I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I couldn't sleep tonight so I decided to clean out my desk and move some filing around that needed to be organized. As I was going through the files I found a sermon I preached several years ago at a friends church. I was blessed to be able to share part of my testimony with their church and as I read my notes I realized how appropriate they were in this season of my life, so I thought I would share them with you. I know that God redeems everything and that He is still working on me to make me who He has called me to be.

(There are some things in here that I have never shared with some people in my life. I ask that you please be sensitive to this)

REDEMPTION: Improving of something; the act of saving something or somebody from a declines, dilapidated or corrupted state and restoring it, him or her to a better condeition.

REDEEMED STATE: The improved state of somebody or something saved from apparently irreversible decline. Buying back of something, ending of obligation.

I remember one night I went to ATL to take Jeremy something he needed at work. His boss had given me specific directions and so off I went. Now I am pretty good driving in ATL. It doesn't scare me or bother me. I found the building, made the delivery, kissed my husband and got in the car to head home. But suddenly the road I was on started getting smaller and smaller and found myself in the middle of nowwhere and not somewhere you wanted to get out and ask directions. I called his boss and got new directions and finally got on the right road... only to find out it was a one way street and I had six lanes of traffic headed straight toward me. It was quite terrifying for me. Well that is what this last year has been like for me. My life was a small road and suddenly I woke up and realized that there was a lot more going on than I realized.

For years I have spent my life feeling like I was defective. I had a great husband, a comfortable life, great friends and yet I felt like I was such a failure. I struggled with anger, pain, fear, feelings of rejection, and a whole slew of other emotions that I hated and couldn't seem to control. I felt like I was a hypocrite of everything that I believed. I needed help. But how do you ask for help? I mean we were on staff at a church, I am supposed to have my stuff together, but inside I felt like I was falling apart and couldn't ask for help. Because if people really knew how far in the pit I felt then I would no longer be "good enough" to minister. Boy, the lies we tell ourselves so often that we eventually believe them. I blamed all my sinful behavior on wrong behaviors and tried to control them. I hid them, I lied about them, I denied them. Then in September of 2008 I found myself taking a class called Elijah House. This inner healing class promised to be a root canal if I would just give everything and lay it out on the table. The first week I lied through every question I was asked. The second week I lied through every question I was asked. By the third week I was ready yto quit and felt like it was stupid and certainly not applicable to my life. Then I got some truth. "To the degree that we are willing to be open and honest is the degree to which God can heal us" BAM. that was it. The more open I was willing to be, the deeper God was willing to go.

Healing is not about making something broken good enough to work, but to free us from the power of what is broken so it doesn't rule us and so God's righteousness can shine through us in that very area we have been healed from. Only God can take our brokenness and make something new. Only God can take the ugly things in our life and turn it into something beautiful. But we have to allow Him to overtake everything. We have to be willing to give him everything. What was amazing to find out was that God pursued me. He chased me down. He came after me. My willingness and cry for help was enough to activate his heart to come after my heart. I realized that all the emotions, all the feelings, all the hurt, pain and thoughts I struggled with was a message of the condition of my heart. 

Imagine you have a splinter in your finger. You have two choices. You can remover the splinter or you can leave in in your finger. The longer you leave it in there it begins to become part of you. Your skin will grow around it, it will begin to fester. Because your body knows it doesn't belong. Well that is what inner healing is. It refers to the sanctification and transformation process that God wants to do in our life. If you have a past, you have a need for inner healing. You can't change your history, but God can change what you think about your history. We forget that our spirit is a living thing that God created and very much a part of who we are. I was molested as a young child. Even though my flesh got past the incident, my spirit suffered great distress from what happened. It is like putting a band aid over the splinter. Eventually that band aid will fall off and there is a huge gaping hole that was never completely healed and is most likely full of disease from being unattended so long. Every time something touches it, it hurts so you eventually learn to live your life without using that part of your body. In this case, that part of your spirit. Unattended there is always a place that doesn't function correctly. With me it was in relationships. I desperately wanted to be loved and taken care of. I found myself in one unhealthy relationship after another. I went through heartbreak, abuse and even rape. But I have learned that God wants to heal everything. EVERYTHING that isn't right. We don't cut our finger off if we get a splinter. We pull it out. Even if it's painful. Because to leave it in there can make it dangerous. But we leave so much in our hearts, buried deep until it becomes dangerous for our spirits. God has started a great process in my life. Is it over? Not by a long shot. But it has changed my view. I now know when God is working in me. More importantly, I possess the tools to allow him to work in me. The beautiful part is that as God heals me, I walk in authority over the very thing that held me captive. That is redemption. That is God's plan for wholeness.