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The road that I travel to work is going to be widened; this work is scheduled to take seven years. When I heard the time frame, I began to grumble about the inconvenience of it taking so long and being my route to work. I began to do the math and try and figure out how that would look in life, seven years from now, and how old I would be. It's funny where the mind goes when one is grumbling to oneself. After the grumbling came the realization that I do have alternate routes that will get me to work and not add any time to my trip.

1 Peter 3:4 – Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. (NIV)

Those alternate routes, though, challenge my own "creature of habit" lifestyle. When I was born again ten years ago, the Lord spoke into my life about my habitual lifestyle. Before the Lord, my life was about self-preservation and being a creature of habit to rely on myself to survive. Once I accepted Jesus, my life changed dramatically in that area. Now, I am open to trying new things, and I no longer rely on myself to survive. He has shown me a lifestyle of prayer, living for Him, and loving like Him. Though it is a journey, and as the above illustration shows, it is very easy to fall back into the old ways. But if I keep my heart close to His, He will show me the truth in any situation that I face.

Hebrews 10:22 – Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (NIV)

As we move forward in the next seven years of construction on the roads of life, we can also rest assured that we are not alone, and we can turn to Him for direction and grace for anything we face. Just as Jesus showed me growth in the past years, He, too, will show you if you seek Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your life lessons and for showing us our past in such a loving way. We thank You that You do not condemn us to bondage to the past, but rather that You are a God of compassion and love for us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles