The Hardest Thing (written by Julie Seals on January 4, 2012)

One of the hardest things to do is learn how to forgive yourself…only those who know what a genuine “mess” I was “before Jesus” will understand how hard this struggle has been for me. Many years ago in the midst of my addiction I hurt the ones I loved the most, and that knowledge is, at times, STILL overwhelmingly painful to live with. Every morning I open up my eyes and have to face the knowledge that I lost my beloved son in the midst of a dark downward spiral of addiction…and never got the chance to make it right. I failed my only child and that burden is excruciatingly painful to live with. I would literally give my life to undo the hurt I caused my son…but time never moves backward…it only moves forward. So how do I make it through another day knowing I can’t go back and change the past? ONLY by the supernatural grace of the God who saved me and lifted me out of that pit and into LIFE with Jesus Christ! Today I am thankful beyond measure that Jesus died the death I deserved…and that He lives today and has led me into a new life with Him. He has given me a 2nd chance, made me a new creation, and blessed me beyond measure…I want to serve God with all that I am, grab this 2nd chance with both hands and never let go!

God truly is a God of second chances! I have an amazing life, a home, a husband who loves Jesus, I am a university student, a prison minister, a women’s mentor, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a wife…and Oh, how I want to add the word “Mom” to that list! I could go on and on…yet I would be none of these things without the Spirit of God alive inside of me.  I have been living for Jesus Christ for almost 12 years…and still struggle with forgiving myself for the pain I caused others so many years ago. I wish that life offered a “do-over” so I could undo the pain I caused…but it doesn’t. God, however, does make those who surrender ALL to Him a new creation. And so I must move forward…even with the memory of my past…daily putting my hand in my Heavenly Father’s and taking it one step at a time.

The BEST Thing (written by Julie Seals on July 20, 2023)

It has been over 10 years since I wrote the first half of this post. Can I just say that God DID THE MIRACLE??!! He DID it! I still remember with a raw ache how much I longed to forgive myself for my past mistakes. I remember the times, in the middle of the day, when the mental anguish was so agonizing that I dropped everything and drove to my church to go into the empty sanctuary and pour myself out on the alter and sob for what seemed like hours! But can I tell you something? I stayed the course! I remained faithful to God! I persevered! I didn’t give up! I continued to HOPE in my precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I continued to pray! I continued to fast! I continued to believe against all odds that one day I would see my son . . . and that one day I would no longer live with the crippling guilt and shame that plagued me night and day for years.

And FAITH won the battle!

Heaven won the war!

Today, my son is fully restored to my life! He loves me and . . . he calls me “Mom!” AND…I’m a “Grandma” to an adorable little girl named Charlotte. The constant, debilitating depression, guilt, and shame – are gone. But it wasn’t even the miracle of restoration with my son that brought the healing. God simply healed me – even before He restored my son. Why?? Because I kept persevering and trusting in Him even when I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel! What if I had not stayed the course?

Gal 6:9 “Let us not therefore be weary of well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Heb 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Pro 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

What are YOU believing God for? He wants to take your hardest thing and turn it into your BEST thing!

Rom 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Keep believing! Keep praying! Keep trusting!

And never. ever. give. up.

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