Have you ever been sitting on the floor crying and praying, “God, why is this happening to me? Where are you?” Nineteen years ago I woke up one morning with the stark realization I was a single mom of a beautiful three-month-old daughter, $200,000 in debt and only making $10,000 a year. My life was not playing out anything like the story I’d written in the ninth grade about where I saw myself in 10 years. I was in a desperate place. I had hit the bottom, and I wasn’t sure God was going to help me.
As I was crying out to God, I heard him say […], “I’ve got you. I’ve never left you. Let’s start over and do this together.”
I had been a Christian since the age of 10 and had grown up in a Southern Baptist church. Although I attended church every time the doors were open, I didn’t always live the part. I loved God, but I also loved doing things my way. I chose to make life decisions – big and small – strictly based on my feelings and not according to God’s instructions in His Book. In that moment sitting on the floor, every wrong choice I had made finally caught up with me.
As I was crying out to God, I heard Him say as clear as day, “I’ve got you. I never left you. Let’s start over and do this together.” It was then I realized God had given me an awesome Book He had written, and in it were life instructions with examples from other people’s stories – all designed for me to know Him well and to learn how to live the joyful, peaceful life He promised.
I thought I knew the Bible like the back of my hand. I had memorized verses, listened to sermons preached, but somehow I had missed how to apply it to everyday life. I never got past the point of salvation. I needed to learn about this thing called life, and this time I needed to learn from the ultimate Teacher. I basically started over, renewing my mind to live the way God intended for me to live every single day.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
Over the years I had developed many bad habits that needed to be replaced with good, godly habits. There were many things I had accepted as truth such as, “This is just the way I am,” but soon learned that was false. If you’d asked me if I had a negative attitude I would have said without blinking, “No way.” But I did. It was subtle, but it was there. I soon discovered that a Christ-like attitude is the key to everything.
Today, I’m living a more happy, authentic life with God. I’m debt free, running a successful business and ministry, empowering others to do the same through speaking engagements and my books. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it sure has been worth the price of the ticket.
We all have a past, and we each have something we wish we‘d done differently. Whether our regret is just one page of our story or takes up an entire chapter, it’s comforting to know God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). There is hope.
God never left me even though I wasn’t living the life He wanted me to live. He met me on the floor that morning, picked me up and transformed me into the person I am today. Maybe you’ve hit the bottom like I did or perhaps you’re simply not living a godly life in every area. Whatever your situation, wherever you are, God is there. He forgives us, loves us and will meet us where we are to begin anew with Him. Never regret the past – it always serves a purpose. Learn from it, and allow God to use it to propel you into an exceptional future.
I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).
Debbi King is a personal finance expert, motivational speaker, and author of two award-winning books –The ABC’s of Personal Finance and 26 Weeks to Wealth and Financial Freedom. She is also the Founder and President of Lovell Ministry started in 2012 in honor and memory of her grandmother.