By Cally Logan, Crosswalk.com
“The heart is deceitful above all things” is laid out in Jeremiah 17:9; many of us have found that statement to be the truth and reality in the way of romance. The story for many of us in following our hearts is that the result is not a happily ever after but loneliness, heartbreak, and despair. With that being the case for so many stories, where then can we find our hope to go on, and can God really give us a second chance in love?
Writing Your Own Story
It is a common phrase on journals and coffee mugs, and it is a common action that we, as headstrong humans, take the metaphorical pen into our own hands to write our own story, to design our own lives as we see fit. No one sets out to write a tragedy in their own life, and no one desires to see things go amuck, but often the result of taking that pen into your own hand is an unhappy ending. We live in a fallen world, and as such, sin and temptation can enter the scene, resulting in an outcome we did not foresee or account for when we took said pen. That leads us to question, is the story over yet? Can God redeem even this?
When God Writes the Story
Psalm 37:4 is another common coffee mug phrase, but one that holds real hope that can result in dreams come true. The dreams that come true are not limited to what you can dream up or imagine but can be far greater, for they are the dreams of the Dream Giver and Dream Maker. In Psalm 37:4, the Psalmist conveys to “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart,” which we must flesh out to properly understand and take into action. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, we are no longer limiting ourselves to the finite boundaries of our own understanding. We are surrendering over our hearts, minds, and wills to the only One we can truly trust: God. Delighting in God means finding our hope and salvation not in the things of this earth or what we may receive on the other side but rather in the exuberant and incomparable joy that is knowing our Creator intimately. It is then that we allow Him to shift and change our hearts to desire that which He plants in our hearts to desire and wait in hopeful expectation that He will bring forward fruit from those seeds. When God writes the story, there is also a peace that is deeply within that the marriage of His will and His best is one and the same.
Redeeming What Was Lost
For many of us, the idea of receiving God’s best after such a mess seems like a faraway concept that could never be a reality, but with God, all things are possible. Romans 8:28 inspires us with great hope in sharing, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”
God can work in all things, not just the ones we consider redeemable, worthy, or fixable. Even the worst acts we have committed, even the messiest stories we have held a role in, and even the ugliest stories can be redeemed and used when God enters the scene. Nothing is far enough beyond His reach for use, nothing at all. This can also be true of love, but can you believe that to be the case for you too?
Restoring What Was Lost
Recently when I was in church, I felt a gentle whisper offer a verse to me to consider and ponder in my heart, Joel 2:25. Joel 2:25 offers, “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.” I felt challenged to ask myself if I believe that God can redeem, restore, and rebuild what has been eaten in my life. Although I do not know your story, I can attest in my own that there have been mistakes made, I have trusted the wrong people, and I have had deeply precious things stolen from me over the years. In that verse and in that musing within my heart, I felt an invitation not to let that which has been taken, misused, or destroyed be the final word, but instead to allow God into those tender and broken places within my own life and story. God wants to redeem all things, restore all things, and repay all losses in your life, even the things we consider eternal losses.
Setting the Order Right
How can we then allow God to fix what has been so terribly broken or lost? We must begin with setting the order of things right by giving God back His proper place as first. God ought to be our first love, for if He is not first, He is last. If we place anything before God, be it a relationship, person, or desire, if it comes before God, it is an idol. The thing about idolatry is once one thing comes between you and God, the list will go on and on, so God becomes last on the list. Before anything else, we must return to that heart’s cry of a return to Eden in a deeply intimate one-on-one relationship with God, where He is forever and always first. Once there, then in His way, in His timing, and by His hand, all other aspects and pieces of life will be put into place because He is the writer and story maker. You will also find that your joy no longer depends on something you may lose, for you will never lose the Lord. He is the Rock Eternal, where you can place all hope and trust. Let God be first and see all that comes after being set into the proper place.
Will you let God have the pen to write your happily ever after? When it comes to human relationships, God knows what His best is for you and who you really need. If God can fashion Eve as a custom-fit rib and help mate for Adam, can He not do the same for you? Even if you have found yourself married before and divorced, even if you have given away aspects of yourself and even your own name, believe that God can restore and redeem, it is not too far gone. Ask God to forgive you for the mistakes you made without Him and instead give you what He desires to give you. Ask God who He considers His best for you, and boldly trust Him as He directs and guides you moving forward, even if it doesn’t all make sense and even if it takes a bold leap of faith. Your story isn’t too far gone, and it is not over yet, but can you believe that for yourself, can you forgive yourself, and can you allow God to write your ending? For with God, all things are possible, and with God happily ever after is already a truth because He is our happiest ever after of all.
Photo credit: ©Álvaro Serrano
Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. She is the author of Hang on in There, Girl! and Dear Future Husband: A Love Letter Journey While Waiting for God's Best. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan.