Each one of us has a unique story to tell. Have you thought about yours lately? Think about the places where the Lord has restored your broken relationships or redeemed the ways you think. Perhaps you’ve experienced painful traumas and He’s set you free from their damaging grip. Maybe you’ve encountered people or places that have shifted the trajectory of your life and shaped your purpose. God has beautifully redeemed all of our stories. When we take the time to reflect on these stories, through His lens, it has the power to strengthen us and fill us with hope for what He will do.
Take this time to reflect
This pandemic has been hard on our hearts and minds. I know for myself, I’ve felt more tempted to spiral into despairing or defeated mindsets. All the uncertainty is wearing on my spirit. At times, it’s caused me to feel unsure of God and His character. I begin to forget. This is why it’s vital now, more than ever, to pause and make intentional times to check-in with ourselves and the Lord. We need these times in order to remember. We need this regular re-connection with a good God in order to heal and hope again.
What does God see?
It’s important to know which lens to view your story through. I tend to look back on my life through a lens of shame or regret, which skews my perspective (and doesn’t strengthen my faith). We all have distorted ways of viewing our past. This is why it’s important to ask the Lord — what do You see? When we take the time to reflect through His lens, we can more clearly see His true character, our true selves, and learn how He’s been caring for and shaping us all along.
Take Sheldon Kotyk as an example. Sheldon has been serving in the field of digital ministry for over 20 years. He now finds himself leading our Digital Strategies team along with supporting our entire organization in the middle of this global pandemic. With people isolated at home, the world is online and millions of digital windows are opening.
This wasn’t where Sheldon imagined he’d be. His passion for sports led him to begin full-time ministry with our organization. When that no longer seemed like a fit, Sheldon attempted to quit. Thankfully the Lord intervened. Sheldon was offered a job in the IT department and began building a career in technology, which at the time was his ‘hobby’.
Throughout his journey, the Lord chiselled away at Sheldon because he repeatedly said ‘yes’ to receiving how the Lord wanted to shape and lead him. Reflecting back, Sheldon sees how clearly God was maturing and training him to stand in the places he is now.
Sheldon’s story definitely stirs hope in me, reminding me of God’s faithful hand on our lives. The Lord will lead us and direct us, because He cares for us. Not only that but God has a clear plan and purpose for us even when all we can see is a fog of uncertainty.
Let this strengthen you
Earlier this year, I interviewed a young man for P2C-Students who’d recently accepted Christ. You should have seen him as he recounted his story — for the first time in his life, he was looking back and seeing exactly where the Lord had been. By the end of the interview, we both had been filled with faith and joy simply because he’d taken the time to process his story with me.
What I love is that this young man instinctively knew to look back at his life through God’s lens. Together we saw what God saw — an intricate story of His love and presence — and it was beautiful to behold.
In my own story, I see the Lord lifting shame and gently restoring me to wholeness, equipping me to lead others in similar ways. For Sheldon, we see a clear narrative of God’s faithfulness to guide and prepare Him to boldly lead during a time of crisis. For the young student who gave his life to Jesus, he recognized that the Lord had been pursuing him with truth all his life and that he was never alone.
Over and over we see evidence of the Lord’s redemptive work in our lives. What has He done in your story? I pray that as you take time this season to reflect through His eyes, your faith would be renewed as you look ahead with hope to what He will do.