In Trials on
14 May, 2013

Stop hiding from your past {Paul’s story}


Stop. What are you doing?

Why are you covering up who you’ve been? Why are you acting like you don’t have a past? Why are you pretending you can mask your scars with layer upon layer of cheap makeup?

Your scares are there—whether they’re visible or not. The most despaired person can hide behind a smile almost effortlessly. After all, didn’t someone once say that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile?

You know it’s true: Underneath all that cover-up lie deep, dark reminders of things you’ve done and things that have been done to you—things you don’t want to remember. They’re things you don’t want to relive because they hurt you.

But friend, you cannot change the past. And you need to choose to trust in God’s sovereignty over all things {Ephesians 1:11}. That means every single hurt He has allowed you to feel—every surge of pain that cut to your heart and every red-hot tear that burned your cheeks—every bit of it has purpose.

Take comfort in this: your hurt is not wasted. So don’t waste it.

When your heart has been torn into pieces—when you’ve given everything to someone and they’ve flushed it down the garbage disposal like spoiled milk—that’s when you have to stop trying so hard. Surrender. Get on your knees. Let go. Start looking up.

Look up to the possibility that your pain is not only a result of what happened to you, but also a result of something you did. You see, perhaps your heart has been in the wrong place this whole time. Maybe someone wronged you {and darling I know what it means to be wronged}, but underneath it all, please see that you have been depending on yourself, including your own abilities, your dreams for your life and your daily choices.

Instead of depending on yourself, trust the One who has created you. Trust the One who planned out every day of your life before you were born {Psalm 139}. Trust the One who is working every little thing out for your good, to make you more like Jesus {Romans 8:28-29}.

So stay on your knees for a moment. Stay there and continue to look upward toward the sky. Be still as you lift your hands in worship to the King, who has given you this precious opportunity to realize all that He has done for you. Child, cry when you have to. You are human and humans have emotions, which can be more raw and real than you ever imagined.


Take heart and rejoice because Matthew 5:4 tells us that, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Such comfort exists for us because of the death of Jesus Christ, who took the punishment for our sins on the Cross, paving the way for us to come to the Father {Hebrews 7:25}.

Because we have Christ, we have hope, even in the midst of despair. He gives us the strength to go on.

But what about the past? How about the “old” me? Can’t I just erase her, well…forever, maybe?

You and I must let our scars remind us of His scars. And let me ask you this: what do you think would have become of Paul if he had chosen to hold onto his past instead of obeying God’s calling on his life?

Let the story of Paul’s conversion comfort and encourage you today. The truth is that we are all sinners and we all make poor choices. Yet at the same time, we are all given a choice: we can stay in a place of hopeless despair, dwelling on what has gone wrong in our lives, or we can repent, depend on Christ, live for Him and ask Him to order our steps as we draw closer to Him with each passing day.

The Conversion of Saul

But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.

Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues

For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. {Acts 9:1-22}


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1 Comment

  • Desiray

    Great story Jennifer we all have scares some go deep but until we deal with them we will always walk around not healed.

    16 May, 2013 at 11:40 am Reply
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