by Joanne Ellison

Today at a Meet & Greet event we hosted here in Charleston, I talked about “What’s in Your Backpack?” This was just a teaser for what we’re going to unpack this semester as we study the amazing women of Ruth & Esther. And if you missed it, no worries! You can still join us this fall via streaming, at the Live Teaching and Worship Experience or by joining a Community Group.

The principle I shared in my message was that we must be willing to make space for God, allowing the Holy Spirit to unload our backpack of things that obstruct our relationship with God. And once we have done this, we must be intentional to not look back at what was but look forward to what will be.

As we closed with this idea of “moving forward” in mind, I shared some lyrics from the song “Mended” by Matthew West. I believe this song has a message for all of us – where we see wounded, He sees mended. We must not look back at what we were carrying in our backpacks, but move forward to be the women God has called us to be. Here are some lyrics from this song:

When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home…

You see worthless, I see priceless
You see pain, but I see a purpose
You see unworthy, undeserving
But I see you through eyes of mercy

I encourage you to listen to the whole song (video below and linked here) and reflect on where God is calling you to unload your backpack and, once you’ve done that, keep your eyes looking forward!




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  1. P. Audrey Jaudon

    What a wonderful morning with the ladies at the Meet & Greet! It was with great anticipation of the powerfil message that was to follow…..What are you carrying in your backpack. Awesome message!
    Joanne, I really enjoyed meeting new friends and bonding with old friends who I had not seen in years. My sister, Betty and my friend Sandra and I are still talking about our wonderful experience . We found ourselves in the parking lot talking long after everyone had left. We just wanted to relish in the moment! Can’t wait to start studying the book of Ruth and Esther on Sept.7th. God is good!

    • joanneellison

      You three are so precious! Thanks for all of you being on the prayer team. God is good!


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