You’re not the mistakes you’ve made.

27 Sep

I saw this pin on Pinterest yesterday and immediately spent some time worshipping and thanking God that I own this truth in my life.


For YEARS — I couldn’t accept this.  Well, let me rephrase that… *I* knew this and believed it…. but I couldn’t get past that others didn’t believe this about me.

Run, run, run as far and as fast as you can, there will always be people who know about, remember and never let you forget your past mistakes.  And because of that, I clung to a people-pleasing mentality that buried me in shallow, unaccountable, and fake relationships.

I will never forget the day (it was just over a year ago) when I went to bed one night, weeping deeply over sins I’d already asked God for forgiveness for, asked others forgiveness for and repented (a total 180 degree, walk away in the opposite direction completely) from but felt like I’d never ever be free from as long as others viewed me through my failures–when everything changed.

I was laying in my husbands arms sobbing uncontrollably in such deep remorse when he said to me, “Kayla, you may have done these things back then, but this is not who you are now.”

Do you know what it feels like to have someone know very intimate and humiliating secrets, sins and failures and to hear them say – “I don’t see you like that.  You’re beautiful.  I love you.”

I do.

And I just needed my husband to say it to emphasize the Savior living in Him.  On his own, he couldn’t love or forgive like that — but with the power of the Holy Spirit (having been forgiven with the same mercy himself) He has the power to forgive completely, without punishment or  payment, and see me as a totally brand new creation.

Maybe there is someone today that you’re struggling to forgive or accept.

I love the story of the woman at the well with Jesus (John 4:4-26)

In a nutshell, Jesus is thirsty and asks the Samaritan woman for a drink from the well.  She says “I’m a Samaritan and you are a Jew, why are you asking me?”  To which He says “You’re searching for living water — if you just drink this water from the well, you’ll be thirsty again.  Go get your husband”  And she says, “I have no husband.”  He says “you’re right… you have 5.”  She says, “clearly you’re a prophet. I know a Messiah is coming.”  And Jesus says, “I am He.”

How is this story relevant to this post?

Because Jesus looked past who she “appeared to be” and saw HER STORY and the mercy poured out of Him.  She appeared to be a Samaritan Whore.  He had no reason to talk to her.  Not only was she unclean in their culture, she was in clear sin against His Father.

And yet, He looks right at her heart for the story.  You’re thirsty.  You’re chasing something to quench this ache inside of you to be loved.  You’ve married 5 men desperately hoping to fill this void in you for acceptance, need, love, desire and purpose.  I don’t hold these actions against you – this isn’t you and it’s not how I see you.  These things you’ve done, they’re mistakes you’ve made, but I SEE YOU.  I know you’re thirsty and you’re searching.  I forgive you.  I want you.  I love you.  I accept you.

Who is that person in your life today who appears to be a Samaritan whore?  The things they’ve done and said that are cruel and malicious.  The decisions they’ve made that are stupid and heartless.  The actions they’ve committed that there is no justification for whatsoever.  The selfish lifestyle that carelessly neglects their responsibilities.  The lies they’ve told.  The things they’ve stolen physically and emotionally.  The irrational choices that seemingly cannot be explained.

Look deeper.  They have a story.

Maybe they’re searching for acceptance, love or intimacy.  Maybe they’re running from something.  Maybe they’re fighting a childhood scar impressed on them by their parents.  Maybe there is an in grain habitual sin that they want freedom from but can’t escape.  Maybe they’re so insecure from never being affirmed that their attempts to gain security are wildly outlandish from desperation.

Looking for someone’s story does not justify mistakes or sins.  It doesn’t.

Jesus didn’t look at the woman at the well and say “You’ve done the right thing marrying all those men.  Good job.”

Not at all.

When he saw her story He said “You’re NOT the mistakes you’ve made.”

Mistakes are actions — Who we are is defined by who GOD says we are.  And He says, “We’re a Child of the Promise.  A Saint. His beloved Bride.”

Whether you’re trying to forgive someone who is saved or unsaved — God loves them.  He sees their story.  And He wants you to see their story too.

You’ve been forgiven much by a God who saw your many sins and mercifully washed you clean as snow. (And if you haven’t, you can be!)

And if the Holy Spirit lives in you — you have that same power to see someone for who they are — and not the mistakes they’ve made or make.

Even repeat offenders are still making choices — and God is still yearning to draw them to Himself for rest for their weary souls.

Practical Application:

Sit down today and look for the story in the person who seems unforgivable.

Pray for God to allow you to see them the way He sees them.

Let it go.  Mercy says “You don’t owe me anything.”  Stop holding others in prison demanding a payment they can never fully give and isn’t yours to collect.  If Jesus isn’t holding you due for your bail, don’t take it on yourself to demand it from others.

The most freeing day of my life was when I realized I have the power to see someone’s story and embrace that failures do not define anyone.  I stopped being the victim in my own mind and started being the prayer warrior on their behalf.  They don’t have to see me differently.  They don’t have to like me.  I don’t have to like their mistakes or cruel intentions.  But I know exactly how great my sins and the mercy lavished on me for them.  And I would be nowhere without mercy.  And neither will they. I can show them mercy.


11 Responses to “You’re not the mistakes you’ve made.”

  1. Stephanie September 27, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    I love you. Period.
    I can read and re-read this… Almost as good as having you on “repeat” in my ear. ;0)

    • Kayla Gulick September 27, 2013 at 9:44 am #

      I wouldn’t have been able to understand new beginnings without your friendship. This is what friends do — they help walk each other to the feet of Jesus … hand in hand… TOGETHER.

  2. learning1 September 27, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    A song you might like if you’ve never heard it. It’s by Tenth Avenue North. I love it!

  3. Sarah November 16, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    I just found your blog this morning. It is in answer to my prayers. We moved to a new state just about a yr ago. I have been feeling so alone and praying to God for a Christian friend. We have family but they are not Christians.I struggle enough in my walk, I need influences and people in my life who live & believe the same way dh and I do. I am so happy to have found your blog. jumped right in,It’s like reading a good book you can’t put down. I love your honesty and the best feeling I feel from reading is I am not alone in my struggles. Thank you:0)

    • Kayla Gulick November 16, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Thank you Sarah!! That is always my hope and prayer, that my blog serves as a way for me to walk through life with other Christians so we can do it together!

  4. Kimberly December 10, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    Thank You For This , For This Is Something , That I Have Been Struggling With Here Lately

    I Was Commenting On Something Yesterday , And I Wrote About Mistakes Made Are Hard Lessons Learned , And I Have Made A Plenty .

    Looking Back , I See What I Meant , But That Thought For TODAY Is So TRUE !!

    I Don’t Know What Else To Do . . . Your Blog REALLY Helped Me This Mornin .

    I Do So , Thank You

    Ps . . You Know , My Mother In Law Use To Tell Me . . . Kim , Your Not Important Enough For Others To Be Thinking About .
    I Had Shared With Her In The Past , How I Was Constantly Feeling Like Everything Is / Was My Fault And It Does Matter To Me What Other People Think , When I Know { Now }It Only Matters What God Thinks .

    Been Reading , TPW Blogs As Well Daily And I Thought I , Forgave My Husband . .
    But As I Am Still Trying To Figure Everything Out { When It Comes to . . . Whatever }
    Reckon , I Realize . . . Maybe I Haven’t Truly Forgiven Him , Nor Myself . For That Matter .

    I Am Thankful

    You Know , Sometimes One Just Needs A Friend To Talk To , Who Will Understand .
    BTW . . Do Scars Ever Heal ? { Thinking Outloud – Which Is Something I Do , Often }
    I Reckon Not , Thats Why They Are Scars .

    Thank You

    • Kayla Gulick December 10, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      Thank you for sharing!!

      You’re welcome to chat here with me ANYTIME!

      Time does help all things. However, scars never go away. They are reminders to us of what not to do again. But they don’t have to remain open wounds – they can become scars.

      I spent most of my life is this very shameful place of embarrassment and regret. I realized though that I couldn’t finish the work the Lord has for me if I don’t press forward.

      Keep working at forgiveness toward your husband. You’ll get there.
      God Bless!!

  5. Kimberly December 10, 2013 at 4:22 am #

    You Know , I Feel I Must Clarify That What My Mother In Law Said To Me Helped Me , But I Cannot Remember Her Exact Words .
    I Brought That Up To Her {Something I Will Never Forget } On Her Back Porch A Month Or Two Before She Passed { October 2013 ) She Restated It . . . { I Can’t Remember Her Exact Words , Still } But It Indeed , Helped Me .
    I Knew , What She Meant .

    • Kayla Gulick December 10, 2013 at 6:32 am #

      Yes, I know what you’re talking about. I’m not sure the way it is worded exactly either — but I know the meaning — and it is true!

      • Kimberly December 10, 2013 at 6:52 am #

        Thank You .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: