This is the third portion of My testimony a long time coming but, here it is. I do recommend that you read the other 2 parts before this one click here Broken, My testimony, and here Broken, My Testimony cont’d.
Sometimes we take a step in the right direction, but in all appearances things still look and feel the same. A lot of the time we want to see immediate results and if we don’t see them, we can get discouraged. I had made a decision that made way for change in my life, I was desperate, but didn’t fully understand my desperation. I wanted what I heard in church to be true and for it to be working in my life, the only problem was I didn’t know how to attain it. I went back to church and got connected with other believers, and although I was now around like-minded people and good teaching and preaching, my life still looked and felt the same. None of my problems just up and disappeared, the only difference was, was that now I was praying about things instead of just trying to take care of them myself. The first thing God did was light a fire under me, he sent an acquaintance of mine across my path and she began to share the good things that God was doing in her and her family’s lives. It was reminiscent of my Pentecostal days when I was young and it sparked in me such a desire to know God the way she did. That day my fire and desire for God was rekindled. I’m laughing right now looking back at all this because back then I had absolutely no idea just how much I didn’t know and still needed to learn. I embarked on a journey that I am still on today, however I’m much farther along the path now. One of my problems was that I way over estimated my faith, just like your mind tells you, you can run 5KM no problem even though you haven’t run in a year… I can hear you laughing, its good to know I’m not the only one whose mind has over estimated their ability. You can know theory inside and out but that means nothing unless you put it to practice. You can know how to build muscle in theory, but unless you put it to action you will gain nothing. This was me. You have the picture now. Needless to say I expected BIG things to start happening and when it didn’t I started to see the first signs that I was broken. I was 29 before I even considered what happened to me at 13 to be rape. I with everyone else blamed myself. One night at church God spoke the truth to my heart, He wanted me to begin to face the truth and even though I didn’t know why back then I understand now. If we don’t face truth and be honest with ourselves we cannot change, and we cannot be healed. This was a big revelation for me. I was unaware how steeped in shame I was and how guilt ruled my life. I lived in a continual state of unrest, of negativity and I always felt I needed to try harder, I needed to be better, I wanted to be better, but failed miserably. It’s sad that I lived so much of my life this way and it hurts me that right now people are living this way, my heart goes out to them. I had learned love was conditional and even though the church taught Gods love as unconditional, I had never seen or experienced it. I believed Gods Love for me was conditional, that it was based on what I did and how good I was. So I drew the conclusion that I wasn’t good enough for Gods love. Any time I felt I did anything right I searched to feel that love and approval, but it was always over shadowed by my past, by my sin, and by guilt and shame. I clearly didn’t understand the cross of Christ. I was seriously going out of my mind, my family so unaware. I withdrew from my family, I became very religious, trying to dot every I and cross every T. I lived by rules and more rules and I lost myself in it. I didn’t even attend my friends Jack and Jill party and I was a bridesmaid!!! how sad is that. I got to the point I didn’t even want to leave my house, when I did go out I’d come home and have a melt down. I would just cry. I wouldn’t have admitted it then but I was depressed and suffered from bouts of anxiety. In the midst of all this I was crying out to God asking Him to heal me, to heal my emotions. I began reading my bible, Christian books and listening to Christian teaching material. One day as I was cleaning my house, memories from my past kept coming across my mind. This disturbed me to my core, I had spent all my time burying my past and now it was trying to dig its way out. I naturally thought it was the devil and I kept rebuking him and casting down those thoughts, but they just kept coming. I eventually caught on that it wasn’t the devil, God wanted to do something with this. So I got still and asked God what He was trying to get across to me. He brought back to my remembrance a teaching I’d heard about forgiveness, I by the power of the Holy Spirit understood that God wanted me to forgive all the people who had hurt me from my past. I went through each memory one by one, starting with my earliest memory. Out loud I said “by faith I forgive (name of the person) for (and mentioned the hurt and what they did to me), so for example I would say ” I forgive “Johnny” for calling me names and hurting my feelings causing me to feel bad about myself, I release him and hold nothing against him anymore in Jesus name Amen”. I don’t know how long it took me, all I know is that after I had done that I had a new freedom, and it felt so good that I just wanted to stay there. Although I had moved a step forward there was still more to be done, more things that needed to come up and out for my sanity’s sake. There were many lies that I believed about myself, things others said I was and things I determined on my own I was. In order to be free, truth and light had to come, but they couldn’t come unless I had invited them. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, actually I had avoided digging up anymore of my past for weeks until finally one day I couldn’t take it anymore. One night when everyone was in bed I got alone with God and I opened myself to Him and His truth. The bible says that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. ( John 14:26 But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you).The Holy Spirit taught me that night and brought truths to my heart from His word and with each incident that had taken place in my life God was healing and truth was bringing more freedom. In that I began to finally learn why Jesus died for me, my view of God began to change, He was starting to no longer be this harsh, unaccepting God that I had to earn my time with, but to look at Him as Father. That night wasn’t the last of the healing that needed to be done, God knows not to overwhelm us, so He will bring things to us a little at a time. On another occasion not long after I was sent an emotional healing package in the mail from Joyce Meyer ministries. I opened it up and read the letter and proceeded to open a pamphlet of women’s testimonies about their emotional healing. As I read every testimony I refused to relate to these women. I remember thinking I was fine and that these women clearly had been messed up by sexual abuse and rape, oh but not me, those things didn’t affect me (can you hear the sarcasm?). I stood there all set to reject this package, thinking I didn’t need it I wasn’t messed up like “those” women. How utterly sad, I was so oblivious to my pain. So God stepped in, I was standing in front of my couch as I went through the pamphlet, I all but wrote it off when I heard my 7-year-old son playing in his bedroom, in that moment inside of me, I didn’t hear an audible voice, but right on the inside of me I heard, “Lisa is it ok for someone to come into your house walk up your stairs and sexually abuse your son”? I got so mad, with clenched teeth I was like “absolutely not, why in the world would you ever say that to me”!? and ever so gently He said “if it’s not ok for someone to do that to your son, then why is it ok that someone did that to you”? I got it, I fell in to the couch with tears in my eyes and realized I needed more healing emotionally. Needless to say I ordered the package. I was sent cds and a book called “Beauty for Ashes” by Joyce Meyers. When I opened the book to read it, all of my held back emotions came out, I couldn’t see the words through my tears and I hadn’t even read one word. Eventually I read it and Gods word in it brought even more truth and freedom to my life. I began to dare to believe that God loved me and my fears began to dissipate.
At this point I am going to end this blog, there is so much more I could write, however I will leave it until next time. My prayers are for all those who are suffering, that you would find peace and rest in Jesus. That truth and light would be brought into your life so that you experience the freedom in which Christ died for you to have.