The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast

A new year can bring a lot of anticipation and excitement. But it can also be a reminder of some things we aren't super proud of ...

Maybe you're looking back at this last year a little disappointed. That habit you wanted to kick is still there or the relationship you wanted to better is not fixed.

Show Notes

A new year can bring a lot of anticipation and excitement. But it can also be a reminder of some things we aren't super proud of ...

Maybe you're looking back at this last year a little disappointed. That habit you wanted to kick is still there or the relationship you wanted to better is not fixed. It can be easy to struggle with the lack of progress we've made and even more difficult when we may be filled with regret. On this episode, our host Kaley Olson is on the other side of the mic for a conversation that will help us look at how to move past our past mistakes. She will give us three lessons from the book of Deuteronomy on how to approach our mistakes and what the gift of God's grace and forgiveness offers us so we can move forward with purpose today.

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What is The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast?

For over 25 years Proverbs 31 Ministries' mission has been to intersect God's Word in the real, hard places we all struggle with. That's why we started this podcast. Every episode will feature a variety of teachings from president Lysa TerKeurst, staff members or friends of the ministry who can teach you something valuable from their vantage point. We hope that regardless of your age, background or stage of life, it's something you look forward to listening to each month!

Meghan Ryan:
Hi friends, and welcome back to the Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast where we share biblical Truth for any girl in any season. My name is Meghan Ryan and I am your guest co-host today on the podcast with my friend Wendy Blight.

Wendy Blight:
Meghan, I'm so excited. I always love being here as a guest, but how much fun is it to be with you?

Meghan Ryan:
I know, it is so fun. Wendy and I have both guest hosted before but never together, so this is a very fun day. Wendy is our Biblical Content Specialist at the ministry and I am the Promotional Copywriter. Wendy, do you think our friends listening are wondering where our usual hosts are?

Wendy Blight:
Oh, yeah. I mean, they're like ... When you have your coffee in the morning, when you listen to them, it's always Meredith and Kaley all the time.

Meghan Ryan:
It is. Well, this is a fun treat because we have one of them right here. Kaley Olson is giving our teaching today. Kaley, how does it feel to be on the other side of the mic?

Kaley Olson:
It feels different. Hello, friends.

Wendy Blight:
Hi.

Kaley Olson:
I'm excited to be here today. It does feel different, but I'm excited to have this opportunity to come on and teach. This is fun.

Meghan Ryan:
Yes, and as your friend, I'm just excited everyone gets to hear your wisdom as the teacher today. But before we get into your teaching, I have to acknowledge, we're actually recording this in December 2022, but by the time everyone is listening to this, it will officially be the new year. And that means there's a lot to celebrate as we head into a new season. So I'd love to know from both of you, what are some things you're excited about for 2023?

Wendy Blight:
Well, I just want to say I'm not usually excited at the beginning of a new year. I know that's a terrible thing to say, but I don't know, I have a hard time getting into a new year. But I am very excited because I'll have a book coming out later in the year …

Meghan Ryan:
Yes, you will.

Wendy Blight:
... which is probably one that's most dearest to my heart of all that I've written. So I try to keep my eye on that instead of the little bit of angst about the new year and everything that comes along with it.

Kaley Olson:
Yeah, I totally get that. I am excited to see my little boy turn one. It's hard to believe. I know January's going to roll around and he'll be one officially on the 12, and so it's exciting to think about seeing a new year through the eyes of a toddler. But Wendy, I identify with you in seeing a new year with a little trepidation sometimes. Meghan, is there anything that you're —

Meghan Ryan:
Oh my gosh, I'm the opposite. I love New Year's.

Kaley Olson:
Yeah?

Meghan Ryan:
Maybe it's just because I'm super Type A, but I'm like let's get the ball rolling. We’re going to just come up with some goals and try to knock them out by March and then not do it. But I get really excited about a new year personally, because it just feels like a clean slate to start over.

Wendy Blight:
You know what it’s goal, it’s that word goals. I think that’s it. I’m not a goal person, so everyone’s talking about goals and resolutions and that’s hard.

Kaley Olson:
Yeah. Well, I get that Wendy, and as we head into a new year, I’ve got to be honest. Like you said, I look at a new year and sometimes I’m excited, but there are times that I don’t embrace a new season with a ton of excitement. And maybe it’s because I look back and there’s some things that I’m not proud of. And for our friends listening, I’m wondering if you guys feel the same way. We’re listening to this, it’s the very beginning of January and maybe you’re just excited about a new year, but looking back at 2022, feeling disappointed because you didn’t see the progress you expected and made mistakes you’re not proud of.
I think it’s really weird to say or admit that we’re not excited about a new year because culture says we’re supposed to be so excited and it’s a brand-new start. But maybe you thought things would look different but they don’t because you couldn’t kick that habit or you’ve been wrestling with this character flaw in you that continues to come up time and time again that’s anything but Christ-like, but you can’t not do that thing anymore. Or maybe it’s a mistake that you made this past year that you can’t seem to move past.
And so I love that a new year promises a blank slate to do better, but sometimes I find myself already nervous that I’m going to mess up this year again. And it’s not like I can just sing a song and leave the past in the past. Like our friends Timon and Pumbaa from “The Lion King.” Tell me, I think we watched that movie whenever we're little and we're like, "Oh, it's supposed to be easy. Just put your past behind you and move forward." But it's not that easy. Do you guys ever feel that way about a mistake that you made? Yeah, it's really hard. And I found myself asking, does the Bible even talk about transitioning into a new season?
And turns out it does. There's a lot of places that it does, but one of the places that's most pivotal is found in the book of Deuteronomy where God's people, the Israelites, probably felt similar to the way that some of us feel as we leave behind 2022 and head into 2023. And this is what I want to talk about today is how they were feeling, but how I felt about transitioning into a new season whenever it's hard, or maybe I'm moving past a mistake I made and what truths and lessons I've learned along the way that have helped me and maybe can help you guys, too. And so I just mentioned the book of Deuteronomy, and though for those of you wondering where that book is in the Bible, it's the fifth book in the Old Testament. And Wendy, I did a lot of work on this to make sure that I presented it in the right way, but I have to give credit where credit is due.
Wendy looked at this teaching before I gave it and added a lot of really helpful feedback. So this is not all me guys, this is a lot of her, too. But anyways, Deuteronomy is the fifth book in the Old Testament, which Christians refer to as the Pentateuch. Did I get that word right?

Wendy Blight:
You did.

Kaley Olson:
Yes. It means the first five books of Bible or it's also what the Jewish people refer to as the Torah, meaning the law. So this is really heavy stuff that the Israelites and the Jewish people would've carried with them as they went on through their life to look back and remember the things that God taught them along the way and remember who they were and what their purpose was. So like I said it covers God's plan for His people, the Israelites, and how He gave them identity, blessed them and set them apart, and provided for them and gave them land to call their own.
It's important to note that the book of Deuteronomy contains Moses' last words to the Israelites broken up into several sermons. Moses' goal was to motivate the Israelites to begin again with a new heart committed to the faithful obedience to God and His law, something the previous generation failed to do. Deuteronomy starts off with Moses recounting the initial mistakes the Israelites made by disobeying God, which resulted in them having to wander in the wilderness for 40 years instead of immediately taking possession of the land provided for them. And so the mistake that I'm talking about is when God sent the 12 spies and He said, "Go look at the land and come back and give a report." (Numbers 13:2). And they looked at the land and the majority of the spies were terrified. And so they were being told by God to go do something, but they didn't do it.
And so they spent 40 years in the wilderness as a consequence of the mistake that they made. And so right now Deuteronomy is kind of that fresh start for them, just like we get a fresh start with a new year. And so they're standing there on the cusp of a fresh start. And can you imagine how they must have felt hearing this after 40 years of circling the wilderness, constantly being reminded of their biggest mistake? And I have always looked at Deuteronomy or the transition from going to the wilderness into the promised land as something that was like, "Oh, quick. They must have been super excited about it." But I can imagine the way that they must have felt, after looking at how I've transitioned from my own mistakes into a new opportunity, is maybe with a lot of trepidation of feeling like, "Oh no, I've already messed this up. Am I going to mess this up again?"
Or there's just a lot of weight that we carry headed into a new season, and I might not have done something that I've had to think about for 40 years, because I'm not even 40 years old. But I do want to share a story about how this has played out in my life and how I've wrestled through this.
So a few years ago I was entrusted with more responsibility at a job. And while I was getting the job done, because I was young and a little too eager to prove myself, I misused my seat at the table and hurt others in the process. So a leader I respected at this organization sat me down and she shared how I'd hurt her and talked with me about how I could earn back her trust. So imagine me with the opportunity to start fresh, little old Kaley.
I didn't do that with a ton of courage, because it's really hard to sit down after recognizing that you've made a mistake and being told that you made a mistake, but that you get a fresh start. I don't think we do so really gung-ho, we do so kind of scared like, "Oh no, would this leader constantly view me as my mistake and not for the potential that I have to get this right." Or what would happen if I made the same mistake, or how can I do my job without this weighing on me constantly?
And I tell you guys this, not because I'm trying to get pity for something that I've done wrong in the past, but because I greatly identify with how the Israelites must have felt when it was time for them to move past their past and when God was calling them from their mistake into something new. And I want to reassure you that if you've wrestled with something like I've done, or maybe made a bigger mistake, or maybe it was even smaller, you're not alone. In trying to move past your past you're not alone in this feeling of being afraid to move into something new or having a hard time letting it go.
So quickly, really quickly back to Deuteronomy, Moses, their leader, uses this book to remind them of where they've been and where they're going. And in the next few minutes we have together, if you're ready to embrace a new season but need help moving past your past, I want to share three lessons that have changed my perspective of and have even given purpose to my mistakes. So you guys ready?

Meghan Ryan:
We are ready.

Kaley Olson:
OK. I did the classic three-pointer thing. Sometimes it makes me feel like a preacher, but I'm not. I'm just a regular gal giving you three lessons. But here we go.
Lesson number one, the weight of my mistakes is actually a gift. So I know I came right out of the gate with something that actually doesn't feel like a gift at all. But to me, after going through the process of learning from my mistakes, I actually realized that feeling the burden of something that I've done wrong is the Holy Spirit in me that leads me to self-awareness, and that reflection leads me to repentance. And so I want to say that sentence again. The Holy Spirit in me leads me to self-awareness and reflection that then leads me to repentance. And so feeling the weight of my mistakes is a good thing because if I never felt the weight of them, I would never recognize how likely I am to sin and how much I actually need Jesus.
And so this healthy dwelling and reflection in me leads me to look deeper at why this happened. And so let me clarify here. I'm not saying that God wants me to go to extremes and focus on my mistakes so much. They inform my identity. I'm an Enneagram 1. And so sometimes I can look at what I've done wrong and let that kind of become dominant in my life. I'm not saying that this is what we need to do, I'm just saying that there's something really, really healthy about the Holy Spirit in us who is of Christ telling our human flesh, this is how you're not like Christ. And so recognizing my propensity to sin helps me see that I have a desperate need for Christ's forgiveness. And then confessing when I'm wrong is evidence of a deep relationship with Him. It's me bringing what I've done wrong, giving it to Him and accepting His forgiveness over and over again.
In the Bible, 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (NIV). This is that recognizing the sin and confessing it and knowing that God is faithful and that we have forgiveness. Without Jesus' sacrifice, we wouldn't be able to have these conversations with God. We wouldn't even have the Holy Spirit because God and His goodness sent Jesus. And we have forgiveness from that, but isn't it so great that we don't just have forgiveness, but we have the Holy Spirit who is a helper, who is with me right now. Wendy, He’s with you across from this table, Meghan, He’s with you. And wherever you are listening, He’s with you, too. If you have the salvation of Jesus, then you have the gift of the Holy Spirit and He’s in you working through you, helping you see how you’re not like Him. And I love that. And that leads me into lesson number two.
So lesson number two is, God uses even my mistakes for His glory. And I love this lesson because it reminds me that God is going to get the glory every single time. But if I’m not careful to unpack this, I think that I can take this out of context and we can sum it up into something a lot more simple or different than what it’s supposed to be. And so when I think about God using my mistakes for His glory, it makes me think about Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that in all things God works together for the good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” (NIV) But the way God uses my mistakes for good doesn't play out according to my preferences. And I want to be careful to talk about this really quick.
So Romans 8:28 is taken out of context because it's not actually a promise for all people. And Wendy you help me understand this. It's a promise for those who number one, love God. And number two, those who are called according to His purpose. God speaks these words to those who love Him with all their hearts, soul and strength. And those who have been called according to His purpose, who have confessed their sin and walk with Him in Christ. And so when I think about this verse with more context, I recognize in the past I've been more focused on the "all things work together for good" part of the verse. And I actually misconstrue it and think that it says, "all things work together for my good." But it doesn't say that. What it says that is, “it works together for His good." This is how God defines good. And when I love the Lord with all my heart and all my soul and my strength, my preferences then bend to His.
And actually in the book of Deuteronomy, it talks about that a lot. It gives that command to love the Lord your God with all your heart and your soul and your strength. And so when I do that, I recognize that God is going to bring good out of this, but a lot of times that good is actually in the form of discipline. And how in the world can I say that I love discipline when discipline is really, really hard. But if we're looking at a mistake and we're recognizing that the weight is a gift and that God is going to use it for His glory, then we can look at verses like Hebrews 12:10 and 11 that says “they,” meaning our parents, “disciplined us for a little while as they thought best. But God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (NIV)

Discipline is fruitful because through it, God conforms us to the image of Jesus and our trials mold and shape us to become more and more like Him. They produce more of God's character in us. And then as we're conformed to His image, the goal is for my sin and rebellion to decrease and for obedience to God to continually increase. It becomes normal. And then as a result, the peace and the joy and contentment from Jesus flow more easily and naturally into my life. And this whole process is a term that we use here in Christianity called sanctification. It's a really big word, but basically it's the process by which God makes us holy and more like Jesus.
And so when God uses my mistakes for His glory, it doesn't always mean that it's going to turn into this nice lovely present that's wrapped up in a neat, nice bow. Sometimes the glory that He gets from it is just me becoming more like Him. And that's the gift that I get from the mistake. And guys, how gracious of God to use a mistake as the catalyst for making me more like Jesus. It's just, it's this wild concept that I feel sometimes of no matter what I do, God can still use it and it's because He is so much greater than what I can do on my own. And if I were the one trying to make this right, I would never be able to get it right. But He can take that and even something that I do wrong uses it as a catalyst to make me more like Him so that I can reflect Christ to the world.
And the last lesson is I think one of the most important ones because, like I said earlier, I'm an Enneagram 1, sometimes I can look at my mistakes and they seem a lot bigger than they are, or I let that mistake define me. But the lesson number three, the last lesson that I want to share is, my mistakes don't define who I am, nor do they change my ultimate purpose. So I think a lot of us make a mistake, like I said, and we kind of carry that with us and we think, “OK, well I'm not good anymore. I can't be used anymore.” And there's two things at play here: There's what I'm in control of, and then there's what I'm not in control of. So what I'm in control of here is how I see myself, but I'm not in control of how others see me.
And so if I were to make this mistake like I talked about earlier, and wasn't given grace from my leader or wasn't given a new opportunity, I could have still walked away from it and recognized that, that mistake didn't define me, even if this leader did let it define me in her eyes, because we can't control others, nor can we fall into the trap of constantly trying to be people-pleasers to earn someone else's good graces. The person that we're trying to please is always God, never somebody else. But I'm in control of making sure that this mistake that I made doesn't define who I am and how I see myself and my purpose. And my purpose is not like the job that I have. And so Meghan and Wendy, we work at Proverbs, our friends who are also running the tech behind-the-scenes, we all work at Proverbs right now.
And I think it's really easy to look at your job and say, "Oh, well that's my purpose." But Proverbs isn't our purpose. It's what we are assigned to do for a season right now. And so I think a lot of people will Google "what is my purpose in life" just to try to find the next right thing to do. But purpose is a lot bigger than that. And it's something that, when you're a born again Christian, can't be changed. My purpose was assigned at birth and it remains regardless of the mistakes that I make, I was born into the image of God and my job is to reflect His image to the world. And that's how He is glorified. It's not based on what I am doing. I can do my purpose through what I'm doing at Proverbs, but I could also do it somewhere else. And my job doesn't change my purpose.
But Wendy, you and I were talking about this and how to define purpose because it's a pretty big concept. And you told me about a phrase from the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which ... Can we pause right there and talk about the word catechism? It sounds really big, but basically it's a way for people to recall scriptural truths. And the way that this one is set up that Wendy is going to talk about in just a minute, it starts with a question, "What is the chief end of man?" And so I'm going to ask that question and Wendy, you would answer it and say...

Wendy Blight:
Yeah. The answer is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. And that word glorify isn't sort of the traditional definition that we would think. What it means here is to reflect or display as glorious. So our goal as God's people should be to reflect God's love and beauty and grace to the world, which is what you shared. That's what that is.

Kaley Olson:
Yeah. And where in the Bible does it talk about that?

Wendy Blight:
Well, there's several scriptures. Do you want me to just walk through these?

Kaley Olson:
Yeah, that would be great.

Wendy Blight:
Because they're beautiful to read. OK.
1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”(NIV)
Psalm 16:11, "You [being God] make known to me the path of life; you fill me with joy in your presence, with the eternal pleasures at Your right hand." (NIV)
Psalm 37:4, "Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart." (NIV)
Psalm 73:25 and 26, "Whom have I in heaven but you? The earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)
And finally, Isaiah 43:7, " ‘Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’" (NIV)

Kaley Olson:
I love that. Thank you for taking us down that short road really quick. I think it's important to unpack these scriptures to be reminded of what our ultimate purpose is, because here's the thing, guys: God isn't standing in heaven with this tally chart of my mistakes waiting for me to reach a certain number before He takes my purpose away. He's not like that. Thanks to Jesus, He's not like that. If He's using my mistakes as an opportunity to sanctify me, then I can view my purpose with a greater passion knowing that every time I'm forgiven for what I do and made to be more like Him, I get to reflect that back to the world. Because how sad would it be if with one mistake we lose out on the rest of a lifetime's opportunity to bring God glory? He wouldn't use any of us if we were only defined by our mistakes. He would have no one that would bring Him glory on this earth. But we get to do that regardless of what we've done.
And when I think about somebody in the Bible who's also made a mistake, I think obviously about the Israelites, but a very relational example of this in the Bible is found in the New Testament through Peter. Peter was one of Jesus' 12 disciples and the author of several books; the one that Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18) This is that Peter. The one who, I think we always talk about him as the one who was overly excited, the one who was always by Jesus’ side, made some pretty wild declarations, “I will always be there. I will die with you.”, things like that. This Peter, whenever we get to Matthew 26, it shares an account of Jesus predicting that this Peter who always stood by Jesus would deny Him.
And Peter was like, "No, that's not going to happen, Jesus. I would never deny you." But Jesus is never wrong. And so later in that chapter, we do see that Peter does actually deny Him. Peter could have believed that this one mistake defied everything about the last three years that he had spent with Jesus. But we can see later in the Gospel of John Chapter 21 that after Jesus was resurrected, He spoke life into Peter in a very intimate and personal way. He reminded him of who he was and commissioned him into His calling.
Peter's mistake didn't take his purpose away from him, but I so resonate with Peter whenever I've made a mistake and I think, "OK, that's it, I'm done." But Jesus reminds me that He knows the mistakes I'm going to make, but He still gives me a purpose. And I want the world to know about this kind of forgiveness so that I can continue to give God glory and invite others into my life no matter how messy it is so that they can know it's OK, too. But God still loves me and He still has a purpose for me despite the mistakes that I made.
And so as I kind of wrap this up, I want to bring this back to the book of Deuteronomy and our friends the Israelites who were on the cusp of a new beginning, much like we are today. Through the message of Deuteronomy, Moses encouraged obedience by constantly reassuring the Israelites of God's faithfulness, His unchanging character, and His power to keep His promises despite their sin. Moses wanted to ensure that they knew if they chose to follow God wholeheartedly, their past mistakes wouldn't define them. He promised a fresh start and a land overflowing with abundance, and even better, He promised to be with them in trusting them with this new beginning. This message applies so much to my life today, and I hope it applies to yours, too, because moving past your past I know can be hard when we carry the weight of everything on our shoulders as we move into a new season.
And in terms of the story I shared about earlier, about the mistake I made, I remember how much shame I felt and wondered, How could I ever move past this? But looking back at what God did through that mistake, how He used it as an opportunity to posture my heart for repentance, sanctify me and make me more like Him and remind me that my mistake didn't change my ultimate purpose. I can see clearly that through His goodness, He redeems even the messy parts of my story. And as we move passed our past, whether it's into a new year, like we're talking about, or maybe it's just a new season, we can do so with confidence knowing that when we mess up again, because we will, God can still redeem that and use it for His glory.

Meghan Ryan:
That's so good, Kaley. And what that is at the end of the day is the gospel; that we do not deserve to be forgiven for our mistakes and for our sin. But God sent Jesus anyway. And I can't help but think about our friends listening. There might be some of you going, “But you don't know what I've done.” And just to be totally transparent, I have a lot of things in my past that I'm not proud of and things that should probably disqualify me for having a seat at this table.
But to think about how the Lord has continued year over year to use those things to be what draws people to know Him more; to take things that I would've been ashamed to talk about to a stage or a platform where I get to just say it with no shame, not because I'm proud of my mistakes. But because that is just the goodness of Jesus' forgiveness that continues to remind me again and again, that regardless of what I've done, the Lord is faithful to forgive if we are faithful to repent.
And the reason that … and it says in God's Word, the reason we repent is because of God's kindness. (Romans 2:4) Not because it feels good or because it's our natural bend to do, but because He's just so kind and so loving to say, "Hey, I saw that, but there's more for you. And I'm like here to give it to you." And so, Wendy, I'd love to hear some of your thoughts, as well.

Wendy Blight:
Well I have something to tell you. I didn't tell you this and I wasn't going to say it, but I feel like I am now. And that is when you made that mistake that day, I did not know who the person was, but that leader that you were with told me, would you please pray? I spoke hard words to someone in a meeting today and she said, "Will you just pray that God led me to speak the right words and that her heart received them the way that they should be?" And I never knew it was you. All I knew …

Kaley Olson:
Oh, wow.

Wendy Blight:
... is that I prayed for this woman at this meeting, and it just wants to bring me to tears because I look back now and I wrote this down while you were telling your story, that you recognized that your words were harsh and that you received being told that you made this mistake. Even if you didn't receive it immediately with humility, you let it sit in you, you gave yourself permission, you allowed yourself to, and that is why and how God could truly use it to sanctify you.
And I wrote down when you said, "The Holy Spirit in me leads to self-reflection and that self-reflection led to repentance." But you need to take some credit there to listen, when someone tells us something hard that we don't like, if we really listen and push away things that we know are invalid, sometimes people say things that are, but I think you had something in you that was like, "I know this isn't right." And you sat with that and you allowed God to let it wrestle with you. And you went on to say, "My preferences bend to His when I love Him." And I want to lead that to say when I submit myself to Him and I say, "Is what this person said to me, true or not? Holy Spirit, help me know." And so then I wrote down, this was just following your teaching today, "The gift of God and mistakes is that when they're submitted to Him, those mistakes bring Him glory."
And I see two things you said. First because He sees His child that He loves so much and knows the woman He's trying to make you to be, He's proud. He's watching you and going, “she is doing exactly what … She is submitting herself, she's letting the Holy Spirit speak.” But now I can look at you knowing it's you. And I can say listening to your story and now knowing you are that person I prayed for, the second part is God's also getting glory because your story is pointing other people to God and they're like, "Gosh, if He could do that for her, maybe I can take this criticism I received, and I can humble myself and see what in this really do I need to wrestle through and work on." So anyway, I just think this is so special that you invited me to be the guest today when I knew this story, didn't know it was you.

Kaley Olson:
Wow, Wendy, why does this always happen on a podcast episode with you? I don't know. But thank you for sharing that. I do want to … You mentioned something whenever you were talking about what stood out to you and you said "sitting with the criticism." And I think that whenever we are thinking about our past mistakes, and like you said, Meghan, sometimes it's something little that we did or sometimes it's really big and heavy and we're just like, "Oh gosh, why can't I just let it go?" I think that sitting with it is a very biblical thing. I mean the 40 years that the Israelites spent in the wilderness is a biblical example of what that looks like. And so I don't think that God wants us to sit with something for 40 years like that. And He had a very specific purpose for the 40 years, but I'm just talking about the time that He had.
And that was time where they weren't yet able to move into what they were called to, which was the promised land. And so all that time spent reflecting on and thinking, What could I do different? God was still there in them, in that moment with them, helping them through that so that they could move forward into their paths. And so sitting on something and dwelling on it as a believer is necessary. It's not fun. But whenever you sit and really wrestle with the Holy Spirit in you saying that this is something that isn't like Christ that I need to work out and make more like Christ, sometimes it doesn't happen in one sitting. You have to wrestle with it.

Wendy Blight:
And I think it's important when you say the word “dwell”. I think we want to make sure we don't say dwell in the part of you that was the bad, that the mistake that you made, you receive that and then you wrestle. Do you know what I'm saying? Because if you sit there too long, you're either going to go one way or the other, be really mad or you're going to go the other way, and you're just going to sit there and stay in that place. So receive it. And then do that wrestling through it in humility, and then that brings you out to the other side.

Kaley Olson:
Yeah. Lysa TerKeurst says, a phrase that she uses, it's called wrestle well. And I think wrestling well simply looks like I'm taking this thing that I'm struggling with and that becomes what my prayer is focused on. That becomes what I search for in Scripture and that's how we can dig into God's Word. That's a method of Bible study that is very personal and allows for growth in our lives. But I know we've spent a lot of time talking about moving passed our past and really reflecting on what is that thing that I can't let go of, that I need to move forward into. And this is actually related to a study that we're doing that's starting on January 9. We're studying the book of Deuteronomy, which is why we talked about it on the podcast today. But Meghan is going to tell us a little bit more about that study and how you can get involved, because I think it's going to be really great.

Meghan Ryan:
Yes. So our study is called Make It Count: Move Past Your Past and Live With Purpose Today. And when we were coming up with the title for this study, we talked a lot about who is the woman that this study is for? And it is for all women because it's God's Word. But just thinking about if you're sitting in there going, “I don't know how God could ever use what I did, it feels like it's too late for me. It feels like what I did was too bad.” The worst of things that we have done is still something God can use. And so our hope is that this study would help you walk through God's Word and the story of the Israelites and experience that for yourself. And so there are two ways you can participate in this study.
One of them is you can get a study guide and we have a digital version available so you can get it immediately and we will have the link for that in our show notes as well as you can download our free First 5 mobile app if you don't already have it. And we will have daily teachings in that app. You can do it with the study guide, you can do it separate from the study guide. But we want you to get either the app or the study guide so that you can experience just the transformation and healing that comes from being in God's Word.

Wendy Blight:
Can I add one thing about Deuteronomy? So the cool thing is if you are kind of new to this Bible study thing, Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, if you haven't read those, Deuteronomy is a great summary of the first three books of the Bible. So you can, really, don't feel like, “Gosh, that's such a big heavy book to jump into.” It's a really great book in a way to jump into for someone who hasn't sort of been in the first five books of the Bible before and really get a good …

Meghan Ryan:
That's really exciting. I didn't know that until just now.

Kaley Olson:
I didn't know that either.

Meghan Ryan:
This is why we have Wendy on the show, because she's able to just add all these tidbits that she's learned over the years. But I really can't think of a better way to walk into a new year moving passed whatever it is together with community because that's what we're all about here at Proverb 31 Ministries. We want to help women know the truth and live the truth because we believe it changes everything.
So guys, thanks for listening today.

Kaley Olson:
Thank you guys for co-hosting.

Wendy Blight:
Oh my gosh, thank you for today’s teaching and being vulnerable. It was awesome for being on the show.

Kaley Olson:
All right guys, have a great day and we'll see you next time.