Thursday, January 24, 2013

Regrets, Redemption, Restoration

I never meant to stop blogging. I love it here and love all of you who came to visit. But it seemed that I ran out of words for a while. One day passed, than another, then a week, a month, and now. . . . It seems like I’ve disappeared forever. It just seemed that I was boring. I was bored with me. My days seemed to always be the same and finding topics to discuss was just not happening.

Perhaps a break was best for me, though I didn’t even know I was going to take one. But lately, I’ve found myself writing, so to speak, in my head -- especially during sleepless night. And it always sounded like blog posts. So here I am, back again.

I wasn’t completely gone. I loved blog hopping to so many of your blogs. They are always so thought-provoking, beautifully written, and God honoring. I’m so thankful for all of them, believe me!

So many of you have picked words for this new year. I found that to be so interesting, as I really had never done that before. So I decided to think about it and my heart settled on one word ---- no, maybe it’s three words, really. “Regrets,” “Redemption,” and “Restoration.”

It all began with the verse in Joel 2:25 where God says He will restore the years the locust have eaten. Can He really do that???? Immediately, my thoughts went back in my journals of memories and seemed to highlight all the regretful stuff, even from my childhood: Bad choices, no’s instead of yes’s. “I can’t” instead of “I’ll try.” Running instead of staying, and staying when I should have run.

Oh my, do you have any idea what a review of your regrets in life can do to the weight of the burden on your back???? It’s not a good thing, that’s for sure. Especially since there is no way to change any of it. It’s over, done, and I am who I am because of it. But. . . .

Praise God, there is a BUT ! Through the darkness of all those regrets there still stands a Cross of forgiveness and cleansing and He pays the debt owed for all of it. ALL! Redemption! Suich a great word of comfort, isn’t it?

But Restoration. I had never really thought much about it until one day when I was sharing with someone who was hurting, and I told her about how I understood because I had messed up and made some bad choices just as she had and how that sometimes there are consequences we can’t change, but we can grow through them and use them. She asked me how in the world could that be? I read 2 Cor. 1:4 to her, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

It was at that moment that I, myself, understood the whole thing of Restoration: When I am willing to accept God’s forgiveness and comfort, it is then that I can help someone else going through the same thing. And that, my friend, is when the ruins turn to rubies, and the locust loses out.

And so, Restoration has become my word for this year. Whenever I find a “regret” pestering my life and pulling me down, I will pray for a way to use it in the life of another and find redemption and restoration.


Sue said...

Welcome back to blogland Cora, Restoration a great word for the new year! 2 Corinthians 1-4, is one of my favorite verses, When I first found this verse I just wept, because I knew of how God has been there for me all through my life especially when things went wrong, and of how thankful I was for His comfort, and then I was challenged through this verse to comfort others.
Thank you for sharing,

Susie Swanson said...

Welcome back I've missed you here and your inspiring, uplifting posts.Like the one above.. Blessings.

Paula said...

Yay!! Cora's back!! :)
I've missed you, dear friend...
I really enjoyed this post... I hung on your every word and thought about the MULTITUDE of regrets in my own life, and how I wished so many times I had a "do-over" button. But~ the word restoration gives such peace, and like you, I would love to think I could use my past for good whenever I can.

Lea said...

I am so happy happy happy to see you back my friend! Oh sweet JOY!!!
Your words... give understanding to real gospel living. The living part especially you know? I'm kind of amazed right now as I ponder how God uses our story ... onward if we'll just let Him.
I sure thank God for you Cora and I couldn't be more thrilled to see you back tonight. Praise the Lord!!
I look so forward to hearing how your words reveal even more this year. Not only your three words, but everything else God gives you to write about and share.
You are LOVED dear Cora!!

Kristin said...

Woo-Hoo! Cora, you've just made my day...welcome back! You've been missed.
Love your word...restoration...such healing and joy in that word. Can't wait to see what else the Lord has you writing. I'll be back!;)
Blessings to you dear Cora!

Farmhouse Blessings said...

Dear, dear Cora - reading your post this morning, I felt as if it were interpreting my own heart. I, too, understand the crushing burden of regrets and the pain of struggling under their weight including both the emotional and physical challenges of quietly carrying them day after day. It's difficult to even explain to someone how that feels and the depression that trys to ungulf my heart. Joel 2:25 has come to me in a variety of unexpect ways this very week, and most powerfully through reading your words. I didn't realize I was even holding my breath while I was reading until toward the end, I heard myself exhale and thought, "Yes, that's it exactly." Restoration ... there is such hope and joy in that word, and especially in God's Word that confirms it truly is possible. I'm so glad that you found your words, Cora. I know they were meant for me today.

I will be praying for you, sweet friend. With love & care, Lea

Vicky said...

So glad and grateful to have this post from you! I too find myself walking away at times and then suddenly finding time flies and if I don't hurry back- well - I shudder to think of that :)

Restoration- yes! So hopeful and promising :) I've found having that one word just helps me keep looking with intention and keeps me focused on purpose- I'll be curious to see what your word brings to you!!

Love to you- so happy you are here once again!!

Debra said...

Oh yes, Cora-I know this story so well. Thank God-He steps in to Restore the stories-to make them end well, through what He did for us.

dsblanchard said...

This is such an encouraging post. You have the gift of encouragement. You do so much of it here in cyberspace and there is a real vacuum in the encouragement section when you aren't posting. I know there are multitudes who will be happy you are back. I am so glad you kept near me even though you weren't here. May that always be so. May I always find you or you, me when the words won't come. Real friends don't need words, but they sure do make life easier. Your words bring me such refreshment. I'm so glad you're back. I love how you developed restoration. I will reread this many times. Hugs!

Norma said...

Welcome back, sweet Cora! I am so glad to see you writing again. You reminded me that I haven't written in a VERY long time -- too busy with fighting the battle with the beast we call cancer. Now I'm inspired to at least consider picking back up again.

I love your word for the year. Restoration. How we all need to soak that in!

Many blessings to you, dear sister. Thank you for sharing your heart once again.

Patty Sumner said...

Cora, you are such a true "Inspiration". I love your words for the year..Espcially, "restoration". The question you asked earlier..."Can he do that?" Only he can!!! as you so wonderfully explained...God is good and what he has done and continually does for all of us never fails to amzae me. Please pray for the selling of our house as we are moving to a new location. Hubby is being transferred.. Need the prayers of the faithful. The house is in London Ky... Pray and agree with me. Blessings to you Cora. Thanks!

Denise said...

This just touched my heart. It seems that many of us have had to walk through some darkness. Seems I did not handle mine very well.. I have been "coming out" for several months now and I can tell you I am glad to be back. It is by the grace of God and HIS grace only that we cling to. I am happy that you are here and I told my husband earlier today that I was going to begin again to reconnect to my friends in the blog.. So you were in the top 5 of that list... Sending you hugs from Oklahoma...