When I look at this picture, I see a young woman filled with hopes, dreams, excitement and a deep, deep love for God. These were the days that were filled with friends, freedom, full-time ministry, and adventure. Days of planning youth retreats, speaking at youth retreats and writing. Days where I was told that I was making a difference. Days where I saw lives being changed. And days where I was told that my future was extremely bright.
And then, something happened along the way. I was deeply wounded by the church I was working at and I questioned my calling. I experienced a molar pregnancy and miscarriage; my hopes for three boys left me questioning my worth as a mother of one child. And just when I thought my future was looking bright and I was moving forward, I was once again deeply wounded by people I thought I could trust. And soon after, we found ourselves in debt; debt that was paid off by leaving our beloved home and moving in with my parents for a year and a half.
God, this is NOT the life I signed-up for or even dreamed about.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe life hasn’t turned out quite how you had hoped it would. Maybe you’ve seen more disappointment than victories. And if you’re honest with yourself, you’re hurt, bruised, and tired; sometimes you just wish you could go back to the days when life was good and easy.
I know, I get it; I’ve been there too. And honestly, I think the enemy would love nothing more than for us to focus on the past, because when we focus on the past, we don’t move forward. And when we don’t move forward, we can’t and we don’t fulfill the calling that God has given us. Instead, we spend our time reminiscing about the “good days” and we soon find ourselves sad, depressed and looking for a way of escape. We stay stuck on the sidelines instead of getting into the game and playing hard.
Friend, this isn’t the life that God wants for you. Take a moment and think about Job and Ruth from the Bible.
Job was a man who longed for God and lived his life for God; he was upright and blameless. He shunned evil. And, he was VERY wealthy. Life was good. But then, calamity struck; he lost EVERYTHING, including his family. The enemy attacked and Job mourned. And I wonder if he too had thoughts of, “my best days are behind me.”
But yet, in Job 1:21-22 he says, ‘“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.” Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.’
Now, let’s look at Ruth. Out of nowhere, her husband of 10-years dies. And back in the day when this happened, women were left helpless because their well being depended on the man that they were married to. After her husband dies, she goes off with her mother-in-law into a foreign country where she knows no one, working in the fields. Maybe she too was thinking that her best days were behind her; this wasn’t the life she dreamed about.
But yet, in both of these biblical examples, we see that God wasn’t finished with them, their best days were ahead of them! Job 42:12 says, “God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life.” And Ruth, she married Boaz and had a son named Obed and she became a part of the lineage of Jesus!
Friend, your best days are NOT behind you, they are ahead of you. You might have hit some rough patches lately, but don’t lose the hope that you have in Jesus. Choose to see these patches as growth patches; the opportunity to become more like Jesus. Even in the low moments of life, God is doing a mighty work behind the scenes and you never know when He will come through and change your life for the better! Count it all joy!