5) You should know that I felt like I deserved it. The fear, the lonliness for all those years, a bad marriage, a man who hated me. Here was my reasoning: I grew up in a Christian home. I went to a Christian school. I knew that by choosing a life without God there would be consequences. I know that there are lots of things in the world that I've never experienced and so I don't pretend that I've lived a scary, drug-filled, living-on-the -streets kind of life. But no sin is worse to God than another sin. And I did have some pretty major sins, afterall. You don't have to be a church-goer to know that what I was doing was just as wrong as what my ex was doing. Those affairs... sigh... Oh, why? WHY? I'm sure psychologists and counselors would tell you that it had something to do with a childhood incident. But I can tell you, without any hesitation, it was my own rebellion - against my ex and against God for allowing things to turn so sour. And I could rationalize it all really well too ("He slept with her, so it's ok for me to sleep with someone else"... "If he won't love me, I have the right to find love"... "We've lived apart for 4 years"...) Lovers - why are they called that?? Those of you who know, probably also can relate that sexual sins truly are sins against our own bodies. There's nothing that brings a feeling of worthlessness and filth like sexual sins do. There's no taking it back or undoing it or fixing it. And remember the verse yesterday that fear has to do with punishment? So, I had to remind myself everyday that He faithfully forgave those sins and I am clean of that filth. Like a father, he loved me enough to never mention it again. AND He said that I can come to Him boldly and ask Him for help. I didn't need to hang my head and be sheepish about it. The first step in renewing my mind was asking for help... praying. No, I didn't say "forgiving myself". He forgives. This was about prayer and faith, even if my ex never changed and even if nothing ever got easier.
6) It's been 11 years since I begged God to come into my life. I've had an active prayer life - but 6 months ago I needed help knowing how to pray to not be afraid. I was determined to find out! I shut myself in my house (gave up some of the duties -yep, even the church duties - even some of the homeschooling duties - so that I could be alone with God and study and find a way). You aren't going to believe how simple it was!
a) Take the fearful thoughts captive (as well as the "I'm not worthy" thoughts and the "I hate my ex" thoughts) and make them be obedient thoughts. Fear is not from God, isn't that what the verse said yesterday? So if my thoughts are fearful, I'm not being obedient. Stop the thought in it's tracks and just say, "No! I'm not going to think about this!" b) Think about other, better things (whatever things are true, lovely, pure). It's a struggle every single day... but... every single day, many times a day, I have to capture my thoughts and say, "No, I'm not going to think like this" and then I have to turn my thoughts to something else. How do you make yourself think about other, better things... count your blessings! Prayer, supplication & thanksgiving!
7) Walking away from God is so easy anyone can do it. Finding a way back to Him is impossible! But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. In the very beginning of Ezekiel it says, "...and the hand of the Lord was upon him there." He finds us! Where we are! And it happens immediately - no waiting period, no trial run, no "let's see how you do"! I didn't have to try to get holy before He would change my life! And because He found me 11 years ago and cleaned me up, I knew that I could trust Him to answer this one prayer. Definition of Faith: the stuff hope is made of and proof of what you don't see. What could be more Christmas-y than faith?! And once I trusted Him to take away my fears, He didn't just heal my inward self (Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”)
but He changed circumstances in my life. The everyday stuff! Oh, I can't wait to tell you about it... (click the "launch" button)