Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Running Into His Arms

'This miry Slough is such a place as cannot be mended; it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore is it called the Slough of Despond; for still as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there ariseth in his soul many fears, and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place; and this is the reason of the badness of this ground.'- The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

At the age of 16, I went through a season that was unlike any other season I could have ever endured. Because of how I was treated by others, I turned to cutting my arms out of despair.  I turned to harmful substances as well, looking for any kind of relief that I could get. Gratefully, my loving parents hung on to me tightly through this season never giving up on me. They prayed for me and loved me unconditionally.

There was a time in my life that I was literally inches from hitting rock bottom because of my own despair. Similarly, I felt like Christian from The Pilgrim's Progress when he was trying to get out of the Slough of Despond. He felt the weight of his sins overwhelming him and he was sinking quickly because of the guilt he felt.

"The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to Him is not to believe that He loves you."- John Owen

Sometimes the guilt felt in making mistakes is worse than the actual mistake that was made. We feel guilty and have a hard time forgiving ourselves. However, the first step in getting past our pain is forgiving ourselves. I knew I was messing up, BIG TIME!  And knowing that I was messing up was a much more of a paralyzing feeling than any of my sins.

Be that as it may, my Heavenly Father kept His arms open wide. He kept on pursuing me. He kept on loving me. He showed me by the people He brought into my life. He showed me by bringing me back to confidence and helping me overcome the Slough of Despond.

"Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us."- Spurgeon

Is the pain from it still raw? Yes, very much so. Are there ever moments that I feel complete relief from the past? Not necessarily. Am I fully healed? I'm afraid I'd have to say no. Occasions come up where I feel like I am back in that swamp and my eyes will fill with tears as if I am still in that moment of fear. Yet, over and over, He comforts me. So I run into His arms and listen to His voice of reason.  He leads me besides still waters and restores my soul.

When I look around at where I am at in life now, I have an amazing husband and six beautiful blessings. I do feel like the weight of my sins have been lifted. I know I am forgiven and I know abundant things lie ahead for me as I continue running into His arms.

No matter where you are at in life, keep on running into His arms.  He will embrace you beyond anything you can ever imagine. One day, we will be with Him rejoicing in a place without pain or fear.  And it will be the most joyous feeling that can ever be imagined. All you have to do is keep on walking forward down the path that He has laid out for you. Don't give in to the thorns and thistles along the way. Don't allow the trappings of  misery get the better of you. You can escape the Slough of Despond and enter into the Meadow of Peace.

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

When we do make those mistakes, we must pick ourselves up and start running again. Look for the Light on the path before you. You may feel lost at times along the way and the path may seem lonely. Still, the Light is there, so look ahead and know that the Light is expecting you.

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