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September 14, 2015

50 Year Discoveries: Trained-wrecked Faith to Humbled Encourager

Part 3: Spiritual Journey

BEFORE:

In the library of the elementary I attended, my mom led a Good News Club and it was there that I prayed to receive Christ as my Savior. I shared this with everyone I could, including my Dad when I was 9. It was a huge deal to me for others to know this very great news! I continued to attend church with my Mom and siblings, attending Sunday School, Pioneer Girls, Camp Barakel Summer Camp, Youth Group.

As I grew up I loved to learn God’s Word, pray and share Jesus with others. Then I was sexually abused at 14 years old. I shared this last week in the emotional discovery, but it affected much more than just my emotions. It blew up my faith. If God was all-knowing, all-powerful, my protector, how could this have happened? Why would he let this happen to me? Can he really be trusted with my life…my eternity? A crisis of faith. I knew Jesus was the only way me, a sinner, could be saved. Yet He had allowed this awful thing to happen. I believed in Him for my eternity, but I took over the role of protector of me and those I loved from that day forward, holding a bitterness against God, yet knowing I needed Him. That is a really broken faith.

I continued on and became a Bible Study leader of women, sang in the choir, married a very Godly man, had kids, taught Awana, etc. I would hold out hope for others to heal in Christ, sharing His promises with my children and others. But I did not feel God answered my prayers to feel whole and unbroken. It was so very draining to have a schizophrenic faith. I was overprotective, fearful of what God could allow to happen to my kids or my husband or others I love, so I roared and kept everything tightly under my thumb, not trusting God with the important earthly things ever again.

My faith was stretched by our small income. Parenting suffered because I used fear and guilt with the Word of God to keep everyone in line – safe. My marriage suffered because I did not trust – if God wasn’t trustworthy, then how could my husband be trusted to truly understand my terror. Here again, the Lord did not seem to answer my prayers for healing or wholeness – maybe because I was not believing He could or would. The schizophrenic faith continued and destroyed more relationships.

Until one day when I was almost forty and the Lord showed me that I had sinned against Him by rejecting Him as Lord, just as much or more than my abuser had in hurting me, God’s child. God’s love and grace washed over my heart and mind and I wept. A LONG road ahead, but tons of weight had been lifted off from me and the Lord began to show me how what had happened to me could help other women heal from abuse and have the hope of the Lord – a tenderized heart for His glory. I asked my husband and kid’s forgiveness – and continue to. I shared my story with others and found the Lord did indeed use me to help them toward healing by His grace. Grace and truth were balanced- finally. I sought the Lord AND BELIEVED He was the answer to ALL life and faith, not JUST my eternity.

NOW:

God became my ABBA – daddy, friend, redeemer, protector. He defines who I am and His hand is on me – everything He does is perfect. Everything He allows is used to tell His story and bring sinners back to Himself, purifying people for Himself. He did not mean me harm, and has used it to speak to women on campus and in prison, women who think there is no point in trying again or trusting again.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ dying for sinners to justly bring us back to God, is now much more than words on a page or rules to follow to be right with God. Perfection and control are God’s business – and He does these very well. It is not my place – I cannot be perfect and it is why I need a Savior.

Authentic. With my struggles and with my failures. It has set me free from controlling others, extending grace before judgment, truth and grace in balance. My abuser is forgiven, the Gospel shared with them, and I am no longer a victim of bitterness and fear. That is what Jesus has done through my life. I am free to live to share the Gospel, allowing my messy life to hang out as that Gospel is applied. It is what the world needs. Not cleaned up looking people with rot inside, but messy people who share their need of a Savior who can change lives and bring peace with God.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED:

The Bible:

  • is the living Word of God

  • is the giver of wisdom

  • enlightens us to be saved

  • empowers us to live for Him

  • is ALL true

  • is ALL of God

  • the guide for ALL my life

God:

  • can be trusted

  • He is at work in every situation whether I can see it or not

  • forgives, restores, and redeems my past

  • guides and uses me for His kingdom

  • saves who, when, and how He will

Me:

  • I am messy!

  • I will fail – He forgives

  • I need Jesus AND others

  • I belong to God every day

  • I can’t be a good wife, mom, friend, or life coach for Jesus without His power and love

  • I want others to have this sense of forgiveness and belonging in Christ as well

Others:

  • They are messy

  • They need Jesus

  • They need me to be authentic and not judgmental – the Gospel from one sinner to another

  • Are gifted different that me, so we need each other to live life well

  • Need me to walk beside them and encourage them with the Word of God and prayer, – as a wife and friend, as a mom and teacher, as a woman and a Life Coach

As a wise person once said, “ We are not earthly beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having an earthly experience.” In other words, God made us for Himself, but we rejected Him and tried to live life without Him to our detriment. Being human is to belong to God because HE made us – we have a beginning but our souls have no end. Where we live that eternity is determined by what we have done with the truth of Jesus Christ. Look fully into His face and ask Him all the hard questions you need to. Release the hurt into His trustworthy hands and allow grace to heal so you can be used to minister to others through it – for His glory and their good.

HOW ABOUT YOU?
What has your spiritual journey looked like to this point? What has shaped it to be what it currently is?

What faith-busters or faith-encouragers would you be willing to share with others to be used to encourage them in their lives on their spiritual journey?

What have you learned about the Word of God, God, Yourself, and Others on this journey?

What will you do with the rest of your earthly experience and how will it affect your eternity?

Please share so I can pray for you and you can bring hope to others through your spiritual story! God is definitely up to something, so open that door and let us all be encouraged. 🙂

One Comment on “50 Year Discoveries: Trained-wrecked Faith to Humbled Encourager

[…] As I grew up I loved to learn God’s Word, pray and share Jesus with others. Then I was sexually ab… […]

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