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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Amen, Michelle. Let’s take off the grave clothes and walk in freedom.
Most indubitably so. Big Daddy Weave has a song that says the same thing. It is titled, ‘Different Light.’ I am thankful for my before also.
Amen Michelle. I do not know where I would be without my “before.” I am so thankful for it now. I have learned what is important and that is living for Christ and not myself. I think I tried to cover up the pain of my before for many years but now I look forward to seeing what God has planned for my AFTER! Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and insightful post. Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and yours!
Even though my before is pretty MESSY, I wouldn’t trade it either. And I’m ever thankful that He isn’t finished transforming me into a MASTERPIECE yet! Blessings, my friend! xo
I, too, cannot imagine the who I am today without the who I was before. God surely redeemed and made beauty out of the ashes! I am so thankful for His hope! Thank you for sharing this beautiful message of hope with us at Moments of Hope! I am praying for God to continue a good work in your message of hope and in your healing!
Blessings and smiles,
Ever thankful for a redeeming God who restores the years the ‘locust’ ate or the joy I never had or had in fleeting pleasures! I know my redeemer and He lives in me! Hallelujah…thankful for your truth Michelle!
This is truly so encouraging . I definitely have a past that I am so ashamed of and feared of never being able to change, even as a believer. The lies of Satan are powerful and we fight a spiritual battle. I think forgiving myself is still a battle . Years of addiction , lies, hurting my family, being very promiscuous , and even a dancer at one point . I know God is giving me beauty for ashes , but I feel a lot of shame . Please pray for me.
Sister In Christ,