.It is time to be super transparent again and share this very personal part of my journey to heaven because I think someone who is experiencing something similar needs to … Continue reading Getting through a patch of darkness when it feels like God has left me.
Earlier this week I was with my amazing sisters in Christ and at the end of our evening of being in God’s Word, we broke into one of the most powerful prayer sessions we have ever had. We prayed for many lost hearts for friends and other loved ones that we want to see in heaven someday. We prayed for their salvation. We prayed for prodigals to return to the Lord. We prayed for healing. We prayed for protection against the invisible enemy who tirelessly roams around seeking to steal, kill and destroy every one of us.
Remembering the powerful presence of God the other night prompted me to write this post. My heart is so heavy for the lost. Especially those who have lost or who are losing the desire to live — those who have lost all hope. I am praying against the enemy – he will not win this fight!
Like so many have, I almost gave up on life. Sometimes I wonder what might have been for those who could not hold on. What if they held on long enough for God to intervene like He did in my life? I try not to spend too much time thinking about what could have been for people I do not know. It can mess with my mind and heart too much and I have enough trouble with that on my own. I have been through a lot of painful healing and growing through the past six years of this sober life I live, but I do not regret one moment of it. I am free from the pit of hell. I am sober. I am ALIVE.
Someone out there needs hope. Someone needs the hand of God to move in a mighty way. I can feel your pain in my heart at this very moment. It is gift – it is not one that I asked for and it is not easy to deal with, but I am grateful for it because I can stand in the gap and pray for many who are like I used to be. I don’t know who you are or what you are going through, but God sure does. He knows your name. He sent His one and only Son to die for you on that terrible beautiful cross. He wants you to give up your life to Him. He wants to give you His best. All He wants is your heart. He wants you ALL IN. He’s an all or nothing God.
If that someone is you, it is the devil’s lies that have brought you this low. He is a good liar. He is a powerful liar. But God is LOVE, TRUTH, and much more POWERFUL than any enemy we face. God’s Word promises that we will enjoy a long life – that all will go well with us IF we obey all His laws and commands. He wants to be our one and only God. We must love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength and we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly (Deuteronomy 6:2, 4-6). I am so grateful for what He has done for me. It took me a while to get to where I am today, it is definitely not an overnight transformation. But my first 44 years of life did not go well on my own. Thankfully the pain of staying the same finally became greater than the pain of changing. I almost died in my unwillingness to surrender all control to Him, but I finally surrendered. I believe I’d be dead today if I hadn’t. And loving and trusting and giving my life up for God gave me life like never before. I am glad to be alive and living on purpose today. Sometimes I go through a lot of training that is difficult and brings tears. Sometimes I feel like it is in vain. Sometimes it feels like I am not making any kind of difference in this world. More lies of the devil! That is why I never give up. That, and because I choose life today and every day because of God’s amazing grace and love. I thought this tonight…what if He spared my life so I can pray for YOU? Wow. If I am alive for just one person, that is a life worth living. My pain is not in vain!
Friend, I pray for God to touch your heart and change your life like He has mine. Give up your life, but don’t give up on it! God loves you! May He bring amazing men and women of God into your life who will help you to keep seeking Him wholeheartedly and may you also become someone who is willing to pray for another heart who has lost all hope. Imagine how many lives God may save because we said yes to Him – Yes to His precious gift of life. I think I can hear heaven rejoicing again. God bless you friend.
Thank You Lord, for bringing me and so many others from death to life… ♥♥♥
Long before I got sober, I used to make choices that I knew in my heart were not good choices. I would convince myself of this: “God will protect me, He won’t let any harm come to me.” I told myself I was trusting Him. Does this sort of thing sound familiar to anyone? I was pretty lost back then, so it is amazing for me to look back and remember that I “sort of” sought God while I was walking in darkness. I knew nothing about trusting God back then. I was not even sure if He was real (SO grateful that I now know without a doubt that He IS!).
Someone I have known for over 20 years who has become a like a sister – well, she is a sister in Christ who reminded me of how I used to be. She struggles with smoking cigarettes. Her mother died from it as well as alcoholism. Although she knows what a harmful vice it really is, her addiction is too great right now and she just is not ready to quit. I pray for her. I pray that God will remove the craving and desire for it just as He removed the craving and desire of alcohol from me. I pray the same for all my friends who keep lighting up those nasty cigarettes. I am sorry, but they are NASTY. I used to smoke, so I know. I ruined good work clothes and the inside of my vehicle in my younger days with stupid cigarettes – cigarettes that have killed many people. And we will not even get into the smell…there is just nothing good that comes from those things.
I was also thinking and praying about people in recovery meetings who recover from alcohol abuse, but then trade or cannot let go of other harmful vices such as cigarettes. I have wanted to write something about this for a very long time, but it has not been easy to do. I was not sure how to do it without sounding judgmental, but I am going to be bold and write this anyway. I want my friends to be healthy. I want them to be closer to God. I want them to reach for Him before reaching for anything or anyone else. So I am not here to judge. I am just here to get someone to really think things through before lighting the next cigarette or reaching for the next harmful vice whatever it may be.
My “sister” has the attitude that her smoking is OK. In so many words she mentioned that if God did not want her to smoke, that He would not have allowed cigarettes to exist. So since they belong to Him, it is all right. That was hard for me to hear. That was me several years ago!! I am grateful that God has opened my eyes and heart to know better.
So if you are anything like I was, trying to convince yourself that you are trusting God when you really are not, remember the story about how Satan tempted Jesus after He had spent forty days and nights in the wilderness. Satan is a liar, and it is pretty interesting that he decided to quote Scripture when he wanted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God by throwing Himself down a cliff. However, he only quoted part of it to try to trick Jesus. Isn’t that funny? Like the devil could really trick Jesus. It is really a good lesson for us to remember — Satan knows Scripture, so make sure you know it too or you will be deceived!!
Anyway, after Satan tempted Jesus to prove that He is the Son of God, he had said to Him, “For it is written: ‘He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:6)
How did Jesus respond to him? Of course, He used Scripture! He said, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” (Matthew 4:7)
So I need to ask again: Are you trusting God? Or are you testing Him??!!
If you are struggling like I used to, I hope you will think about this. You can choose to be free from harmful vices. I pray you will. Only God can give you the power to quit. Put your vice down and let God do something amazing in your life. You will not regret it.
Don’t let Satan have his way any longer with you. Only God’s way is LIFE!
Smiling but Dead on the Inside Drunk – Sept. 2008 I never ever thought I would be brave (or crazy) enough to post old drunken pictures of me. It is … Continue reading They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I am not proud of what these say of me…
So here we are in January 2016. It is another new year and I find myself struggling a little once again. Although my health challenges are not over like I had hoped, I am grateful that I am not going through anything worse than I did last year. Last year was tests and minor surgery for the prevention of cervical cancer. This year I am going through testing as a precaution to rule out bladder cancer. I would be lying if I said that I was not a little bit discouraged to have to face more tests that I consider torture. I am quite tired of being prodded in such a private and sensitive area of my body. But even so, I am grateful that I have insurance and doctors who care and are doing what they think necessary for my own benefit. I am trusting God that once again, there will be no cancer. But whatever the outcome, I am amazingly ready because God has made me so strong through every single challenge He walks and carries me through. It is all for His glory, not mine.
It is incredible to stop dreading the hard things in life because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is for me and He is SO with me. He has shown me day in and day out. I thank Him for how He continues to watch over me and provide everything that I need to keep on keeping on in this journey to heaven with Him. And of course I have to share that through all the challenges, I have had zero relapses back into alcohol abuse and I continue to hold strong to my 100% sobriety of 5 years and 326 days. Yep, still counting because it is an ongoing miracle that only God can do in my life and I have to keep sharing with the world. My heart is too grateful not keep sharing because I really should be dead today. Jesus truly brought me from death to life and I am GRATEFUL.
My other struggle that I am facing as I write this is that I have a 13 year old kitty who has been an amazing blessing in my life. I think those with pets who never had kids (like me) truly understand. I just found out three days ago that she has cancer and I also got to confirm my suspicion that she has lost her vision. She is an amazing creature. God certainly has created beautiful creatures and allows us so much joy through them. I lost my 16 year old pup quite a while ago and somehow a kitten one day stole my heart. Now I have a few of them. But this one who is dying, Zoe, I have a close bond with compared to the others. They are loving and amazing too, but there is something extra special about Zoe. I held her when she was six weeks old. She came from a feral litter and she took to me right away. If she were to make it to June this year, she would be 14. My sweet Zoe is at the vet at this very moment getting a biopsy that I hope will help me to determine when her time to drift into permanent sleep may come. I cannot have her put down without knowing if it is really time or not. I am surprised that I am not crying as I write this. I guess I got enough tears out for now trying to prepare my heart which is never easy to do for any animal lover. I am really going to miss her when the time comes to let go, but until then, I am going to appreciate and enjoy every moment I have left with her and love on her like crazy.
I think what is helping me through this better than I thought it would is learning not to hold on too tightly to my blessings from God. That includes blessings like my Zoe. I remember when I lost my little dog, how hard it was and how much I drank that sadness away. Just like I used to drink every other painful moment of loss in my life away. I am so beyond grateful that those days are over. Feeling the pain and learning to deal with it has brought me so close to God and now that I have discovered that He is real, I would much rather feel the pain and turn to Him instead of the bottle that almost killed me. This is the better blessing. God really does use ALL the hard things in this life for good.
I keep holding on to God’s promises and the assurance of the wonderful life awaiting me in heaven with Him and that is what helps me to endure the pain of life on this side of heaven. I apologize if this post is all over the place. I am just allowing my heart to pour out and this is what is coming of it. I hope in a small way that perhaps this will help someone else to remember that this world is not our home and that our pain and our tears will end when we finally make it home to other side of heaven for those who believe and belong to Jesus. In my heart, I have been hearing the words of Jesus from John 16:33. He has given me His perfect peace. He is teaching me and is making me stronger to keep my heart from being troubled and from being afraid. Jesus overcame the world, and because I am His, I am an overcomer too. All of us who belong to Him are. So we need to keep holding on to God and His promises and keep on keeping on. We need to keep seeking Him with our whole heart no matter what.
And as I wait to hear about my Zoe, I do not regret one tear of the many I have shed and I no longer dread the hard stuff that comes my way. I will be grateful for every single blessing, even when they are taken away knowing and trusting that something even better is around the bend. It is wonderful to be able to say this after such a short time after giving my life to Jesus. I am always taking a risk of being mocked for what I share from the heart, but I do not care. God is real. God is the God of hope, restoration, miracles and breakthroughs. My life is proof of that. Jesus saved me from the law of sin and death. And as long as I am still in the world, the world is going to know.
Hold on to Him, hold on to HOPE – HIS promises of things to come. Thanks for listening to my heart. God bless.
“Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven. This cord helps you hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you…Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven.” ~Jesus Calling
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:13