put himself in that situation again.

    When I experience that earthly rejection, sometimes it overcomes me more than the grace I know God had given me and the joy I experience daily knowing I am saved and blessed to no longer be living the way I was.

    I wish my ex could know my heart. I wish I had the opportunity to show him I’m not who I was. And I wish I didn’t let discouragement surrounding that situation get me so down…I pray these things.

    I’m so thankful for devotionals like this one, friends who share them with me and all of the blessings God has been pouring out in my life…the greatest of those being softening my heart Day-by-day and making me more dependent and longing for him.

  71. Thank you for this devotion. I had surgery early Feb 1 and have grown so much closer to God. Today’s devotion was a much needed reminder that God uses the token to showcase his beauty. Thank you for your time spent helping others.

  72. I’m need pray for my sons to find jobs and bless them to be saved and I’m praying for restoration in my life .asking to help me in my business and ask God to help me in my walk with them.

  73. Oh Gwen I’m a hot mess! I just need prayer our condo past inspection yesterday and when they come and see what it’s worth it’s worth more than what they thought thank you. Prayers for my mom she’s having a lot of issues with her health. Thank you

  74. Gwen I thank God for giving you the gift of sharing his words with unperfect people like me, I have a past too very painful infact, but this scripture gives me the hope and lifts my spirit to know God see be on the brokenness and knows there is a good heart ready to serve Him. I thank you for your time to teach me that I am not alone and never was even in my darkest hours God was with me and lifted me and guided me through every bad situation I was ever in. Pray for me to keep me strong and focus on His word. This life has so many distraction from the evil one God help me to keep strong and always in your presence Lord Amen!

  75. Thank you Gwen for the words of encouragement today. God just knows what you need at the right time. He is Awesome! He is enough.

  76. Gwen,

    I am sure that your writing and the timing of posting – I get your daily devotional in my e-mail – is not by accident! I have been working on writing my story, perhaps just for myself, and perhaps for others who might need to understand things that are true behind the scenes. Like the women God brought into the ancestry of Jesus, what a change in our thoughts of these amazing women we read of in the Old Testament! To see them in the place as God sees them – beyond the “historical” pasts that we might have only seen – well it changes everything about those dark and sordid stories, doesn’t it? That would be the reason for my writing, which will hopefully add, as a rainbow over my past – “But God…” Thanks for your timely encouragement!

  77. God says ” I AM is holding on to you. Don’t be afraid. ” God tells me “I got you”.
    Good thing. My grip is too weak.

  78. Thank you so much for your blog it is an amazing way to stsrt my mornings. When i read Isaiah 41:8-14 it gives me a scene of peace to know that Jesuse is with use no matter our situation or what we might be going through. It assures us to not fear for he is there to help us. Thsnk you again.

  79. Thank you for these beautiful words of encouragement. God still loves us beyond and through the muck and mire of our lives! Praise God for a fresh start! Thank you Jesus for your grace, mercy and unfailing love!

  80. This came right on time! My best friend shared this with me today as we were just talking about this very same topic yesterday. God works in mysterious way!!! This was so heart felt…..Thank you for today’s inspirational message!

  81. Hello
    I’m So thankful for the devotionals you post. They speak to my heart daily. It’s been a very difficult journey through repeated rejection, so it’s very comforting to find comfort somewhere in this journey.
    Thank you so much!

  82. Your posts are always so inspiring. I’m always so amazed at how well they fit into whatever is going on in my life at the moment!
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me, everyday. It really does do wonders for my heart.

    Dear God,

    Please help me to remember what I read in Isaiah today, that I shall not fear because you are my God and you are with me. I strive to know your peace, Lord. Allow me to place all my worries in your hands, Father, just as you have told me to do. I long to trust you more, I long to trust you in the way that I know I should, Lord. I know that with you by my side, I don’t have to feel so afraid all the time! Lord, help me remember that- especially today, as I bring my baby into the doctor for her follow up appointment. Lord, I pray with all my heart for her health- and with all my heart that I can conquer the anxiety that sets in whenever I have to take her in. God, help me ignore the whispers of the enemy, who is constantly trying to keep me afraid and whispers terrifying thoughts. I pray to stay focused on you, so that your voice is the only I hear. Thank you, God for letting me lay all my worries at your feet.


    Please, if everyone could pray for my daughter, Siefer, it would be so appreciated. Thank you so much.

  83. Hi Gwen, I thank my Lord and Saviour for giving you the spirit to encourage us all.My past is shady beyond shady.. Yesterday morning I woke up with the WHY but as I prayed the Holy Spirit sid to me hold on th God unchanging hands..He is my Go.He has done and still doin great works in me..I love to Praise and Worship God..This past two Sundays at my church Ive opened up Praise and Worship alone..I never thought this would be me but Ive always love to sing for God.Thats where i find peace with hin amongst other times..My past is rough but reading this has encouraged me I too am ..Keep me and family in prayer I need a job was let go because of my past..Thank u

  84. This “new” person is a heart patient and I’ve struggled since December with illness: virus, a cold, etc. I am asking for prayer please to help me regain my health. I am asking for prayer for our National Day of Prayer Community Prayer Breakfast (held on May 4) because my illness keeps me from the tasks and chores I need to be accomplishing. I am asking for prayer so I can get back to the gym & exercising, as I should, for my health’s sake. I know the inner woman has been renewed and I rejoice in that truth and blessing. But, right now, the outer woman has too much illness on her plate and she desperately needs some relief. Thank you. Blessings.

  85. God is the one who saves me. In the midst of financial challenges, He is the one who saves me. Through Him I am victorious. As I step on in faith by returning to school to work on my master’s degree, He is the one that will provide the finances for me to pay for this. Thank you, Heavenly Father

  86. I have done many wrong things in my long life and have hurt many people. Sometimes I feel as if I am being punished now for these things. Everything was always rather easy in my life. Then everything happened in a relatively short time – I lost my Father and Mother. Then my bipolar brother became manipulative and verbally abusive. Then the Lord took my beloved husband unexpectedly and I went into a yearlong “black hole” of grief. Then my son became addicted to drugs (there had been problems for years but not to this extent) and after “helping” him for a year to the tune of $25,000, I finally realized all his excuses were lies, I stopped being his bank. So I haven’t heard frim my son in a year. My brother has “disowned” me through Facebook. I am holding on by a thread. I know God loves me but sometimes, if I think about everything, I don’t know how to cope. My heart is heavy.

  87. Thanks Jesús for your mercy and grace even though I do have a passed you are my present, my protector, who is with me all the time. I worship Your name. Jesús has change my name from nobody to his daughter, to his princess, God everything is yours even my worship. You are God almighty!

  88. My past is not really a bad past, I was raised as a Christian, thank you Lord for my parents, I am 71 and the lord has been so good to me. I have had my ups and downs like everyone else. I am here to ask for special prayer for my grandson Daniel. He is 15, need I say more? He knows everything and has a smart mouth to his mom. He was raised as a Christian also, but I have a feeling the pear pressure is getting to him. His grandfather died when he was 8, they were best friends and I don’t think he has really gotten over it. He has so much bitterness inside of him. Please pray that our Loving God will take the bitterness out and he can once again be our little man. I love this child so much, I don’t want to loose him. Thank you. I enjoy your GIG devotional every day.

  89. Hi, I want to thank you for these messages. I have so much trouble being able to read the bible,it seems to just go over my head and I can’t retain much of what I read….these I can read and re-read and understand….Thanks so very much…I ask please if you could keep my daughter(mentally challenged) in your prayers. My husband and I have to make a big decision of moving her to another group home…I am struggling bad with this move….I have ask God to show me the way ,but I feel the more help in prayers I will know God’s answer….again thank you for the beautiful work you do….

  90. Thank God for this devotional. I needed this today I have been through so much in my past that I had begin to feel like a failure just totally drained. But I realize God holds me in His righteous right hand to sustain me and refresh me in my dry season. Pray for me that the refreshing water of His Holy Spirit restore the joy of my salvation

  91. Love this verse! I too have been struggling to accept my new self after having surgery in December. It has changed me so much! Thank you for this reminder. Praise God in Jesus name Amen!

  92. Hi

    Thank-you for your devotionals, I read them every morning, and send them to my sister and friends. I love the work your are doing, and you inspire me to live for Christ. Please pray that He continues to renew my spirit as I strive to please Him.


    1. Good morning! I share the devotionals as well with my girlfriends in God. Isn’t that a delightfully wonderful way to begin the day? Blessings.

  93. I read your book. It is awesome and inspiring. Thanks for the inspiring words and encouragement. I call it a blessing sent from God.

  94. Wow! What a great message today. We all have a past and with God’s grace and love we can let it go. I’m currently working through a separation and inevitable divorce from my husband of 7 years and best friend of 13 years. He decided he doesn’t love me like a husband should love his wife and had an affair. He continues to see this woman. It breaks my heart. I ask God for strength and courage to heal my heart and lead me where I’m to go. As long as God is by my side I will get through this a stronger and better person.

    God bless all of you! He loves us even when we don’t love ourselves.

    Love and hugs!

  95. Thank you Gwen. And thank you Lord for letting me find this blog. I am trying to get through a divorce from a man I thought I knew. Deep down underneath his shallow skin, I see the person God meant him to be, so it is difficult to let go of my love for him, even though he has continuously been unfaithful. God showed ne that I needed to let him go. So I have, but the grief is overwhelming. As we all know, the love and committment doesn’t go away with a piece of paper. God, now that you’ve shown me what was going on in my marriage, please show me the way to a life filled with joy. Thank you so much, Gwen, I am broken, 68, and just want this all consuming feeling of “I don’t know who I am, or where to go” burden to be lifted. Amen.

    1. Dear Connie,

      I could have written what you just did. “I see the person God meant him to be” is so haunting! Thanks for sharing this part of you heart. I don’t know what to do with that issue in my life either, especially when our Soul Enemy adds – “it’s all your fault!…” And, BTW, I was 68 when I divorced. I know this – our pain is our own, but you are not alone in what you feel. Sometimes I just have to ask God to remind me of the “why” of my need to divorce my husband. It is so important, not in order to dwell on his sinfulness, but our image of the person God meant him to be can be “crazy-making.” So skewed by sin! Every day, I have to say – “Let go, Joanne. Just let go” – and God picks up that burden for me. He will for you, too! And – your Daddy God knows who you are, and where you are going!

  96. I feel that God is leading me to facilitate a book study for the women of my church. I’m going to use your book, I Want It All as our first study. I thank you for the materials you’ve provided to support the book. I am so anxious to get started after the lenton season. I hope to reach more young women in need and am prayerfully considering how to find and encourage them to join me in learning and faith. Your devotionals always speak to me heart – Thank you!

  97. I know that my past I have done wrong, but I also believe that with prayer that the other person needs forgiven and prayed for. Sometimes I feel that GOD lets us do some things to help that other person to come to GOD and so even when we do not get things right that GOD will bless us and the other person to have them truly learn of what GOD is in LOVE and HE wants us all to have a relationship with HIM so pray that i will always listen to GOD and do what HE wants me to do and to pray GOD has to be the rail we rely on at all times thank you

  98. I was saved at age 11. So, how could I have done what I did???? I cheated on my first husband, divorced him, then proceeded to have an affair with a married man and lived in a very promiscuous way for several years. God gave me another chance – I remarried, and we have wonderful children and grandchildren. However, I cannot forgive myself for what I did in my younger days. I wonder if every tribulation that my children endure is a result of MY sin. I doubt my initial salvation, although it was a very real experience.
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I guess, even at my age, I’m a work in progress.

    1. My dear sister – my “Jesus’ sister” –

      My heart grieved when I saw the name you gave yourself – “Shameful.” Did you see that attached to any of the women’s names in Matthew’s list? NO! Instead, I could just imagine God’s joy as he placed those names in his Ancestry. “look at this jewel! – Tamar! And her – Rahab! And you, Bathsheba! Your stories as told in your day would label you “shameful,” but when I think of you, I am dazzled by your beauty, the beauty that came to you because I love you!” You, too, sister, are one of God’s precious jewels, beautiful, priceless.
      I know about shame. In fact, I continue to struggle with it. Raised in a Christian home by a very angry father, who I believe I will see again in heaven, molested by my brothers, married and divorced twice. Constantly being challenged by – “if only you could have been perfect…” This devotional was written just for me as well as for so many of my sisters in Jesus. I would like to see the new name you give yourself!

      1. Thank you so much for caring. Your message meant so much to me, and it took 10 minutes for me to stop crying. New name: Forgiven. Much love & blessings to you, Joanne.

        1. Yes – Forgiven! That is who you are, what you are, my dear sister! I love you, even though I don’t yet know you! And when that sly enemy of your soul slinks around whispering “shameful!!!” you just remind him that NO! You are forgiven! And made whole, and perfect in Jesus.

  99. Thank you Lord for choosing us in spite of us. May you continually seek your guidance, strength, direction as chosen vessels.

  100. Hello Gwen! My name is LaTasha, I’m from Michigan but resides in Indiana. I thank you for this message. I’ve been struggling to let go of past hurt, pain and rejection from my father leaving my life at an early age. I love my dad and in getting closer to Jesus I notice that I still have a seed of anger and bitterness and rejection that I am trying to overcome by the strength of Christ. Also the same feelings but towards my daughters father. I think knowing the pain of my dad’s absence is a source of my anger and bitterness towards her father as well. I’m praying daily and I will overcome. Will you please pray with me. Thank you in advance.

  101. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am just beginning by journey with Christ and feel his spirit growing within me daily. Your kind words fill me with hope and help me to see my past mistakes as stepping stones to a more glorious future!

  102. Thank you Gwen, for bringing out God’s word today more clearly.

    I believe that I am a new creation and I also believe that God is faithful to His words and even His words in Isaiah 41:8-16.

  103. This post has really encouraged me. I’ve been living in shame and condemnation from my past sins. I have done things before my salvation that I am truly ashamed of and I am trying to trust God with them and let them go. I have repented and asked for forgiveness over and over again and It seems like everytime I really begin to allow myself to feel accepted and loved by God, the enemy brings those painful memories. I know that my Saviour has redeemed me and that I am His child, I truly believe that my sins were paid for by Him on the cross. I pray that I stop believing the lies of the enemy and allow myself to walk in the forgiveness that Christ has provided for me and to leave my guilt and shame with Him. God bless you so much for the light that you bring into our lives.

    1. I to have had a past that I’m not proud of someone told me that I need to forgive myself. I’d given my past to God but kept allowing the devil to make me ashamed of the things I’ve done. Now I share my past with women God tells me to.

  104. Thanks today for this beautiful post I’m just so hard on my self for not letting go of my past sins. Why! Even though I’m R C and confessed many times .Please reply God bless.

  105. Thank you so much Gwen for all your posts I’m so hard on myself I just can’t let go of my pasted sins even though being a Catholic confessed can you please reply thank you .

  106. I’m Patty Robinson, from Hatiesburg, MS

    Wow! This study is already reaching directly into the deepest and emptiest parts of my broken and hurting heart! Same as some of you have mentioned, I have been going around and around the same dreaded mountain for close to 3 years now trying desperately to get past my past and from all of its unexpected and devastating things done to me, like you mentioned “that were beyond my control”.

    My 20 yr marriage to my best friend in the whole world came to its demise as a result of an online affair, and quite soon after, became his new wife. I beg God every day to please help me get this man out of my mind and out of my heart! I’m so tired of grieving; of being sad; and at 52 yrs old…tired of being lonely. I ask God to heal my brokenness from betrayal, deceit, abandonment, rejection….the list goes on and on! I want to get past my past!

    I want ALL of Jesus!! I want to be fully committed to following Him completely aware and fully knowing that following Him will GIVE me everything and COST me everything! I’m ready to give Him ALL of me in order to know and have ALL of Him!

    I’m so looking forward to growing and healing with all of you, and so appreciate you, Gwen, for your teaching, your wisdom, your time devoted to this study and to helping all of us grow and heal!

    1. Post

      Oh, Patty. I’m sorry for the pain you’ve endured. Truly. Grieving is surely a process. But HEALING is God’s plan and I fully expect that this I WANT IT ALL journey is going to take you to new heights of healthy and whole that you can scarcely imagine. Because JESUS is all about life – abundant life – in spite of our challenges.

      Please keep me updated as you go through the study!

      Warmest blessings, friend.

  107. I love your blogs and am currently reading your book! LOVE it. I plan on sharing this tonight with my REFIT® group during our heartwork time! I particularly love this devotion for the same reason I love David in the Bible. He made mistakes…A LOT…but he knew the power of prayer/repentance and was still considered a man after God’s own heart!

  108. Thank you Gwen for continuing to stir something in me when I read your words.
    As always appreciated.
    I reply to you and I pray for healing and strength to keep moving forward. I have been wanting to get your book, Broken into Beautiful, for a while now. On my list (long ?) of things to do. I want to get it off your site. A signed copy. I have been Broken. Continue to be but hope and trust into beautiful.

    May we continue to grow in the strength of God’s love ❤.

  109. Thank you so much for this word of encouragement, as I was reading this devotion this morning, thoughts of things of my pasts tired to attact my mind but I thank God for upholding me with His righteous right hand!

  110. Thank you for a great devotion today! This is exactly what I needed to hear too. It’s so hard sometimes to forget the past right? I have to be reminded of who God is and who “He” says I am! I focus sometimes on “thinking things through” to “work on” things from past. This is what I have been taught my whole life in secular counseling. I was always taught to “process” things, “analyze”, find out where “things come from”, “look at your behavior and where you came from”. This was absolutely exhausting! When I answered the door, when Jesus was knocking, I had to learn a new way. When I’ve got something reflecting from past I have to take it to the Lord and ask, “is this something you’re showing me to look at, to bring to you?” Or “do I need to rest in what scripture says?” I have to continue to read scripture so my brain gets retrained to know it’s not about my “feelings”, it’s about His truth! Sometimes the thought to “process” what I’m feeling really seems “real”, like the truth! Most of the time it’s a lie! Sometimes the hardest thing is to wait for Him to discern, trust and rest in Him.

  111. So thankful for this word from you and the Lord today. I have been at war in my mind for a few days now, dealing (again) with my broken past. Just knowing that God has never forsaken me and is holding my hand today is such a healing thought.

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      Don’t even fight that battle, Terry. It’s ALREADY WON! Like Jesus said, “It is finished.” Be free. Once confessed, sin is not ours to hold on to.

      Have a beautiful day in HIS grace, friend.


  112. Lord God,

    I am tired of looking at myself and seeing all I am not.

    Help me to turn my focus on you, my healer, my redeemer.

    Lord you are awesome, you do wonderful things for your daughters.

    You did the most wonderful thing for us by sending your one and only son to die on the cross for my sins. So when I start focusing too much on my weaknesses,
    I have to refocus on you! My life is nothing compared to what Christ’s life did for me.

    Be with me today, be my focus and my delight.


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  113. Thank you Gwen…. I am so hard on myself for mistakes from my past and struggle to do right all the time now…. But you remind me that God looks at my heart and knows how hard I try…. And when I fail He picks me up dusts me off and says try again. I will keep trying and forgiving myself because He forgives me…. But I need these reminders that I am not alone….. If I help others with this….I help God!!!
    Blessings Gwen….. And thank you for being God’s messenger ?

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      None of us are perfect, Tammy, but the Bible calls us to the pursuit of holiness. God refines us and leads us in sanctification (becoming more like Him) as we yield to the leading of His Spirit within us. Keep trusting His Word, following His commands, and loving those around you in Jesus’ name. On our faith journey, the Bible assures us that there is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ and who are called according to His purpose. SO, believe that and look ahead – live bold for Him – receive His pruning as His love – and know that you are equipped with every spiritual blessing you need in Christ. (Ephesians 1)

      Warmest blessing, sister!


  114. Thank you Gwen for your devotion and books you write!! It helps me live for God the right way!! You are truly a blessing to me!! Praying that God will bless you as you help people live for God in amazing ways!! Love you !!

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  115. Hi Gwen, it’s Susan from Burleigh Heads Australia . I can so relate to your message a past. God has done a lot to change me but then he’s had plenty of time and still going as I hit the 70 mark late December and I was middle age when I found him. Praise God forever. I need him every day. Amen

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