Words from the Heart: Turning North

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By Lysa TerKeurst

In her latest devotional, Embraced: 100 Devotions to Know God is Holding You Close, Lysa TerKeurst shares wisdom, prayers, and key verses that point to God’s devotion to his followers. Her stories and encouragement focus on God’s determination to stay near to his people in all seasons of life.


We all have messes in our lives—with our finances, relationships, health, family, and even with our home. And sometimes these messes leave us feeling stuck. Like we may be stranded in this place of upheaval and unrest forever.

I can’t help but think about the people of Israel as they were wandering through the desert. We read in Deuteronomy 2 about how they had been stuck circling the same mountain for too long. God spoke into their wandering and let them know it was time to head in a new direction.

The Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.” (Deuteronomy 2:2–3)

It was a pivotal moment for them to remember. One where they had faced a life-changing choice. They could stay stuck, endlessly circling the same old place, or they could choose hope and head in a new direction with the Lord.

They could turn north.

Here’s a question we can ask ourselves right in the midst of our messes . . .

Am I letting this define me or refine me?

The answer to this question is crucial. If I am letting a mess define me, I will feel hopeless.

If I am letting a mess refine me, I will be hopeful.

It’s time for our messes to stop defining us. It’s time to embrace the refining process and turn north.

Excerpt from Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst. Published by Thomas Nelson. Learn more at EmbracedBook.com.

About The About
Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the #1 New York Times best-selling author of It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, Uninvited, and 20 other books. She writes from her sticky farm table and lives with her family in Charlotte, NC. Connect with her at lysaterkeurst.com or on social media platforms below.

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