Transparent Thursday is always fun and hard for me. Fun, in that I am loving every moment of clarity and truth from Him. I am loving being obedient, following Him and writing whatever He lays on my heart. But, it's hard as well because the things I must write about, they are difficult to admit and difficult to be transparent about. I think you all know me pretty well by now and know that I struggle greatly with wanting people to "like" me. He is slowly ridding me of this sin, the sin of needing other peopl's approval and instead only His. But, it's a process and one that makes me nervous sometimes.
A new week started, and is about to wrap up. Today, marks a special day for us Americans, a day when we remember a time when we were attacked, brutally, and lost far too many innocent lives.
Today, as I remember those people lost, as I remember the lives that were taken too soon, I think about the life I was given, and the life that I wasted for so long.
I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 12 years old. I knew who He was, I knew what He had done, and I tried to follow him as an adolescent. I failed, miserably, but I tried. I prayed, I went to church, and I talked to my friends about God.
But, that was the extent of my relationship as an adolescent.
When I was 18 years old, I suffered a mental breakdown and began cutting my body in an attempt to release the pain I was feeling within. The molestation nightmares kept me up, every night, my mother was leaving a man who held us captive in an emotional hell for 5 years, and the boy I thought was my "savior" on this earth, grew up and decided it was time we split ways.
All of the earthly things felt like they were crashing down around me and I couldn't see straight. That was the first time I consciously said, "I don't understand where you are God. I must be doing something wrong. I must need to 'do' something more," and so I headed off to college and tried "doing" more.
I tried studying hard, I tried talking to my friends about God, and I tried being as "appropriate" as I thought I was capable of being, while still "having fun".
Enter Sophomore year of college, I thought I had everything in the palm of my hand. I thought I had it all worked out. I was "seeing" a boy I was head over heels in love with (or so I naively believed) and I was moving off campus to live with my very best friend (she is still my best friend today). I thought I was unstoppable. I thought I was "doing" exactly what I was supposed to be doing for a 19 year old girl, full of life and Jesus.
Until that fateful night, after far too much alochol and far too many thoughts in my head, as I allowed the enemy to take control of my life.
That night, I was raped and sodomized and left in a bathroom alone, frightened, and bleeding. I called out to this God that I knew, this God who was supposed to be a healing God, and I felt nothing.
I didn't feel Him. I didn't hear Him. I didn't understand what I had done to deserve what had just happened, but I believed I HAD MOST DEFINTELY DONE SOMETHING WRONG. I believed I was being punished.
I believed, without a doubt, that God was punishing me because of the boy I was in love with. We were committing a sin by being together, he was in a relationship with someone, and I was the other girl.
I was the other girl, yes that was me.
I dove into alochol, I dove into sex. I became consumed with forgetting what had transpired in that bathroom. I became consumed with filling myself with outside influences in an attempt to quiet the voices in my head, screaming, "YOU ARE A DIRTY WHORE". Oh how my heart breaks for the girl I was then and the lies I was believing.
I was NOT a whore. I was a sinner, broken, in desperate need of Jesus.
But, I thought He had abandoned me. I thought He was punishing me.
So, I walked away. I became like Israel, knowing who He was, but choosing to walk away.
He was still my Savior, He always would be. I had accepted Him and nothing I ever did would take me away from Him.
But, He gave us free will. He gave us the option of saying, "I simply don't want to walk with you anymore". Israel does it over and over and OVER again in the Bible. I feel like Israel often!
But, that's the choice a lot of us make when we cannot seem to find Him anymore. We choose to walk away and handle life by ourselves.
What I was doing was not putting Him as my Lord--Lord of my life.
I adapted this mentality that Savior was enough, I would go to heaven, but walking with Him intimately was something I simply could not bear to do--I couldn't bear the weight of my own sins.
So, I walked away from Lordship.
Have you ever done this? Have you ever understood who He was, yet not allowed Him to be Lord over every asepct of your life?
I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to eliminate the pain on my own. And boy, oh boy, oh boy did I try. Cocaine, vodka, beer, marijuana, I tried anything to alleviate the pain I was experiencing. NOTHING WORKED.
I walked through a sin-filled 2 years, until finally I realized, wait, I want more than this.
I was married, had my first child, and thought "time to get serious about God." It was like a check on a checklist.
Grownups go to church, grownups clean their act up.
I wanted to be a growup. So, I started walking back. And, like He ALWAYS DOES, He opened His arms to me, and embraced me. He filled me, He loved me, and He spoke to my heart.
After a few years walking with Him though, I wanted to walk away again. I wanted to be a "normal" woman. I was tired of being called, "Jesus freak", I was tried of my extended family making fun of me when I would study His word at family functions. I was simply tired of standing out of the crowd, and wanted to go back to being like my friends and family.
So, I walked away again. I simply could not handle, in my flesh, the negative reactions of people concerning my "conversion". I was tired of being mocked, I was tired of having people call me "too intense"....I was simply tired.
In my flesh, I was caving to the ideas of this world. I walked around, in this state of confusion, for 2 years, trying to figure out how to have a relationship with Him, and still be of this world.
Oh, I really wanted to be of this world. I wanted to be accepted by man, and God. I wanted both, my cake and eat it too--I mean isn't that what we're supposed to do? Eat the cake we are given?
The answer is NO!
"For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do."
It took months, almost a full year, to truly understand this. It took tuning out every single person, and every single opinion and focusing ONLY ON HIM to hear truth.
I needed a Lord, not just a Savior.
I needed an anchor; a source of hope and truth and life.
I couldn't wait unitl the day I reached Heaven's doors for Him to be my Savior, I needed a Lord while I walked through this life.
We all need a Lord. We all need a driving force. If it's not Jesus, it's something. It could be your family, your job, your spouse, your children, your home, your pride, it could seriously be a million things. But, it should only be ONE--Jesus.
I want it to ALWAYS BE JESUS. I have seen the devastating consequences of walking away from Him. I have felt the weight of sin, that weighs so heavy it can cripple you.
I have also felt the hand of Jesus pull me out of a pit that was so dark, so gloomy, I thought I would die from the weight that was on top of me.
I was never alone.
You are not alone, friend.
I encourage you to evaluate what is The Lord of your life. Evaluate whether He is simply your Savior, which you'll wait until death to see, or if you want to walk, hand in hand with Him in this world--making Him Lord over every day!
Remember, you are less than only Three.