What does it take for change to break into ones life? What did it take for me? It was gradual, yet sudden... I remember going through the motions- going to church, singing songs, reading my Bible & praying. But I had been doing that for years. I remember beginning to pray specifically for God to change me. I was looking for a way out of the rut. There were good days & bad- good days were full of hope, life & energy to go go go... Bad days were full of exhaustion, self pity & darkness. I had a lot of bad days. I had been at this faith thing for years but hadn't felt much different... ever.
Change began with CONNECTION to various individuals in my church. Nothing major, just Hi's, coffee & lunches. I never talked much. I just "was". However, connection led to the desire to be in COMMUNITY. I thank God for my patient friends! Two years later, I finally moved closer. A 20 minute commute became a walk around the corner. FELLOWSHIP became easier since proximity & time wasn't an issue anymore.
I spent time in PRAYER, continuing to ask God to change me, to chose me, to buy me. I felt powerless, despairing. I knew I must have been "saved" all this time, but I still felt rejected, like merchandise nobody wanted. I continued to read the Bible & realized I needed to start living what I was reading. So I began to HUMBLE myself & SUBMIT to God. I began to DESIRE REPENTANCE, even though I still hung on to sin. And then that desire became OBEDIENCE (or more realistically speaking, progressive repentance, which lead to obedience)... I began to take ACTION, striving to live the way God said He wanted me to. Sin continued to foster opportunities for more prayer, more repentance & eventually, change. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I can say with growing confidence: Sin is no longer my master. I've been redeemed!
A friend approached me & suggested I go through Neil Anderson's Steps To Freedom. I don't know why I said yes, but I did. I mean, I had been through his books when I was younger & nothing happened. Still I hung on to some measure of hope that it would be different this time. And it was. My friend sat across from me each session, patiently listening as I read the material & prayers aloud. It doesn't seem significant, but it really was. The power of the spoken word had devastated me throughout my life. Family, peers, authority figures, they all spoke words that fed my inward destruction. But the power of the spoken word- God's Word- has set me free! It wasn't enough to hear someone else speak it over me- I had to speak it- to myself. As I practiced this, I learned to pray it & eventually, I learned to believe it. And I'm still learning!
This is the end of the line for the girl who was bound to her past, bound to be kicked around, bound to merely exist. I can't do anything without God, but He requires that with Him, I do SOMETHING. So we built a road together. This is where a new path begins, as a road raised up from the rubble of my brokenness... Praise be to God!