When I decided I was going to start blogging again, I thought I would go through all of my old posts and delete them. Honestly, they are somewhat embarrassing. The woman who wrote those posts last year, about her clothes and her projects, I hardly recognize myself in her words. But I decided to leave them and should you read any of them, it is my hope that you would see the change the Lord has brought about in my heart and be encouraged! If you haven't heard my story or don't know anything about my life and mission I would recommend reading my testimony, which you can find here. Again, that was written nearly two years ago now, and it's really only half the story now. I've found that in my walk with Jesus my story is not a static thing. Every day He keeps writing a new chapter, better than the last.
Tonight I sat down to pray over what I should share, and I wrote down some of the main themes God has been impressing on me during this season. Abiding in Him, being made new, and gentleness. It seems every scripture I read lately, every conversation I have, every manner of 'random' events point me in the direction of these three (decidedly intertwined) ideas. It's about the way I'm walking out my faith. The way I'm living it. Not words on paper. Not a distant God in the sky. Not simply a promise of a 'better place' once this one passes away. It's about more than simply the salvation of our souls, it's about the shaping of them. The changing and growing and stretching and pushing and recreation of them to be more and more like Christ every day. Every moment. But you know that right? I mean, you're reading this, you're probably a Christian, we all know about sanctification and all that fun stuff. I've been studying out of the amplified bible, and one of my favorite things about that translation is they never simply say 'know'. It's always 'know and understand'. As in, "Be still and know [and understand] that I am God". We can know all about something and never actually grasp what it means. I want to know and understand that I am in Christ, a new creation, and walk accordingly.
There are no 'new' messages to be found in scripture. There are new ways of looking at it, new ways of hearing it, but no new messages. I'm not writing this because I have some bright shiny awesome new message for anyone. I'm here for the message. Jesus saved me from heroin addiction. Jesus changed me from a hard, bitter child into a loving woman. All of the fruit He promises when we abide in Him? It's growing in me. I can't explain it, I don't fully understand it, but I am called to tell you about it. So that's what I've been doing, and that's what I'm going to keep doing, until He tells me otherwise.
I've been steadily going to church now for almost exactly four years. Over the course of this time I've shared my testimony in many different venues, to many different people. Several of these people have told me how lucky I am to have such an 'big' conversion story, that I can really help people by sharing it. Most of them have been Christians their entire lives and have never faced the sort of things I have. I used to get very upset hearing that. Lucky? Lucky?! Are you kidding me?! But I get it now. I know and understand that the world needs miracles to have their eyes opened. I know I did.
I look at my story, my past and my present, in awe of God's plan. He knew the only way I would come to Him was broken beyond human repair. So, He allowed me to be broken. But sisters, He has also rebuilt me completely. Rebuilt me into something far better than I could have ever imagined or deserved. New name, new heart, new creation. If we don't allow the breaking we are also refusing the rebuilding. And not just any rebuilding, we are being recreated by the master craftsman Himself, the One with the most magnificent blueprints. Trust Him to do the job. Trust that He who began this good work in you will finish it perfectly, in the exact right moment. You can't do it. I can't do it. I tried, and it almost killed me. Even now I try to take it back, un - surrender, think I can 'work my way well'. I can't do it. Today I know and understand that I'm not supposed to. It's not my job and it's not yours. He wants to bring you so close to Him. He wants to give you every last good and perfect gift. Why don't we let Him? Get out of our own way and let Jesus work? I'm going to own my neediness. I'm going to boast of just how deeply I need Christ to change my heart. Will you join me?
"He must increase, I must decrease." John 3:30