Testimony-Part: 4 Run With Endurance

Although we have come to the end of this Testimony series, my life’s story is not over.

This is the MIDDLE of the story. How the rest will play out only God knows.

I mess up every day.  Sometimes really bad for a long time and get knocked off track from where I need to be. I am human and the devil and sin are very real.  It takes A LOT of self-control to avoid temptation every second of every day and sometimes I don’t or can’t.   I am a work in progress. 

The Struggle

Being a Christian now means my heart is sensitive to conviction, and it is easy for me to tell when I did something out of alignment with Jesus.  It is a horrible feeling. It makes me feel so far away from Him.

It is hard going this road alone sometimes and that is what it feels like when you can’t get the rest of your family on board.

There are lots of things that work against me, but somehow, I still find myself looking forward to Sunday’s. 

It is an absolute guarantee that every morning before church, something will happen, fights start, someone is always running behind, the baby is fussy or making a huge mess, someone can’t find their church shoes or belt, etc. 

You name it, it is a nightmare, because if the devil can tear us apart then we won’t go and that’s a win for him….and honestly, I’ve let that happen.  Those days where I give in are the days that I feel so defeated, broken and empty. I know my spiritual cup will not be filled that week and I will pay the price.

That is why support and having other fellow Christian relationships is so important. It has always helped to join and lean on others in Christ.

Unity In Christ Is So Important

I have cherished those times in small group studies at church……when being an introvert doesn’t get the best of me and I work up enough courage to do what I KNOW God wants me to do.  I really struggle in this area. 

So many things have to go just right for me to partake in connecting with others.  Childcare, homework, weather, traveling because we don’t live close to our church, feeling worthy enough that day, I let all this play too big of a role in my determining factors to be a part of something I know I need to do.

Because I still have a ton of learning and growing to do in my Christianity. I have more faith to gain, actions to take and work to do. It is an on-going mission. Being a Christian has no stopping point, it is an ongoing continuous struggle to be strong and live righteously.

However, I know HE will always give me strength and endurance in this race.

When I look back at my past I cringe! 

The instability, loss of direction, and fear that accompanied that time in my life was something I never want to experience again. 

It still makes me shiver at how delicately close to the edge I was at completely ruining my life permanently or even losing it. I thank God I am not in that place anymore and that he didn’t give up on me. 

Setting the Stage For My Kids

I take huge strides to make sure my children won’t follow the pattern that I did. 

Life is so much easier with God and knowing Jesus. For many years now my son reads his own devotionals every night and then we talk about it. 

Last year when he took out his wallet at church during tithing and put in his OWN money my heart burst with pride!  When I think my “preaching” and teaching falls on deaf ears, it’s actually not!

I pray with my 17-month-old before I lay her down every night.  I want her to hear the words “Jesus” and “Amen” regularly, to be a part of her vocabulary from the get-go.  Last year on Mother’s Day she was dedicated to the Lord. And again, my heart burst with pride every Sunday when I see her clapping along to the worship music.

If all of this spares my kids one ounce of pain from making poor choices it is worth it.

In Hindsight…..

Over the years when I really stop to think about it, I see how God was always there, nudging me, whispering, not being pushy, waiting for my time to come, waiting for me to be sure.  Watching as my free will lead me so far away.

He put many people and situations in my path, laying the groundwork for me to find him when it was time, when I got to the end of myself.  When my mind and ears would open for good and turn towards him.

As time goes on and things unfold and play out in my life, I see how my past had to be part of my story.  My past taught me lessons I had to learn the hard way.  It gave me perspective.  It made me who I am today.

A Call To Action

It is an extreme story and I have kept it to myself for a very very long time. 

Battling with shame and disbelief of how filled with sin my life was back then; I have come to accept that I am not that person and that is not my life anymore.

It has been laid on my heart for quite some time to share this story in hopes that it finds its way to the hearts that need to hear it. No matter what your life looks like, God can and will turn it around for you if you seek him. 

Pay attention to the nudges, open your eyes to the people that cross your path.

Everybody’s story is different in how they came to faith.  It has been such a long road and took a lot of time for me to get to this point.

I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to hear yours.  What is your story and what has your road of redemption been like?

My favorite scripture…..

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10 NLT