Fifteen years ago today, we shut down the first church I ever pastored for a long list of reasons. At the time, it felt like a massive failure both personally and professionally. (Honestly, I saw myself as the failure not the church.) I thought my life was over and that God was done with me. I was so very wrong.
In fact, I can now see how God has redeemed that near-devastating experience in just about every way. Over the years, He has actually used it time and time again to improve me, my ministry, and my life.
The truth is that our “failures” always teach us more than our successes. They also tend to make us more gracious towards others, less quick to judge, and generally more thankful for the good things sprinkled into our lives.
Was it fun? No. Would I do it all over again? Not willingly. What is worth it? Yes. Did God use it and redeem it? Certainly.
Whatever you’ve done, or whatever has been done to you, realize that past mistakes don’t define you. (God looks at them as refining moments, not defining moments.) You’re more than your past.
As long as you’re still breathing, you can be assured that God is not done with you.