We all live by a different set of circumstances. It is NOT our circumstances that determine our accomplishments, it is our REACTION to these circumstances. Much of the time, our setbacks are beyond our control, and other times, they are simply a consequence of our actions and choices.

We are raised  in privileged homes, single-parent homes, faith-filled homes and homes without God. Structured homes and chaotic homes, homes full of addiction and dysfunction and homes full of grace and love. Often, we live in a home that is many of these things combined.

As we go through our lives, there are times we look to God and say, “I just don’t understand!” Perhaps we have experienced times when we feel as though everything is against us and we wonder if we will ever “catch a break.”  There are other times when it feels as though we can’t lose. Do you think God loves you less than the family next door because they seem to have it all together and you seem to be swimming against the current?

I can assure you my friends that God loves us all. He loves us when we are sad, happy, frustrated, angry, positive and full of hope. What He wants for us is our faith in Him and His power to provide for us. God doesn’t expect us to have it all together, He simply expects us to trust that He does.

It is okay to crash and burn, it is okay to have moments of doubt, it is okay to make mistakes and it is okay to celebrate successes. God loves us regardless of our flaws. He knows us and loves us as He created us to be. Life is a LONG journey and we will remain a work in progress until the day we return to the arms of Jesus.

It is vital to our souls that we never lose hope, that we always trust in God and that we never lose faith in Him to get us through whatever turn our road has taken. If we allow our current circumstances to define our lives, we are saying in essence, “God, I have no hope. I have lost my trust in you.” We must know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we can and will overcome any adversity.

Several years ago, I  met a young man that had been involved in a terrible tragedy. Choices he made, ended the life of another human being. He was involved in a drunk driving accident. He could have easily said to himself, “I am a drunk. I am a killer.”

He had lost his college scholarship, the career path he had intended to follow had now been eliminated due to his criminal record. He could have simply chosen to live the remainder of his life continuing to make the same choices that resulted in the death of another human being, but he didn’t. By the Grace of God and the loving support of the family of the young man whose life was cut short, he went on to help others see that little choices we make each day in our lives, have a profound impact on the world around us. He could have easily done his time, and continued to live his life drinking, partying, living as he so pleased. Telling himself and others that “everyone drinks, everyone parties, it’s expected to behave like this in college.” But he didn’t. He CHOSE to rise above the circumstances of the mistakes he made and have a positive effect on the world around him. He chose to walk away from alcohol, to pick up the shattered pieces of his former life and educate young people on the dangers of alcohol and partying in college.

He went on to graduate from a different university than where he began his career, and he is on a path that is positively effecting the world around him. I can’t possibly know how many lives have been changed by his testimony or how many lives have been saved, but I know of one for sure; HIS. He chose to turn around when mistakes had been made and completely redirect his life. He is now working full-time at the university that he attended and is a positive role model for others, young and old alike.

Now, I can’t possibly speak for the family of the young man that lost his life, but I know as a parent that if one life can be saved by this young man sharing his story with others I feel that is believing God has a plan and that is believing that God can bring anyone through anything.

If you think choices you have made have left you without a righteous future, I am here to tell you how very wrong that is. God will NEVER give up on you. Simply ask for His guidance, His Grace, His forgiveness. You are more than your circumstances. Have faith in the God that created you and trust He will lead you to great accomplishments. Our past is simply that; It’s over. You must choose to learn from it and grow or it will forever hold you back from the Grace God has for you. Ask God into your heart and into your daily life and you will soon see the path He has intended for you coming into view.

Blessings!

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Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity. www.sendoutcards.com/tracirunge

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