He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from the beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
This verse in Ecclesiastes proclaims His way, already done: He has made ALL things beautiful in its time.
ALL things … the buzzed comments, the hangovers, the thousands of dollars spent on alcohol (from ages 18-44), the swimming in lies, feeling as low as the plankton.
Beautiful, though not at first glance or maybe even fifth. God determines the time when He the Creator makes ALL things beautiful.
He has set eternity in the human heart
This September marks five years without alcohol of any kind, of any amount.
If you had told me six years ago, I would live without alcohol, my lifelong friend and foe, I would have ignored your silliness. At that time, I couldn’t see much past the bottle in front of me.
Yet no one can fathom what God has done from the beginning to end
The only reason I stopped drinking wine at night when my kids went to bed, the only reason I stopped drinking beer after the wine was gone, the only reason I tossed and turned in bed for six months not knowing how to fall asleep or how to feel … was because God said, “NO MORE ALCOHOL.”
So clear, so powerful.
Not my initiation but His.
September 2014, I chose to obey my Father in heaven who showed me a love like nobody before.
He told me to stop drinking to open a path of healing, for myself and for the relationships around me.
He knew the days of old when alcohol was first in my heart … He knew something beautiful would bloom.
I believe this truth now … for me and for everything.
All things will be beautiful because God says so.
Jesus wants all those chained by alcohol and drugs to be free.
Jesus wants all those whose hearts are filled with someone or something other than Him to come. No shame. No condemnation. Just come near to Him, Our Lord and Savior.
In this post, He wants me to share the ways alcohol ruled my life.
Take a look at how Merlot and Budweiser crowded my heart:
Money spent on wine and beer over and over and over again.
Hangovers over and over and over again … dry mouth, craving salt and unhealthy foods, the desire to hide in my bed though I couldn’t rest.
Believing the lie I needed alcohol to relax, deal with stress, to be more uninhibited during sex.
Believing the lie that I as a person was worth nothing unless I earned it.
Believing the lie I wasn’t hurting anyone by drinking.
Believing the lie I could stop drinking if I wanted to.
Believing the lie that my desire to drink was more important than everything else.
Believing the lie that I had dealt with my past.
Drinking 3 or 4 glasses or a whole bottle before sleep meant I wasn’t praying or reading my Bible or preparing my heart for the next day with people I love.
Alcohol is a depressant and does nothing to help one heal from depression. Alcohol does not cure insomnia because it numbs all feelings, the good and the bad.
Here I am almost five years later.
I have fallen in love with Jesus.
Up early with Him most days. Praying to Him most nights before sleep.
Intimacy with my husband has increased because I share who I am authentically with him. Naked has a whole new meaning. I give my whole self rather than the alcoholic way of seeking approval for the way my body looks.
Parenting is no longer about surviving the day but of creating the day, receiving the day He made for us. Our boys know why I don’t drink anymore. Our boys know alcohol is a genetic nightmare in our family.
I am no longer the woman who justified every sip of wine and beer, who was suffocating herself under layers of lies.
One choice: to obey Him and not drink led to so many other good things.
Thankfulness has exploded in my heart, like one of those fields of sunflowers.
I cannot imagine my life without Jesus.
I am thankful for breath in my lungs.
I am thankful for eyes that see, for I am no longer blind.
I am thankful for clarity of mind, for I am free from the cloud of doom whispering shame after a night of drunk.
I am thankful for my husband who never left me in all my ugliness, in all my bitterness.
I am thankful for our boys who are far from perfect but who seek me out to talk about things, hard things.
I still struggle with depression. I still struggle with life.
With Jesus first, I can do anything.
Hope in a future with Him fuels the hard things, trusting somewhere down the pike is beauty.
Whatever it is in your life that demands your attention, that commands your heart, will be beautiful in its time, the time He deems.
It does not happen like magic in Disney movies, though.
Rather, we have a part in it because we matter.
God makes ALL things in our lives beautiful because we matter.
The part we play varies but always comes back to surrender.
Get rid of the things that distract you from His truth. Maybe it is material things or praise from people to feed pride or another selfish love.
The love of Jesus is self-less. He sacrificed Himself, a powerful act of love to forgive us for every time we choose, chose or will choose something other than Him to be first in our hearts.
In His crucifixion, Jesus chose us first. With eternity in mind, He invites every heart to Himself.
For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to Sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves (Ephesians 1:4-6).
What can you lay down today to give Jesus first place?
How can you grow your trust that He has made ALL things beautiful and that your life story is included in that?
Oh my! What hope there is in Jesus!
I am looking forward to your comments on this post.
If God lays any names on your heart while reading, please share this post with them. He works like this in my life often. His message is for all, though He uses it specifically for some.
If you are seeking a passionate speaker for your retreat or conference, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My website will be updated within the next two weeks.
If you live in the South where Hurricane Dorian rages, I am asking God for His protection of His people. I pray you will join me in seeking Him and making room for Him in our hearts.
This post is linking up with #TellHisStory. If you are interested in joining, go to http://www.marygeisen.com to join a community of writers who glorify God.
The photos in the first part of this post are from Pixabay.
Until next time.