Sunday, March 11, 2007

Be Glorified!!

God is so amazing! I have had an epiphany that I think the devil is not happy about. God showed me about how in our weaknesses He is made stronger. How when we share our weaknesses that God has the victory in that area of our lives... well, Satan is defeated and shown that he has no hold on that area anymore and God gets the GLORY. ALL of the glory!
I feel like the Lord wants me to share an area of my weakness so that He can get the Glory. As I sit here in my pink chair typing away my heart races because I am nervous of what the world will think of me. I have been ashamed of myself for too long. God wants to show that He has done a work in my life so that I don't have to sit in silence anymore and so He can be glorified and use my weakness for His glory! He really can use ALL things for His glory!!
Here goes...
So it all began when I went on a blind date. I met a boy who I thought was cute and a little shy but I wanted to give him more of a chance to come out of his shell... so we dated.... for 16 months. I don't think I had ever had that much affection from a man in my life. He was showering me with attention and I wanted to spend all of my time with him. I was lost in a world of love and affection, caught up in feelings and overwhelmed with the wonder of being physically and emotionally close to a man. It wasn't long into the relationship that I began to lose myself to the person that this man wanted me to become. It wasn't long before the boundaries that I had spent so much time in my life preparing came crashing down as I chose to compromise again and again. The dreams that God had for me slowly became blurred and my vision for His will became so distorted as I continued to chose my own will and my own desires over what I knew was right.
There was a time in the summer of 2005 at his church when the pastor was preaching about getting as far away from our sin as we possibly can. At the very moment the pastor read that verse I felt the urgent need to get up out of the pew and run out of the church. Did I? Nope. I sat there and brushed that verse aside saying that it was for someone else. Another sinner whose sin is so much "worse" than my own. As if I could measure my own sin compared to someone else's sin. Oh how I wish I could change that moment and have changed my reaction to that verse. I wish that I had gotten up and never looked back. I learned through that moment that God never gave up on me. He was trying to protect me the whole way through that relationship and I kept pushing Him aside, saying that my choice is better.
When I was a youth I pledged to God that I would save my virginity until marriage for my husband. That I would save sex for the marriage bed. I even filled out a form and signed it. I had a bookmark declaring my pledge and one of my youth leaders saw how committed I was to staying pure. I think I blocked the specific day from my memory because of the shame that came over me that day. It happened so quickly and I remember telling the Lord to shut up and that I was going to make my own choice. Fooling around quickly escalated and after it was over I found myself shaking in a blanket tears streaming down my face. What had I done? Who had I become? We both prayed for forgiveness and asked the Lord for His mercy. We pledge to each other that it wouldn't happen again. I wish that were true. It wasn't long before we chose to disregard the boundaries that we had established and to lose ourselves to sin yet again. My heart became callused as I saw myself become someone that I could not respect or even look at. I had distanced myself from my friends so they were unaware of my sin or my struggle. I was alone in my sin and Satan tormented me with the constant reminders of my sin and the awful sinner that I had become. I was fighting an internal battle with myself. Though the Lord had not stopped talking to me I was unsure His voice in my head. Did I recognize His voice anymore? Would God still talk to me even if I was living in sin? Did He want to communicate with a daughter who told Him to shut up? Would His grace cover my sin as I chose the sin again and again over what His word told me?
I finally got to the point of acknowledging His voice again. In December of 2005 God put several areas of weakness in our relationship on my heart. He reminded me of the dreams He had for me. He reminded me of the strengths that I once valued in a future husband. He reminded me of the relationship with Him that had been waining away. I knew in my heart at that point that I needed to break up with my boyfriend. That is when the internal struggle of my future began to play into my choices. I wanted to have stability, I wanted a family, we wanted to be married soon! My family was a chaotic mess and his family was "normal". I wanted to have security and was determined that my security would be found in a husband. We both wanted to have a baby and were already picking out names for our future children. My plans were so exciting! My plans were exactly what would bring me wholeness in my life. That was the only problem... they were my plans and not the Lord's plans!
The hardest part for me was coming to grips with the plans that God had for me and choosing the future He wanted for me... the future that had so much mystery to it. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. For when you seek me you will find me..." (Jeremiah 29:11-12) Another struggle for me was the thought of breaking someones heart even if it meant being obedient to the Lord. I found myself wanting to fill the place in my boyfriends life were I knew only God could meet him. It took me about five months to break free from my own will. I shared some of my doubts with my boyfriend and every time he assured me that I was just nervous, I was the one with "cold feet". I was still caught up in sin and unsure of the Lord's forgiveness. Satan told me that if I got out of this relationship no one would ever want me because I was "used" and a "dirty" sinner. My self worth went through a downward spiral as I believed the lies that the devil threw at me.
I went to visit my sister and mom in Spokane and had a five hour drive there and five hour drive back to spend in prayer asking the Lord for His truth and His will for my life. I cried out to the Lord for five hours and sang His praises igniting a fire in my soul that seemingly had forgotten how to burn. After the first five hours in the car I arrived with the assurance that the Lord wanted me to end the relationship. I was broken. The friend that my life had revolved around for the last year would be torn apart. I cried for the whole weekend as God continued to assure me that His will for my life did not include my current boyfriend. Would he be ok? I questioned Gods ability to meet my boyfriend in his time of brokenness and decided that I would wait another month before I broke it off. I tried to distance myself from him and we still struggled with sin in our relationship. As God continued to open my eyes I was disgusted at what our relationship had become. The month went by and our breakup took three whole days and then another month before we cut the friendship off completely. To the very end we struggled physically. Sin so easily entangled us. When our relationship was finally over I felt as though a part of me had died. I didn't know that my heart could actually feel like it was broken. I cried for a week.
Looking back I see that God was using that time to bring me to a place where all I had was Him. I could do nothing on my own strength and had no strength of my own so I was fully dependent on the Lord. I began to hear His voice clearly and to cry out to Him each day sometimes every hour it seemed. God reminded me of who I am in Him and that ALL fall short of the glory of God but then again that is the reason He sent His Son. My "dirty" sin was covered by the blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary. Every fallen moment I had endured was wiped away because of the unmerited gift of Christ death and eternal forgiveness. Who I was I was no more. God took me from dirty garments of yuck to fresh and pure gowns of glory. God reminded me that I am wonderfully and fearfully made, I am a masterpiece created in Christ's image to do His works, I am a sinner saved by grace, I am a child of God, I am forgiven because He chooses to forgive me. He brought me out of sin and redeemed my life. He has called me back to His plan and I now choose to live in His will. His plans for me are so much better than anything I could ever "hope or imagine". God has done a work in my life and He deserves ALL the glory! Thank you Lord for not giving up on me. BE GLORIFIED IN ME!!!
I know that if you are a friend of mine reading this you may be shocked and you may not be surprised at the same time because you knew I was in a struggle while in my relationship. Thank you for all of your prayers. I know it was your prayers that helped bring me back into God's will for my life. Thank you for loving me during a time that I wasn't very lovable. May the Lord bless you and encourage you with the work He has done in my life. As I let out a sigh I feel as though a weigh has been lifted off my chest and am encouraged by the thought of others being blessed because of the trials I walked through. I say it again... Lord, Be Glorified in Me!