Roman 12:1-2

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

walking in faith

For those that read my last post....I still have a job! The school is open, and we are running on faith. Our small Christian school has no finances to speak of, but we are trusting God.

My question is this:

Is it really faith? Faith in my health will fail me. Faith in friends might fail me. Faith in the government is hit or miss.

But faith in God?

The God of Creation, bigger than the universe, stronger than hurricanes and wild fires, compassionate and loving enough to forgive us of our sin...

There is no doubt. It's a given.

So is it really faith?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

strength in vulnerability

For several years I was a slave to the sin of pornography. God was constantly, consistently drawing me back, but it took a few years for me to turn from my sin and seek help. In the spring of 2009, I called a friend of mine from Bible college, who happens to be a Biblical counselor, and asked for help.

The first three months were up and down, like walking down an up escalator. I was on my way up, no doubt about it, but I was choosing again and again to return to my sin.

There was a turning point, a bottom-of-the-barrel moment. They (the ubiquitous "they") say that drug addicts and alcoholics must also reach an absolute low before they can truly recover. My bottom was not a DUI or arrest for narcotics possesion. Mine was knowing God loves me.

He loves me. And He deserves more than I was giving Him. I understood that my life was not glorifying God.  Oh, only 4 people knew of my struggle, but Satan does not always have to destroy us, as Christians -- he only needs to make us ineffective. And I certainly was that.

It was a beautiful August day. I was returning from my counseling appointment, driving along a winding country road on a steep downhill grade. Replaying in my mind the conversation with Faye and berating myself for hiding from her that I had again, just this week, given into temptation and spent time in fantasizing. Feeling guilt, self-disgust, self-loathing.

Wanting simply to die.

Because, certainly, God doesn't want me living this way and I am not helping spread the Kingdom, so why not end it.

And I was driving along a cliff, the perfect opportunity right outside my window.

But I had a visiioin of my family: father, mother, sister, brothers, in-laws and nephews, all looking at me in my coffin. No one in my family has accepted the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, though over the years they have become less adamant when telling me they don't want to hear it. But I saw them at my funeral, looking at the results of suicide and saying, "She followed God and this is what it got her. I'm not following that God." And turning away.

Oh God, save me! I don't want that!

That was my bottom. And unfathomable victory followed.

For several months, at least. Until the following February. Within one work-week, I had three different people offer to help me with my job. This should not, necessarily cause one's world to flip upside down. However, when one's job is one's security and that foundation is shaken -- because they wouldn't be offering "help" if I wasn't doing it wrong -- then it becomes a problem.

Did you pick up on that? when one's job is one's security

And I stumbled. Fell. Hard. It took me nearly nine months to again reach that place of victory. I'm actually not sure I've ever really gotten back. Certainly I still struggle more than I wish I did.

Why such a long description and explanation of something from over 2 years ago?

Because today I will learn whether or not I lose my job. Through no fault of my own. Simply another casualty of the economy.

I am scared. I am a single woman with working disability. I won't find another job, and I won't get unemployment because you have to be willing and able to work any job and not quit, and can I survive on disability alone? I don't know what comes next.

But for God's glory: I have not returned to the false comfort of sin. For several days now my prayer has been, "I am frightened. Help me to trust you."

God is not demanding fearlessness. He is not wagging a disappointed finger at me for admitting my fear. He simply wants me to turn to Him with it. It provides Him with the opportunity to show His care, guidance, mercy, and power.

I am in a vulnerable spot right now. The idea of the knight in shining armor to carry me from all my troubles is a temptation. But I am on my guard. Prayer and Scripture are the immovable rock in the stormy sea.

That is my strength in the midst of vulnerability.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

All of Me

I continue to struggle with addiction. My "drug of choice" is not alcohol or heroin or prescription pain killers. My drug of choice is pornography. I am a young single woman who, when on a binge, will spend hours a day fantasizing about a husband who does not exist. I used to console myself that at least, in my fantasies, he and I are both Christians and married. But in all honesty, it is still sin.

An idol I have created for myself.

Something I have placed above God and more important than knowing God and obeying Him.

In my fantasies I have imagined my wedding. My vows include something to the effect that he gives me everything -- security and love and joy. So my response is to give him "all of me. Today and for the rest of my life, all of me."

Awww. How sweet.

This week in church we sang a Phillips, Craig, and Dean song, "You are God Alone."

You are not a god created by human hands.
You are not a god dependant on any mortal man.
You are not a god in need of anything we can give
By your plan, that's just the way it is.

I create those fantasies; I cannot create God -- He is too kind, loving, forgiving, and holy for me to contemplate, let alone mainpulate and control.

God gives me everything: security, salvation, hope, life -- th very breath I breathe. God does not need anything I could give.

And yet...

He wants all of me.

Dear Lord, let this ever be my prayer: all of me. Today and for the rest of my life, all of me.