Reeny walked through the fire and came through it victoriously because of her faith and trust in Jesus.
It’s never too late for a Fresh Start but what if you never knew you needed one? For Reeny Reynolds- Eberhard, she can recall a time walking around Cobb County feeling that she had become a “prickly person.” She was stuffing her problems down, and pretending on the outside she had it all together. Reeny was harboring hurt and confusion in her life and she knew that needed to forgive and be forgiven. Thinking that Fresh Start was a Bible study, she signed up and entered into a confidential group of women, working through the biblical process of forgiveness. God had big plans for her as she began to process her heart.
When it comes to forgiveness Reeny says she was using the “Nike approach.” “Everyone tells you just to forgive, and to just do it.” She thought she had done it, and realized that she had forgiven part of her hurt, but was still holding on to some hurtful things. “I thought I had forgiven my late husband, but through the six-step process of Fresh Start, it was clear I really needed to discover all the hurt and then take it to God.”
The six-step process of Fresh Start gives participants a biblically-based process to heal from wounds, hurts, and losses. The first three steps involve discovering the loss and how your heart has been affected and how you have responded to the wound. The second part of the process is taking all that you have learned and giving it all to God, through pouring out your heart, forgiving, and learning how to release. This process leads to a greater intimacy with Christ.
It was in this class that Reeny made the decision to truly forgive, and also truly surrender her life over to Christ. “I grew up in the Catholic church. I thought I was a Christian and knew I was baptized as an infant. When I was asked in the class when I gave my life to Christ, I thought ‘I’m sure I must have done that’ but couldn’t really recall. Right then I prayed with the leader to give my life over to Christ. God put me in that room, at that time for a specific purpose, I know He did.”
One beautiful picture she shares about this ministry is the image of our hearts. “Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.’ God really cares about our hearts. If we can’t drink from that spring of water because it’s dirty with our hurts and wounds then how are we being beneficial to others and honoring God? The longer we carry around and stuff emotions the less room we have in our hearts for grace.”
Now Reeny’s helping other women have their own Fresh Start. She has become a Fresh Start leader and facilitator. She has seen several women come through, just as she did, feeling washed clean from all the mud in their hearts. “The Holy Spirit really fills the room up and makes it safe for people to do serious business with the Lord. This ministry has brought me closer to Christ than I ever dreamed I could be.”