I love being led by God. Being so takes me to some unexpected places. Learning to let go and just be led by God was not easy. I had to go through some growing pains. Pain is never easy. Most times I find myself rebelling against anything which causes me pain. Pain whether physical or emotional is pain. It is real. Both are equally difficult to deal with and accept in my life. But both are necessary. Both reveal an area which needs healing. Letting go and letting myself be led by God was painful. I have no doubt I am not done learning and healing this aspect of my life. I am only just now realizing that if my life is easy, without obstacles, without difficulties, then I’m stagnant and not learning, not growing, and not being led by God.
However, there is another side of this. If I am feeling resistance then I have closed myself off to what God wants for me. Being God led, doesn’t mean life will be easier, but it does mean God will give me whatever I need in my life. However, this does mean if I trust God will give me what I need, then life is easier though it might be difficult. I am slowly being taught this by God. I have seen indications of this lately even though it has been going on for some time.
My first real, “Ah Ha!” moment that God was teaching me is from 10February2019, Sunday sermon I watched online. This sermon was about living a Christian life of condemnation versus living a Spirit filled Christian life. What an eye opening sermon! It revealed to me how I have been living a Christian life of condemnation and thus living a miserable life. This is not what God meant for me to have. In just the few days since this sermon and choosing to live a Spirit filled life, things are changing. My perspective of my own life is changing. I knew living a Spirit filled life meant I would be led by the Spirit but I wasn’t sure what to expect.
My next real “Ah Ha!” moment came this morning only about an hour or so ago when I came across this post and was led to listen. This post was from an unexpected source Cinnamon and Sparkles on WordPress. Two things intrigued me enough to want to listen. The first, was the source and the second was the location of the pastor. I used to live in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I’m always fascinated when I learn new things about the place and find myself drawn back there for whatever reason. I seem to have a permanent link to this town or state.
The link, in the post, is part 1 of a sermon on relationship goals. This was another reason why I was drawn to listen to it. I have never had what I would consider a successful relationship. I am drawn towards trying to understand why that would be. I generally associate the difficulties I’ve had with my childhood and what it trained me to do and how difficult it is to break this training. In some cases I have basically given up because doing it alone seems to be impossible. This sermon was another eye opening experience.
Even if my experience over the past few days had just been these two sermons, I would still believe I am being Spirit led. But every day I am being shown something. Sometimes these things seem quite small and insignificant. One step at a time, I am being taught by the Spirit that he is listening and answering my prayers. He is doing so not in any way I expected but in the way I need the most. He knows where I need healing and like a precise, well experienced surgeon, He is targeting exactly the areas where I need healing and understanding first. I am beginning to understand without taking these steps first, it would most likely be impossible for me to fulfill my God designed purpose.
It would be difficult to explain what I have learned and how my life is changing without someone first listening to the sermons, so I invite you to listen to them before reading further.
Without giving a detailed history of my life, it might be difficult for someone to understand but I’ll try. I was either pre-teen or just turned a teenager when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I attended church and took part in the teen classes and activities. I enjoyed it all but in the background was my family life who also attended church but was not the healthiest family life. Shortly after, my parents divorced and my relationship with a boy from church fell apart. It is obvious to me now what was going on but not to this teen who was emotionally confused her whole life. The teen leaders instead of sitting down with me and trying to help me (they knew what was happening with my parents because my parents sought church counseling, I learned many years later), put me in a room with my boyfriend and told us to talk to each other. I was unable to talk and so that is how my whole life progressed. Churches failed me in trying to help me understand and my Christian life became a life of condemnation. Never feeling good enough and never feeling part of a Christian family. For years I went back and forth between attending church and creating my own spiritual life without church. I always believed in God but never felt good enough for Him or for any church to want me or accept me. Consequently, I also condemned myself at every turn and made excuses for every sin.
My life was a roller coaster ride. From high joys to low depression. The joy usually came when I was in a relationship with a man and plummeted when I realized that relationship was over. I ended the majority of them and blamed myself. I looked for reasons and found them. I tried to conquer them and deceived myself into believing I had. This was mostly romantic relationships but I lied to myself that it didn’t bleed over into my family, friends and even business relationships. As I grew older I became more and more lost and I isolated myself more and more.
When I developed breast cancer and had a bad reaction that could have led to my death, I was devastated but not enough to turn back to God. A year later, when I was laid off of my job, I found that was even more devastating than almost losing my life. It took an emotional breakdown and two years of not being able to get a job for me to finally turn back to God. He had become my only hope.
I made a commitment to try and learn about God by reading the bible from cover to cover. I wanted to learn about Him from the Word of God and not from a preacher. My earlier years taught me that I needed to find a different way to learn so I went to the source, the Bible. Since starting to read the Bible, things have been happening. I pray and sometimes I feel my prayers are answered and then later things happen to make me see they weren’t answered in the way I thought they were. I would apply for a job I thought for sure I was being shown was the job for me, have an interview and hear nothing. I would see something online which I was sure was a message to me as an answer to a prayer and then it would all fall apart. Things would happen and then the thing that looked so promising would then crumble into pieces and disintegrate. Over and over again this would happen. Each time this happened I looked at myself to blame. I blamed myself for sabotaging it all. I would believe I wasn’t good enough. I believed all this was happening because I deserved to be punished. I was living a life of condemnation. I saw no end to it and started giving up hope.
There was one prayer I pray quite often that never changes. “God help me to become the person you want me to become.” What I didn’t see until 10February, was that God was indeed helping me to become the person he has always meant for me to be. To be the person he created me to be. On 10 February, when I learned the difference between living a life of condemnation and living a Spirit filled life, I saw for the first time what God was trying to teach me. I vowed that day and prayed that day to live a Spirit filled life and put aside condemnation.
Without a doubt in the week following, I lived cautiously. I waited for the old thought patterns to reassert themselves. I waited for overwhelming depression, and anxiety to come rolling back into my life. So far that has not happened. Instead, every day I’m shown something new. When I reveal something about myself one night, the next day I’m shown how I can overcome it or how healing can begin and I was led to the second sermon about relationships. In part one, I learned how trying to fill myself by other’s expectations is not what God wants for me. I knew that, even when I was a teen and left home and tried to live my life according to my own expectations. But, what I didn’t realize was my expectations were built off of society’s expectations and not upon the person God made me to be. As long as I continue to try and be the person built off of society’s expectations I will never feel I am good enough. WHAT AN EYE OPENING MESSAGE!
This is why I had to write this post today. What I think about my job, what I think about my relationships, friendships, family and so forth have all been built off of societal expectations.
If you find yourself with feelings of not being good enough, of not having a successful relationship, of hating your job and so forth, listen to Part 1 of “Before the Person: Relationship Goals” and see if it has a message for you. I know it did for me.
I am not going to stop there. I am going to listen to the rest of the series. I will do so when I’m led to do so by the Spirit.
Bless you and if you feel moved to leave a comment please do so.