Look into the holes from past experiences. Distinguish between your experiences and your story: Your experiences are just what life circumstances you’ve gone through, but your story is the journey that you and Jesus have taken together in your life. Painful past experiences may punch holes in your soul, if you let the pain they’ve left you with hold you back from fulfilling God’s purposes for you. Past experiences may limit your life and potential, unless you invite God to fill the holes that they have left within you.

Heal the holes from past experiences. Look past the pain of the painful experiences you’ve gone through so you can learn the valuable lessons that God wants you to learn from them. Realize that no experience is a failure if it helped you get to know God better. Understand what success means from God’s perspective: drawing closer to God in the effort to serve Him. Use that definition (instead of the world’s definition of success) to consider your past experiences from God’s perspective and see how worthwhile they really were. Keep in mind that knowing God is the greatest experience you can ever have, so whenever an experience teaches you something more about God, it’s a blessing. Also recognize that the story of how God has helped you overcome your past painful experiences is an incredibly valuable one that has the power to inspire other people.

Desire God more than anyone or anything else in life. You can heal from any type of holes in your soul when you come to the end of yourself, realize that none of your own efforts will be enough to heal you, and choose to rely fully on God for the healing you need. Make your relationship with God your top priority in life, and center everything else around it. Ask God to heal all of the holes in your soul and invite Him to transform every part of your life. Trust that God will fill you up with His power every day as you wholeheartedly pursue a closer relationship with Him.

Adapted from Whole: An Honest Look at the Holes in Your Life – and How to Let God Fill Them, copyright 2011 by Lisa Whittle. Published by Barna Books, a division of Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill., http://tyndale.com/web/barnabooks/.

Lisa Whittle is an author, speaker, and ministry leader who lives in North Carolina. A former pastor’s daughter, Lisa has a passion for speaking bold truth to the church. Her books include The 7 Hardest Things God Asks a Woman to Do (Shepherd Press, 2006), and Behind Those Eyes: What’s Really Going on Inside the Souls of Women (Thomas Nelson, 2008). Visit her on the web at: www.lisawhittle.com.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer