Whatever the circumstances of your life, God is able to change them for his glory. This biblical principle is not just a theory for me. I have met many people who were transformed by God despite horrors in their past. I know a young man from the streets of Des Moines, Iowa particularly well who experienced this magnificent and radical transformation.

His father abandoned him as a new born baby and showed all the symptoms of bipolar disorder. As a teenager, however, he became what he had always hated. Alcohol, drugs, anger, delinquency, lies and violence were his lot. Until he was sixteen, he was completely out of control, disappointing and hurting everyone who came into contact with him. How many mornings had he woken up in a jail cell after a robbery, stealing a car, selling drugs, fighting, possession of a deadly weapon and so much more.

One evening, a policeman told his mother, “Don’t worry, Madame. One day you won’t have him on your hands anymore. Cases like him end up in prison or the cemetery.”

I was that boy. My circumstances predisposed me to reproduce the evil that had made me suffer so much. However, God in his grace came to find me. He took my heart, broken by beatings and rage, and changed it into his image. Our God transforms lives!

Years later, I still consider myself very imperfect, but scripture promises, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV). God made me a faithful husband, a committed dad, a love-struck grandpa and a man of God devoted to his service. God transforms circumstances and hearts.

Do not limit yourself to what you once were. Do not limit your children to who they are today. God is greater than all of that. Your family has no pain that the Lord cannot heal. Declare this truth in your heart for your spouse, your family, your children and your future. If it is true that all our traumas are relational, then so are our healings. In our relationship with God and his people, let us be renewed. What might have been for our harm, God can and will ultimately turn into good.