Did I catch your attention with that title or intrigue your curiosity a little bit?
This will undoubtedly be the hardest blog I have ever written.
It requires of me to bare my life before you and lay out my sins on the altar of your judgments.
It requires me to wring from the ashes of my guilt and shame the wretchedness of who I was in order to show you the extreme lengths to which God does go to redeem.
In short, it lays me bare so that you can understand freedom.
I will not however ask you to reserve your judgment, nor will I ask you to overlook who I was.
I dare say you have the right and the commandment to:
I Thess. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I'm not even going to make excuses to you for who I was, nor will I justify my right to make the choices I made.
All those things were laid out before The Lord and He forgave me, He restored me & He Sanctified me fully.
So it's neither forgiveness I seek nor justification, nor is it reproof or correction.
Likewise, I do not seek your sympathy or compassion.
I simply have to tell you my story because The Lord has required me to do so.
It is better for me to obey than to sacrifice.
So with that vein of thought I press on toward the mark.
It is my hope and it's my intent that you do not walk away from the blog with any other thought than "What a Mighty God we Serve" "What Power to Redeem"
Well let's see where to begin????
If it were possible to write my life out in detail I don't think there would be any other way to do that other than to write a book.
I can't do that so I am going to take an excerpt from my life and hopefully you can see the depths of the pit I was in & the powerful hand of the Creator to lift me out of it!
Adopted at birth, I lived a life in a household of faith. My dad began preaching full time when I was two. I knew what it was to be "in" the church literally every time the doors opened and even when they did not...
I pretty much lived a pretty normal life outwardly I guess you could say. I was involved in everything at school that you could do.
It was on the inside that a bitter war was raging for my soul.
I had a strong foundation thanks to dad in God's Word. I loved worshipping God and had had dreams of being an evangelist traveling the States sharing Jesus.
God and I talked allot growing up. I was always real sensitive as a child and often experienced things not normal to experience.
I used to sit in a Mimosa tree for hours or stay at the sanctuary for hours, singing and talking to God.
The inside of my heart was a mess though.
I was deeply rejected not only because of the adoption, but other things in my life that made me think I was a blight on the earth that someday God would remove.
Tenaciously when I was little I would cling to those moments with Him like a child with his blanket.
Deep down I had a longing to belong.
God was all I had, little did I discover until years and years later that God is all I needed.
By the time I turned four I had gone through congestive heart failure and because of the meds I became a little overweight. It was during this time that the enemy began to attack my self-esteem.
It began harmlessly enough I guess, but after being called names so often you begin to wear the identity of the bad name as if it were a shield to cling to in a losing battle.
Eventually off the meds I lost weight and became societies "idea" of "normal" meaning I looked like everyone else more or less.
But what started as harmless had already begun to snowball like a train wreck in perpetual motion.
The enemy had already dug his claws in my physic and it would be years before they began to let go.
After that in my 8th year I had an accident at the beach that took the sight from my right eye. I am considered legally blind; however I don't wear that label. I am able to live as normal as anyone else.
So instead of just fatty, or fatso, now I'm a blind four-eyed fatso, regardless of the fact I was not fat and was on the rather skinny side for my age.
By the time I turned 13 I attempted suicide...
My life spiraling downward with each passing year...
We did not live a charmed life as any "true Pastor" can attest to. I did not help matters either.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. KJV says for out of it are the issues of life
God in His wisdom sent instructions that if we just hear them and let Him work it in us we could be spared so much heartache, so much sorrow.
At seventeen; I had graduated from high school and started my freshman year of college. I would say it was lonely but I was too busy to be lonely.
Eat, study and whatever left is for sleep or if no sleep, a cup of coffee to get you through. These were the days before Monster drinks and 5 hours caffeine stimulated drinks.
I had gone away; I needed the space. I was hoping I could figure out where I was and where I wanted to go. In the course of the hard work I was offered a 4 year paid scholarship for music. I was so excited and I was sure that God had led me there.
Only to have that swept away at the altar of obedience to someone else.
I won't go into that, it's behind me now, and that's what God allowed me to go through for His purposes.
Now here I am, 17, with whatever ambition I had to go to college swept away as I begrudgingly declined the scholarship.
All the while the root satan planted in my heart years ago was growing into a good size trunk.
Leaving college in despair I made my way back home... Settling in to see what was next and let me tell you what came next was way out in left field...
At 18 I was appointed a "husband" by the church. I'm not going there; I'm not ready for that
At 20 I had my first child
At 22 I had my second
At 24 I was divorced with two small children.
Why did I run through that as blandly as sandwich on dry bread?
I'm not trying to glorify my cross I was bearing but I have a point I'm making about the one who took that cross from me so that He might redeem me!
2 Cor. 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.
As weird as it may seem, being I'm giving this information, this is about His power to redeem and not my ability to fall not once or twice, but over and over and over again.
We think when we fall that God is up there stressing out, hunting for the engineer eraser so He can go back to the drawing board to start all over again.
We think He just throws away the blueprint when other people fall.
You could probably fill in the blanks and you could probably come really close to being dead on accurate with my story.
It's not a new one, nor even an uncommon one.
Jesus talks to a woman of Samaria in John 4 who had 5 husbands 6 counting the one she was living with even though they had not married in the "eyes" of the law.
By 26 I was remarried to husband 2
By 27 I had my third child and was divorced
By 29 I was remarried to husband 3
By 31 I was divorced
There is allot between those pages, abuse, alcohol, drugs, adultery, anorexia, bulimia, not all of them mine etc...
The point I'm making is this... and I really want you to get this... Jesus love for us is not restrictive to sin in us!
For the next few yrs. I remained single, gloriously single. I had gotten back into church; I was singing and playing on the worship team.
Overall I felt really good, really strong.
I didn't think after the relief I felt at belonging in God's house again I would never, ever, ever fall again. Boy was I wrong because the enemy came knocking on my door and I didn't see it until it was too late. Until I was embroiled in an affair, that's not a misprint by the way. I was in an affair with someone on the worship team.
That led to his divorce, my next child and marriage number 4
Talk about a mess, talk about a horror of a shock to those precious people.
Talk about a tremendous slap in God's face.
How could I have ever gotten to that place?
How could I not see where this would lead?
I tell you folks that the enemy is deceitful and he's crafty and we are mistaken if we think he's not going for the jugular, because he is.
He will use anything or anybody in any environment to get too you.
Rom. 6:23 The wages of sin is death.
I seriously wanted to die. I begged God to take my life, I didn't want to breathe. Not only had I heard, but now I knew it in fact that my life was worthless and I was just trash!
For the next couple of months or so I lived in a vacuum. I survived the day simply because I had a daughter to raise and a job I had to go to.
I was not a good mother much less human being at that time. I went to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night just so I wouldn't run into anyone I knew. I wouldn't answer the phone.
I literally came home every day, did the basic care of feeding my daughter and I would lay in the floor and weep begging God to kill me or at the very least come down from heaven and tell me face to face what a disappointment I was too Him.
Literally this was every single day.
Rewind back a few days...
One day, right before my affair came out, one miraculous day, I was in my office staring into space listening half-hearted to worship thinking how bad I screwed it up, when my eyes became so heavy I could not keep them open.
I know now that God was preparing me for the fall, giving me an anchor to hold to, but it would be months, years before I crawled out of the hole...
Leaning my head over on my hands thinking I would rest my eyes for a moment, instantly I was not there at my desk but standing by a hillside watching the death of Jesus upon the cross.
Literally it was dark and wind was blowing and there was Christ.
One thought that stood out in my mind was, there is not any color.
It was like being in a black and white movie.
Only the actual surroundings were black and white as if everything had been stripped of its color.
Quite literally it had!
I saw Jesus hanging there in a flash and what followed next flung me literally too my knees screaming why Jesus, why, why did you do that for me.
I'm going to tell you something saints of God and I hope you hear what I'm saying because this is very, very important to your faith.
I'm telling you sinners that the time is now for salvation has come to your house!
If you have come to God for salvation for any other reason except that Jesus became you and your sin so that He could redeem you. I urge you to check yourself and see if you are in the faith. Please don’t' delay.
Salvation is not as much about the physical pain Jesus suffered on the Cross, but about the love He had to do so.
It is not about keeping you from hell.
It's about trading your sin nature for His righteousness!
Because this is what I saw!
2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I saw Jesus the Lord of Glory receiving the wrath of God as if He were me!
Did you understand that?
I saw Jesus become me and God’s wrath rushing through Him like a hurricane almost as if the very cells of His body were being ripped open; such was the weight of my sin upon Him.
So scary was God’s wrath that I didn’t want to look and yet I couldn’t tear my eyes away.
I saw my sin, not yours because I can’t handle mine let alone yours. I saw Him where I should be and I knew instantly that I was guilty and He was not.
You see before, I was concerned about going to hell. I knew I was a sinner on some levels and at 17 I thought I had had that “true born again” experience, not saying I didn't. I just knew that on this level of what I saw I hadn't until fully comprehended the extent my sin had cost Him.
Yet on that day I saw my Creator become me to redeem me and all I could do was fall on my face screaming like a baby.
It’s a picture that to this day has never left my mind like a hole burned in fabric cannot be repaired; my mind has been branded literally with pure evidence of His love.
What seemed like seconds was actually in real time a couple of hours long.
In the midst of this experience, I remember being so ashamed, because I literally saw everything I had done or would ever do flood through Him.
God did not spare me the details whatsoever He let me see it all.
Although I don’t remember now what the “would do sins were” That memory has forever been burned into my heart and smolder like a flame on a candle.
The next thing that happened to me was so precious, and so sweet I hesitate to share it with you because some of you love nothing better than to tread upon people lives with snow boots on, stomping holes everywhere you go.
You know the ones who have no love for God in their heart that never hesitate when smashing people’s experiences like they have somehow arrived to God’s level and see all and know all.
But I will share it because He is requiring me to do so for someone I don’t know!
The next thing I know I was lifted literally too my feet, whether in the body or out I can’t say, because it was like I was there and here at the same time, if that makes sense.
I was lifted gently to my knees and loving hands began to wipe my eyes. I didn’t want to look up because I couldn’t bear it.
But gently He pulled my chin up and there He was The Lord of Glory kneeling before me as I have now come to think He did before the woman cast at His feet.
He looked at me with a smile like no other, and I asked Lord why?
Even now I can’t tell it without weeping because its release still echoes in my ears just as does His melodic voice saying to me. Because daughter I love you with All of my heart!
And like that He was gone and I was back in reality.
I was unable to eat or sleep for days. Every time I closed my eyes I saw His beautiful face and I heard His voice strumming across the rooms of my heart.
Folks He became us to redeem us.
He became me and all my husbands and affairs and He paid for it with His own life.
He laid aside that God power to become me so that through His sacrifice I could be redeemed from the curse I was under.
Not Him, He was not under the curse, He chose the curse so that I could be made 100% PERCENT FREE!
Some of you don’t understand mercy, you neither give it nor do you receive it.
Some of you think you are OK because you signed a card, chanted a chant, prayed “the Holy Prayer” or because some clergyman laid hands on you.
There is no other way to Jesus except through the cross.
You have no other way to God except though Jesus!
You must be born again. You must see yourself as you truly are…
Poor, wretched and blind.
You must see that Jesus is the ONLY Way He is the ONLY Truth, He is the ONLY Life
You must repent from sin and you must put on Christ!
You will never be righteous outside of Him and you will never be welcome in His house without accepting His gift of salvation.
Folk this is serious! This is not a game... There's not a voice going to say game over, please press start to begin again.
He called you & I to repentance that He could restore the fellowship with Him we lost in the garden.
You see satan wanted to be like God and be worshipped, still does and that is why there is so much idolatry.
Jesus did just the flip opposite by laying down His divine nature in order that He could redeem mankind from the sin nature, that the devil had a hand in bringing with him in beginning.
He became obedient unto death and because He was obedient now He sits at God's right hand making intercession for us.
Watch this... now we worship Him, something that satan covets, we worship Christ because HE ever lives to make intercession to Father God on our behalf!
WOW! WOW! WOW!
My story continues to astound me every single day when I think about His goodness over me even in the mess.
So I issue you a challenge to search For God with everything in you and don’t give up until He shows up!
Jer. 29: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart!
I’m hid with Christ!