Today, just like every other Sunday morning, I got ready for church. I can honestly say I look forward to church on Sunday mornings more than I look forward to going to a party on a Saturday night. Perhaps I’m getting old? Maybe my priorities have changed? Not to mention, I’m a complete morning person. Like the definition of a morning person…talk to me at 8am and I’ll be as chipper as can be, talk to me after 8pm and you risk getting your head bitten off. ;-) I wish I were joking. Anyway, my lovely roomie, Whitney, and I decided to attend Epic Church in Mishawaka because when your friend becomes a Pastor at a new church, you go check it out of course!
Josh Lutz, the Associate Pastor of Student Ministry at Epic, has been my friend for over 5 years now! We met at Bethel College where we both attended class every once in a while [take note kids: go to class – I practically ruined my GPA due to lack of attendance]. I felt like EVERYONE at Bethel was Josh’s friend. I mean, he’s the tallest person I know coming in at a whopping 6 foot 8 inches tall. He was also “the funny guy” on campus. Josh’s popularity didn’t get in the way of establishing real connections, however. He stayed in touch post-college and has always been one of the biggest supporters of my crazy dreams and unconventional choices. He’s the type of friend you know has your back. Enough about him as a friend though…as a preacher, Josh was incredible!
The sermon he preached was part of a series called “Restart.” Josh spoke about how many of us repeat the same mistakes over and over. It’s true isn’t it? He raised the question, “How can we ensure that the NEXT time won’t be like the LAST time?”
The answer: OWN up to your mistake. Don’t try to hide it. Don’t push the blame onto someone or something else. When we OWN it, we then have clarity and clarity allows us to make better decisions for our future.
How can you own up to these repeated mistakes though if you never PAUSE to deal with the past? If you don’t take the time now, it will UNDERMINE (aka: weaken or erode) your future.
Josh spoke into these concepts much deeper than I am in this post, but immediately as he spoke these words of truth I was reminded of how true this was for my life:
I used to make the same mistake with boys over and over again. I knew it was wrong to jump from guy to guy. I knew it was wrong to physically go further with them. I knew it was wrong to be promiscuous at all. However, I was a girl without a real father-figure growing up and studies show that girls who grow up without loving, engaged dads have these issues of seeking male attention. That was me and I fit the statistic perfectly. However, I was sick of making the same mistakes over and over again. Finally, instead of using the whole “daddy issues” as a crutch or excuse to justify the behavior, I owned up to my problems. As soon as I owned up to my mistakes and fully took the blame, I sought out a counselor and got the help I needed to heal from my past. By owning up, I received clarity and that allowed me to make a better decision for my future. Now, I am happily engaged to marry one of the most Godly and grace-giving people I’ve ever met, Eric Lee Carpenter. God had a happy ending in store for me. He is a loving and merciful God! He doesn’t want to punish you for your mistakes. He wants you to own them and get the help you need so you can move forward with clarity. We’re all sinners in a broken world. Perfection doesn’t exist, but PEACE does!
“In order to make PEACE with your past, you must deal with your PIECE of the past.” – Josh, Epic
Happy Sunday, friends! Let your light SHINE today!