I'm so excited to welcome Deb as she shares her powerful testimony about redemption and healing. Her words of truth are exactly what I needed to hear today and I hope they will encourage you just the same!
I always tried to be a good girl.
When I was little, a disappointed look was typically all the behavior modification I needed to motivate a change in attitude and behavior.
Yes, I'm an oldest child and a born people-pleaser!
As I grew up, I carefully evaluated the potential downside of my words and actions and did whatever I could to avoid any and all negative consequences. And for the most part, it worked for me.
Except for the fact that fear makes a lousy motivator.
Oh, my story would be easier to tell, if I could say love and a desire to honor and glorify God by obeying His commands and following His will was my motivation. But...
The enemy is a great deceiver. He loves to find anything he can to get God's children to doubt their Father's love, care, and provision.
For me, it all started with my heart's desire.
The Bible says,
Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 34:7
I'm a pastor's wife, teacher, student of the Bible, and I've always believed in Jesus as my Savior . . . doesn't that equal "delighting" in the Lord?
Why wasn't God giving me the desire of my heart?
Maybe you can relate.
You've prayed and waited for:
- a spouse
- a child
- a job
- a home
And like me, maybe it's been a year, two, five . . . longer, and your heart is crying as the wait continues.
That's when the enemy met me in the words of a friend.
"You're not fun anymore."
"God's not going to..."
"You need to..."
Words I so badly wanted to hear that like Eve, I grabbed hold of that fruit and took a big ol' bite!
At first, everything seemed to work out. I got what I wanted. My prayers were answered. Life was perfect. I even convinced myself that it was all God's will.
But then the perfect crashed and burned.
I'm not going to share the details with you, they're not really important. What is important is the way God used it all to work in my life and teach me the truth about His forgiveness and love.
God gave me a vision of myself standing at that tree in the center of the Garden. I heard Satan's hissed words, "Did God really say?" And I'd believed his lie that God's "no" was not out of love but because He was holding out on me.
My internal "good girl" flattened.
There I was with a half-eaten piece of fruit in my hand, humbled, broken, hurting, and in need of forgiveness.
But God... He led me to the foot of the cross with three simple humble words, "Please forgive me."
Don't you just love those two words? "But God."
But if we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. 1 John 1:9
Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7:48
But with You there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4
I have tears in my eyes as I type this.
I'm so overwhelmed by God's undeserved grace offered in and through Jesus.
My inner "good girl" was so full of self, but my humbly forgiven "redeemed girl" is surrendered and free.
By God's grace, through Jesus, I'm forgiven. I'm loved. And I'm no longer afraid.
God's grace really is enough.
He said to me, “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason, I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9–10
Friends, whatever your past regrets or problems you're dealing with today . . . God's grace is enough.
It's enough to forgive you, enough to give you courage and strength, and enough to sustain you as you follow His will.
Satan will always tempt you and me. His message has been the same since the Garden, but there's Good News...
God's promises are always the answer to the Garden's lie.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:16–17
I love this quote. It sums it all up so beautifully...
"To win the war against fear, we must know the true God as He is revealed in the Bible. He works to give us lasting peace. He receives joy, not from condemning us but in rescuing us from the devil. Yes, the Lord will bring conviction to our hearts concerning sin, but it is so He can deliver us from sin's power and consequences. In its place, the Lord works to establish healing, forgiveness, and peace." ~ Francis Frangipane
So, from one surrendered "redeemed girl" to another! Celebrate God's grace and remember His immeasureable love!
Deb is a passionate blessing counter who loves to study the ways faith and life intersect. This year at Counting My Blessings, she is sharing The Relationship Project - How One Relationship Affects All Others.
Deb lives in Missouri with her husband and furry child, Sadie now that all of their human children are grown and have little ones of their own. And yes, being a grandparent is the best!
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