( disclaimer - this is my first attempt at the beginning of my story. it is sketchy but it is a start. i just wanted to begin. i will go back and back and whittle it down andfill in details and make things more clear )
all these years later i can still see her face. a single mom around my age if not a little older would try so hard to come to church each sunday. you could tell by looking at her she was going through a hard time. she might have even looked up to me for she thought i had what she was lacking and wanted more of. a thirst and hunger for pursuing to know more of a relationship with jesus.
i had become certified to teach precept classes after taking many classes myself and then teaching a couple i began a sunday morning class for women titled -- women at the well.
i was proud of myself. i tried hard to put God first in my life...( in hindsight it was at the expense of my family and myself) i got up at 4 am to study..to plan my lessons. i couldn't make myself teach out of someone else's lesson plans. i had to know what i was teaching for myself. i wanted to study it and then write the lesson plan. lofty right? spiritual right?
i really did think i was doing the right thing. i didn't see what was coming. i was young and wet behind the ears.
the problem wasn't the studying it was the HOW i was living out Jesus in my life. i was fast becoming a pharisee. i was taking on the mindset of the church we attended.
not only was i furthering the cycle of abuse i was unknowingly participating in the abuse. abuse might sound like a strong word but when you go through what our family did. i believe that spiritual abuse is a very real thing and damages families.
there is good news....
i was blind but now i see! the mind blowing part of a relationship with a living God for me, is how He takes the things meant to destroy us and used those circumstances for our good! for others to see Hope from what we went through.
that the plans He has for us are good and he can take dead things and breathe life into them. not only life but new life. in ways you mind would never ever even think of or imagine in your wildest dreams.
i had to laugh at phil last night. on an episode of modern family he is telling claire and gloria to talk it out. not to suppress their feelings. not to shove it under the rug because if you do the rug will get lumpy.
over a decade of debris was under that rug and the first shaking was about to happen. life as i knew it was about to change. forever.
i didn't use to know that God was always with me. now i know that a lot more. God knew what twists and turns i would take. what choices my husband was going to make. the choices the perpetrators were going to make. He knew the journey we were embarking on.
one of my favorite old testament stories is where God told moses he was taking His people out to bring them in. into a promised land. my favorite part or i should say the most comforting part is that God also said there were going to be enemies in this new land. God also said He wasn't going to get rid of them all at once. He was going to drive them out little by little. i think so they could war. learn how to fight the enemy. ( exodus 23:20-33)
i am thankful i couldn't see the future back then. i would have turned tail and ran. everything i thought we had. who i thought i was. my hopes and dreams. my plans...were gone. i had some enemies i had to fight and defeat in my life.
looking back now i am beginning to see God has taken those ruins i thought were hopeless and used them to teach me. He allowed me to walk in a single mom's shoes i can't tell you HOW God does it but if we ask and are teachable..for eyes to see He lets us peer into the hearts of other human beings. He lets us experience their pain. their stories.
an ENEMY to be driven out
you see...God knew the MORE problem i had..ok have and i am reminded everyday now that we don't get to choose what wakes us up or what circumstance is going to crash our party and change the course of our lives forever.
i am thankful for all God brought me through because it changed the course of my life that otherwise i wouldn't have chosen. it is growing me still today. it put flesh on the words that i knew in my head
it called me out and i wanted more..so i went. i followed the best i could.
i know i am on the verge of the next leg of a journey that i have no way to know what is ahead
but this time...i know deeper the One who always walks with me. i am thankful that i don't have to use judgement to show others my love for Jesus all i have to do is ask for eyes to see them and their story. their pain and be willing to enter it.