It seems as though I have spent the vast majority of my life praying for miracles. I would read or hear about miracles that had been performed in the lives of others, and though I was sincerely happy for those people, their stories were often like salt rubbed into an open wound for me. They often made me feel even more isolated because I was still left with unanswered questions, disappointments, and struggles, asking God, “What is wrong with me? Where is my miracle? What am I doing wrong?” I wanted the instant miracle. I wanted the realm of my environment, my life, my family, and my situation to be divinely made whole.
There have actually been times that I have wondered if God was holding me to a higher standard than others because it appeared to me I was being disciplined much more than others in certain areas of my life. I would look around and see others that seemed to be very blessed, yet in my opinion they were not trying anywhere near as hard as I was. Then again I would ask, “God, what is wrong with me?”
I recall reaching a point in my life that I began to question my existence, why God had allowed me to be born. I remember asking Him, “Is this all there is to life? God, did you create me, bring me into this world, and give me life only to suffer and be miserable?” I began to reflect over my life and the experiences I had gone through. I realized most of my experiences throughout the course of my life had been bad experiences that inflicted painful physical and emotional wounds that left severe scars. Many of those wounds and the painful memories had been locked away and hidden so deep within me, yet they were still there. Though I had hidden them away, they still caused me pain. That was what was wrong with me. I was broken, and there was no quick fix.
I was so broken that acquiring healing would require me to begin a process of facing those painful memories and picking up the pieces of my broken heart and broken spirit and allowing God to mend them back together. No one else could help me. No one else could understand what I was feeling. I wasn’t even sure of what I was feeling, so I certainly could not explain my feelings to anyone. This is when the Lord pointed out to me that I had survived each of these experiences, which in itself was a miracle, and that He was preparing me and cultivating me to fulfill the purpose for which I had been created.
About seven years before I actually sat down and began writing, the Lord placed the desire in my heart to write this book sharing my life experiences with others to offer them hope, encouragement, and support. He pointed out that many people have committed suicide when faced with any one of the experiences I have undergone throughout the course of my life. It is my assignment to reach out to someone who is hurting and let you know “this too shall pass” and that God loves you, He is there for you, and He will see you through it.
However, instead of acting on the Lord’s instruction, I listened to and believed Satan’s lies. “Who are you to think anyone would be interested in hearing anything you would have to say? Where’s your victory? What pot of gold at the end of the rainbow do you have to share with anyone? People will think you’re silly! Look at your life! What kind of example could you possibly be for anyone? What a super inflated ego you have! Of course you think the Lord has a big call on your life, you would certainly expect no less! People will judge you and abandon you if you share all the horrible things you’ve done in your life.”
Not only did I listen to and believe Satan’s lies, I even threw a few of my own in there. I kept looking at my inability instead of God’s ability. For seven years I tried to ignore this assignment. I kept hoping the Lord would give me another assignment, something I felt I was actually capable of doing. I failed to realize the fact that He wanted me to go into the deep water where it was obvious that it was not me but Him working in me.
Nor did I realize that He wanted to take me on this journey to help me find forgiveness in my heart for those who had inflicted many of my wounds and to offer me healing. He wanted to heal a broken heart and a broken spirit that had been broken for so long that it had just become part of who I was. I had walked around wearing a façade that everything was okay in me and in my life for so long, trying to convince everyone else but especially trying to convince myself that I was okay. I had tried to convince myself that I didn’t need to revisit my past and I didn’t need to try to understand the things I had done or the things that had been done to me. I tried to convince myself that I was okay; it was all in the past, it was over, and I had survived it. I preferred to not open those closets and the wounds associated with them.
Having to recall memories of the events of my past in order to share it with others and manage to find the words to make the mess of those memories make sense seemed so intimidating to me. I find it funny how God so often assigns us those tasks that are the very things we feel most intimidated by. Perhaps He does that because it requires us to step out in complete, blind faith, trusting Him completely. He takes us outside of our own understanding and our comfort zones for us to realize it is not us but Him. As we learn and grow in Him, He then takes us into deeper water.
There were several other things that prevented me from sitting down to write for a long time also. None of them were things that the Lord could not and did not help me to overcome. They were things like fear of being judged by others, the pain and resentment I carried in my heart for those who had hurt me over the course of my life, the mountainous task of opening up closets and removing skeletons and the painful memories of them that I really didn’t want to have to face, and also the knowledge that when I sat down to write this book, especially if it were actually ever published, I would have to cross over into a land of no return. I knew that in order to do what God was calling me to do, I would have to hand my life over to Him completely for Him to do with it what He wanted done and the way He wanted it done.
As silly as it sounds, I must admit the fact that I am addicted to control, and handing control of my life over to anyone else was a difficult task. I can’t tell you how silly that sounds to me now when I say, “It was difficult for me to hand the control of my life over to God.” Yet it was! I knew that God wanted to take me into the deep water, and I was afraid. I was afraid because I didn’t trust Him completely. Then I realized by refusing to hand the control of my life over to God, I was allowing Satan control in my life. The truth is this! Regardless of who we are and how powerful we may think we are, we are nothing outside of God. In regard to control, if we don’t give God control, we allow Satan to control. So what control do we actually have?
God has given us free will to make choices and decisions in our lives, but who influences those choices and decisions? I assure you it will be one or the other—God or Satan. Because God gives us free choice, we choose which it will be. When I realized this, I crossed over and submitted to God and surrendered my life to Him. I handed it all over to Him for Him to do with my life what He will and use me as His instrument. Little did I realize the wonderful journey of forgiveness and healing the Lord was about to take me on.
Writing this book has been a wonderful journey of healing, forgiving, restoring, strengthening, learning, and growing. The Lord has taught me so much about Him, others, and myself. He has revealed Himself to me in so many ways and helped me to identify and provided healing for wounds that were still inflicting pain, though they had been hidden away deep within me for so long. God has moved so many mountains in my life. He has brought me to a wonderful and beautiful place of peace within Him. There are no words to describe it.
Today, right now, this very moment, I know with all of my heart and all of my soul that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to be doing. I know that I am in the will of God, working to fulfill the purpose for which He created me and gave me life. I can truthfully tell you I am looking forward to God taking me into deeper waters. I have fallen in love with Him! I want to be with Him always. I want more, more, more of Him. I want Him to use me as His instrument to accomplish absolutely everything He wants to accomplish through me. I am His, and He is mine, and what a wonderful place this realization has brought me to in my life!
Recently the Lord shared the following scriptures with me
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, KJV
“To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet unto the way of peace.” Luke 1:79, KJV
When I read Luke 1:79, the Lord placed a vision in my mind of me standing in a church before people, sharing my testimony with them. I could see those sitting in the back rows where I used to sit in the darkness feeling alone, desolate, hurting, and ashamed while thinking my sins were too great, my mistakes were too bad, and my life was too big of a mess for anyone to love me, forgive me, or help me. God showed me that He wants me to be His instrument to shine the light of His love and forgiveness onto them. He wants me to be His arms to reach out to them and show them the way to Him and His peace. Talk about deep waters! Oh God, take me deeper! I am yours!
Where is my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? It is in my heart! It is my God! My God is a wonderful, precious, loving, merciful, and gracious God who has taken my mess and made it my message of love, joy, hope, and peace. He has taken my pain and made it my joy in knowing that what Satan meant for my destruction and the destruction of others, God will use to reach others and lead them to know Him.
The pursuit of my purpose was a painful journey until I finally handed all of my pain to the Lord and received forgiveness and healing. I thank Him for never giving up on me! I pray that in sharing my journey with you, you will find new hope, encouragement, and strength to either begin your journey or continue your journey. May God bless you!