“There was a time when [you fill in] defined my life and left me physically void, cocooned in a prison of fear. It stole my every hope and dream. But God’s love and His Word set my heart free. I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, rather everything was given to me. My life, which felt so out of control, was in reality in complete control – God’s control.”
~ Wendy Blight Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story
“There was a time when depression and guilt over bad choices defined my life and left me physically void, cocooned in a prison of fear. It stole my every hope and dream."
I've known about God my whole life but coming into relationship and walking with the Lord were steps I made in my more adult life. Prior to that I was a reckless college kid making the bad choices reckless college kids sometimes make, finding myself in situations that were not healthy or appropriate. And I regretted a lot of those choices for a long time, thinking that surely they had somehow marked me for life. I was often bringing the same situation to God and asking for forgiveness. The first time I ever heard God speak to me was related to this very situation! I was, once again, asking God "How often do I need to seek forgiveness before I feel this burden lifted?" and God spoke into my heart, VERY clearly "How often do you want to keep bringing this up?". I WAS forgiven. The FIRST time I went to God with a repentant heart, He forgave me. “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” Acts 13:38
Depression was another story. I’ve struggled with depression off and on my entire adult life. The summer that Kayleigh was born, I remember being so discouraged I had our two boys, and this beautiful baby girl, and I was overwhelmed. One day, I just laid on my face before the Lord and said “I can NOT do this on my own. Help me!” And God picked me up, set me back on my feet and said “I’ve been waiting for you to admit you needed help.” “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Don’t get me wrong. Things have not been perfect since then. I still occasionally struggle with feeling depressed. I still have to remind myself that God forgives my repentant heart. But one of the things I found VERY encouraging as I pondered this quote; my life is not defined by the loss of Seth. Oh, I miss him greatly. However, I look forward to seeing him in Heaven and as long as I have that hope, he is NOT lost to us. That’s my point. I have hope in something greater. My life is not defined by me, my shortcomings, my failures, my weak areas. My life is defined by the One who created me. For one thing, the examples I mentioned above (and other incidences in my life I have yet to mention) ultimately served to bring me closer to God. It can be said that I am deeper in relationship with the Lord BECAUSE of the very same negative things I used to believe defined me.
“But God’s love and His Word set my heart free. I learned that within the confines of God’s story, nothing had been stolen from me, rather everything was given to me. My life, which felt so out of control, was in reality in complete control – God’s control.”
I am so grateful.
Loni did an AMAZING write up and review of this book. Head on over to Writing Canvas to see what she and others had to say about this quote.