I came face to face with my past this morning.

In an effort to purge items in my closet that didn’t fit my style anymore (or to be perfectly honest, didn’t fit my more generously padded frame anymore), I stumbled across two of my dead husband’s favorite shirts.

It stopped me in my tracks.

Even more than a photograph or nostalgic song on the radio, the sight and feel of them took me right back to a time when we were young and happy and bulletproof.

For years and years, I kept those shirts folded and tucked away because they reminded me of my Hot&Hunky Hubz who died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 39. I held onto them because a part of me couldn’t let go of that time when all was well.

Does that happen to you?

You’re cruising through your day, or your desk, or your drawers and you tumble back in time?

For me (this time) it was a great memory. But other times, I’ve stumbled into my dark past.

  • A letter from an old lover.
  • A long forgotten item of drug paraphernalia.
  • A journal entry scribbled in hate.
  • A souvenir from a clandestine meeting.
  • A photo of the recklessly irresponsible girl I used to be.

And I thank God.

I thank God these things from my ugly past no longer represent who I am. For God’s mercy and patience and redemption. For fresh starts and new beginnings. 

Remember God is in the business of restoration. No matter what your past includes, Jesus has already paid for it, and for that, you can be thankful. 

Verse for today: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 NIV)

Prayer:  God, I thank you for your patience with me.  Thank you for saving me now and forevermore.  Continue to guide and lead me into the life you offer.  A life that sustains me and inspires others. Amen.

22 Comments

  1. Jackie Householder on October 4, 2020 at 11:43 pm

    Robyn, this happens to me quite often. I still have Bob’s dresser to empty and donate to the Rescue Mission and a lityle more in his closet. Each time a memory pops up on Facebook it is a blessing.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      Oh, do I get that Jackie.
      You had such a good man.
      Love!

  2. Loretta Miller on October 5, 2020 at 12:04 am

    Finding things from my past have been happening a lot to me lately. We are purging a lot of things lately as I am getting rid of things I do not need any more and what to leave for my children. It has been a lot of memories to go through, especially with photographs. It hurts but in ways it is freeing. Thanks for letting me know that others feel this pain also. God is good. I am trying to leave a legacy for my family that will lead them to the knowledge of salvation by believing in Jesus. I think they all know, grandchildren included, but whether it is real to them I do not know as only God knows their hearts.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:12 pm

      Loretta,
      Sounds like you’re doing a great job of modeling a life lived for Christ. I agree with you in prayer that your entire family follows Him, too.

  3. Michele Breault on October 5, 2020 at 1:10 am

    I believe God found me in the middle of my mess. But I will trust him with the process. Thank You God for your kindness and blessings. I have faith in in all things.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:13 pm

      Hey Michele, We are ALL works in progress. I thank God every day for HIS faithfulness to me. Sounds like you do, too. 🙂

  4. Patsy Sturey on October 5, 2020 at 1:45 am

    I sure hope you come close to Dayton Ohio again, as I would love to sit under your ministry again. Your honesty and willingness to share is such a genuine help to all who listen. May God bless you and your family with many blessings. I love you.
    Your sis in Christ
    Patsy Sturey

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Patsy,
      From you lips to God’s ear. I am so ready to be back on the road again. I miss sharing the gospel in person every week. I receive your blessing and pray in agreement for opportunities to speak in OH soon. Love you, Friend.

  5. Toni Brunson on October 5, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Robyn,
    This is Toni Brunson from North Augusta, SC. Please let me know if you will be speaking in the Augusta, North Augusta area anytime soon.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Toni,
      I will do that. Right now I am booked to speak at the FBCNA Women’s Retreat on Mar. 5-7, 2021. Depending on what’s open, it will be at Bonclarken Retreat Center or at FBC in North Augusta.

  6. Jan Dobb on October 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t usually leave comments but I want you to know I love your email mini sermons They are always helpful and I love your honesty. May GOD continue to bless you and your ministry. Jan

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:17 pm

      Jan,
      You made my day. THANKS FOR WRITING.

  7. Debbie Kaminski on October 5, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    Robyn!
    Thank you for your complete transparency. I just love your heart! ?? Sending a prayer to you that you feel gods amazing love work in you an through you. I was thinking this morning of going through my old journals (I have over 80 of them!) -journals of pain, hurt and anger, wonder about this crazy life. It felt so heavy and yet I know on those pages is healing words for someone else to hear. One day in the near future I’ll head down that path. For today, I’ll decorate for fall, enjoy that my grown children are visiting and make some new happy memories! Love to you, sister! ?

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 6:18 pm

      Hi Debbie,
      You have a goldmine in those journals. I know you are using what you learned out of hard lessons to help others. Love your heart and passion.

  8. Debbie Kaminski on October 5, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    I really do love your heart and do love you. Not sure why the ??? In my above comment ?

  9. Leslie on October 5, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    Great article!! As an introvert, I never write anything down that I don’t want someone else to read, LOL. I’ve found that doing a good “spiritual housecleaning” is highly beneficial. I’ve deleted emails from the “Ex Files” ( ex boyfriends) and given away items that were gifts from old loves. I do this to honor my husband and give the enemy one less point of contact in my life. Some go on a witch hunt and get rid of things they could have kept but I’ve found that praying over each item and getting God’s peace about it works best. Love and hugs

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm

      Hey Leslie, What a great way to keep the enemy at bay and honor your hubz. Well done! Thanks for posting this wonderful advice!

  10. Linda L. McKenna on October 5, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    Robyn,

    Yes, that happens to me also after losing my husband Jim who was only 49 years old. I have been able to part with a lot of his belongings…………….but I do still keep a few of his favorite things; or things that remind me of when all was going great for us. Just in September I had a garage sale & a woman was interested in some of his dress clothes. I didn’t let her see, and I SURELY didn’t expect to feel the tugging at my heart bringing tears to my eyes as I saw her going thru the clothes. I actually had to walk away & calm myself down fighting back the tears. After 6 & 1/2 years I surprised myself that these feelings bound right out of deep inside me.
    She only purchased 2 items ……………………I still struggle with this loss at times …… Thanks, Robyn.
    Linda

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 5, 2020 at 10:33 pm

      Oh, so sorry Linda. Proud of your progress! You are loved.

      • Linda L. McKenna on October 5, 2020 at 10:44 pm

        Thank you!!!

  11. Rebekah Coopman on October 6, 2020 at 2:18 am

    I can identify with how quickly thoughts and feelings can get turned around. My husband died 2 1/2 years ago and some of his personal belongings are still in place. ‘Bumping into’ his stuff can bring out joyful memories…or feelings of emptiness.
    …But God

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 6, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      I know that feeling well. But God are my 2 favorite words.
      Thank you for posting Rebekah!

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