Renewed in Christ

Budding-flower51

I was saved and baptized on April 14, 1985.  I was 15 years old and desperate to be accepted and loved as I was, in all my strangeness.  I remember the hunger… my soul was aware that God already loved and accepted me just as I was.  He was my only hope.  Over the years, through twisted roads and bad choices I have made, there has always been God beside me, protecting me, wanting me close to Him, waiting for me to listen for His Spirit that called to me always. Every time I have wanted to listen to the wrong voice, God has jumped in, so that even when I’m feeling alone in the world, I’m not lost in the dark. During those years I doubted my self-worth and defended myself, when I should have acknowledged that the “me” that I was defending, was already dead and buried – it was washed away when I was 15, but I didn’t know it. I didn’t fully understand my salvation when I was 15.  So I carried the old self with me,through my adulthood, my marriages (gasp, yes, more than one), my motherhood, and even during the years I taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.  Naturally I failed at everything.

Two years ago, after my failed marriage, when my world was completely turned upside down, God saved me when I was drowning in sorrow.  He reunited me with my childhood friend Adam;  a person who knew my shady past, who I didn’t have to hide any part of myself from.  God did this exactly when He knew I would need it, not too early and not too late.   Adam helped my soul heal.  He didn’t know it, but he was God’s instrument.

Instrument…. that has more than one meaning to Adam.  Adam is a lifetime musician.  Since he was old enough to hold an instrument, he’s played…whatever he can get his hands on. You leave him alone with it for ten minutes and he figures it out. Well, God has left me alone with him for two years  🙂  Over 24 months I’ve seen my best friend, my lover in every way, my life partner….grow from out of his own shell, and release emotional pain that has manifested physically.  I’ve watched him survive a stroke and rebuild himself slowly, and have been extremely blessed to watch as he accepted Christ and became a baptized believer, with the conviction of a knight.  My heart was renewed that day.

The Bible says in 1st Peter 3:1, Wife, be subject to your own husband, so that even if he does not obey the word, he may be won without a word by your conduct.  My grandmother told me that verse when I was in my mid-20’s. I was newly married at the time to my (now ex) husband, and I had asked her what to do, a little bit desperate, because my husband was not Christian.  We didn’t share the same beliefs about God.  Very clearly, the Bible gave instruction. I prayed every day during our marriage (which lasted from 1995-2011), for him to be baptized, for him to share time with me reading the Bible at home everyday.  He was jealous of my relationship with God. At first, he scoffed at me for seeking out a church home,and then belittled me when I taught Sunday school, and then he came to accept my doing this, but he never condoned it.

Deep down inside, I knew we would divorce someday, but I didn’t know the when or the how or the why, so in faith I continued to serve my husband, and love him. Sometimes that required work, I had to force myself to love him,because he was cold and insensitive, and constantly spewed ugliness out of his mouth, trying to break me down and make me feel worthless. Sometimes we even fought physically, because I would constantly fail in my husband eyes.

Faith was my strength. In God and in the verses like that one in 1st Peter.  I leaned on God.  I lived in a constant state of prayer. I believed that God was watching and protecting me and my children, even as I was attacked by my spouse, as I lost various freedoms over the years due to his jealousy of my relationships with family and friends.  And when he threw me out in 2011, when he bribed my children to stay with him instead of going with me, I still prayed and leaned on God’s understanding – which is greater than my understanding.

God knew what would happen before I did, before anyone. I think that’s why he sent Adam to me….moving in with Adam felt natural, because we had been childhood friends, and even though we had not spoken in 19 years, we felt as if we had never gone one day without speaking to each other. We simply picked up where we left off in December of 1991. I was grieving the loss of my children.  Adams wife had died months before, he was also grieving. So, began the healing process. I knew the miracle of our reunion (700 miles from where we shared our teen years as neighbors) was not just for me. It was for both of us.

When I first made this blog, it was almost two years after my divorce, after losing my children to my ex-husband, and they were my life for 18 years. I was hurt, and angry, and grieving what felt like a bitter death, and writing was my therapy.  I wanted to reach out and hopefully connect with other women who were hurting like I was, but I never did.  I know I’m not alone, but this blog didn’t end up serving that purpose, and now I understand why.

During this time, I’ve been surviving…. and I wanted to do more than just survive, I wanted life.  I longed for the closeness that God, and no one else, gives me.  So I grieved the loss of my children. I grieved the loss of security and self, and let it go. That was a very hard transition.  During this time, God has been building me up to prepare me for discipleship.  I do this with a humble heart.

I know where I come from.  I also know that my soul is cleansed and free now, not because of anything I have done, but because Jesus lived and died for me.   God’s power is greater even than my ex-husband and the court system, and I know that one day my children and I will live together – because God is in charge. He has been in charge since the beginning.


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