About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

I'm a Brand New Girl - Encouragement for Today - June 8, 2015

T. Suzanne Eller

JUNE 8, 2015

I'm a Brand New Girl
SUZIE ELLER

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

I listened as she shared about past hurts that still ached. They affected her every single day.

I wanted to fix it, but knew I was powerless to do so. I prayed silently for God to heal the damage that lingered from so long ago.

Years and years ago.

There’s no judgment here, because there is no timetable for healing. It’s not a race. Everybody’s journey looks different.

Yet what I heard this woman saying was she was tired of feeling the way she did. She was frustrated that her past continued to affect her current relationships and the way she viewed herself.

In today’s verse, Paul shares a powerful truth: Because Jesus died for you, you are free to die to your old life.

Your old self.

Your old past.

Your old way of thinking.

Your old entanglements.

Your anger over old events.

Your hurt over old words spoken over your life.

And new is free to emerge in its place.

I told my friend I couldn’t remember the day or the hour when I finally felt "new." Instead, like one season passing into another, I began to shed the old as new ideas and behaviors pushed up through the soil.

Sometimes it surprised me. Like when the old stories were brought up and I didn’t need to engage in them anymore.

Or when I thought about an old memory, and it was just that — an old memory. Something I couldn’t change, but that could serve as a teaching marker — leading me to do better with my own children, or in my choices, or with people I love.

Sometimes I was amazed at how confidently and easily I connected with others. I’d bravely step out of my comfort zone — not realizing until later it was courageous.

I’d look around startled, and think: Was that me?

Yes, yes it was. It was the new me.

I love how one version of the Bible words the last part of our key verse: "The old life is gone; a new life burgeons!" (2 Corinthians 5:17b, MSG).

The word "burgeon" means to spill out or over with newness. To multiply. To flourish!

In verse 18, it says that this burgeoning newness is a gift from God as He reached to heal those who had been hurt by sin (whether their own sin or that of another), and brought them back to Himself through Christ.

That day I asked this woman if she’d consider receiving that gift of newness, and she wanted nothing more. What a beautiful first step.

This gift is for all of us. It’s for you.

You receive it as you walk closely with Jesus, following His lead. Letting go of the old as He gently shows you how.

You receive it as you remove your focus from the person who hurt your heart to a God who treasures you.

You receive it as your story expands to include the new chapters ahead.

You receive it as you begin to break the patterns of the past, no longer doing what you’ve always done, or thinking the way you’ve always thought.

And splish, splash, something begins to burgeon. You’re becoming a brand new girl.

With a new life.

With a new way of thinking.

Heading in a new direction.

With a newly mended heart.

Father, I am tired of the old. You are bigger than the past. You offer a gift of healing and I receive it. I won’t rush this, but allow You to heal layer by layer. Surprise me, God, with what You desire to do inside of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 5:14, "Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life." (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you’re looking to move forward and find healing for your deepest hurts, Suzie Eller’s book, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places, might be helpful for you.

Learn more about how to replace the lie that you’ll never heal with the truth that God can restore your heart. "Get Past Your Past; 8 Scripture cards to Replace Your Pain with His Promises." Sign up here!

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When your heart begins to mend, it’s not a race. Don’t compare your healing journey with others.

Instead, celebrate one new thing God has done in you recently and thank Him for what’s to come.

© 2015 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org