There has been a stirring in my soul since last night's post, a prompting of the Holy Spirit to share my testimony of God's rescue. I feel compelled, not out of desire as much as obedience, to write about the time Father reached down to pull me up and out of my self-destructive pit.
Though, at a tender age of nine, I accepted Jesus's love for me and His desire for me to live with Him in Heaven forever, I had no relationship with Him. My life was not filled with the truth of His Word because I had not read His Word, nor had I conversed with Jesus other than to get something I wanted.
My salvation experience was not followed through with discipleship, and so I had no understanding of my Good Shepherd, His nearness and His care for me. In fact, my life perspective was viewed through a dangerous combination of deadly lies and selfish desire.
The driving desire of my heart was to feel completely accepted and unconditionally loved - as is. Unfortunately, I was unaware of God's unending and all satisfying love for me exhibited through His Son, Jesus. And so, I sought the affections of a man to fill the bottomless love hole.
Because my belief system was formed by culture, my self worth was highly valued as I fulfilled my responsibility to attract, appease and satisfy a man. Without a redeemed understanding of my true identity in Christ, the lies of the enemy and of the world rooted deep in my heart and the fruit of the fleshly nature bore forth in my actions.
Be self controlled and alert.
Your enemy the devil prowls
around like a roaring lion looking
for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
Without any recognition of danger, I pranced down a pathway seemingly paved toward romance, love and marriage, family and success. The American Dream, yes, of fulfillment. Not so, in fact, I was spiraling downward, trapped in the web of lies, trying desperately to earn love; seeking unsuccessfully to be good enough, fully accepted and respected as I degraded myself to attract, appease and satisfy. I was never enough...I could never offer enough to get enough. There was never enough love with which to feel satisfied.
At the bottom of the pit, I shivered, huddled wanting only to disappear...to fade away. In fact for over a year...possibly two...I had exercised and starved myself down thirty pounds in an attempt to disappear.
At 85 pounds of skin and bone, I was undone. Feeling the weight of failure and shame upon my family. It seemed every relationship had been ruined. There was no love, no acceptance - only judgment, anger, frustration. I was a disappointment and I just wanted to fade away.
One night as I slept in my bunk bed in my college dorm room, I had a dream. It was so real. My great grandmother came in and sat at the foot of my bed. Her husband stood behind her. The look on her face was familiar and trustworthy; she had always loved me with an authentic love and care. I trusted my Grandma Becky; she had never lied to me.
Immediately, I awoke and sat straight up in my bed. I wasn't quite sure what had just taken place, but I was sure of this:
*God loved me.
*God had a good plan for my life.
*I would die if I did not change my behavior.
As an 18 year old college freshman, God had reached down and taken me in His arms. He pulled me up and out of the pit and set my feet on the Rock of His firm foundation. Because I knew He loved me, I knew He was rescuing me to fulfill the good plan He had in mind.
My physical healing was not instantaneous. It took years to break bad habits and to learn to eat healthy; to accept a normal weight of flesh and muscle. However, in the spiritual realm I was delivered from the mouth of the lion. My heart began a journey to know and experience the Lover of my soul who satisfies my desire with His Goodness.
O LORD, come quickly to help me.
May all who seek to take my life.
be put to shame and confusion;
May all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
always say "The LORD be exalted!"
Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God do not delay.
Psalm 40:13-14, 16-17
Blessings of GREATEST JOY on your amazing adventure journey with Jesus!