by Laura Moninger

As I paused the other day, I found myself thanking God for the ways He is working in my oh-so-human heart, pruning in some painful ways. In the midst of the pruning, it is difficult to see the benefits or to hold onto the hope of new blossoms. But sometimes we get a glimpse of a new bud–and to our amazement, we find ourselves thankful for the pruning.

As the New Year begins, I look back over the journeys of these past months. The winding paths, the beautiful scenery, and some dark forests. The guiding Light that never left, even when I couldn’t see it.

I see wrong choices I made, the selfishness of my heart exposed.  I see the painful consequences of some of those choices.

Yet I see the saving, loving, healing grace of God poured over my paths and in my soul.

I see how He faithfully brought good from bad, shone light in the dark, pruned fruitless branches.

I see how He taught me, convicted me, encouraged me, humbled me, and overwhelmingly loved me.

And I realize if I could go back and start over…

I wouldn’t.

Sure, if I could go back knowing what I have learned, I would make different choices. I would love more, let go more, hold on more, and trust more.

But if going back meant I would lose the heart lessons, the mind renewal (Romans 12:2), and the soul mending that have come as a result of the brokenness…

It wouldn’t be worth it.

Everyone has their share of struggle, pain, heartache, and uncertainty. Praise God that He can bring good from these difficult paths–sometimes the good being the changes He makes in our hearts rather than changing the circumstances.

I’m still in the midst of the journey, but looking back, I’m grateful (gasp!) for where it has brought me so far.

I don’t want to turn back.

Photograph of Danae (Rittenour) Schilt, Spring 2008. Used with permission.


  1. Laura, that’s very true. Whenever I want to turn back it’s because I’m embarassed about things I’ve done, so I guess that is a form of pride…and a way of learning humility!

  2. Jordan Elizabeth, I love some of Nicole Nordeman’s music! I’ll have to look for that song. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

    Annie, I’m glad you’re learning on the journey, too. I find that often when I want to turn back, it’s from my own pride and perfectionism– disliking mistakes– but sometimes it seems to glorify God more or change me for the better when He brings good from mistakes.

    *hugs* to all of you! 🙂 Thanks, Chantel, for posting this. 🙂

  3. Thanks for this…I find myself wishing so often that I could turn back time and live life again, and I forget that God is leading me on a journey of learning and love completely different to everyone else’s. Through all my struggles, tempations and falls he is faithfully there, shaping me and teaching me. I don’t want to go back either.

  4. Thank you so much for this reminder. Though it has been a long, hard year, God has faithful and has given me beauty for ashes in so many ways.


  5. Each of us are given great privileges under God’s care. The unfolding of new year is a gift from heaven, awaiting us with more of His grace and promises.

  6. You express well how perfect God’s ways are – something we only discover when we are willing to walk with Him.

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