Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Testament of Faith

What God Can Do


I start a new job on Monday.  I resume my career.  It is my life's work - and I adore it.  I don't know that many people can say this.  However, God has given me, another chance.  

I started attending Midland Church in January of 2012.  I was somewhat overwhelmed at it's message.  Having been raised Baptist - First General Baptist - the message of Grace did not come easily to me.  I loved the services, especially the praise and worship part - for it is so up-lifting. The music was unlike any that I'd ever really heard - contemporary Christian.  The church band was actually very good.  I'd had a little insight into it - my friend had told me that the Pastor's brother was the leader.  The whole family is involved in the church.  

At any rate, after the first service, I went up to shake the pastor's hand and introduce myself - and to let him know that we had people "in common."  He looked at me and stated, "you look blessed!"  I don't know how he knew that, or from where that came, but I did feel it.  One of the things that he had said during the service was, "God's not mad at you, and He never was."   I'd always thought God was angry about something.  I'd always thought that when I messed up - He wouldn't even look upon me.  I'd believed that sin separates us from God.  So, I pretty much figured that God was upset with  me, all of the time - being the protectionist (or at least in my own mind) that I am.  

The message that Pastor Paul preached, had already began to set me free.  He had also talked about not being under "THE LAW" any longer - which I did not quite understand.  I knew he was referring to the ten commandments, but I did not know what he meant.  He kept talking about:  Grace.  

I've shared with you in past blogs what Grace is, so I won't go into it again - other than to say - the law of Moses was nailed to the cross with Jesus, and Jesus was our final sacrifice.  We are not under the Jewish Covenant any longer.  When Christ came, God made the final covenant with Him, the Lamb of God.  When Christ said, "It Is Finished!" - it was finished, Praise God!!  If anyone is interested in understanding this further - message me in the comments section below - and it will shoot me an email - and I will be happy to share Biblical back up - and further explanation.  

My own transformation took some time.  I'd been going to Alcoholic's Anonymous on and off for 26 years - and had felt the shame of not being able to stay sober.  I was full of resentment, anger, shame- and I examined myself relentlessly, daily.  It was just what I'd been taught to do.  I was a very reactive person - and I lived my life by my feelings.  An trust me, they'd change like the wind.  I've done, participated in, just about everything (that I could afford) that there is  a person can do outside themselves - to fix my insides.  Food, sex, shopping, relationships, moving from state to state - YEARS of therapy.  I've shopped myself into bankruptcy - and ran my life into the ground multiple times.  I've hit bottom so many times, the last time (just months before) all I had left were my clothes, shoes and my cooking knife - and my car.  So I know about life not being "pretty."  I had all the feelings that go along with this.  

I've been to a few churches, but this one was like no other.  I felt free to worship, I felt loved.  Pastor Paul even prayed a prayer over us at the end that blew my mind.  He told us we were blessed, that we were deeply loved, and highly favored - and he prayed 'favor' over our lives.  This was the beginning of what has been revolutionary change in my life.  Change that has been from the INSIDE - OUT.  

This is the only way that true change happens in reality - but I know that God has to be the conduit.  When I stopped being so worried about sin, and started letting Christ live through me - everything began to change.  Everything.  

I won't tell you it happened over night.  I won't tell you that it was like a "wand" had been waved over my life, but what I can tell you is that my life is no longer as it once was.  I have a peace now, that I've never known.  I no longer have to worry about life.  I have a High Priest in Heaven, that sits at a throne - who watches over me.  

I volunteered for an organization for some months -- after having not been out in society for years.  The transition was somewhat difficult - I used to struggle with anxiety a great deal.  However, in that endeavor - I found the courage to begin to believe in myself again - and I know unequivocally, it is because of the power of God in my life.  It was because of what God was doing inside of me.  He was ever so gently, teaching me to learn to love life again.  The Bible says "love life, and see good days"--  

About two months ago - I had a whisper in my spirit.  I knew that there was a substance abuse counseling position open at an organization right down the street where I was volunteering. Something, I think it was the Holy Spirit - told me to apply for the job.  At first I did not listen.....  I thought, all of the things one thinks who has not worked in 12 years would think.  But, the wrestling in my spirt would not go away.  I eventually redid my resume.  I had it checked and rechecked by people that I trusted. I went to the treatment center's website, and there it was - the job opening.  I wrote the main human resource's person - and shot off a resume.  That felt like, wow - I can't even describe it.  

I did not hear anything for a month - but I did get an interview.  The interview went fabulously.  It was almost another month before I was offered the job.  It took a great deal of work trying to find my old contacts, addresses and the like.  It got done.  I start on Monday.  

One resume, one interview, job acquired.  It is truly a miracle.  A gift from God.  It is from prayer.  It from God knowing the desires of my heart.  It is from allowing God to change me from the inside out.  It is from God always wanting us to use the gifts He has given us.   One of the gifts that I have is in my ability to counsel.   I've prayed that I want to be kind of christian who's vine produces fruit in life.  Now's my opportunity.  Praise God.  

So, if this 50 year old, 12 years out of work - woman with chronic pain can attain success through prayer and a personal relationship with Jesus --  Tell me, what God can't do?  He's moved an enormous mountain in my life, one I never thought possible.  I owe it all to Him.