“This is my story, this is my song, praising my savior all the day long…” ~Blessed Assurance
Everyone has a story, the tale of a life, a journey of discovery…well, this is the beginning of MY story – at least it’s part 1 of ? Not sure how many parts, so we’ll see. I want it to be authentic, valuable, and not so long as to bore the socks off of ya. It may involve others along the way, but it’s my journey to knowing the true God; all the glory belongs to Him!
I’ve often said that I finally grew up at age 40, and the story begins as a short testimony that was written around then, in the Spring of 2000, given in glimpses. There’s a lot of life in between, but these are the milestones that lead to my life change.
In my last post, “…yes, but what does the WORD say?” I mentioned the strong religious spirit that had me bound; this is part of the reason why. I’ve included a few comments from now in bold/underline as some thoughts came up while revisiting what God has done. He’s just so good, ya know?!
~Spring of 2000
IN THE BEGINNING, well, it’s my beginning…
I was raised in a wonderful Christian home with parents who loved God and loved me. They provided for me and sheltered me. I was in church from my earliest memories. I don’t have a testimony of radical conversion…in fact, I accepted Christ at about the age of 6 at a communion service. I wanted to take communion and asked my Dad if I could. He said I could if I had asked Jesus into my heart. Well, I promptly asked Jesus into my heart right then and there! My relationship with God grew during my teen years and through my early 20’s, but slowly over years of trials, problems of life, and shattered dreams my spiritual life died… Let me explain…
My husband and I married young, me 18 and Mike 20. We headed for ministry, full of dreams and ended up hurt and defeated, to young to know what to do with being wounded. From that time on and for the next 18 years my husband ran from God. During these years I COULD have stayed close to the Lord, but I took my eyes off of God and onto my circumstances and became angry and bound. I blamed God as my dreams crumbled at my feet. I didn’t even WANT to pick up my Bible…in fact I didn’t for a long time. I was in a downward spiral that would last for years, always relying on my feelings about everything and bound by fear and doubt.
Being a Christian all of my life was valuable in giving me a basic understanding of God and my salvation, but understanding God isn’t KNOWING GOD! I had NO depth. My spirit had a “form of Godliness,” but it was out of duty with a heart as dry as dust. I didn’t live by His Word nor know His Word. What I had was like reheated leftovers from my youth and family heritage. I could “walk the walk and talk the talk” with the best, but had no passion, relying on the next church service or sermon to get me to that “feeling good” point. My duty was done I’d gone to church, but never did it go home with me or did I let it change my hard heart.
FAITH? Mine was worthless; BELIEF? It was VERY – very low.
Webster’s definition of FAITH is:
A FIRM BELIEF in something for which there is no proof; complete trust; without doubt or question.
That hit home – I constantly questioned God and definitely didn’t trust Him or that He could restore anything in my life.
A very accurate example of my life is found in the parable of the soils. I was the seed that had fallen on the gravel and weeds…….from the Message version:
“And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such a shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.”
Those “seeds” were planted many, many, did I say many times? With my ‘shallow soil of character,’ I was choked. Always overwhelmed with worries, dwelling on the “what ifs,” those seeds were easily snatched away and my joy went with it. My smile was in place, but there was a deep sadness to my heart.
In 1990 we began attending Harvest Church and out of the fog of my condition a door opened. I was given the opportunity to sing again, even with my hard heart firmly in place. Amazingly, the only solace I found was during those times of worship… I was actually surprised to find that God was still there knocking at the door of my heart, calling out to come closer. Over the next several years the melting began very slowly…
(Current note: I’m not surprised about God still being there now. Looking back, the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage and in bondage I was, but my hard heart was cracking. Also, sad to say, this shows how you can be in a ministry situation – i.e. being on a worship team – and your heart not be in the right place. God was merciful to me. He used this in my life to draw me back closer to Him. I was an example of a carnal Christian at best.)
One Dream Come True
God got my attention dramatically, and in a way that I NEVER, EVER THOUGHT would happen. I had given up hope that my husband would come back to the Lord, but God was at work. It happened on a Tuesday night during a revival service with a Word from God through my sister; God said He wasn’t finished with him! Next thing I knew (by the way…I’m standing there in shock with a mic in my hand, my mouth hanging to the floor) I’m seeing Mike flat on his face at the altar. From that night my journey back to a FIRM BELIEF in GOD began. From the dust, God was breathing new life into my spirit…
This song really describes my heart at the time ~ This Is How We Overcome
Your light broke through my night…restored exceeding joy
Your grace fell like the rain…and made this desert live
Your hand lifted me up…I stand on higher ground
Your praise rose in my heart…and made this valley sing!
You have turned my mourning into dancing…you have turned my sorrow into joy!
…and the melting continued…more to come…
This Is How We Overcome HILLSONG [By Your Side] By: Reuben Morgan