Well this is the question that someone out there is inevitably asking...and I think now that I have made it abundantly clear as possible what happened to me--that the Holy Spirit did a real and true transforming work in my heart and life, which CHANGED ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, and in His perfect timing brought me to the place of trust and repentance (salvation--that initial turning point, it is safe to post this one. God really has an order to things.
So before I continue, for those of you that are my church friends, yes, it's true. I didn't make it to church again this Sunday. (the second Sunday in June, I think) It was an accident, and I didn't mean to. I woke up literally at 8:37 a.m. and yes, my rode had already gone without me (which was fine--I would NOT have expected them to wait---I wouldn't have been ready anyways!)I don't feel ANY condemnation for not being there, it is just that I feel a sadness. YOU see, let me explain, I No longer go to church because it "looks spiritual to everyone else" (Whatever that means, or "because I HAVE TO." I go because I WANT TO.... I now go because deep on my heart to the core, I WANT to go...I LOVE being thereto worship with those that are His....and I am just a little sad because I am missing that this morning. So even though I am missing out on being with my brothers and sisters in Christ and am not there, I can still worship God here---and of course it is different than worshiping together with a small part of the members of His Body, but we do NOT "have to go to church" (another misconception in Christianity at times) to worship God. OUR WHOLE LIVES NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, (Or don't do) are an offering to worship to Him anyways. AND IT ISN'T ABOUT WHAT WE DO OR DON'T DO ANYWAYS..............IT'S ALL ABOUT WHAT HE DID FOR US!!!!!!!
And Yet, I KNOW that GOD understands....He truly UNDERSTANDS that I woke up feeling totally exhausted and slightly ill because I wrote one more page in this healing process that took a lot out of me last night, and He KNOWS that I have tons more to write today--and He KNOWS the strength that that will require--which is every ounce of strength that I have. And HE UNDERSTANDS and knows my heart better than even I do. And it REALLY IS OK.....IT IS OK TO REST IN HIM TODAY AND TO TRUST HIM IN IT ALL BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHAT I TRULY NEED AND WILL GIVE THAT TO ME,(and all of us), UNSPARINGLY. No condemnation.
So back to the topic of this post. "So you weren't a Christian and you went to the mission field?"
And my answer to that question(WITH LOTS OF EXPLANATION TO FOLLOW so you understand) is 'Yes. Yes I did."
And then someone might ask (not that anyone has yet), "But that is awful!!! Weren't you deceiving and lying to us?"
And then My answer to that question is, "Yes, and for that, and to everyone that was involved or touched by that, be it supporters, my missions agency, or simply people that prayed for me, I am so so so very very very sorry." And I don't say that a some flippant worldly sorrow thing such as the "I am sorry," like the five year old that gets caught and needs a spanking and wants to avoid it at all costs. I say that from a NEW heart that God in His grace and mercy has TOTALLY changed and brought to trust and TRUE REPENTANCE---He brought me to Himself!!!! Praise His GLORIOUS NAME AND REJOICE WITH ME!!!! LET'S CALL IT WHAT IT IS!!! LET'S CALL IT--THE TRUTH--- HE SAVED ME!!!! It ISN'T that I was a Christian before and was just "cold" in my walk with God (for example as some have tried to tell me). I say this lovingly with all due respect. I know you mean well, and it is a hard one to swallow, but I KNOW the truth. Walk with God???? I DIDN'T HAVE A WALK WITH GOD--THERE WAS NO RELATIONSHIP.
So before anyone starts panicking allow me to explain--to explain HOW GOD ha taken all of this and woven it together and explain as He has showed it to me as I HAVE LOOKED AT MY LIFE, and the tapestry it is becoming by His design, WITH HIM!!! And please read this carefully...VERY CAREFULLY....seek to UNDERSTAND what I am saying.
THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION-------no one can cast the first stone...Jesus said, "Go, and sin no more!!" At the point of salvation THAT is what HE SAYS TO EACH ONE OF US!!! (Not that we won't continue to sin, but it is a different ATTITUDE and WAY OF LOOKING AT OUR SIN-----we no longer willfully want to sin against Him because WE UNDERSTAND and I mean really understand what HIS LOVE IS AND WHAT HE ACCOMPLISHED FOR US BECAUSE OF THAT LOVE.)
So about the mission field some of you are probably wondering well, "WHY did you want to get there so bad if you weren't a Christian?" That is a valid and good question to ask. Thank you very much for asking it.
Allow me to explain that one by saying the following..........
I don't want to delve into the past of my life (that God has so graciously been healing) to pull it out and make it look like a big sob story for everyone (Because it ISN'T ONE), but I do need to say something. What I need to say is that from a definite very early elementary school age, I came to a place very early on that through various experience, I believed several lies. One of the BIG lies was that, "I would never have anything valuable to contribute to the world that was meaningful, when I grew up." (MAJOR LIE YOU All----major lie even now we see it is not true) But I believed it, and therefore operated out of it JUST AS IF it were the truth. On the other hand, even though I believed that, I desperately wanted to have something to contribute that was valuable....and had an "I'll show everyone I can do it" attitude. So both of these mindsets were going on at the same time. (No, I do not need a psychologist and yes, it makes sense to me WHY that was the case.)
So for most of my school years I was operating out of that lie. On one hand I felt that I would never have anything to give the world, and the future looked hopeless (REMEMBER THIS WAS THEN...and not TODAY NOW) and on the other hand I wanted to do something that would last forever. I became interested in missions, because although I had not been brought to trust in Christ, I KNEW deep in my heart that through JESUS CHRIST ALONE was THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED. When I went on my first high school mission trip in the summer of 1996, I had chance to "lead two boys to Christ," which really to me then was nothing other than "a stinking (sorry for the strong word) prayer that someone would pray." But Yet it was at the same time----salvation (if their "conversions" were real and they would last forever.)
See, I was involved in something that would last forever----ultimate fulfillment, or so I thought. I wasn't going to NOT TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH--I KNEW WHAT THE TRUTH WAS--in a sense of asserting to certain facts! I may not have known it truly for myself but I was NOT going to deceive others by telling them something incorrect. Their eternity was at stake.....and so was mine but I didn't realize it yet.
So very quickly because missions filled the requirement of "having something fulfilling to contribute that would last forever" it became a "god" to me. AND I MEAN EXACTLY THAT!! Getting to the mission field to "serve God" BECAME MY EVERYTHING. (Actually it is disgusting because I wasn't "serving God" at all---I was totally serving MYSELF----and that is SO SO SO SO SICK that it just about makes me LITERALLY sick!) I was going to do whatever I had to do to get what I thought was going to make me happy and fulfilled (which was going to the mission field), completed. NOTHING and NO ONE was going to stand in the way. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I DID!!!!!(Major pride! THAT is also disgusting!)
Someone may ask the question, "Well, wait a minute-just hold on! Didn't God lead you to the mission field?"
And to that my answer is, "Yes, in the midst of all, yes. He very clearly did lead, provide, open doors, etc. (and for those that don't know that amazing part of the story, I will have to type it up sometime.) It was very obvious that as much as I was trying to keep my hands in it and not let go of it, He was allowing and working so that it would come together too.
I did whatever I could to ensure that it would happen......including at Moody and even up to the time of applying with my missions agency. As I mentioned before in the "A Change of heart and a willful consent to be loved" post, my integrity literally STUNK. I don't think we need anymore explanation here--ENOUGH HAS BEEN SAID!! (and for that, like I said, I am so so truly very sorry.)
So the next question someone might ask could be (not that anyone has yet, at least not to me directly), "So were we WRONG TO SEND YOU TO THE MISSION FIELD?? I mean for pete's sake, we WERE STANDING BEHIND YOU IN ALL SENSES!!"
And right now I am about ready to cry my eyes out because my answer to you is, "No! No! You were not wrong to send me to the mission field even though I was not a Christian! And from the bottom of the depths of my heart, I say, "Thank you!...Thank you..thank you...thank you for loving me enough to be standing behind me while this was all going on and even I did not yet realize it completely. AND ABOVE ALL, THANK YOU FOR PRAYING BECAUSE THE PRAYER OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE AVAILING MUCH...and as you prayed you knew NOT what YOU WERE PRAYING FOR--or WHAT WAS REALLY NEEDED IN MY LIFE!!
I continue by saying what I truly believe and that is this. ME, BEING SENT TO THE MISSION FIELD AS A NON-CHRISTIAN, WAS ALL WITHIN THE PLAN, THAT HAD WRITTEN FOR MY LIFE BEFORE THERE WAS TIME,, OF OUR PRECIOUS LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!!! Let me tell you why!!
Why would that be? Well, let me say that the mission field was to me like the corporate world is like to so many in the world. They have a dream of what they've always wanted (like a CEO, or an actress in Hollywood, or a musician, or maybe it is something as simple as finding your spouse, getting married, and having kids only to discover that your family isn't what you thought it would be, or maybe it is always wanting to have kids with your spouse and finding out you can't, or whatever.) They climb to the TOP of the ladder and they make it. But after a short while of being on top, and having accomplished everything that they thought was going to satisfy them, they realize it doesn't satisfy and are left helpless and empty....and I believe that is the place that a lot of people despair to the point of wanting to end their lives. (Oh if only those precious, lost, and hurting people would but READ THIS--to GOD'S GLORY!!...and be turned to His salvation.)
You see, everything that I just wrote about in the corporate world is EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED TO ME WHEN I WENT LONG-TERM IN MEXICO. My short term experience for six months in 2005-2006 was very euphoric, although hard at the same time-I hadn't hit the bottom yet. God HAD TO SEND ME LONG-TERM TO SHOW ME THAT everything I had dreamed about and put al of my strength, energy and hope in for 13 plus years was NOT GOING TO SATISFY ME!!! THAT I WAS EMPTY< DESPERATE and OH SO VERY MISERABLE WITHOUT HIM!!! He could have brought me to himself some other way, but it wouldn't have been the same as me "going out there to get it" only to discover it didn't satisfy.
And IT IS AMAZING HOW GOD WAS USING MY TEAM MEMBERS IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS ALTHOUGH THEY DON'T TOTALLY KNOW HOW YET---AND I PLAN TO TELL THEM, AND MAYBE EVEN WRITE IT IS A FUTURE POST (IF GOD LEADS WITHOUT USING SPECIFIC NAMES FOR PRIVACY)--- not sure we will see---have to pray about it. It is clear that GOD began trying to slowly and truly draw me to himself around this time (July 2009) a year ago. THE details are TRULY amazing!! To God be the glory!!
So, back to the part about nothing satisfying and the corporate ladder,part of my despair and drastic choices in Mexico had to do with the fact that I realized I had nothing left and I mean NOTHING!! Nothing left to hold on to.......nothing left to look forward to...and nothing left that I had as a goal to accomplish. At 31 years of age, I had succeeded and DONE IT all. And another part of my drastic desperate choices was the fact that I was hurting so bad inside from unresolved losses that I had never allowed myself to really grieve--and I did not know it!!
So when I came back to my hometown and moved into the House of Hope, at first all I could think was condemnation and all that had happened and the choices I had made that had led me here. I THOUGHT I HAD FAILED GOD AND EVERY OTHER PERSON THAT I CONSIDERED A FRIEND THAT HAD STOOD BY ME ALL OF THIS TIME through the "years of being led to the mission field"----BUT IT WAS ALL A LIE.
When I started looking at my life from beginning to end and processing it and dealing with it and grieving and God began to heal things.....He had no other option but to show me the depths of His love like never before.....that is the "WHY and HOW" of how God orchestrated it all together.
And Honestly, before God as my witness, and the Spirit of God that now dwells inside of me testifying that I am HIS FOREVER, I can say this.I am totally overflowing with joy being used by God here and now. Lord willing (and I MEAN THAT TRULY), I will go back to the field for different reasons when the time is right and until He moves me on and clearly says he has something else planned for me. HE HAS THE GOOD WORKS PLANNED IN ADVANCE FOR ME TO DO (Please see Ephesians 2:10. IT IS NO LONGER ME LIVING FOR MYSELF, doing what I want, WITH MYSELF ON THE THRONE---EVERYTHING I DO WITH MY VERY LAST BREATH I WILL DO FOR HIM AND FOR HIS GLORY ALONE!!!!!!
HE DIED FOR ME AND SAVED AND FOUND ME, AND THAT IS ENOUGH OF A REASON!!!!!!!!!!!
So that is my story--I have been raw, honest, open, unafraid, and am under no condemnation in doing so!!!
But what about YOU dear friend? What about YOU????
If you haven't read the "Why Praying the Prayer wouldn't work for me" post from yesterday, I encourage you to do so. It is IMPORTANT!!!!!
And then I have two questions for you to honestly seek God about and answer----JUST YOU AND HIM!!!
What is your "service for God" really about, way deep down? Is it about you "looking good" in the eyes of others or "pleasing yourself?"? If the answer is yes, it's ok--JUST BE honest WITH GOD because mine was!! And if your service to God is not out of those intentions, WONDERFUL!!! I don't want you doubting that it somehow IS if it ISN'T.
I don't know anyone's heart--only YOU and God REALLY do and that is why I address both sides--it is not out of me trying to condemn anyone---or judge anyone--I AM NOT GOD OR THE HOLY SPIRIT BY ANY MEANS AND AM NEVER WANTING TO BE----I WOULD DO A HORRIBLE JOB!!!! I am just asking questions to get you thinking honestly and processing that is all.
The second question is Is it possible that your "service to God" is just something that you "do" but in the midst of it you don't truly KNOW HIM? Examine yourself before HIM and at the same time Allow the Spirit of God, who knows all things and searches all things, to EXAMINE YOUR HEART.....be still and simply allow Him the opportunity.
I know I say things strongly sometimes, but I can't apologize for it! GOD'S TRUTH IS STILL THE TRUTH----and that is ABSOLUTE DEFINED TRUTH AS BY THE WORD OF GOD AND NOTHING ELSE!! Our culture has gotten so stinking wishy-washy about truth and what truth REALLY is, that it is absolutely pathetic!!!! We Don't STAND UP FOR ANYTHING ANYMORE (in general cultural terms as a whole, I mean)AND BECAUSE OF THAT WE WILL FALL FOR ANYTHING!!! The next statement is graphic, but the truth of what I feel RIGHT NOW!!(If I was in a certain place of the world where my head would be CUT OFF or I would be put to death for saying that, I would be perfectly OK with that!!)
I SAY IT STRONGLY BUT BECAUSE OF ONE REASON AND ONLY ONE!!!! THE PRECIOUS LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELS ME!!!!!!