“I almost didn’t recognize you!” Lulu’s long curly pigtails bobbed as she shook her head. “You look so different from what I remember!”
It was the first day of our Fresh Start workshop on this East Asia trip, and this girl with the cute glasses and contagious smile had taken an instant liking to me, asking to sit with me during lunch. Between mouthfuls of steamed rice and fried fish, we discovered that we had met two years earlier, after a big conference in Hong Kong.
“That time when we met, you were really struggling with something.” Lulu looked at me with concern, chopsticks hovering in the air. “I could see it in your face.”
Thinking for a moment, I tried to recall what was happening at that time in my life. And then I remembered. I had just ended a serious relationship, and though I knew it was the right thing, I still struggled with feelings of discouragement and loneliness, doubting whether I’d made the right choice, and wondering if I’d ever find the right guy or if I’d ever get married.
Healing and Hope
“But now,” Lulu grinned, “You really look different!”
A lot has happened in two years.
Right after I saw Lulu that time in Hong Kong, I met the Fresh Start team at a retreat in another Asian city. In an intense time of personal ministry, they helped me begin to process the loss and hurt from that broken relationship. As I poured out my unmet desires to my Heavenly Father, He began to bring healing and hope.
Becoming Fully Alive
And that was just the beginning. Over the past two years, more issues have come up as the Lord continues to bring healing to the deep places in my heart. Slowly I’m becoming free from past offenses as I forgive and release the pain to Him.
When I’m in the middle of the process, it’s hard to see any change. So it was encouraging to hear Lulu confirm that there was a big difference – “Now you are more confident, more brave, and more alive!”
I’m so glad my Heavenly Father hasn’t given up on me. Even when I can’t see a difference, He is continuing to refine me for His glory and His purposes. Day by day He is making me come more fully ALIVE!
“Those who look to Him are radiant.” Psalm 34:5a (NIV)
“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of Your hands.” Psalm 138:8 (NIV)