It’s time to REJOICE!
No matter what we have been through or what we are facing, we can literally stir up within ourselves joy and passion and the hope for the future! Why? Because the Creator of the Universe, the God who formed our very being and knit us together in our mother’s womb loves each one of us intimately, personally, and more than we will EVER be able to comprehend. And He wants to take control and make our lives EPIC if we will let Him.
You will find as my story continues to unfold here that I have been forgiven for so much that I want to take a moment today to just SHOUT my PRAISE and THANKS to God for WHO HE IS and for ALL He has brought me through!!!!
I have literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death. I have survived a deadly storm. I have been in a deep, dark pit with the devil, covered by darkness, depression, slime, hopelessness, and in bondage to sin and its devastating effects.
I will continue to lay out the details of my story as the Lord leads me, but the short version is that after years of an emotionally abusive and neglectful marriage to someone who had been habitually unfaithful, I literally lost all hope. I forgot WHO my God is and what He is capable of, and when the enemy of my soul came to steal, kill and destroy my life, I took the bait.
The devil knows what he’s doing….he knows our weaknesses. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, watchful (vigilant, cautious at all times, on your guard, alert, self-controlled) because your adversary (your enemy), the devil, roams around like a roaring lion (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
We don’t need to be fearful, but we do need to be aware and alert. As a born again Christian, God gives us everything we need to be protected from the plots, schemes, and attacks of the enemy. The Bible tells us exactly what we need to do to live an abundant life and how to walk in FREEDOM, FAITH, JOY, and PEACE, as well as what NOT to do!!
However, we are not promised that life will be easy. In fact, it’s not always easy…some days and seasons are wonderful and some days, situations, and circumstances life throws at us are just plain HARD and PAINFUL. With our limited perspectives, we rarely understand the hard times. We are frail human beings that live in a fallen world surrounded by the effects of sin; and we have flesh and emotions that war to be in charge.
And so….as sin goes, the enemy found me in a weak and vulnerable place and came after my life. He tempted me with temporary relief from the pain and hopelessness in my marriage. He staged the perfect storm and dangled in front of me the very things that had always been the deepest desires of my heart (Godly marriage, family, ministry in partnership with my spouse, and simply the need to be loved and accepted). It was all pseudo of course, but in my desperate and vulnerable state, I fell for it. He also used and took advantage of a man who had been an influential leader in my life and in the lives of many others, someone I trusted, admired and respected, someone I happened to be working for at the time. This man obviously had broken places in his heart as well that he had not surrendered to the Lord…..he knew my vulnerabilities, pursued me, and in time we ended up having an adulterous affair.
As if that’s not destructive enough, I became pregnant.
Like I said before, I will continue to unfold the details as the Lord guides me, but for now, I’ll say that the fall-out was two families completely devastated by the effects of sin and a community of Believers shaken with grief.
Was it worth it? Absolutely not. I’ve struggled through almost two years of counseling now trying to make sense of what happened, and HOW. In the moment, I literally felt powerless, completely consumed and unable to resist and overcome the temptation. Yet I know I had a choice to walk away and I made the choice to stay in it. I chose selfishness…I chose sin, I chose to believe the lies of the enemy…and now that I’m living the consequences, I can assure you it is never worth it.
Despite it all, I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness that God is a God of forgiveness and redemption. I do not understand HOW, but I KNOW that no matter what the situation, if you truly repent and turn to Him, He CAN and DOES work ALL THINGS together for GOOD for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose. I am literally LIVING PROOF that no situation is too big or impossible for Him.
I’ve also struggled and felt condemned by the fact that not only is this now my story, but part of my story is that I fell even AS a CHRISTIAN. I feel like we hear so many amazing testimonies about the terrible things people get involved in before becoming a Christian, and then they meet Jesus and everything changes. I LOVE hearing and seeing those stories, but that’s not mine…
I knew Jesus… and I still fell. I let the challenges of life overwhelm me, I forgot that I was dearly loved by a Heavenly Father who had my life in His hands, and I took my eyes off of Jesus. We know from the story of Peter walking on the water in the midst of the storm in Matthew 14:22-34 that when he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. I began to look around at the storms around me and they surely got the best of me.
But it’s time for the good news!!! 🙂 The Gospel is STILL ALIVE and TRUE, even for me, and I’ve had the privilege of accepting and embracing it all over again. I am a sinner who is desperate for a Savior. Jesus died so my sins could be forgiven and so that all of my brokenness could be healed and restored in Him.
Psalm 40:2 says “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (the Amplified version says “He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.”) He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.”
I pray with all my heart and all my being that God is glorified through my life from this point forward. He has truly pulled me out of a deep dark pit, saved my life, and is in the process of redeeming everything the enemy meant for harm. He has truly put a new song in my mouth, and I want nothing but my life to bring Him glory. I pray that my testimony will cause many to see and fear the Lord, believe His Word, and put their trust in Him because He is WORTHY of all of our trust.
I literally wept when I read the following passage of Scripture….this is how much He loves us and how passionately He pursues us. I have carried such shame for my sin, but look what He has done for me and for you:
Luke 15:1-7 –
“Now the tax collectors and [especially wicked] sinners were all coming near to Jesus to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes kept muttering and indignantly complaining, saying, This man accepts and receives and welcomes [preeminently wicked] sinners and eats with them.
So He told them this parable:
What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (desert) and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost.
Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [especially] wicked person who repents (changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance.”
He is so crazy amazingly good and worthy of everything I have and everything I am!!!! I used to be a bit of a religions person myself, but now I am one who has been forgiven MUCH and wants others to know HIM and the depths and riches of His love for us!