God has been blowing up things and doing intensive surgery on my heart. Basically. Haha! A couple of months ago, all I was hearing was “Wait. Rest in the Lord. Listen…” and it was getting very frustrating. I felt like an impatient child. Little did I know, I was getting broken down.
Everything that I had been filling my life with was becoming bitter, tasteless, disgusting and covered with thorns when embraced. The industry I had loved so much suddenly appeared dismal and hollow, empty. The affirmation from people that I had been tirelessly seeking, was revealed to be false. The comfort in men? I know. I always knew, but I finally saw all the pain I had been causing myself, leading places I could no longer go.
When I gave myself away, compromised a standard, it wasn’t about the act (I despised the act, I didn’t even enjoy it), it was about seeking some acceptance in a man. Someone to tell me I was beautiful, I was safe…but it never lasted. And it was NEVER safe. I was placing myself in the most dangerous of places, my heart in the darkest recesses of the night…too ashamed to come back to the light.
But somehow I always heard that still voice calling. Ever faithful, my Jealous Love. It was that voice that even in that time of my life that brought me stumbling into church that one day from Happy Hour, drunk, I knew I needed God. God brought people like you, Jill, into my life. You smiled at me that day and hugged me. It was such unconditional love of the church as this that has shown me God was not giving up on me.
Mistake after mistake, I would get discouraged, then God brought to mind Peter. This hotheaded, uneducated, disciple whom God transformed miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter gave one of the most amazing sermons on the day of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and continued to have an amazing ministry, and YET still made mistakes even later in life (Galatians 2:11-14).
I started earnestly asking God to give me direction and to change my heart. I would ask Him to completely take over and do whatever He wanted because I was completely “finished trying it my way”… I knew I needed my Heavenly Father’s healing, His guidance, His restoration and plan.
The Prodigal rehearsing his apology on his return, I started my way home. Surely I didn’t deserve forgiveness now. A pastor’s daughter and missionary’s kid? After all of my “recommitments” and mission’s trips, and all the “knowledge” that I have of His Word? How could my Father even bear to look at me after all that I had done? How could I be taken seriously that I truly wanted change? How many countless others had I led astray? GOD FORGIVE! It was so much easier for me to throw myself into the pit in some masochistic way as if I deserved punishment than forgiveness. Every time. I couldn’t see myself as a child of God, anything pure, anything beautiful. That was gone. Long gone.
But I still came to C3. I still prayed all the time. And a couple months ago, I relentlessly got back into the Word. It started a verse a day. Then a chapter. Then I would start cross-referencing. Then the hunger would grow so steadily and passionately, that after a while, as all I had been hearing for the last month was “Wait, Rest in the Lord. Listen…” About two months ago, suddenly it happened. God turned my life upside-down, inside-out! (I have not been able to stop the waterworks of complete joy! My sister teases me that she could say the word “butterfly” and I would start crying.) God had softened my heart so completely! Like I had begun to reference earlier, it happened all so gradually, but all the things in my life that had once been so important had faded all so completely that it almost felt like it was overnight! I lost complete interest pursuing acting as a career. I lost completely the desire to pursue relationships with men, and all I wanted was to be in the word, to pursue the Everlasting Love! I suddenly lost all anxiety and worry and saw God provide for me in such amazing ways! Surrounding me with such godly people as I have never seen in my life, I was and am continually encouraged greatly!
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