I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
One of the biggest lessons I learned in college was failure. I remember the defeat of realizing I was going to fail my first class (not exam, class). I remember trying to do a good job as a Resident Assistant but finding that, in my busyness, I had let my residents down. I remember realizing, for the first time in my life, that my selfish mistakes had crushed a dear friend and ruined our relationship. There are so many more stories I could share with you of times when I let my family, friends, employers, and, most importantly, my God down. Even now as I look back on those times, tears of regret come to my eyes as I think about hurting the people in my life. It especially hurts when I think about how much love they have poured on me and the ways that I have repaid them.
If it weren’t for redemption through Christ, my last sentence would have been the end of my story. For the rest of my life, I would carry the guilt and the shame of things that I have done, some innocently, some intentionally. But my story is not finished!
Somewhere toward the end of my sophomore year I broke. I was in the midst of numerous failures and felt my life quickly slipping out of control. That was when I called on the Lord. I was a Christian but I had yet to learn my lesson about giving up control. I cried out to the Lord and begged Him to rescue me. I confessed to Him that I was wretchedly selfish and hopelessly sinful. I begged Him to take it all away because I had failed and knew I would fail again. And then, at the instant I thought my confessions would weigh the heaviest on my heart, I found freedom. It was as if my heart was in shackles and my confessions were my liberation. It felt like I was a little child and He picked me up, sat me on His lap, and told me “I know every single thing you’ve done, and I love you! Give Me your battles, give Me your failures, give Me your sin. Trust Me with all of it and free yourself.” And so, I did.
I was saved as a young child so I don’t have a story of a dramatic turn around when I came to know Christ. What I do have is my freedom from failure. Since that moment, when I gave Him everything, I have been free from regrets and have known the joy of being honest with myself. I know I fail Him everyday but, everyday I come home, tell my Savior about it, and it is over. Everyday is a new beginning to trust Him to make me better than I was yesterday. Being real with God and myself has enabled me to do more than I ever would have before I gave up the reigns. The best part is that He has restored my failures. I took the class I failed a second time and got an A. Over the years, He gave me so many more people to invest time in to replace my failures as an RA. And, best of all, the friend that I wounded with my selfishness is now my husband and our love for each other is pure and free of regret.