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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Downward Spiral

by Annalene Holtzhausen

7 December 2011

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Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4:25-27, NLT

Difficult and challenging situations are a part of everyday life. If we could choose, we would almost always prefer to side-step these times in our own lives and also in the lives of our loved ones. It's hard to see someone close to us battling with something, especially when we realise and come to accept that we can’t fix the situation for them.
Often the hardest situations to work through are the ones where we were personally responsible for the outcome of the events. Sometimes, through the decisions we made or didn’t make, we tumble into a whirlpool of events and emotions. But then we usually have to face the situation, no matter how hard it may be.

Many years ago I found myself in a state of regret, self-pity and self-condemnation. There was no way I could resolve the matter, as the person concerned had sadly passed away. The thought that hurt me the most was that I felt I had somehow let this friend down. I sank into a form of depression for four months and had many questions. At one stage I felt as if I actually deserved to feel so miserable and guilty.

One beautiful day I had the most amazing realisation that God had been with me during the whole time. God replaced the inner turmoil with His peace. That was also the day I made the decision to never again allow myself to get into such a downward spiral of regret and negativity. I realised it was a road leading to nowhere and so wrong, because of who I am in Christ Jesus. I made a decision that day to never allow the past to pull me down again. Now whenever I make a mistake or wrong someone I choose to accept what I have done, forgive myself, and ask for God's forgiveness and His help to restore the situation or the relationship. I then have to do what He shows me in order to right the wrong.

We have to choose to move on, or else the enemy will try to pull us even further into the whirlpool, because he wants us in a state of regret, negativity, guilt and self-condemnation. This isn’t our Father's heart for us. In Him there’s acceptance, restoration and self-worth. Even if the other person is unwilling or not able to forgive us we can rest in God's forgiveness and trust Him for the restoration.
‘But I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead’ (Philippians 3:13, NLT).

Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You never leave me nor forsake me. Please give me Your discernment when I'm caught up in self-condemnation. Help me to not get side-tracked and to keep my focus on You. Amen.

Annalene Holtzhausen is on the Associate Team at Ellel, Africa. She is married to Renier, who introduced her to Ellel Ministries. She is a full-time mother to their two boys. Her passion is for the restoration of women’s hearts and for people to find their worth in the Lord.

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