Even as a child, I have always loved the Lord and wanted to be pleasing to Him. I can remember at a young age walking to the church right down the road from my house. I loved going to church and Sunday School. Every day after school I would come home and do my little Bible study/devotion from our Sunday School class for that week.
At times during my life, I have strayed from the path that the Lord set for me. Some times it was through my own rebellion of wanting to do things my way. Other times, it was because of hurts, disappointments, and disillusionment.
Many of you know that I have struggled terribly this past year spiritually. I was a child of God. I went to church every time the doors were opened. I served in every area possible. I went to every ladies meeting, camp meeting, this meeting, that meeting. I did Bible study. I exhausted myself trying to be the perfect Christian. Let me say it again…. I exhausted myself trying to be the perfect Christian…….. all the while, my spirit man was starving, my dry bones in a heap….. but by God, my spirit man might have been starving, but I had a [fake]smile on my face! There were times when I would think, ‘Lord, there’s got to be more than this’, but day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, I’d get up and go around that same mountain of religious tradition. It’s funny how we are such creatures of habit and those habits can actually wind up imprisoning us and keeping us in bondage.
I would say that mid year of 2016 was when I hit the proverbial brick wall, and that wall came crashing down around my feet and shook my entire being– the very core of who I thought I was. NEWS FLASH … after that wall came down, I was left with anger, bitterness, offense, hostility! I had downright hate in my heart!! I just couldn’t understand how my God, the God that supposedly loved me so much could allow such hurt and rejection? How could my God allow others to maliciously attach my family and do so without a second thought? I felt that everything that I had believed and been taught wasn’t necessarily accurate or even true! I felt that people who I’d looked up to had failed me. Talk about overwhelming— I was there, and I was over all of it! I wanted nothing to do with anything or anyone ‘churchy’, or anything to do with God, for that matter. Now, before any of you get on your high horse, we are all human and I was having a moment, be it a long moment of 8 months, to be exact. If you have never had one of these moments, or never questioned God, well, I commend you, but I am just being real, and honestly, it is quite liberating!
God is so gracious in His mercy and loving kindness , and even though I wanted to walk away from Him, He NEVER left my side. He was always right there with me. He kept trying to deal with my heart, but I kept pushing Him away. I was so angry inside, my heart so hardened. My thoughts were, “Why even serve God? Look where it has gotten me? No where!” That very statement shows just how spoiled rotten I was, thinking I could just pitch a fit and God would give in to me! BUT… He loved me far too much to give in to me, for He wanted to change me!! Praise God!!
At the beginning of January 2017, I felt so strongly that I was to do a fast. In doing so, I laid EVERYTHING down at the feet of Jesus, and let me just say that there was a lot of ugly crying….. gut wrenching, side splitting, deep down in the pit of my stomach, crying. Day after day I would get up and sit before the Lord sobbing, repenting, praying, and worshiping. I stood before my Savior raw and broken; a mess. I had so much junk that needed to be poured out so that my loving Father could heal me and restore me, and each day, He did just that! God was putting me back together piece by piece and making me whole!!
Today, I stand humbled. For when we come to our end, then God can step in and make all things right in our lives. I am not the person I was a year ago, and honestly I have no desire to be that person. She was fake, she was man pleasing, she was superficial. Somewhere along the way she got it all twisted up.
God had to break all of that down so that I could be the woman that He called me to be! I am here to tell you that it was a painful experience and at times I thought I just might die, but it was all worth it! I stand on the other side, free, the chains are gone! I am free to walk in total liberty with my Jesus! I am free to be ALL that the Lord has called me to be! I am free from the opinion of man!