I know you have trauma, regret, and shame in your past. Maybe you've done or experienced things that most people can't imagine. Perhaps you're still going through it right now. I'm going to stop here and share a quote that you might brush off as cheesy, but it has stuck with me in the messiest moments: "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?" This tidbit is from the beloved book and movie, "Anne of Green Gables." Now, you may think that I'm a raised-in-the-sunshine, glass-half-full kind of person who wants to "solve" your pain with inspiration. I won't go into my whole life story, but I'll tell you, I know what it's like to not feel "normal." I've had times when I thought my life was too messed up for God to care about my dreams. In those moments, the idea of a "fresh start" was the one thing that kept me going. The problem is that tomorrow will always have mistakes in it. We only have control of our actions, and we can't achieve perfection. However, tomorrow will also have grace. When you wonder if you actually can receive that grace, know that everyone in the world, even the people we call the "worst," has the opportunity for grace. All it takes is genuinely placing our faith in Jesus. He doesn't discriminate on any other factors. Your damage may seem darker or more impactful than others, but in God's eyes, we are all damaged individuals He wants to lead. The Bible shows us that broken people have always mattered. Moses had a confusing childhood and murdered someone as an adult, but he went on to lead God's people. The Apostle Paul persecuted Christians before he became one of the most well-known followers of Jesus. Job faced insane amounts of suffering and doubted God's plans, yet God ultimately blessed him with renewed hope. Nothing makes us too broken for Jesus; only our shame holds us back. What does it take to let go of shame? Forgiveness. Holding bitterness toward yourself or someone else will cloud your heart and mind. Choosing forgiveness will lift a weight off your shoulders and open you up to new opportunities. Of course, this is easier said than done. You can't just demand that your mind forget past pain. What you can do is bring that pain to God. Repenting and voicing your sorrow to God is a way to connect with and trust Him. He will listen and care, no matter what you tell Him. One of our favorite sayings at Sun Valley is, “No matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, God loves you.” It’s easy to push that aside as a “nice thought” or think that even if God loves you, church people don’t. Well, there will always be people who judge others, but that’s not the mission of Jesus. Loving broken people is what Jesus is all about. Every person on the planet has made mistakes and felt the consequences of other people’s mistakes. We build deep relationships by sharing those burdens and lifting each other up. However you're struggling, there are opportunities for support and connection. When you surrender your brokenness to Jesus, He will use it to bring you forward and inspire renewal in others.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.