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With heavy heart and full of grace

09 Aug

My heart is heavy tonight for several reasons. 

First, I just found that some one from my past…someone I loved very much passed away this April. It breaks my heart to know he’s gone on to be with the Lord but I rejoice in the fact that I will see him again one day.

Second… my heart is heavy tonight because in hearing the news of this loved one, I am reminded of a past I have tried so hard to forget. You see, while I stand before you a creation of Christ and a child of the King, I was not always. I have done horrible things to wonderful people and have lived with regret for a lifetime.

I often associate myself with the prostitute Jesus stood in the courtyard and defended. He did so not because she loved Him and followed Him but because He loved her regardless of her transgressions. He saw something in her she couldn’t see in herself. He saw past the horrible things she’d done… not only to others, but to herself. He saw straight to her heart and even with sin plastered across her face, He held out His hand and lifted her up to look into her eyes..and forgive her.

I wonder if she struggled in forgiving herself. I wonder if she felt the need to go back and apologize for the things she had done…or was she embarrassed? I wonder how thankful she was for a new beginning.

I stand before you certain that without the unfailing grace of God, I would be not be standing before you at all. I spent many years suicidal. Many years trying to escape a childhood of sexual abuse and many years taking my pain out on others. What an awesome God I have that He would see past my filthy rags and allow me an opportunity to tell others about HIM.

I am convinced I lived the childhood I was meant to. That I committed the crimes and sins that would bring me to this point of humility. You see,  every time  I found myself in the pits of hell and face down in a ditch, HE was right there with me. He’s been there all along and because of His mercy being made new every single in this twisted life of mine, I am able to say… He can change anyone. He can turn any life around and use any life for His glory…if you’ll let him.

Thank you Father, for the opportunity to face those I’ve wronged. I do not deserve even that but I thank you for your grace once more.

(In memory of Bill Gibson… we love you and miss you…and we will see you soon!)

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5 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2009 in encouragement

 

5 responses to “With heavy heart and full of grace

  1. Robin Shope

    August 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    this was very moving. Thank you for sharing. Your testimony reminds me of a book I am writing right now. Hugs

     
  2. Connie Arnold

    August 9, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    It’s such a blessing that we can never do anything too bad for God to forgive us! Our past experiences are part of what makes us who we are. The terrible things you have lived through by the grace of God have made you a stronger person and a positive influence on others through your life and your writing. Fortunately we don’t have to earn forgiveness but only receive it thankfully and, with God’s help, to become what He would have us to be. Thank you for sharing this post, Katrina, and my sympathy to you in the loss of your friend.

     
  3. IJ

    August 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I appluad you, for this is something not everyone can do, first am grateful to God for your life in accepting your past faults and trusting in His saving Grace for your life today. Also am happy that His love and grace is upon your life yet I know the guilt may still be there but as long as you are sure of your salvation and, you know you are living for Christ now, then no condemnation can come on you. . . for that is the word of God.
    keep on trusting for you cannot do it alone.

    Thanks for sharing
    God bless you

     
  4. Shelby

    August 9, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Someone very wise once told me that God really never asks us to forgive ourselves. In fact, when we push against Him using the excuse that He could never forgive us because we can’t forgive ourself (as I used to do), we are in fact, telling Him that we have decided to take on His job as the judge and jury. We don’t have to forgive ourselves, if we could do that sufficiently, His grace would mean nothing and the cross would have been in vain.

    Thank you for being so honest in this post. We all have a past (I think you wrote that in your book) 🙂 and we all try to outrun it — at least I know I do. The running is always in vain, though – I can never seem to get away from myself!!! The best we can do is accept the forgiveness that Christ offers us and move on, using our pain to help others. Thank you for reminding me to do that — now and in your book which I finished at 3 this morning, by the way!! It is awesome!!!

    I’ll talk to you more about that later!!
    So sorry about the loss of your friend.
    Love ya!!

     
  5. Lou Ann Gibson

    August 10, 2009 at 12:29 am

    I am the daughter of the friend of whom Katrina speaks. We are dealing with a terrible loss. My mother, brother and I love my father with all our heart and it is so hard to function at all. Only by the grace of God can we get through this loss.

    Who are we (Christians) to put ourselves above Christ although we do? If He can forgive us of all our many sins and the times we so often hurt and turn our backs on Him; who do we think we are not to have a forgiving heart or spirit? Sometimes forgiveness takes longer for some as it has with me. I was not there during part of your “dark” walk but I was there for some of it. It’s in the past and we are starting a fresh and new life as friends. We are sisters in Christ. We have a common bond and that is to introduce the lost to our loving Father. I am proud of what God has done in your life. Thank you for this post and for pouring out your heart and soul. We are all like the prostitute in the courtyard. Even as Christians we do not go through a day without sin. We may not experience some of the same things as others. Whether prostitution, theft, murder, lying or just cheating on a test; there are no small sins and big sins. Of course, some may seem worse than others, but a sin is still a sin. We do not deserve what Jesus and God did for us. One sent His only son to die for us and the other willingly gave His life for us. We are all sinners saved by Grace.

    Thank you for all the work you are doing and for allowing God to work through you. May God continue to bless you and give you the health, strength and finances you need in order to continue the work you are doing in Him.

     

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