Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Read a friend's testimony today I am reminded of my own. I used to have it written here in this blog but I removed it after a time. To protect the innocent, as they say because I'd referred to some people in it and then decided maybe they didn't want some of those details made public. Still, I might re-write it again. I'm not sure. What I read today inspired me. The good thing is, my testimony is still unfolding...God's work in me just beginning. Chapters are building upon chapters.

I have grown more intimate with God in the past few years. And with the deepening of that relationship I've learned a lot more about Him and a lot more about me. Through counseling and the building of authentic relationships where I have encouraged people to speak truth into my life, I've had many valuable lessons. I dunno. Is this just another definition of wisdom? Whatever it is, it's painful. But it's surely good.

My friend's testimony was boldly written. She let it all out - the unsightly - the bruised - the ugly. I was intrigued, surprised and elated. Her honesty a testament to the trust-relationship she has with her savior. Her story, HIS story.

The first time I gave my testimony in church I believe now that I focused on the "victim" side of my life. I talked alot about what had been done "to" me and how I had risen above such circumstances and forgiven those involved. Now, I see that story as the "first layer" of truth. It was embarassing to talk about the stuff that hurt me. Hmmmm. But then, there are the things I did to hurt others.

Whenever I hear or read someone's story where they are willing to spell out what a lousy muck they were - I am humbled. I am amazed and I am weakened - my shell of pride stripped. One day, will I tell everyone all the things I've done? It took such a long time for me to tell Jesus.

But He knew all the time anyway, didn't He?

And everytime we humble ourselves and admit what a schmuck we are or have been (or are...does it ever stop?) we defeat Satan. We defeat our pridefullness. We give glory to the Father who loves us.

I've done some pretty pathetic things in my life. Betrayed myself. Betrayed people. Betrayed God. I know now there is a force that opposes God and seeks to destroy me. It is this one who whispered to me for a long time...we don't need to let people know THAT about you...THAT would be just TOO MUCH INFORMATION...THAT would make them JUDGE you and HATE you. But letting this stuff out is powerful - it is the type of authenticity Jesus called for.

John 10:10 reads "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

The thief kills us by tempting us to hold onto the dirty stuff. The thief robs us of the joy that comes from knowing that God forgives us for (yeah) EVEN THAT.

Pride robs us of much. They say we are most like Satan when we are full of pride and I know this to be true. My own pride has caused my stubbornness, short-sightedness and distancing from God. Pride can accomplish a lot of damage. Even a tiny bit of pride can have a huge impact on a situation. But the pride I hold onto inside myself, the thoughts that no one knows about but me, are probably the most damaging.

Maybe it is jealousy, maybe it is judgement of others, maybe it is a tinge of unforgiveness...pride's potent in the smallest of amounts. Traces of poison over time can kill someone.

Humbling myself before God with all that I'd done and felt was difficult. Even hanging onto a "victim mentality" was poison for me. It blinded me so that I neglected to ask: was I responsible for any of the situations that hurt me. Sometimes, I was. Sometimes, I was just responsible for situations wounding me over and over again because I refused to humble myself and forgive.

The best part of my friend's story was the "ending" - gee, I hate to call it that mine, her story is still unfolding. But where she is at today brings glory to God and her faith is inspiring. How good it is to know that God will use every hurt we hand him? How good it is to know that when we're ready, he'll be there to listen?


Blogger Sarah said...

Your wedding picture is gorgeous! I am glad to see you writing again and have had both of you and your boys in my prayers for some time. Humility is the what I stumble with time and time again and He always picks me up and sets me on my feet! I love Him....

5:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Wow, I just found you again! It's been a very long time. Through some sad things in our family, I've had to go private. I would love to keep up with your life, and if you want to be part of mine again, I need to invite you. So just send me your e-mail address and I'll do that. I was glad to find you again today and learn the latest - lots of changes!

6:26 AM  

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