October 27, 2018
Hard to believe that it was 7 years ago this month that I got down on my knees in the middle of the night asking the Lord to save me.
How can it be 2018 already? The end of 2018 at that.
Not to be all serious, mushy, and all together gay on you, but I’m in reflection mode right now. In some ways, the last seven years feels like just yesterday. I mean I remember that night that I realized I was a False Convert, that I was going to hell without a doubt as though it happened just last night. That panic feels as fresh to me now as it did then, that realization that there is no way I can get to Heaven on my own.
But in other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. Forever ago. I can’t even remember being 32.
A lot has happened in Seven Years.
The first two years of being a Christian I define as the Honeymoon Period. People you have no idea what it was like. I was SOO crazy about God. I had a paperwork job where I didn’t have to deal with people. I could listen to sermons and the Bible all day long, and I did. Ten hours a day straight I was hearing about the Lord, learning about the Lord, TALKING to the Lord. Man I was talking to Him all the time.
I remember a time when about a year after I became a Christian, I had a customer… who wasn’t even a customer of the department I worked in (by this time my paperwork only job started to disappear and service calls and customers started to become the majority of my job) called up and just yelled at me for a job that wasn’t done… that had nothing to do with me. I mean this guy was going to town cussing me out.
And as a woman, my day was just ruined. I was so near tears. I was trying to find answers, but the boss was pushing me off because he had a ton on his plate. Back then I was in communication with the Lord on a minute by minute basis and I prayed to the Lord to make that man feel guilty. LOL. I seriously prayed for that. He ruined my day and I wanted his day to be ruined. I was just the secretary.
The guy called back an hour later, apologizing up and down.
….. And then the following morning, the guy called at 6:30am… just to tell me he didn’t sleep all night because he felt so guilty for yelling at me.
That’s how awesome God was. He was hearing my prayers, and He took care of me. I was His girl and no man would get to treat me like that.
I wish I could tell you guys how amazing that honeymoon period was.
Because I don’t think you will understand the Distance the next four years. And the growing sadness and panic that grew each year as the Distance became greater and greater.
I would say it was the typical backsliding but it wasn’t. I didn’t fall back into sin. The cares of this world took over. I went from being the False Convert which is the Stony Ground Hearer to the Thorny Ground Hearer. The slide was gradual. My job shifted from quiet, no people, and all paperwork to customers all day every day. No longer could I hear sermons or listen to the Bible all day long. Instead I had to deal with people. And anyone who knows me understands this was a problem all its own considering I’m an introvert of introverts. I can fake extrovert for so long, but then I crack. And when I crack, nothing good comes out of that… LOL.
So I no longer got that ten hours a day with Him. And by 2016, I was barely thinking of Him. Oh there were moments along the way. Very valuable lessons. Quite a few lessons.
But the general direction was farther and farther away. I felt like I was swimming upstream. I was trying to bring people with me to the Lord, and soon rather than finding my time with the Lord I adopted the false belief that the more I was with people, the more I could influence them.
But even the Bible warns against that. Bad company corrupts Good. Not to say I was hanging around bad people. But when you hang around people who aren’t thinking of God… you tend to NOT think about God. So rather than being the influencer, I was the influencee. I tried to do a home church, but every Sunday became harder and harder trying to find sermons, research what others needed to hear. I was hearing things I had heard years before, but things others hadn’t heard. So I wasn’t being fed, and I slipped even farther from the Lord.
As my job shifted to customer service, I was drawn farther and farther as well. One I was in a job that wasn’t my strength anyway. Two you’re dealing with other people’s sin natures as well as your own. And then I was working fifty hours a week, then sixty, and then seventy, and finally I was taking work home with me. The harder I worked the more I sank.
And the more distance and silence I heard from God.
What made it all worse was knowing I was the Thorny Ground Hearer. I knew I was. But I didn’t know how to stop. How do you stop and put God first?
I missed Him so much.
Most of you are married out there. I don’t know your stories. But many of you could probably relate. I don’t know. But I just missed Him. I could no longer hear His voice. What I did hear I second guessed all the time. And then I was hearing things I thought were from Him, but were from a different spirit all together.
All I wanted to know was if He was there. Was I still his? Did He still think of me? How could I get back? I didn’t know how to change? I was trying to be responsible.
I knew the distance was my sin. I didn’t know what was going on. I felt like life was crazy. I was letting everything and everyone else dictate my schedule. His silence was deafening.
Even during what should have been the best moment of my life.
In 2016, The Lord gave us a library building to Read His Word after teaching us about the Famine in the Land. His people ticked Him off so much, He was going to cause a Famine and make sure His people did NOT hear His words. He was going to purposely keep people from Hearing His Bible. On step of faith, we started reading the Bible out loud together (as He tells us to do in several places in His word) and He gave us a building. A Library.
People I am a serious nerd. Like I got so excited because I got to create a flyer and a bulletin for the Library this week… that serious of a nerd.
Like… my biggest secret growing up… I HATED, I mean I freaking HATED sports. I HATED every minute I had to practice or play, and five minutes after my last game… I threw away my glove I was that excited to never have to play again. But I LOVED libraries. I love books. I love fiction. I love everything about libraries from the quiet, to the atmosphere, and the unlimited access to books and computers.
And the Lord gave me a Library… on my birthday.
I should have been basking in the Love of my Father.
Instead… inside I was panicking. For the first time in my life… I had debt. A large debt. And as a single woman… I was panicking. Debt freaks me out, because what if I lose my job, what if a surprise emergency comes up and I can’t pay my bills. I signed up willingly for any overtime I could get. I would do anything to get this panic to go away.
I didn’t see how my actions would make others respond. My partner was forced to handle all the construction on her own. (Partner in the library, not partner in life for all you sick minded people out there. She’s my aunt and my friend.) Which construction for women… sucks. It just freaking sucks. And I didn’t realize how nervous she was about that. The whole time, I thought she was attacking me when all I was trying to do was work. But here I put her in a position, a terrible position.
But it was worse than that.
A past sin reared its ugly head. A sin that I’m still seeing the effects of. I talked. I mean I talked a lot, blaming her. I played the Christian card and basically said things I’m not proud of, making her out to be the enemy. And people I talked to, still bring that up to me, the things I said, taking what I said about her as truth. Repeating the things I said about her. Not to her of course, but to me once again trying to make her out to be the enemy. I did that.
I know most of us don’t think venting is a problem. We are saying what we FEEL. But the Lord has shown us to not trust your feelings. At all. Facts. Stick with facts. Because even now, people’s opinions of my own friend are biased because I was blinded by my own feelings years ago. It’s makes me sick to my stomach what I had done.
Almost two years ago, I had to repent of that. Imagine the Awkward by the way, of walking into a room and having to tell your best friend you had gossiped about her. That people’s hostile reactions to her were due to my big freaking mouth.
The reason I repented though… wasn’t really for her benefit. It wasn’t because I was a saint.
I was begging God, crying to Him. I missed Him and didn’t know how to get back to Him. And for the first time in what felt like a long time He answered. He brought out my sin, showed me a little of His anger at me, and basically told me…. why would He want to be my friend when that’s what I did to my friends. I got everyone against her.
Repent to her face and be forgiven. Or don’t and get kicked out.
So I sucked it up and gave the lamest apology known to man… LOL. The apology sucked, but the shame behind it was real. The apology was heartfelt. For what it lacked in words… and obviously I’m a very wordy person LOL… the sincerity and the misery behind it were real. I missed God, but I also missed my friend.
I wish I could tell you things went up from there. It didn’t. The fear of debt had me making some not so good decisions and once again I was back to working seventy hour weeks between two jobs. I didn’t get a dime extra for the Library. Which finally caused me to get down on my knees in August of 2017.
I was in the library crying to God for hours, begging Him to answer. And He did. He is such a gracious God. I didn’t deserve an answer. I put everything before Him. I mean everything. I put Family First (I even admitted to the Lord months before that if given a choice between my family and Him, I honestly didn’t know what I would choose. I wanted us all to go to Heaven together, but the goal of getting to Heaven wasn’t to be with Jesus. It was so that my family could be in eternity together. That scared me but again I didn’t know how to stop or change that feeling), Work Second, and honestly there wasn’t any time after that. I barely fit in the hour Bible reading every day and then it was back to work and family.
The Lord showed me the Root of my sin. My insecurity and lack of trust in Him. That my lack of faith was punishable by death.
See the Children of Israel were promised the Promise Land. The SAW the miracles in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. But when they saw the Giants in the Promised Land, out of fear they refused to go into the Promised Land. And the Lord had them spend forty years in the Wilderness until that entire generation… DIED. Only two of them (the two who tried to convince Israel that God would defeat the Giants) got to see the4 Promised Land. The rest did not have Faith… and they died.
I know many would want to argue this point… that my lack of faith was punishable by death. But I know it’s true. See, the only way we know that we are with God is to walk in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our only assurance. Once saved always saved is bull crap. It’s a day by day thing. And every single day I was doing what was RIGHT…. in my own eyes.
I was trying to do RIGHT. But I was defining what was right. Like family. Like work. Even Church. These are good things right?
But there was nothing of the Holy Spirit coming out of me. I was talking about clothes, rather than the Lord. I was thinking about work rather than praying to Him. I was cussing about people behind their backs rather than praying to the Lord to make them feel guilty. LOL.
If you were looking for Christ, you would not have found Him in me. Everything people saw those four years was all me. Forget the fruits of the Spirit. They were nowhere to be found :).
But I do want to insert here that even in those four years, the Lord was still there teaching. He was putting me in the Round Pen (see previous blog). He was making my physical life spin out of control so that I would turn to Him. He showed me about the churches, the famine in the Land, and even a few sins along the way. He is a good God. I’m just talking about the general direction of my life.
August of last year was the turning point. There have been many changes since then. The future I had planned for myself has been uprooted. I feel like the Lord literally picked me up out of a life and set me down in a different one. (Well almost.) I no longer live with my parents. No longer mooch. I am actually having to learn adulting, which is embarrassing to admit at my age of almost Forty.
I no longer question who I’d pick first, my family or the Lord. Thanks to the lesson of the Levites (where the Lord gave very specific jobs to people and even struck a person dead for doing someone else’s job), I now look at work differently. I also no longer fear debt.
Though I probably should have more fear now than ever. Because the best friend I gossiped about (and nearly destroyed the Ministry before it began)…. Yeah she’s my loan shark.
Bad move on that one. LOL.
The Bible Reading is moving up to reading the entire Bible four times in a year. I see Him answering prayers and teaching lessons. I see the Lord purifying His building.
Best of all… He has shown that He will be a Father to the fatherless. He will give Sight to the Blind. He will be a Husband to the Single Women. He doesn’t require me to be a man and provide for myself. He doesn’t require me to handle things as a man would. He made me a woman and expects me to be a Godly woman for His Kingdom. In return, He will be the Man in my life. He will be the Husband. He will be the provider, the protector, and the defender.
I lost the Honeymoon period. But seven years later, I feel like I’m on my way to a Marriage.
When Marriage to the King is the last thing I deserve.
… I am the Unfaithful Bride.