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Take it to Heart
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The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
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Hope Restored
By Diane Exner

This month our two featured articles are about bad things happening to good people, and how by leaning on the Lord both women found the grace and strength to carry on and 'live' again.

We make choices everyday that not only affect our own lives, but the lives of people around us. Whether we make good or bad choices there is always a consequence attached. Either way our choices have a significant impact on our lives and our future.

These articles address two significant issues in our society today – abortion and marriage separation. A lot of times these words are thrown around very nonchalantly, not giving a second thought to how detrimental these situations can be to all involved. These issues never involve just one person; they always include many family members and friends.

Read for yourself how these brave young women, when faced with extremely difficult situations and circumstances, turned to and relied on God the Father, and received the very thing they needed to survive … His love and grace to overcome.

Issues like these are not to be taken lightly or quickly swept under the rug. So many young girls, who grow up to be wonderful women, face these kinds of things all the time. Even when I was a teenager (roughly 20 years ago), the subject of sex was not talked about at home or in detail at school. Needless to say, the boys in my life were eager to educate me.

I'm not proud of a lot of the decisions I made at that time, but without being educated in a safe environment, I was ravaged and raped by the world's ways, and ultimately trashed by experimenting with this type of drug. I believed that sex was just another part of the dating ritual.

Making love was never made to be a special or sacred part of a relationship –not until I married Jay, my husband. I never knew what God had really intended when He created intercourse, the wonderful act of two people coming together in intimate relations to sanctify their marriage vows. It is really so much more than just the simple act of having sex.

Upon realizing that this precious gift had been stolen from me, I grieved, as did the writer of 'Immeasurable Grace'. I grieved for the mistakes I had made, for the lives that were affected, and for the babies of my own that I would never have. Once this grieving process passed however, the Lord did a great and mighty thing. He showed me His grace is sufficient. For everyone that turns from their wild and wicked ways, He will give a new start; a restored plan.

In a sense, He made me a new and wonderful being that could truly enjoy and understand what it means to love my husband and share the intimacy of making love that God originally intended. God has created many good things for us to enjoy, but like so many things God created, the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy them.

It is our choice however, who we choose to side with. We can allow the enemy to govern our choices and ruin our lives, or we can turn to the Father and allow His love and restoration to rule in our lives, no matter our past choices.

I'd like to share a poem with you that I believe can be adapted to so many of these issues. The Lord has personally shown me that He can restore and rebuild many areas of my life where I have made bad choices. He truly has plans for a hope and future for my life, and they are good. He gives us the freedom to choose life or death … I choose life; His way.

Hope Restored

The longing and the searching
Deep within my soul
Keep asking me this question
When can we go home?

I close my eyes to find myself
Beside a refreshing stream
I've suddenly been transported
Much like in a dream.

Joy and peace and love I find
People laughing everywhere
This is what is real to me
Not my life back there.

"It's only for a little while."
He says as He sits down.
"You must share what I've given you,
The freedom and love you've found."

He puts His arm around me
And holds me to His chest
He fills me with His love again
Safe in Him, I rest.

When I open my eyes once more
I know I've been restored
To face again the journey
Sharing the Love of the Lord.

Diane Exner is a published freelance Canadian writer, who takes every opportunity to use her talents to glorify God and to encourage others. You can contact Diane through her website at http://www.exner-express.com. Come climb aboard the ‘Exner Express’!
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