I looked into her eyes and she stared back at me, yet I hardly recognized her. When had that happened? The years had taken their toll. Her skin was no longer as smooth, and creases were worn deep at the corners of her eyes and lips. She no longer had that youthful glow, but it was okay because she looked back at me with eyes of knowing and wisdom that came only through experience. Her face told the real story: that “after” only comes when there is a “before.”
Sometimes we don’t relish “the before.” We often don’t appreciate it when we are in the midst of it—I certainly didn’t. The depression, the darkness, and the despair were a part of my “before” that if I were being truthful, I wish didn’t have to be part of my story. As I look into her eyes, they are really my own eyes staring back at me in the mirror, yet I’m not the same girl I was for so many years. Now, as I look at her in the mirror, He shows me what can only be seen in the after: I am strong, I am brave, I am victorious in Christ, I am an overcomer, I am an achiever, I am mighty in the Lord. I am courageous, I am forgiven, I am redeemed, I am a Daughter of the Most High God, and I am never going back to the “before”!
In those earlier dark days, the enemy wanted me to believe that in my depression I was “less than,” I was “unworthy,” I was “unimportant,” I was “broken,” and I was “joy immune.” But Jesus came to turn all of our messy, broken “befores” into glorious, beautiful, forgiven, redeemed “afters.” The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly. After we realize what the enemy attempted to do “before,” we can live in the truth “after.”
What “before” do you need to exchange for a richer, more abundant “after”?
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
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