My Bad Past
I would like to take the time to share with you all something the Lord has been teaching me this week.
As most of you know, we are starting the process of trying to adopt some children from Liberia. One of the things that we have to do for our homestudy is write an autobiography of ourselves. They want to know everything and it gets quite personal. At first, I found this to be a very difficult process. I do not have what I would consider a wonderful past, by any means. In fact, quite the opposite.
For a while, I had a somewhat negative feeling about doing this autobiography. I have said a number of times over the past few weeks, "If anything disqualifies us from being able to adopt, it will be my past.
So, I began to pray fervently. I said,
"Lord, I am not proud of my past. I have done all I can in the last few years to put the past behind me and not to think about it. This process of writing an autobiography is hard and I don't like it. What are you trying to teach me Lord, by making me dig all of this hurtful stuff up again? Help me Lord, I feel that my past disqualifies me to even be the parent I am now, let alone adopt more."
The most amazing thing then happened. I was continuing to go through boxes in our basement as we are cleaning it out in order to add an extra bedroom. I came across a book I had, entitled, "The Practice of Praise - How to develop the habit of abundant, continual praise in your daily life" by C. H. Spurgeon - one of my favorite authors.
I had a strong feeling that I needed to read this book. Wow! Did God ever answer my prayers by leading me to read this book. There is so much good in this book, that I wish I could share it all with you, but it would make for a dreadfully long email.
But I want to share the way God answered my prayer. Listen to this quote, "Praise the Lord abundantly because it will benefit you to do so. How bright the past looks when we begin to praise God for it. When we say, "I am the man that hath seen affliction" Lamentations 3:1, we are to fill the cup of memory with gall and wormwood. But when we see the goodness of God in it all, we turn the kerchief with which we wiped our tears into a flag of victory, and with holy praise, in the name of our God, we wave His banner. " Again, I say Wow! This along with many other things he said in his book, changed my whole outlook on my past and my future.
First of all, God predestined me and chose me before I was ever born. That alone is the greatest miracle.
Second of all, God ordained everything that ever happened to me, even what I consider "bad". And He did it for my good!
Third, I wouldn't be who I am today, if all those things hadn't happened to me.
Fourth, it is not my past that will disqualify me to raise children, but it is my past that qualifies me to raise children.
My past is the reason I am sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate than myself, my past is why I believe in teaching your children about purity, my past is what made me sympathize with the rejection Christ felt when all his closest friends rejected him and turned their backs on Him.
My past is what makes me desire Christ above all else because He is the Father to the Fatherless, He is the one who never leaves us or forsakes us. It is my past that allows me to delight in going to church as a family and never take one single Sunday for granted.
It is my past that makes me love being a homeschooling mother when others think I'm wrong to do such a thing. It is my past that has made me know that to have God is everything and nothing else matters.
It is my past that has helped me to better understand the concept of submission to my husband and to God. It is my past that has taught me to trust in the Power of God and that all things are possible with him.
It is my past that brought me to the belief that I would rather my children be garbage men and love the Lord with all their hearts than to have the best college degree in the world and forsake Christ.
It is my past that makes me earnestly pray for the persecuted church because I've tasted persecution in a lesser degree. I can truly say that all these things are a result of all the "bad" things in my past.
I was called by God before time began, therefore, everything that has happened to me is GOOD not bad. This was a real revelation to me. I wanted to share this, because many of you have confided in me about your pasts. I know that many of you, like me, did not have the best pasts. I know that many of you had a worse past than I did. But I do know this for certain. If you are saved today, I can guarantee that everything in your past was for your GOOD. God ordained it.
He doesn't want us to murmur and complain or whine and feel self-pity over our past. He wants us to wave the banner of victory and to declare to future generations the wonderful things that He has done in our lives.
Take all those things that you consider to be bad and dwell on them! How often do you hear that? Probably never. But I say, dwell on them.
Consider what great and mighty miracles the Lord has done in your life because that thing happened to you. It will change your life and forever change the way you think about your past. I will close with quoting one more section from this book:
"He has given you a name and a place among His people. He has given you the rights and the nature of His sons. He has given you the complete forgiveness of all your sins, and you have it now.
He has given you a robe of righteousness which you are wearing now. He has given you a superlative loveliness in Christ Jesus. He has given you access to Him and acceptance at the mercy seat. He has given you this world and worlds to come.
He has given you all that He has. He has given you His own Son, and how shall He now refuse you anything? Oh, He has given as only God could. I have nothing to speak but what is good of my God, my King, from my childhood until now. He amazes me with His mercy. He utterly astound me with His loving-kindness. He causes my spirit almost to swoon away with delight beneath the sweetness of His love."
Looking forward to meeting with you and sharing in His goodness!