Recently, I had the pleasure of taking my aunt out to eat for lunch at White Duck Taco. This visit was more than just catching up. I intentionally scheduled this date to ask questions about where I came from.

My arrival into this world was tumultuous and unexpected. My young 15-year-old mother ran away with my 17-year-old dad, fleeing from an evil stepfather who tried to kill me … FOR REAL! The story then takes many twists and turns involving private detectives and fighting threats from my paternal grandfather.  I’m amazed at the drama surrounding my birth!

My aunt, at the time all of this was going down, was only 11 years old when her evil stepdad kicked her and my grandmother out of the house. I was curious to hear her memories and perspective, thus scheduling this date.

Just when I thought I’d heard it all, I learned about my grandmother’s drug addiction to pain pills, the misaligned love matches with my grandmother and grandfather, affairs, multiple husbands, and alcoholism sprinkled throughout my family. Honestly, I left that meeting not feeling proud of my background and thinking, “Boy, my husband married someone who has a lot of baggage. I wonder if he still would have married me if he knew this on day 1?”

As I pondered my messed up but caring family, I heard God’s voice lovingly say, “Don’t worry about that. My family was messed up, too.”

No matter your background, no matter your sins, no matter your baggage, no matter your addictions … God is way bigger than all of that, and He loves you! And He will always say “Yes” to love and choose you every day.

To read more about Jesus’s dysfunctional family, see Matthew 1:1-16. Not only do these verses show that Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel, but they also show a family full of sin.

Some famous examples to study:

Abram/Abraham cowardly deceived the king by withholding the truth twice, endangering his wife Sarah and the nation.

Sarai/Sarah manipulated, controlled, and did not trust God.

Jacob deceived his father and ran away.

Judah and his brothers planned to murder Joseph but instead sold him as a slave due to jealousy.

David slept with Bathsheba and then orchestrated for her husband to be killed.

King David’s son Amnon planned a sexual attack on his half-sister, Tamar.

Bottom line: Don’t let your past hold you back from what God is doing! You are a chosen, loved, forgiven, child of God!


Father, thank You for loving me and adopting me into Your family. Thank You for knowing me, from every hair on my head to every thought in my heart.  Because You know me, You understand me. Thank You for being a forgiving God who holds no records of wrongs, and nothing is too messy for You! Please reveal Yourself to me this week and help me see how You have worked and loved me in all of my past messes. Help me look at my present day and my future with excitement for all of the cool things You are going to do!

Winter Smith

See All Devotions