Girlfriends in God - Oct. 28, 2008

October 28, 2008 
Are You Free? 
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth 
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

Friend to Friend 
I’ve loved God since I was just a kid.  I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior in Mr. Dunn’s Sunday school class when I was just nine years old.  As a teenager, I served God and grew in faith.  I said “no” to the crowd and “yes” to the cross. I was a girl with convictions, a girl of strong disciplines, and a girl of high moral standards who walked the straight and narrow. Then…I went away to college and secretly entered a season of compromise.

I never meant to stray from my values. It was a new chapter in my life, and I naively thought I could handle it on my own. My rebellion was a subtle, gradual thing.  I was still the same Gwen, just a compromised version of me.

During that time, secrets and compromise became comfortable to me. I wore them like a pair of faded jeans. My friends considered me to be a good Christian girl, and I wasn’t about to burst their bubble with the truth that I was sliding into sinful ways. Oh, how my plastic smile served me well in those days! I could turn on the fake charm like water from a faucet.

Eventually, the compromises and choices that I’d made caught up with me and resulted in great brokenness.  I couldn’t reconcile what I had done with who I was, or with who I was supposed to be. My heart was broken. I felt hopeless and was horribly ashamed.

The dark days turned into weeks, which turned into months.  All the while, the voice of the Accuser screamed loudly in my head. “You’ve messed up too much this time! You’re not a Christian. God would never want someone like you.” At the same time, the Holy Spirit whispered to my soul, “You are God’s daughter. He’s waiting for you to come home. Turn back! He loves you!”

God chased me with His love.  When He caught me, I collapsed into arms of mercy and wept bitterly at His feet in raw repentance.  Then, as the psalmist experienced, “He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:2-3)  Although I didn’t deserve His mercy, Jesus forgave me.  My forgiveness was immediate and complete, but the healing took time.  And He sure did give me a new song. 

I’ve been forgiven and transformed by the unconditional love of God.  I was dead in my sins, but am now alive in Christ! I am free and it is my privilege to encourage you toward that same freedom in Christ.  Are you free?  Free of guilt?  Free of shame? Free from past mistakes?

Jesus came that we would have life abundantly. (John 10:10)  Not because of anything that we’ve done to deserve it, but because of what He has done.  His grace is sufficient. The guilt, pain, and shame of our past tell us that we are disqualified to move on, to serve God, to be free, and to know peace. But to believe this lie is to believe that your sin is outside the scope of God’s grace. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have purpose in this life. And though you may have gone through a season of hurt, rejection, or pain, God can and will pick you up and place you back on track.  I’m living proof!

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm 34:5

There is no condemnation for those in Christ. While the enemy loves to cast false guilt, our Lord loves to extend grace and forgiveness, which is the remedy that restores all your broken pieces. He longs for you to experience His freedom today. Don’t hold onto those pieces of brokenness. Don’t hide them behind a plastic smile. Bring them into the light, lay them at the feet of Jesus, and let go.  God delights in transforming lives … even your own. 

Let’s Pray 
Holy Father, today I come to You with the broken pieces in my life that I have been hesitant to deal with.  Take my hand and lead as I walk past my fears and doubts to the refuge of Your forgiving arms. Please take what is broken and transform it into beautiful.  Please free me from lies that shackle.  Help me to trust that You can redeem and restore every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Now It’s Your Turn 
I co-wrote a song called “Broken Into Beautiful” that ultimately is my testimony in a song. Please take a moment right now to listen to “Broken into Beautiful” and allow it to minister to your heart and spur you on toward His.  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO BROKEN INTO BEAUTIFUL

The Bible assures us that our hope has never been about what we have done; it has always been about what Christ has done! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)  Take a few moments right now to thank God for sending Jesus to reconcile your heart to His.

More from the Girlfriends 
Friend, I know that when we talk about hurts and secrets of our pasts, fresh wounds can surface …especially if the pain and shame has not been dealt with.  I also know that the burden of carrying old wounds is a very heavy load.  I’ve been there.  Sharon and Mary have, too.  Allow today to become your personal “freedom day” by taking your troubles to the heart of God in prayer.  He loves you perfectly and completely…no matter what. Forgiveness awaits you.  Freedom awaits you.  Go now.

Today’s devotion is an excerpt from Gwen’s book Broken Into Beautiful. To order Broken Into Beautiful, please CLICK HERE

Gwen’s song “Broken Into Beautiful” is featured on her new CD that is just being released.  CLICK HERE to pre-order your copy!

To listen to Gwen’s music, CLICK HERE!

Gwen Smith is a worship artist, songwriter, speaker, and author. For more information, visit her website at:

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Originally published Tuesday, 28 October 2008.