This weekend I spent time with a dear and wonderful friend and her husband. We went to the home school convention at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The convention was put on by a group called Heav, who gives support and encouragement to homeschooling parents. To say that my eyes were opened truly does no justice to the work that He started inside of me. Let me give some back history and then go towards the new, here goes .....
3 1/2 years ago the shameful life I was living came to a head. I met my husband at the darkest, lowest point of my life. I had dropped out of college with only 1 1/2 yrs left, was living for everything that God despises. The spiraling out of control started my Sophomore year in college. I had demons in my past that I thought I had dealt with, that I truly thought were dead and gone. But, nothing truly dies without Christ coming in and crucifying us. As much as I thought I had "dealt" with my past, nothing could be dealt with until I handed it over to Him. And that I was not willing to do.
I didn't realize how deep the scars went, how deep the emotional baggage was buried until I started drinking heavily, getting myself into the most common situation for women in college--alcohol induced date rape. The part that I focused on entirely was that my whole life consisted of someone wanting to abuse me in some form. , that's all men wanted with me. What was wrong with me?
I can look back now and see exactly what was wrong with me. I had no trust and faith in the goodness of my Lord and Savior. I believed that I simply had my life under control, that the best way to "forget" my past was to drink, party and have sexual relations with any and every man that would be willing to engage with em. It was obvious to me that this was all that I was meant for in this life. God has forgotten me, I needed Him only in ways that uplifted me and what I was doing. Like so many people today, I thought it was enough that I believed in Him. I thought my salvation was secured in simply "believing that He died" but I didn't have to actually change my life.
The 3 years following that terrible night my Sophomore year led me into a life that was so wrong, so disgusting that until recently I haven't been able to talk about what I went through, what I engaged in. I became a woman who valued everything that my God frowned upon.
It was during that dark and dreary time that I met the only man who has ever respected me, loved me and honored me. However, he did not do this at first. In the beginning, he saw me the same way most people would have, as a wrench who was willing to do anything to keep a man in my life. But, it was through the love of Christ that we have come out of that existence, come out of the darkness and are now living in the light. 2 years after meeting my husband, we started attending church, and I remember sitting in church and crying.
How had this happened Lord? How had the love I had for you as an adolescent turned my heart so cold? How had I traveled so far away from the God that delivered me from bondage? Why had I freely entered back into bondage?
My head was spinning with questions, but the most important one for me was, "do you still love me?" The answer, unequivocally, YES! He did still love me, He did still care for me and He would still deliver me from the bondage I was under. As tears continuously stream down my face, I know that He loves me and nothing can pluck me from His graceful hands. I know now that I want my life to reflect Him, never me. Because without Him, I'm simply a terrible woman who does terrible things.
Today, June 2011, I am a completely different person than I was 6 years ago. To see how deeply I have changed, to see how immensely my values and beliefs have changed, you yourself must have the love of Christ in you. Because without Him, looking at me will seem insane. This weekend, I saw Christ all around me. I saw Him in the faces of the people throughout the convention, I saw Him in the man I call my husband, and I saw Him in the friends I surround myself with. I realized, I don't have to do anything in particular for Christ to change me. He changes and molds in His way, on His time and we are simply the byproduct of His hands.
You may ask yourself, why is she sharing this stuff? Why is she allowing the world to see how messed up she was? The truth is, we're all messed up without Him. It is by accepting the life I lived, that I was able to see the serious need for my deliverance. If we hide behind our life and the mistakes we have made, we don't see the light of what He offers. And that light can illuminate our lives.
I thank Him for delivering me from bondage, the way He delivered the Israelite's from bondage, the way He delivered Rahab from her harlot existence. He can deliver us all from whatever it is that we are living with. All we must do is admit that we need Him. You don't have to come from a troubled background like I did. You could come from a healthy, happy childhood and still never have accepted Christ truly in your heart. You could have spent your entire life in church, "worshipping" Him yet never truly thinking you needed Him.
What I've learned this weekend is, we all need Him, equally. God doesn't see sin in degrees, we are all in desperate need of a Savior. What He delivered me from is amazing, and it is powerful. But, it is only a small reflection what He can deliver us from.
If you haven't accepted Christ, if you think you have accepted Him but just aren't ready to turn your life over completely, I assure you, you will never regret your decision. There is nothing that this life can do to us, that He cannot deliver us from. But, it must be our will to turn our lives over to Him, He will never take that will way from us. I urge you, today, accept Him. Turn over to Him, and know that He is God of all creation and He loves you today, even in your sinful life!