My life had had many ups and downs, and I now felt that I was definitely on the right track.
Then I received an invitation to my 25th high school reunion.
I hadn't seen most of my classmates for years, so I decided to go. I enjoyed seeing the people I went to high school with and finding out about their lives. There were definitely some surprises.
One girl who'd been liked by everyone but hadn't been the best student had become a college professor. A couple of friends had started a restaurant together. A fellow who'd been a very poor student owned one of the first video stores in town and had made quite a bit of money. Another was a tennis pro. And I was impressed that the fellow that I had sat next to in homeroom had married and adopted two children from China. His obvious love for his wife and children was touching.
I'd never yearned to have children of my own, but here I was looking at pictures of the children and homes of my fellow students and hearing about their successful careers.
At that time, I was renting a room and working as a security guard. I had no children and no hope of owning my own home with the salary I was earning. I wondered if I'd really blown it.
Despite the appearance of lack of success in life, I did feel very happy with my current situation. I didn't mind being single and not having a prestigious career, because a few years earlier I'd begun to learn that I could have a good, productive, satisfying life as I became better acquainted with God.
I was a new student of Christian Science. Through reading "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy and using the ideas in that book, I had learned a lot about God and had seen a dramatic change in my life. I now had a full-time job after years of unemployment and homelessness. And even more important, I was really starting to understand the Bible and how it related to my life.
So it was natural for me to turn to the Bible for an answer to the feelings of failure and inadequacy I faced after my high-school reunion. I found these words in the book of Joel and accepted the message as a promise from God to me: "I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten" (Joel 2:25). I cherished this thought and strove to follow the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount including: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).
I knew without a doubt that those truths in the Bible were worth more to me than children, land, or social position. And whenever thoughts of my previous mistakes tried to haunt me, I would think of the promise of restoration and focus on God's kingdom, the kingdom of Love, that I could feel in my heart. I knew God's merciful and forgiving love was real and powerful in my life, and I rejoiced in the wonderful change it had already made in me morally, physically, and spiritually.
Now, years later, I can see even more restoration that has occurred in my life. I have a home that I love, two fine stepsons, and a wonderful husband. I have found ways to contribute to society by helping others.
Also, while writing this article, I noticed the verse that follows the promise of restoration in Joel: "And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed." I had not specifically focused on this verse, yet it certainly has come true in my life.
So wherever you may be right now, don't despair. God's restorative power is ready to work in your life. Let the Bible's message of God's mercy and forgiveness wash away the mistakes with showers of blessings.
As many as are led
by the Spirit of God,
they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received
the spirit of bondage again to fear;
but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption,
whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit,
that we are the children of God.