This past week I was back down in Santa Clarita for a week taking Summer Classes for the MABC program, so I spent some time on I-5 driving, which gave me time to think.
As I was driving I was remembering some of the monumental moments in my walk with the Lord this year. It’s been a truly life-changing year for me. I’ve been a faithful journaler since 7th grade, but for me journaling is a way of focusing during prayer by writing out what I pray. So…I don’t actually have a record of the events, just the prayers that accompanied them. This post is a way of looking back and recording God’s grace to me. I hope I never forget it.
October 15, 2008 — Realized that I am forgiven. Not just was forgiven, but am. This ruined my pursuit of self-righteousness (read: a righteousness found in myself, outside of Christ) and self-atonement for my failure.
November 7-8, 2009 — Elyse Fitzpatrick spoke on God’s Transforming Love at the Women’s Retreat at Master’s. Realized I didn’t understand God’s love and felt I was on the verge of something big but knew I still didn’t understand it fully (which God has been faithfully opening my eyes to little by little since).
March 12, 2009 — Was deeply impressed by the strength of character needed to make a marriage work — by both spouses. I had been focused on men needing to have that type of strength of character to be godly husbands but I saw that if I want to have a godly, happy, marriage one day, I need to start by being a woman with that strength of character.
May 31, 2009 — Realized nothing was ever enough for me. I was discontent and ungrateful and needed to be thankful instead. Able to enjoy being alone for the first time in my life.
June 30, 2009 — Confronted with the strength of my desire to not be taken advantage of and to have my voice be heard and the way I react when I feel I am either being taken advantage of or I don’t have a voice/am not being heard. It’s ugly.
When I write these things, I’m aware that they sound simple. But any of you who have walked with Christ for any length of time understand the difference between acknowledging something as true intellectually and being deeply convicted, grieved, and changed. The latter is what I mean when I say I “realized” or was “confronted” by something. These were mountains in my soul that God moved.
It’s no surprise to me that God began by teaching me of His forgiveness and love and after that began showing me massive areas of sin in my life. Before I learned of God’s forgiveness and love post-salvation, I would have never been able to bear looking at that sin in my life and would have worked desperately to cover it up. It was the freedom I found in forgiveness that enabled God’s transformation.
Last summer I heard a song by Shane & Shane for the first time, Acres of Hope. One line hit home to me when I heard it, “How the story ends is // Love and tenderness in Him // Not safe, but worth it.“ At the time, it seriously petrified me to think of the valleys of life God might lead me through. Now, after a year of being lead through a valley (one that I never wanted to walk through), I’ve come to find that He’s not safe. But worth it. And the valleys He leads us through do in fact give us acres of hope.