Day 31: Friday, April 5th, 2019

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for
calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
My father raised my sister and me as our mother chose to give up her family for what she thought would be a better life. Even though Dad worked hard to care for his two little girls, I was filled with resentment toward our mother. Long before my teen years, she moved away, and I lost all contact with her. This loss created a lot of bitterness in me, and I even said aloud that hoped she was miserable!
I had no idea how unhappy she was or that alcohol was a big part of her life. During an argument, her husband picked up his handgun and fired three times, killing her. The news overwhelmed me with guilt and brought back those old feelings I thought I had dealt with or, at least, had forgotten. Yet, God had a plan! He loved and valued me, and He was about to open my eyes and heal my heart. It was a Sunday morning in church while listening to others share their testimonies of difficult things in their lives the Lord had used to turn them back to Him that I heard my God’s voice. He said, “That’s you, Mary. That’s what I did for you.” In that moment, I knew beyond all doubt who had spoken, and I understood that it was His mercy and protection that allowed a complete separation from my mother. Knowing her end, He saved me from that same fate.
Healing is a process. Bitterness had to be uprooted, and that would require my willingness to forgive. The Lord deals gently with wounded hearts and covers them with grace along their journey. In time, I was able to forgive my mother and be thankful for a father who trusted God.
Though the facts of my story remain unchanged, their only importance lies in how they can be used to help another who’s struggling. A rejected child is not who I am! I am a child of the King, the very One who hung the stars in heaven, and He knows my name! He loves me enough to speak it in my ear, and what He has done for me, He can do for another!
Precious Lord Jesus, Pour out Your mercy and grace on every wounded heart and heal them with the knowledge that they are greatly loved and valuable in Your eyes. Show them You have a plan for them that will bring a wonderful future filled with hope. Amen.
Contributed by Mary Hall