Trusting God With Your Tomorrows

Gwen Smith Blog, Christian Living, Devotions, Forgiveness, Trusting God 134 Comments

On the far side of a desert, high upon the Mountain of God, a voice called out to Moses from within a curious, fiery bush. He had been tending the sheep of his father-in-law’s flock – minding his own business – going about his normal day-in-day-out tasks on the day that God spoke to him from the flames. On the day that God called Moses to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.

Once a noble prince of Egypt with the world at his feet, he had become a lowly shepherd with dust on his sandals. His crown had been traded in for a staff. The palace days were far behind Moses now. He fled them because of what he had done. Glancing to his left and right to be sure that no one would know what he was about to do, Moses took a horrible situation into his own hands and killed a man. He murdered an Egyptian and covered the death with sand.

Fear and shame bombarded his heart so he fled – away from his dream-filled, royal future to a desert place of humble hiding. The door to his yesterdays was closed. Moses had moved on to a new place.

His past was his past and he had no intentions of returning to it.

His life was different now. Normal, not noble.

Then God interrupted Moses’ new normal. He made it undeniably clear that His plans for Moses were different. Bigger. God’s intentions were for freedom – the freedom of His people, the Israelites, who were captives – slaves to Egypt. God called Moses to face the pains of his past so that the Israelites could face a future of freedom. His plans of emancipation required that Moses obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.

Moses quivered and doubted. He made excuses about why he couldn’t do it. He felt completely unfit and unqualified for such a task. It was risky. But God met Moses at his doubts. He called him to courage and went on to use Moses as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom. Yes – Moses made mistakes along the way, but God was powerful in, through and in spite of each one. Through it all, God led as only God can. He led with power. He led with purpose. He led with love. And through Moses, God led His people to a new place of promise and freedom.

On the far side of Charlotte, North Carolina, high upon a mountain in a retreat center, a voice called out to me from within a curious and fiery story. I had been tending to my husband and children, to the laundry and the dishes – writing songs and leading worship at women’s events – minding my own business – going about my normal day-in-day-out tasks on the day that God spoke to my heart from the testimony of another woman. On the day that God called me to a fresh and fiery mission. A mission of deliverance.

Once a sold-out, dream-filled God-girl, I had become a grace-embracing, yet disqualified-for-anything-big-because-of-what-I-had-done God-girl. My use-me-in-a-big-way-Lord prayers had been traded in for average, can’t-have-a-dream-anymore faith-living. My God-dream days were far behind me. I had fled them because of what I had done in my junior year of college. Glancing to my left and right to be sure that no one would know what I was about to do, I took a horrible situation – an unplanned pregnancy – into my own hands and killed a baby. I robbed my baby of life when I had an abortion and covered the death of my precious child with sands of compartmentalizing and reason.

Fear and shame bombarded my heart, so I fled – away from God – away from my dream-filled, royal future to a desert place of heart-hiding. After a season of brokenness, God brought me to a place of beauty, forgiveness and healing. I was restored and redeemed by scandalous, merciful grace. But then the door to my yesterdays was closed. I moved on to a new place in Christ.

My past was my past and I had no intentions of returning to it – or to the God-dreams that swelled my heart as a young, sold-out Jesus lover.

My life was different now. Normal, not dream-worthy.

Then God interrupted my new normal. He made it undeniably clear that His plans for me were different. Bigger. God’s intentions were for freedom – the freedom of His people, the women, who were captives – slaves to their life-wounds. God called me to face the pains of my past so that my Girlfriends in God might face a future of freedom when they hear my testimony. His plans of emancipation required that I obey Him, listen to His voice, follow His instructions and trust Him.

I quivered and doubted. I made excuses about why I couldn’t do it. I felt completely unfit and unqualified for such a task. It was risky. But God met me at my doubts. He called me to courage and is using my broken-into-beautiful story as an instrument of deliverance, truth, power and freedom. Yes – I make mistakes along the way, but God is powerful in, through, and in spite of each one. Through each surrendered day, God is leading as only He can. With power – with purpose – with love. And I pray right now that this story – my story – will bring you to a new place of promise and freedom through the grace of Jesus Christ.

What fresh and fiery mission is God calling you to trust Him with, friend? Let me encourage you to stop with the excuses. I’m living proof that God will free anyone from her shame and can use anyone for His purpose. Step up to the burning bush – into God’s presence. Listen to His voice. Obey. Follow. Take courage. Trust Him with your past and with your tomorrows. Allow His grace and love to decide what your mission should look like.

“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)

Dear God,
With a trembling heart, I approach Your throne of grace today in reverence and humility – fully aware that You are holy and I am not. Speak, Lord. Show me the plans you have for me. Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey. May my brokenness be restored for the beauty of Your glory. Please help me to trust You with my today and tomorrows.
In Jesus’s name, amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it. Let’s take the conversation deeper. Where have you come from and where do you feel God is leading you? 

CLICK HERE to leave a comment or a prayer request on my blog. After you post, pause to encourage someone else or pray for the posted needs of others.

Does someone you know need to hear this message? Please share this post. God’s plan of healing and redemption is for each of us.

Warmest Blessings,

GWEN


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**My full testimony is featured in the book, Broken into Beautiful, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives … including your own. Experience God’s healing and hope in your life today.

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Comments 134

  1. I don’t even know how I found myself reading this post but I’m so grateful. I am struggling with fear as I move towards a calling from God. Pray for me.

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  2. I am inbetween things. I am praying for guidance and direction as to what plans and purpose GOD has for me at this time in my life. GOD has been silent, however I have been tbrough HIS silence before ans in HIS time HE gave. me answers. So e times it is difficult to be still and know that GOD is GOD.

  3. I just saw this devotion that I had missed somehow when I was deleting old emails. I started crying as I read this because I too have lived with guilt and shame over an abortion I had 30 years ago. I have asked God for forgiveness, but I too can’t seem to except that God would forgive me over something so horrible. I have always felt that because I was a Christian when I choose to have an abortion, that my situation is different from those who were not saved when they chose to abort their child. I have lived with regret and pain for so many years and have cried endless tears. I feel dead inside even though I still pray, read the bible and still attend church every week. I feel like a hypocrite and feel unworthy. Please pray for me that I can move on and be released from this horrible shame I feel, and will be able to experience Gods love and forgiveness. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Cindy,
      Your Heavenly Father still loves you as much as He always did. He knew that you would have an abortion and He still chose to send His Son to die for you! Nothing can change that (Rom. 8:38-39)! I fully believe that He is going to make all things new (Rev. 21:5) in your life and that He will show you who you are in His eyes and that He will renew your mind so you will not be tempted to be conformed to the patterns of this world but will be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2)! Be blessed dear sister in Christ! He is with you, will lift you up, and hold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

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  4. This dropped me to my knees. I too had an abortion in my late teens, then in my early twenties. The thought of 2 deadly sins has spun my life in shame and brokenness. My walk with Jesus has been an amazing journey. I still find it hard to except His love and mercy at times. He has brought a Christ filled man into my life and I’m struggling, I’m not feeling worthy. Thank you for sharing…this is my first time sharing my story, and I’m in my 50’s now. I pray this will help me move forward into a life of peace and love. God bless you and all you do❤️

  5. Thank you for your devotional. I am a Pastor’s wife who also works full time as secretary to a public school Principal. I recently heard from God to make myself available to pray personally with any of the female staff (after school hours). I believe now is the time, but like you & Moses, I have a similar testimony from my past & sometimes del disqualified. My heart is to share God’s love & bring hope, joy & freedom. Just need to know how to approach the administrators & say the right thing. God has given me a new courage to step out in faith & watch what He will do through me!

  6. Thank you for the time you took to read and respond to my post. I appreciate it immensely . I just ordered your book ( I love to hold my books) thank you for the offer of the download though! I can’t wait to read it.

  7. I am in a dark, broken place. I am a christian. I married a good, christian man, or so I thought. We both had been married before. I thought things were fine. One day he said to me, “God told me to get you out of my life”, and then he took some very extreme measures to make this happen. Within a few weeks, he had moved on, literally, to another local church, even joining their singles group. My head is just spinning! I keep asking God where his will is in all of this. What does God want for my future? Why? The only thing that I know, for sure, is that God is by my side, taking this journey with me. I have no idea where it might lead. God is my strength right now. Please pray for both of us.

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      Judy, I am so sorry for your pain! This is horrible. I will pray for you right now. I honestly wonder if this is the Lord’s protection over you.

      Warmly,
      Gwen

  8. Thank you for this devotional. It hits close to home because my prayer in these last few days has been that God allows me to use my story, my testimony to bring others to Him. One thing God has been teaching me recently is that it’s not always about taking out scripture and trying to make a point for others to believe, but simply just sharing our story. My prayer is that we all be bold to be vulnerable in sharing our stories and how God met us in our darkest time, so that not only we learn to love on others and see others with the love and compassion in which He saw us during those dark times, but that our story becomes a blessing to others!

  9. I red this and think this is an amazing story and wonderful how God is using you to reach so many. I keep feeling the nudging of God to share my story but have accepted my “normal”. Kind of “I made my bed now I am lying in it” mentality. 16 years ago I was searching for the emptiness in my heart and my marriage. I did my devotions read my Bible and was writing in my journal daily. I tried to tell my husband what I was missing but he seemed to feel I was just being over dramatic. I started getting attention from someone at work and a emotional affair began. Through the grace of God it came to light before it went any further. Shame and working hard to get my husbands trust back began. It has been a very long journey and one I regret everyday. My husband is very private and I feel still harbors bad feelings towards the topic and feel I could not share my complete story without hurting him and some in our small community. I had to give up the job I loved and am currently working in a job that I am not passionate about but feel it is my consequences for my actions. I have shared my story with others that have experienced similar situations in hopes of revealing some of their pain. I feel as if God wants me to write a book to reach younger girls who are struggling with their identity and wanting to feel loved. My story begins way back in college and I wish I would have had a mentor to lead me down the right path. I have been praying that God will use the gifts he has given me but also do not feel “good” enough to actually pursue my dream of writing. I still make so many mistakes and feel some around me would point out how faulty I am. Please pray that I will follow Gods leading and embrace His love and forgiveness for me.

  10. Hi there, I have a past full of additions, bad love ,depression, lies and more .
    I’m 43 now and have 2 beautiful children and a great husband of 16years who struggles with addiction as well. I have been in a much better place sense God gave me my first child at 30.
    I know God is calling me to use my story to help others but I am so afraid of my kids reaction.
    I don’t ever want them to think its okay for them because I did it. So I am afraid to come out with it. Yesterday my 13 year old daughter asked me if I had ever done drugs infront of 2 of her other friends and I just told her it’s not the time to talk about that right now. I felt awful because I don’t want to lie to her but I feel there’s a fine line. Anyway how do I get past this feeling to do what Gods calling me to do?

    1. I grew up always thinking my parents were perfect and had such high standards for them that I felt I could never be good enough for them to be proud of me. This passed down to me as a mom and I always feared for my kids to know my shameful mistakes that would tarnish their view of me as their mom. A good friend gave me some wise advise, which I’ve taken to heart. Whenever my girls ask me something, I try to be honest and allow them to know how I messed up and the consenqueses I had to face as a result, showing them that I am not perfect. It will open up doors of communications with them when they realize that you’ve been where they are at, they can trust you, and that you understand. Ask God to give you the right words to say and show you how much to say, but be honest 🙂

  11. Your admission of the abortion spoke to me as well. I too had one when I was 23 and I think about that all the time. I have asked God to forgive me and I pray he has but I can’t forgive myself. Please pray that I will overcome the past and know that God is a forgiving God. Much love to you as I read daily devotionals and how they help me start my day with time with God.

    Denise

  12. My sister I am praying for you and your family that God will redeem the time and hurt stolen from you. In Jesus name may every attack of the enemy be bound, cancelled and your life be surrounded with the love of God healing restoring and bringing good out of all these trials and heartache. May love and integrity heal your husband and bring him purposeful work. God is in control. I pray for your children to be healed in Jesus Holy name. As we submit all to God and resist the attacks of the enemy he will flee. Anoint your home and household to God. He will make a way for you to be in health and prosper. In His love.

  13. I’m a 20 year old college student. I’ve been suscribed and reading GIG for a month or so now. I’ve loved it! I’ve particularly love Gwen’s stuff. This testimony was awesome, without needing any more detail. I know what it’s like to feel God has taken away blessings He had in store for me in punishment for things I thought I did wrong. (In my case, I was a young teenager in high school and did not actually do anything that bad at all, like it was a minor thing—”dating” a boy, that was blown up by an accusatory and misunderstanding parent who told me I had missed out on God’s plan for me. My spirit was broken for years and only recently have I been trying to get used to the truth.) Thank you for sharing this! I don’t feel so alone. 🙂

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      Hi Miriyam,

      Thanks for writing. People (especially family) can cause pain, strain and sometimes even damage to our hearts, but God is our Healer. I’m excited that you are recognizing HIS chain-breaking grace at such a young age. 🙂 I just know that GOD has great things in store for you! Keep seeking HIS heart and living in HIS wisdom and freedom. 🙂

      Blessings and Love,
      Gwen

  14. Dear Gwen,

    Thank you so much for your testimony……this year I believe God has called me to “step up and step out”…. You inspire me.

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      Ruth!

      I believe that for you too! God is always calling His daughters to do just that. Onward, friend! 🙂

      Warmly,
      Gwen

  15. Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate on so many levels. I am a Christian who is struggling daily. I am always asking God to talk to me. Send me clear signals, messages anything so I can hear him loud and clear. I want to know of what he wants me to do, the path he wants me to take. It has to be better than the path I’m on now. My life is a complete mess and has been for some time. I have a great job, 3 beautiful children, I don’t do any drugs, it’s not a mess in that aspect. We struggle in different ways. My oldest son is 14, a cancer survivor… but is still dealing with the aftermath, multiple surgeries last year.. totaling 8 and another coming up. My youngest (3) had a pretty tough surgery last spring for a bone deformity with another in th future and my middle boy (4) was molested by a man at the daycare last year. Our house went into foreclosure, my husband hasn’t worked, he is struggling with major demons, our marriage is a wreck and to say it was hanging by a thread is too nice. I’m exhausted and struggling with every aspect of our lives and feel like a fake. People always say how strong I am, and really I feel so weak and ashamed. I know that was a lot, but it just kept coming out. Thank you for your devotionals. They really bring me to my knees sometimes .

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      R. Marie,

      Thanks for opening your life to us here. I feel your pain, friend. The guidance you are looking for come from the WORD and from His Spirit. The leading of the Holy Spirit will never contradict the WORD, so use that as your main source. Pray. Continually. Not just for God to “fix” things and other people, but for God to show You how to respond, where to connect, how to love your family… and pray for those around you. Lead with dignity. Work diligently to do what you can to serve. And move forward in joy – the fruit of the Spirit within you will bear beautiful things relationally. IF you’d commit to working through it, I’d love to send you a FREE downloadable (printable) version of my BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL Bible Study. Email my ministry assistant Sherri and ask her to send it to you via email. ( admin @ gwen smith.net )

      Much love,
      Gwen

  16. Wow this was powerful! Made me cry. Thank God that He can definitely use the broken. Time and time again, He used greatly imperfect people to perfect His work! Thank you for this reminder and for courageously sharing your story with us.

  17. Thank you, Gwen, for your honesty about your abortion and your feelings about it. God has, no doubt, been using that honesty in a huge way!
    On an unrelated note, I understand that you spoke at a FP4 H conference…I am going through the sessions with an online FP4H group, and it has made a huge difference in my thinking! Especially now, when we’ve talking about habits…all of your devotions on Girlfriends for God fit so well with what we have been studying in the last 5 sessions, that’s how long I’ve been part of them. I told the others and shared some of the devotions from GiG, and now a couple of them are getting them regularly, too! Thank you for how you’re adding to what we’re studying, expanding on it, clarifying it, but that’s God, right?
    Have enjoyed your devotionals for several years now, always thought-provoking in an enjoyable reading style…always honest, and humble…
    Thank you to all three of you ladies,
    From Manitoba, Canada,
    Kathy McGill

  18. I cried through this. I’m 53 but my shame and humiliation are new. Or new again because I’ve made so many mistakes. But this one was the biggest. And so many people know. The only thing I can do is put my trust back in the Lord and ask Him to guide me from here forward. I feel so helpless and scared, and alone. Please pray for me.

  19. For as long as I can remember I have struggled with trusting God that if I put my total faith into him that he will test me and my life will become full of terrible events, trials and tribulations for me to prove my faith. I went to a catholic school and in our religion classes I always heard of the horrible things that happened to believers as God put them through horrible times to test their faith. I pray and try to be a loving, forgiving, empathetic and caring person but have and do fail all the time, finding myself judging, disliking and not caring with little things like when I am driving and get angry at other drivers, or judge the way others people parent their children, the way someone wears their hair, and so on… (I am so ashamed) I find myself asking forgiveness all the time.

  20. Gwen, I am speechless at the moment..trying to take in what today’s devotion means to me…it has hit me deep in my soul, emotions I’ve pushed back are forcing they way forward. Thank you for bravery, your honesty, your testimony. My Walk with the Lord has been taken to new levels – today is only my first step. Thank you for telling my story – the beginning anyway…and thank you for guiding me to the rest. May God continue to bless you and bless others through you.

  21. Thank you for being so faithful. So transparent and vulnerable to what God has on your life. I can only imagine how many women are being blessed by your witness and testimony. God has impressed on me to start a bible study in my neighborhood which I am starting today! I too have had many second chances and slipups every once a year but I realized that I need a consistent game plan not to go back. I know we are sinful beings but old are the days to sin intentionally. I need a steady, firmly rooted walk with Christ now and forever and I am desperate more than ever to see that happen and pray the same for you and everyone in this community. Bless you and your ministry.

  22. Hi Gwen! I have read your book, Broken Into Beautiful, and I feel like we would be great friends if we ever met! I have a similar story to yours, and God has really been working on me to write a blog for about a year now. I actually finally launched the blog last summer, and I have been very REAL with my readers about my most of my past mistakes. It is still a struggle to “put myself out there” some days, but I keep pressing on trying my best to obey my calling. Thank you for being obedient and for helping others, like me, feel less ashamed of our past. Realizing that God can still use ME has been amazing! God is good, and he wants to use us for His glory, no matter our mistakes!

  23. You stopped me dead in my tracks with your message today. No, my situation is not the same nor can I relate to the struggles you have had to overcome. However, I know, too, I have a story. A story of promiscuity, seeking belonging in all the wrong places, insecurity, and being a quitter in almost every aspect of my life. I know God has me for a greater purpose… and yet, I run away daily. I can’t help but think most of us have a bit of Moses inside of us. Unlike you, I have not yet followed God in His purpose for me and it is agonizing to know so many lives are not being changed because I am too big a chicken to follow God in His design for my life. Oh Gwen, I am so afraid to take the first step! Thank you, though, for making realize the pain I feel inside is a deep reflection of the disobedience I am living every day, rather than of the story itself. God bless you for your courage and your daily “trudge” in following God’s will.

  24. I am trying to see God’s good plan for me, as I am a single mom of four going through a divorce. I am trying to find a decent job to provide as I was a homemaker for 15 years. I need to see His hand holding and providing for me. My heart is broken and needs healing as every other week I don’t have my kids with me….and I need to have hope for the future.

  25. Kristen, God is a God of second chances, for which I am thankful!

    When we are faced with which way to go, stand still and let God move. Ask, seek, and knock. The more you seek Him, the more He will reveal His will for you. I say these things after being in very similar shoes.

    Joel 2:25 I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate.

    Proverbs 3:3-5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

    Blessings my dear sister.

  26. Thank you. I’ve been struggling for so many years with my past mistakes. A couple of situations have happened recently where I’ve had to bring up my past again and talk about it (not wanting to). But it has helped me work through it and see it more clearly. I am a sinner who made bad decisions in the past but I love my Lord and He loves me. I want to live for Him.

  27. Gwen,
    You saying it out loud really deeply resonated with me. Shame and guilt have been constant companions for 35 years. The dark sins I’ve committed I have hidden from judgemental ears. However, my God knows who I am. He has used me in spite of my sin. Thank you, my GIG. Well done. This one will hit home for so many.

  28. God has asked me to write a story that has some pretty horrific details. I’ve put Him off because life gets in the way-elderly parents, children getting married and having babies, but so many have been left broken and hurting that I know the story has to
    be told. In fact the only reason I spent 20 years in that situation was to tell it. Each time I’ve had fears or questions, God has answered them and nudged me. Now I need to know how to tell it. Names and details must be hidden as marriages and relationships may be at stake. I feel that the price could be so high. Please pray for courage, strength and wisdom.

  29. Sometimes these devotions are right on time. I’ve been told over and over again to be patient, wait on God. My request as a teenager was for God to use me and he has in my career as a mental health therapist. I can hear when God is directing me on continuously growing this path. However I have had a different dream lately, to be a wife and mother. I’m up in age so my risk of being a childless mother grows greater. Though I’ve been a mother to many but my heart desires more. My boyfriend and I was talking marriage, he lives in a different state but recently he is in a legal position where he can’t leave the state. No he is not a criminal lol. He is choosing to fight a battle I think God didn’t mean for him to fight and this decision puts our life of being together finally on hold. Patience?! We have been in a long distance relationship for 3 years. I’m at a crossroad praying listening to God for His direction. I’m waiting for the dream He has placed on my heart. I’m looking for my burning bush miracle

  30. Omg!! This is me in this story. From Moses to your story along with the scripture. I know God called me years ago to do something and I have been afraid of the unknown and sometimes only taking baby steps. My God told me something years ago, while I was washing dishes, what I need to do. I have been putting it off.

  31. I have been reading the GiG’s devotionals for years now, and I feel like I know you all, despite never meeting you face to face! This particular post spoke to my spirit, as I share a similar past, and have felt God directing me to write a book about my story. I’ve dragged my feet in fear and laziness for years, but I recently started committing time each week to writing and began the process in obediencd. I don’t know what God will do with it in the end, but if one young girl is saved the heartache of post-abortion, or one woman comes to find forgjveness and freedom from her past mistakes through my story, it will be worth every moment. Thank you for your transparency and sweet spirit! I love your heart ❤ I hope I do get to meet you someday!

  32. Dear Gwen,
    I really like your posts!
    This one has stuck in my head, and I think I know why now. Everything going on in our Church for the last few weeks is centered around what we can learn from the life of Moses and this goes so well with what is being taught. Just this last Sunday our preacher was talking about the burning bush, and how it effected and changed Moses’ life.
    I do the bulletin for our church, and sometimes I like to feature articles from different authors that touch my heart. I was wondering, with your permission of course if you would mind if I put this article, and others I like in our Church bulletin from time to time?
    I always put the authors name, and if it is from a publication and page if I can find it, I name that as well as the date I received it, It is a good advertising tool as some of the ladies have ask for information on where I find these articles, I always send them to the appropriate sites. The only changes I would have to make is in the format to get it to fit in the space I have.
    I would appreciate if you could get back to me about that at the email provided below. Thank you so much for your time and responce

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  33. This may seem silly and I think, “who am I” but I truly believe God is calling me to step out, leave the confines of my home to help others to “heal”, not just physical afflictions but emotional, spiritual, hearts. I have been almost deaf due to ear infections and at this time fluid behind my ear drums which makes things very awkward in public. Plus I struggle with IBS, so why do I feel so drawn to do something that I cannot do? The pull is stronger all the time.

  34. I too have many things in my past that I ask forgiveness for. I know God used many sinners in the Bible and I pray that he will use me too. Thank you for sharing your story. I am too ashamed to openly tell mine. I know it; God knows it. If he feels that others can benefit from hearing it then I pray he reveals his wishes to me. Until then, I am still searching for my place in his kingdom and here on earth.

    1. You know, you, like me, struggle with feeling, “worthy and Loved”. I know that God loves us with a love that is not humanly possible to understand. We just have to believe that he does, even though we have all done “things” that sit in our chests sometimes for years until we find that way to let it all out, and then we can feel what freedom truly feels like. I pray that you will find that way to freedom.

  35. Thank you, Gwen, for this post. I realized while talking with my youngest son that I still feel ashamed of the fact that I kept my boys in an abusive situation for the sake of my stepdaughters. I didn’t want to leave them with their abusive Dad. Their Mom was also living in an abusive relationship. My boys love their step sisters as if they are their biological sisters and they both tell me they understand and they have forgiven me. When I think about the things my abusive husband did to my boys ( but never to his daughters) I still feel guilty for not getting them out sooner. It still affects their lives today. They are 40 and 45 and neither are married. They have both backslid away from God. I have peace that they will return to Him before He calls us to join Him in heaven. Please pray with me that they will and that I will live in God’s grace and forgiveness. I feel God is calling me to share my story and to minister to Christian women who aren’t fully living as Christians who reflect Jesus to others, including me. Thanks again! God bless you!

    1. I think God leads us to do things in this way. The Bible says he will take those things those black things in our lives and turn them into something good. This is your way, follow that voice that is telling you to do it. Take a step in that direction. I know there are so many who are trapped right now in that place that you were, and are looking for answers, courage to do what, deep down, they need to do. Maybe some will make that decision now, and prevent any more “damage”. I am praying that God is showing you right now what that step is.

  36. Thank you for sharing this story of grace and redemption. I pray that the Holy Spirit pierces my heart and transforms my life. I am in great need of healing.

  37. I love to study Moses story and am very thankful you shared yours! I am battling the “ my story will be laughed at” fear…. praying for courage and grateful for grace.

  38. Gwen, thank you for sharing your story of past failures and new beginnings. He is so faithful and I know His Love is audacious and eternal! He has put a spark in my heart to direct me into a ministry that I want with all of my heart to see through with obedience, complete dependence on Him and glorifying the name of Jesus. Please pray for protection from the enemy, my ability to hear God’s precise instructions and to be willing to be stretched beyond my abilities so that I will rely totally on Him. Thank you and God Bless.

  39. Scandalous is exactly the type of grace Christ exhibited and continues to exhibit. When I shared my experience of the peace that passed understanding when I aborted a child whose father was abusing me with my church friends many of them responded with their anticipated shame. And this was 20 years after! It was a real eye opener for me at how judgmental church can be even to those that sit in the same pew I don’t believe that was Christ’s intention for the church. I’m looking forward to his next mission for me.

  40. LOL OK, so this is the second devotional that I have read today that ended with the prayer including “Speak to me, Lord” and “show me the plans that You have for me.” I believe that the Lord is leading me out of a wilderness season that has lasted a real real real long time- and the wilderness has been in my head, mostly. Wrong beliefs, fear, the tools of the enemy that has kept me in the same place on the same old mountain for a long time. God is SOOOOOO good and faithful for bringing me to a place where I can FINALLY get beyond the things that have stood in the way of victory. Thank You, Lord, and help all of my sisters in Christ with their struggles. We already have the victory in Christ Jesus! Please give us the courage, strength and confidence to live the awesome lives that you have anointed us to live, and to ALWAYS keep you first. In Jesus’ MIGHTY NAME I pray, Amen!

  41. Thank you for writing this. I desire to leave an abusive and narcissistic marriage. My husband has been financially unfaithful, and I’m in debt up to my ears. I want to be closer to my son and his family, 5 states away! I’m looking for a job there, but it seems so impossible!!! There are days I feel such despair and my greatest fear is that I’ll never get away from him. I can relate to you and Moses doubting how it will all work out, especially when self esteem has been so whipped, there is no one to count on and the losses keep piling up. I need His grace and mercy to show me the way

  42. thank you for your honesty about the decision you made in college. most people would not be so forthcoming. there is such negative stigma….
    I am recently widowed & still in horrific pain.
    please pray for me.

  43. Thank you Gwen. Thank you for ministering to us. You are so down to earth. So humbled and broken down for God. You speak deep issues about your life. Thank you for being true. Thank you for allowing to be used to touch other lives.

    God bless you

  44. Thank you so much for this Gwen, for some reason I need reminding a lot. I do need prayers of support and guidance, and forgiveness. Forgiving what is and remembering who I am and who God is. I now know that what is happened in my life and my husband, has been a saving grace. But forgetting and going on has been a struggle. Writing in my journal helps me remember how far I’ve come and how far I will go. Thank you Lord Jesus and thank you Gwen.

  45. Kristan, my precious Sister in Christ,
    God DOES have a plan for your life, no matter how bad you’ve “blown” it. Jesus died over 2000yrs ago for EVERY SINGLE sin all of us will commit. That INCLUDES the sins we commit AFTER our salvation. This truth took me yrs. to grasp and understand! Our gracious God is outside of time, He knew before you were a thought in anybodys mind what choices you would make. As a Christian if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    As long as you have breath He has a plan. His mercies are new every morning! Press in Sister and believe God! Blessings

  46. What a beautiful truth! Thanks, Gwen for your obedience, truthfulness and transparency! Oh the grace and mercy of our precious Savior!

  47. I felt like you were reading a chapter out of my book. But rather than a baby, it was a marriage. I was living in and emotionally abusive relationship, and rather than stay and try to mend it, I took the broken pieces of my life; the person who I didn’t recognize anymore when I looked in the mirror of my life; I looked to the right, to the left, and I killed that marriage. And I ran back home. I lived for two years in anger, bitterness, having a life full of emptiness, doubt and questions, rather than faith, before I finally came to the point where I could allow myself to be loved by anyone. It took three years after that to be able to accept Gods forgiveness and start learning to forgive myself. And since then I have been living a normal life. Living in God’s grace. But in this last year, I have felt God’s tug on my heart, that He is calling me to something more. I don’t yet know what that is, but I have been trying to get listen and prepare myself for whatever He has in store. This devotion was a huge confirmation of that. I felt God speaking to me through it in a huge way! Thank you for being obedient to God’s calling on your life, and speaking into the lives of so many women! Please pray that I am sensitive and obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. That I am willing to go where He calls me.

  48. Your blog touched me today. I am not really a prayerful person. I do try to live a good honest life. I too am constantly bombarded by my past. Three abortions, drug use and continued alcohol use. From the outside looking in I have a charmed life. But sometimes I am haunted by my past. Thank you for your message today. I have something to pray for now.

  49. Hi There,

    Thank you for the wonderful piece and how great it was to remind me that we all have a past, and all have had to make choices that at the time seemed so right but now we sit with the guilt of not being able to let go and forgive ourselves. I am too sitting at a crossroad desperate for a holy breakthrough! Something that would ignite the passion that I once had for life. I ask for prayer for my marriage it is in trouble and I am struggling and do not know how to address my husband things are difficult and at this moment it feels like I am doing all the work. I pray that God’s hand will touch and heal both our hearts as I know that no one is perfect and every marriage needs work – a prayer that this will somehow just be a little easier, smoother, less tension and less tears. Amen

  50. This post was very much needed today. I am struggling in my job and wonder why God is testing me. I am trying to trust His plans and go with His direction. I struggle with hearing Him amongst the doubt and fears in my mind. Thank you, Gwen, for sharing your post today.

  51. Your story is my story is His story. I, too, had an abortion…three of them. The guilt had me feeling that, even as I sang in a church choir, I was going to hell when I died. But God, 2 of my favorite words, would have none of that. He completely rearranged my life and that of my family. We moved in 3 weeks to a new home far away from our comfort zone, to a new church, and a testimony that changed my life. I was invited by an old friend to a ladies event at our new church. There was a lady telling her testimony about having an abortion and being forgiven and set free. The rest is my grace story💜🙏🏻

  52. I feel lost and without purpose. I believe that God had a plan for my life, but I’ve blown it too many times to ever be used for Him. Now I just exist and aimlessly struggle just to get by. The only thing I truly look forward to is eternity with Him. I wasted whatever gifts I may have had and now I wonder why I’m still here. Sometimes it feels like I’m the one person who is unworthy of love and another chance. I’m weary and feel worthless. I’ve done all I know how to do- including surrendering. I continually cry out to Him, but I sometimes feel like He’s turned His back on me. It seems like I’m beyond redemption and my life has lost its usefulness
    Please pray that I rediscover hope and some direction for my life..

  53. Thank you for your wonderful testimony. I can feel God at work for me also! I feel like I can go deeper into His love with truth and humility. You are inspiring

  54. Please pray that I continue to follow the great I Am… his voice to show me how to use my brokenness to empower other women through tragedies. Take my miseries into ministry.

  55. Hi Gwen,
    Thank you for sharing this powerful message. It might seem that my situation might not correspond to this article, however it has touched, making me to comment.

    I’m in need of a prayer. I’m in a situation where there seems no way for a marriage restoration between my children father & I. Despite how much I try, everything seem not to work and I’m driving him further away.
    He works away from myself and the children & comes for his breaks once every month. Since October of last year he stop coming home to us.
    I have left my job last year to stay home to caretake our one year old and three month old son.

    Though right now, I see no way of restoration in human perspective, I still believe that our God is a Good of possibilities.

    Please help me in praying for my husband to return to us, and build a family based on Godly Christian principles that God wants for our family.

    Thank you & God bless you all reading this.

  56. Yes,This was written specifically for me. I am at a point where I feel God is calling me to take a greater leadership role at my church. Because of failures, both personal and professional, I feel very inadequate. Please pray.

  57. Hey Gwen, I have read your book! I would dearly love to talk to you. I live with guilt every day! Always unsure if I am forgiven. I have sent you messages on messenger!! Please, if you can, get in touch. In God’s Love ❤️

  58. Thank you Gwen! I too have a past and I feel like my prayers only go to the ceiling. God does answer prayer but I feel like keep messing up everything. When I feel closer to God seems like my decisions are all wrong. I prayer has been for a long time to work from home and things I read I feel are for me to just jump in and do it but I worry it’s not gods plan. But my heart aches for this plan. How do I hear god’s voice talking to me? While reading my devotions this morning I was so frazzled and prayed for his touch. I did feel a calmness come over me. I know he is with me. I know he has a plan for me and I feel like he planted the seed in me for my business but I just don’t know if his plan for me is running my business from home full time.

    1. Why do you worry that it isn’t His plan? Perhaps He is trying to speak to you through the things that you read and the feelings in your heart. Trust Him.

  59. Thank you for sharing your testimony. I do feel this devotion was written specifically for me, but I am paralyzed with fear because of my past. Also, I sense the Lord wanting me to face it; however, I cannot seem to hear or know what he wants me to do. I stay so torn and feel the weight every single day of my life. Please pray for courage, strength, peace and for a heart of obedience.

  60. Thank you Sherri for sharing your doubt. I have a past also and my husband just became a full time pastor last year. God is using EVERYTHING from my past; EVERYTHING! Remember this sister, God says He removes our sins as far from the east is to the west. The east and west NEVER meet! God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. You rebuke that thought right out of your mind in the name of Jesus. Be aware that the enemy will try to sneak into your mind and continue to tell you that you don’t qualify. God says you do sister!! Broken Into Beautiful is a song I listened to about 25 times a day when I was going through healing of my past. It’s a great song and I also have the book too. I would also recommend a book called, “The Privilege” by Kay Smith! Great book for Pastors wives. I’m not sure if you have the support of other Pastors wives but you can email me and we can lock arms in this spiritual battle girl😊
    farina2362@yahoo.com
    It’s a beautiful journey and privilege to be a Pastors wife, past and all!

  61. Thank you, Gwen, for this timely encouragement when I am convicted to “Reset the app of my life” (Sunday’s sermon, not my words). I am in an uncomfortable and confusing place after being downsized from the job I loved for most of 25 years. I know that I was there through Gods will and that I am no longer there by that same will, but now what? Please pray for my renewal in Gods spirit and His evident will. 1 James 3:16-24

  62. I can relate to this message on many levels and this blessed my heart.
    My husband was just ordained and starting a church soon. I don’t feel like I am worthy to be a Pastor’s wife because of my past.
    I also have a business and things are tough. Just when I want to quit, I meet someone who needs me. I work all the time and some people you just can’t please no matter what.
    Thanks for your words today

  63. Good morning, that really was an inspiring piece this morning. I wake up every morning wondering what my god given purpose is and wandering in circles. My heart is heavy and I am tired of running. Running from my past and away from whatever good god has for me.

    Thank you…

  64. I am 65years old, 2 abortions, going on a fourth divorce. Seems like I just keep messing up. When I think I have a close walk with God, something happens and I am that failure again. I pray for that freedom, peace, unconditional love. I know it’s there, I just need to accept it and don’t know how.

  65. What an inspiring story. I work in a Substance Abuse Center where most of the women have lost their children because of their substance abuse. Some have lost children or had abortions because of their circumstances. I could never have children so I don’t know how it feels. I do know that our God is awesome and brings us through so much. Even now I don’t really know where He is taking me, I can trust Him to bring me through.

  66. I volunteer at Spoon River Pregnancy Center, Canton Il-9. We do not see a lot of post-abortion, mainly unplanned pregnancy cases, once in a while someone who is struggling with the idea of abortion. Thank you for sharing your story I plan to file it for future use. Most if our clients are not “sold out for Jesus girls”, and to allow them the opportunity to see that we all face hurdles that have consequences is a start to introduce them to Jesus, the Only One who can set them free!

  67. I really needed this today! God has turned so much around in my life over the past year. From being delivered from addiction and running from Him and doing things my way due to multiple traumas and abuse to being free and living sold-out for Him, I am faced with being in court today to put behind me yet another consequence of my previous choices while doing things my way. I know God won’t let me go through it alone and will provide a solution. Giving it all to Him and trusting Him for the outcome.

  68. Gwen, I wasn’t a teenager,…….but had recently been divorced and was the mother of 4 daughters. I also killed my baby….because I was unmarried. God has forgiven me gloriously and I am looking forward to seeing my baby in heaven.

    Thank you so much for sharing….I’m not 83 and only recently have I shared my story with my pastor.

    God bless you.

  69. please pray for me I’m really struggling to believe that god is really interested in my life and in everything i do i just want the doubt to go away and to recognise his work in my life.

  70. I’m asking prayer for my young adult children, that they come back to the lord and rededicate their lives to Christ. Please pray with me that my children would develop a close relationship with Jesus Christ and have the boldness to tell others about his unconditional love.

  71. I’m stuck in a place where everyday I wake up wondering what my God purpose is. I have an incredible husband (though his spiritual walk is sometimes that of me dragging him kicking and screaming :), I have three beautiful daughters (one going into 11th grade, one graduating in a few weeks and one graduated from college and in the work force). They are all three incredible young ladies with beautiful hearts. Bout life has been a crazy winding road of complete chaos and dysfunction that makes no sense to me most days and I just hold on and try to be a strong example, though on the inside I am the weakest person (they do not know). I made so many bad choices at their age, but I keep those conversations at a minimal, because right now, they treat me like their hero and may not if they knew all the details. I love my job, but feel burnt out and as if I just walk in circles everyday. I feel we live in a world that is crumbling around us and I don’t know how to make a difference or help. I want to be brave and courageous but know that it would be hysterical to think I were some shinig example of anything. I feel unqualified in every aspect of my life. And then feel guilty that I ever remotely feel anything but grateful and happy for all of my undeserved blessings. I feel like I’m treading water when I would like to be an Olympic swimmer… But don’t know how to swim.

  72. The plan of my life is husband, kids, working part-time, and housekeeping. My boys are 8 & 10. I often feel like I have no idea what I am doing sometimes. My boys are trying my patience. Discouragement overcomes me and I struggle to trust in the Lord. You know how it is when you ask God for wisdom and He doesn’t let you know. I know God does things in His timing not mine. I love the Lord so much. I have been struggling with things of this life though. Please pray for me. For wisdom in parenting, energy, motivation, and encouragement. Thank you so much.

    1. Be encouraged Sis. You are right about one thing God does things in HIS time, and it’s always ON TIME! Don’t give up or don’t give in to the enemy of your soul. Remember he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. God has come so that we may have LIFE and have it more Abundantly.. Hold On and Be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS MIGHT
      !!! The Lord is mindful of your every need. He sees you and He knows exactly what you are going through.. There is POWER in the name of JESUS, to break every chain… I pray that the chains be broken off your life.. Life and death Is in the Power of your tongue, speak LIFE in Jesus Name! Be encouraged!!!

      1. Gwen,
        This is a powerful testimony and devotional. Thank you for sharing your deepest secret. Thank you for sharing your heart. It brought conviction in my life for the anger issue I struggle with…i.e. barking at a customer service employee for not carrying an item I desperately needed. Not her fault, but I was not demonstrating the sweet aroma of Christ to her. It sounds like a small thing, but for the years of struggle to overcome anger with self-control, it is a big thing in my life.
        Thank you for your transparency and vulnerability.

        In Christ,
        Laura

  73. Thank you so much for your encouraging piece. I need prayer because I have let fear and doubt overcome me. I feel God telling me to rise up but every time I think about it I just go into a state of fear especially of people. Please pray that I may have the courage that you had to let God use you to the fullest.

  74. I have come to reverence God in and for the “Broken”, most of my ministry is in the “Broken”, I once felt like I would never rise from this place, and now I understand that my rising is not in leaving this place called “Broken”, but is in the lifting of others, up out of it, it is then that my elevation occurs. I have met so many “Broken Vessels” in this place, MY PLEASURE TO SERVE.

  75. Gwen you are inspirational – I so look forward to your heartfelt lessons about God’s purpose in your life. I don’t even recall how I found you but I’m sure it was part of God’s plan in leading me back to him..

  76. Please pray for me. I have repented my sins in church. I am devastated as to what I have caused my family to go thru. I can never regain their trust. My sin may make me go to prison and leave my 5 beautiful children and my husband
    I am not the kind of person that has ever hurt anyone I have always tried to help my family and others but the Devils worked in my mind and took over making me believe I couldn’t let go I am remorse fully sorry and want to help others in my place somehow. Please pray that the judge will have mercy on me just as my lord and savior has. Please pray for my family they need it the most

  77. I’m sure your willingness to be open and vulnerable contributes to your effectiveness. Each time I hear your story, I am encouraged to be intentionally more open when in conversations, small groups or other moments of ministry with people. Love your writings, Gwen.

  78. Very powerful message. It took much courage and humility to write this article. The Lord reminded me not long ago that He took our shame on the cross. He was rejected…bore our sorrows greif and shame so that we don’t have to. Shame is huge in so many lives. So many men and women in our society have been rejected by parents, spouses and friends. This causes deep wounds of shame. For words spoken over us are the fiery darts of the enemy purposed to keep us looking down at the ground rather then up to our loving daddy. Left long enough these darts become shackles. He came to set the captives free!

  79. Thank you for this! The Lord has been telling me for some time to not be ashamed and afraid to tell my testimony, because my redemption through Jesus Christ in the midst of my shame is a wonderful praise of God’s love, mercy, and grace. For a very long time I was bound by drug/alcohol addiction, promiscuity, abusive relationships, suicidal actions, and much more. I felt for so long that my testimony was too dark, too distasteful to tell, especially to fellow Christians. I felt that people would look at me differently or that they wouldn’t believe me. Most of the people I know now didn’t get to meet the lost and completely broken girl that I was before I got saved. Not that I am whole now, but God has healed so many pains, hurts, shames, and rejections that littered my soul. Thank you LORD! I even felt that because my past was so dark that He couldn’t use me, but a week ago I finally let go of the shame of my past and grabbed on to the glory of my testimony. God has given me beauty for ashes and I cannot thank Him enough for having patience and compassion for me. And I want to let others know this same God! To let them know that He too is their God and that what He did for me He can and will do for them!

  80. I normally don’t write any comments or respond to majority of things online b/c …well I just don’t. However, today’s devotional really hit me and it felt like that God was reaching out to me. Going back to yesterday’s devotional I remember praying and all of a sudden I just started crying uncontrollably b/c of the shameful sins I had done especially one in particular. I have been carrying it with me, and felt so unworthy. I remember saying to God, “I know you love me and have forgiven me and think that I am worthy but I just can’t seem to let it go. I have tried but I don’t feel worthy though. Please help me to forgive myself and really let it go. Please help me.” Reading this devotional just hit me like no other. Usually i would think, “is this coincidence?” But then Gwen – you said – “some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it.” So I knew that was God telling me, “Don’t brush it off or doubt it like you always do. I am reaching out to you.” So thank you for opening up and providing this devotional. Thank you so much.

  81. God has redeemed me from bad decisions I made. The hard part is living with the consequence of my actions and how it impacted my children. For a long time I carried tremendous quilt on my children’s lives. Through sharing my story, I have found many believing mothers had their children having similar storks when they had been completely faithful to God. My life and how God has redeemed me is my mission field. This last year I have had great sadness over one of my children’s life. I believe this has brought me to jesus in a way I had never allowed before. I am one of those folks who think I can be my own controller. If you keep moving forward by reading the bible, praying giving it all to God he ll be faithful. I just can’t look for tomorrow because than anxiety comes back. It’s all about trusting God. Without knowing the outcome.

  82. Your writings are such an encouragement. I am at a point of searching for what God wants me to be doing now. I look forward to hearing more from you. Thank you and God bless you.

  83. Hi Gwen,

    Thank you for your testimony. God has given me a vision of his plan for me. There have been set backs or what I consider set backs. They have been God’s building blocks. I can see that now. What I am having trouble with is taking the next step. I don’t know what that is. Did you connect with a mentor or group of women already doing similar things?

  84. Gwen Your devotional Trusting God with your tomorrows really hit home. I have known for years my purpose is to take my painful past and use to help others move past their pain. I have written a book of my testimony My Pain Your Gain and give it out as much as possible. But I know God wants more from me. I feel he wants me to speak to women; but I have a fear of speaking in public so I battle this daily and I don’t know where to start to begin this path I know he wants me on. Your devotional today confirms that I need to give it to God and move past my fears. I’m still unsure but I know that he will cover me when the time comes. Thank you for your encouraging words. I ask that you keep me in your prayers so that I can stand up and use my Pain for someone elses gain.
    Staci Lee

  85. I pray for all women who struggle with guilt. I pray you see yourself how God sees you….beautiful and free. Vision a little girl running in a fresh pasture of daisies with a light linen dress…giggling and laughing while picking the flowers to smell the fragrance put there by God. That is you!
    I pray all women feel the grace filled freedom from God!
    You are loved

  86. You are a true inspiration always, your stories/testimonies always leave me thinking what more can I do! God’s grace seems to be pulling at me. Torn between another relationship that I don’t know what to do with , other than walk away. I’m 48 years old two grown children 3 grandchildren that I adore! Just constantly praying for guidance n always falling short! Thanks Gwen for your music n tsetimonies! God is good thru all that accept him n his greatness!

  87. I read your book and I have a similar story. I know that God is asking me to tell my story. The shame of an abortion can almost suffocate. I have lived this way for years. I really thank God that you told your story. Broken into Beautiful is a wonderful book. I really enjoy the GIG ministry. You are helping so many hurting women.

  88. My husband had a affair with a so called friend that I have known since I was 4. He knew for 30 years that I knew she was not a true friend. I was at the point that I no longer wanted to be friends with her since we had moved closer to her and I began to see how she used so many men. She was having a affair with a man that was in a committed relationship for over 10 years. I knew she was not the type of person I wanted to associate with but she continued to come over for almost 4 months everyday. My husband and her would call each other 5 times a day. I knew I could not trust her but I knew my husband also knew what a jealous person she was. We both knew she was always jealous that we had such a good marriage. We knew she was jealous cause I have a great relationship with all 6 of my children. Are marriage was not at its best at this time but we had been thru our ups and downs before. It has been over a year and a half and it kills me that my husband can go through every day and not think of it. He can just pretend it never happened. I know he is truly sorry but I can’t find it in my heart to truly forgive him. I have so much anger. I have begged Jesus to let me let go of the past yet I feel my prayers go unheard. I feel like I still don’t know the hole truth. I feel like Jesus has told me their is more for my husband to tell me. I believe out of shame and fear that he won’t tell me the truth. I feel so empty. I don’t even know if I even love my husband any more. Please pray for me that Jesus will comfort me and either way if I stay or go I just want to be able to forgive my husband and move forward instead of dwelling on the past. I have never felt so much pain and betrayal which has brought me closer to God yet I feel like I have no hope.

  89. Am still listening for His specific direction, but doors and windows are closing left and right. Will sing His praise in the hallway while waiting for His guidance. It is refreshing to learn there is a period He uses for cleansing, refinement, and growth before giving us specifics!

  90. “Trust Him with your path and your tomorrows. Allow His grace and love to decide what your mission should look like”. Oh my goodness…..your message spoke directly to my heart. As a woman who found herself at 46 years old facing what I believed to be the shame of sexual abuse as a child, God has lovingly met me in the midst of what I thought was long ago buried, He has removed my shame and brought life to a 25 year marriage I never dreamed I deserved or was possible! He has met me right in the midst of being of 46 year old stuck in a sexual mindset of a confused 9 year old. For the past several months He has been impressing on my heart to share this story so other women and marriages might experience freedom and joy of sex as God meant it to be. I continually make excuses….not enough time, no idea how to go about sharing, no opportunity, and the list goes on. Your posting has given me a deep knowing that the time will become available, the sharing will appear and the opportunity will arise…..if I just listen and obey. Thank you!

  91. Thank you for writing this post—I felt it was written for me. I have too many fears and I just realized that I may have closed my heart and mind to what the LORD wants for me because I have been too afraid to take even the tiniest step outside of my comfort zone. Please pray for me.

  92. Thanks for the Empowerment Gwen. My story may be different from yours because I didn’t have an abortion, but there has been alot of pain and emotional, verbal abuse in my life since I was growing up as a little girl and even after marriage. It kinda warped my thinking and as such I know the spiritual gifts god has in me but have been disobedient to his calling for fear of what others may think. I tend to stand back in the shadows and let others do their thing. But I am free in Jesus Name and ready to work. Thanks again…..Empowered to Minister for Christ.

  93. I opened and read this and I was one of the people it was meant for. My marriage of 17 years has been in a constant state of struggle for the last two years. I have tried to be prayerful and maintain faith that this difficult time will pass, but have just felt overwhelmed with the burdens that are taking their toll on our marriage.

    I too had an unplanned pregnancy when I was young, but decided to get married and tried to work it out. Unfortunately, it ended up being 3 years of abuse (mostly verbal), isolation from everyone who loved me, and manipulation and control on my life that left a wagon load of scars. The only wonderful thing that came out of it was my oldest child who has been a huge blessing in my life.

    I met and married another wonderful man and we have two children together (one of them special needs) that I love dearly. My husband is a Desert Storm veteran, who in the last couple of years, has struggled with a myriad of issues that are associated with his military service. He has been without a job for the last year and a half, but by the grace of God and His provision, we have not lost our home.

    I feel as if God has bigger plans for me, but because I have been unable to completely rid myself of scars of the past, and the current stress and hardship, I end up falling back into the the old thoughts, and fear of being unworthy.

    Thank you for being obedient to His will for your life and sharing it. Your story really touched me today and gives me hope for complete healing and a future of success for God’s plan for my life.

  94. Thank you so much for sharing these good thoughts. This encouraged me greatly! Last year I left a church of people I dearly loved — simply because the pastor and his wife continually reminded me how I could not be used of God because of things in my past. Oddly enough, they had similar things in their own pasts, but wouldn’t afford me the grace or the time to let God work and bring about healing and restoration. But I’m happy to say that God rescued me from that situation and now I’m in a body of believers who operate in grace and love and who seek to follow God. What a blessing! Your words here reminded me that God truly does have a plan for each of us and its a miracle how He shapes our brokenness into beauty. Thank you for the reminder of this <3

    1. Trish, I am glad to hear you left your old church full of legalism. God wants you to be free and fully used to grow his kingdom. He uses many of the mistakes we have made in the past. Reading the Bible we see this in David, the adulter; Paul, the murderer of christians; Moses who also murdered;Rahab, a prostitute, and many more examples. God is a God of grace and I am glad to hear you found a church home that exhibits his grace.

      1. Thank you, Barbara 🙂 I’m grateful to God for the journey He’s leading me on. I appreciated your encouraging comment <3

  95. Just last night as I was falling asleep, I was reminded of Moses, of how he had taken things into his own hands, ended up killing someone, and running into the desert away from it all, for 40 years. He had no idea that God had big plans for him, but obviously he lived those 40 years knowing God, because he was ready for God’s call when the time came. Even if he did think himself ill-equipped for the task. You can imagine my surprise and delight to find this message in my inbox from a close friend of mine. Thank you so much!

    I awoke this morning with my little grandson on my mind. I remembered my children’s younger years, when I found myself reading them Bible stories and as a result growing in the Lord with them. I bought them little toys at the Christian book store with Bible verses on them. I collected Christian videos and games for them as they grew. I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School on occasion, considered home schooling, and even tried Christian schooling. How, I wondered, might my grandson’s life be immersed in God’s ways, when I’m now a grandmother, and not his mother? I don’t know how that will work out, but I’m trusting God with it. I was ready to get out of bed as I remembered God’s promises in Exodus 20:5

    “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

    I’ve always taken comfort in this verse, and in my prayers continually ask God that the generations that come from me would love Him and be known as His, especially to that third or fourth generation that I might live to see. I’m concerned for a particular son of mine, but I believe God is acting on his behalf, and I’ve asked friends to keep my son in prayer. God deals with us individually where we’re at, so I know in His time and in just the right way He will care for my son. Just as He will my grandson. And as He did me.

  96. What a wonderful message! Thank you for sharing. I am at a point in my life where I am re-inventing myself and wondering what God wants me to do. I love your statement “stand up to the burning bush.” I feel like I am standing up and now don’t know what to do! I have had several divorces and am on my way to another one. Christ found me (and changed my life forever – broke the pattern of angry women in my family) in the midst of divorce number 3 and I tried to stay married to that man and just couldn’t. Now, I’m close to divorce #4 and wonder why I keep marrying the wrong men. Husband #4 is not Christian and I find myself feeling so alone because we do not share the same beliefs about life; the Lord and the reason He put us here – to serve. My spiritual journey is the only thing getting me through each day as I wonder and know that there is something out there I am supposed to do in His name…

  97. Thanks for being brave and living free so other can see what God will do with our brokenness.
    I was a child who walked through violent abuse and because I could not bear to live with the knowledge my mind set those memories aside so I could survive. Years later I would also take my child’s life but because of the nature of the abortion procedure the experience was too great for me to live through and I wound up in a mental hospital. I was not aware of my past life even then and just tried to recover from the abortion and deal with what I had done. Then at a suicidal moment I found Christ….He took me in and saved me from death…literally. Eventually I would have a breakdown and remember everything and this year has been one of discovering more deeply the healing God has planned for me and wondering how God can use my life after so much had been buried in the sand and was now fully uncovered…God is at work to use even me perhaps….for the freedom of others who have walked through what I have also done and experienced.

  98. I’m the woman who had a Christian ministry and when my world fell apart and my marriage from his infidelity … I gave up hope. And during that time another man took my body and used it while I was asleep on cold meds and pain killers. Now I have 3 children, and a new baby with no dad and because I was known well enough…a lot of condemnation from the christian circles I had so recently been the center of. It takes a lot of guts for me to leave the house everyday and face people. God has looked after my past, and I’m trying so hard to trust Him for my future. I also hear Him say he has a purpose in all that’s happened. To be a light to other women who are unrightfully ashamed of their pasts. To provide a sanctuary, a place of listening ears where christian women can go or call when they are at their lowest…so they don’t end up in the wrong place with the wrong people like I did. But their are enough days I’m still cowering with my own wounds I don’t feel qualified just like Moses.

    1. I cherish John 8:11 “Neither do I condemn you…” and Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Certainly, we are not to forget the “go and sin no more” and the instruction to “walk after the Spirit” which follows, but walk in the freedom of Christ and His grace as you allow HIM to heal your wounds.

  99. I love this message. I too had an abortion right before my first year of college. The pain I felt took a long time to go away, only to show up when there is a death of a child. I took the pain and turned it into something more powerful, an message to females who tell me they want to do the same thing. Furthermore the event opened my mouth to the understanding of how the tongue is like a sword, and even though i was a child (6 at the time) i condemned someone for having a child out of wedlock, only to be her age 12 yrs later facing the reality of what i was going to do. I sought out that person to send an apology to her which also started out my healing.

  100. Thank you for this. I had an abortion shortly after I had my now 11 year old daughter, and for about two years, I just could not forgive myself. I kept having nightmares, and one time in the 600th or so time that I was asking God to forgive me, He gave me an epiphany…He forgave me the very first time I asked him to, as I was getting up from the table I was laying on to have the procedure done. Who was I to think MY forgiveness mattered more than His???

    I have a different situation now. Before I even had my kids (we have a 7 year old son, as well), I was on the worship team at church, but I stepped down before I could be asked to, because I wasn’t comfortable being a worship leader and my life wasn’t right. I know, though, that is where God wants me to be. I gotta tell you though, God uses us even when we don’t think we’re worthy. Truth is, none of us are except for the blood of Jesus.

    He has used me to minister to women who have dealt with the guilt and shame of abortion. He’s used me to point people back to him who’d been far from him for a long time. He’s used me inspite of me, because as unworthy as I am of my own volition, He has enough worthiness for the whole world. He makes up for the ick in me and fills it with him. Thanks for reminding me of that. ♥

  101. I know you are writing with Sisters in Christ in mind. I saw the grace your quote, “Broken can be beautiful when Grace sings the melody.” by a dear Christian sister and followed the link to your site. It was not an accident or by chance that I happened this site. The Lord has been impressing this particular story of Moses on my mind and heart for a couple of years. I will act on that story and what I know the Lord is calling me to do.
    Just one other thing:
    Honestly, men need this type of blog post, just as our sisters do. There just are enough bloggers out there writing grace messages such as this for men. Maybe, that is something else I need to do! Pray for me in this endeavor!

  102. Thank you for your faithfulness to God, and for allowing Him to use you to bring encouragement, love, and the truth to others. I feel so “stuck”, that God is not using or blessing our (my husband and I) ministry. We feel so unworthy, and need fresh eyes and heart, and a believing heart to follow HIm as Moses did. We need His direction in a wilderness where we cannot see His plan to serve Him. Our church seems stagnant, no visitors, and a dying membership. I watch my husband with a broken heart, because He feels as if he is failing, and failing God.
    thank you for your prayers.

  103. Thank you for this, and thank God for you. It speaks directly to what I’ve been struggling with — a doubt and fear that have kept me from moving beyond my mistakes into the plans He has for me. Please join me in praying for clear direction for the decisions that are before me, and that I would grow in courage and confidence of His unfailing love for me. Thank you and God bless all who share their hearts here.

  104. Could you just pray for me? There is so much pain and shame in my heart and I just need Gods grace. I want to fully embrace His Grace but I find it difficult to see me through His eyes. It seems that I can only focus on my wrongs. I’ve prayed for deliverance of my sins but somehow I just do them over and over again. I’m afraid His grace for me is going to stop.

    1. Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that our Girlfriend in God who is seeking your grace would know this very moment that you’ve never left her, never forsaken her, and never stopped loving her. Lord, I’m so thankful that your grace is not temporary but that your love endures forever. Lord, when we struggle with sin, we know that you are there to touch our hearts and that your kindness — not your wrath — is what brings us to repentance and chance. I pray that this young woman would be surrounded by another Godly woman with whom she can be honest with about her struggles and see how she can experience true freedom and deliverance. I thank you that there is no condemnation in you, Father, and that you have given us the power to overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. I pray that she begins to speak your grace and deliverance over her life from this day forward. I pray that she would stand on this promise from Isaiah 43… That you are doing a new thing and that she will be able to walk in the deliverance you have for her. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
      “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

      1. Isn’t God wonderfull. I was just reading Isaiah 43 because of yesterdays post of Girlfriends in God. Thank you for your reply. It touched my heart. You prayed what I’ve been praying for. And I believe God listened!

  105. I will definitely be pondering this one. Just today I was lamenting my past, that I hated it, there has been so much more bad than good and the way things stand now, I just don’t see a future. God has had me on a shelf for so long that just to keep my faith in Him is the daily struggle. That consumes enough of me that there isn’t time for dreams. They have all been systematically dashed, whether by my hand or someone else’s, just like my past. I was responsible for much of the carnage, and there was freedom in accepting that, but it makes it no less painful that my past contains so much awfulness in it and that I am alone today as a result of some very flawed past decisions. I am thankful for you and what you do, and many of the things you write strike a chord with me.

  106. “Trust Him with your past and with your tomorrow’s”. That line really struck a cord in my heart. That line helped me with the freedom that I’ve needed. That line just brought healing to my broken heart and hurtful past. Thank you so much for that Gwen. God bless you and thank you for being bold and obedient for sharing your story.

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