Monday, April 1, 2013

Changed by Cindy Hester

Driving down the road this afternoon I heard the song, "Changed" by Rascal Flatts. I don't know when it was released, but in God's perfect timing, I heard it today. The words so pierced my soul I had to pull over, close my eyes and breathe a prayer of thanksgiving. You see I have been wrestling with past mistakes and my human shortcomings of the present. I have had trouble understanding why or how God would possibly use a person like me.

In my past there have been deep regrets, serious mistakes, wrong turns, and deep scars. Basically satan tried his hardest to destroy anything good God had planned for my life. Sorrowfully, I opened the doors in less than ideal circumstances and allowed him to slither right in. Despite a loving background from the best parents a girl could ask for, as an adult I became frozen by fear and embittered with life because of choices that brought abuse, destruction, and lies. In the process, I moved farther from God and lost sight of my value in His eyes.

At one point, I thought satan had won. I was convinced I was truly alone. I was so enslaved and deceived, I simply lived in survival mode. I could see litttle hope for myself or my children. Satan is such a liar. I just didn't understand or know at that time that God's love was seeking me. People who loved and valued me faithfully cried out for God to rescue me from this horrible pit. He lovingly reached down, and over time, He opened the path to lead me out. It was not easy, and it was a long, hard fight to break the strongholds that had been placed on mind. My spirit had been crushed, but thank God, He is "...close to the brokenhearted and praise God He saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalms 34:18.

When I heard the words of this song, the past 20 years flashed through my mind in fast forward. It so amazed me how things have changed...how I've changed...no, how God is changing me. Praise God for his mercy. I wanted to fall to my knees in humble gratitude for His faithfulness. Without Him, without the prayers of family and friends, without grace, I don't want to think of where I would be. This is why I shout hallelujah and why I raise my hands to heaven in praise. I have so much to praise Him for.

So wherever you may be in your journey, I pray you know how much God cares for you. Discover the valuable person He created you to be. It doesn't matter what obstacles may have diverted your path, He loves you and wants you, just as you are. I am so thankful He loves me and that I'm changed.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

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