I have never before been in the midst of such a deeply real spiritual battle.
This last week has been an incredible challenge for me spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
In discipleship today, I uncovered lies and hidden shame that have rooted themselves so deep into my life. In my past there have obviously been a lot of mistakes, but one that I call my Mistake, that has shaped my life, heart, and attitude in ways I didn’t even think possible- and not necessarily for the better.
In that Mistake (which I’d love to share on a one on one basis, but I’m not particularly keen on writing on the internet) I never received grace or forgiveness– but rather judgment, shame, and a persona of being unforgivable and the greatest sinner. These identities wove themselves into the deepest parts of my heart, and apparently never left. I knew truth; that I was forgiven and that God loves me. I’ve moved past the Mistake itself, but its repercussions are what have dug so deeply into my heart. In facing things that I can’t “go home” from here in Ocean City, I have discovered Shame’s comfortable living situation in my heart, as well as its roommates, the Lies. It’s been incredibly challenging to face these things head on for myself, and even harder to allow others into this place of pain and shame.
“But God.” (Eph. 2:4.) But God is more. But God carrie[d/s] my shame and my sin. But God forgave, and forgives. But God fights for me. But God lives IN me.
Which brings me to another thing I’ve been studying lately: Who the heck is the Holy Spirit and why has NO ONE talked to me about Him before?! This seems to have been a serious ‘miss’ in my spiritual upbringing. *Not blaming anyone, but just disappointed in missing it myself.*
Learning and studying more and more about the Spirit, and SEEING what walking by the Spirit is and really means- it seems like a really hard-to-miss, 1/3 of Christianity that was skipped for most of my life.
This week we’ve been talking a lot about living water vs. broken cisterns: Jeremiah 2:13,
“My people have committed two sins:They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
I’ve been processing through a lot of the broken cisterns that I go to for satisfaction in my own life; some include my friendships (even the amount of), approval, and my own performance. I’ve definitely seen how focusing on and running to these things for life and satisfaction leave me so empty and desperate for truth.
Now I’m learning what God means in John 7:37-38 when He says,
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Living Water = the Holy Spirit. Who is IN ME. I don’t need to GO anywhere for my satisfaction- my true and pure satisfaction comes from something- someONE - that is already dwelling inside of me.
Like, For real, God?
I mean I knew this, but I didn’t know this. It seems so silly- so obvious - but it’s an elusive truth, I’ve found.
***Another note of importance to me: I am not in control of my own satisfaction- the Holy Spirit is.
|Date Night with Jesus on the Beach <3|
Smiling pic with me and the Holy Spirit, because we
enjoy each other's company so much!
Because I’ve been trying to satisfy myself for 19 years now (and I’m sure I’ll continue in vain many more times) but it sure hasn’t worked out yet. So, yeah, it must obviously be out of my control. The Holy Spirit is claiming that He, and He alone, is able to satisfy. He’s taking the WHOLE responsibility of satisfactorily meeting my every need on HIMSELF.
--> AND, knowing that God is the definition of good, and loves me more than I could ever love myself, shouldn’t I trust Him to handle my needs for me? Well I mean logically yes, but I know the difference between head knowledge vs. heart knowledge so very well.
So, this doesn’t seem very cohesive or beautifully written, but it is a glance at what's been going on in my heart this last week.
***Ministry-wise this week: It’s been incredible- I haven’t been scared to initiate or talk to people about God or present the gospel yet at all, praise God for that! I have been able to tangibly see God soften people’s hearts towards Him, and draw them sooo close to salvation, that I can’t help but get SO excited because I know God will finish the work He began in them if they are truly called to Himself! Being able to witness part of that, and BE a part of that, is indescribable.
*Note about the picture the the right. Really cool for me to think about how the verse says how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news- not how wonderful is the intellect of those, or the theology of those, just the feet. As we walk out in obedience here in Ocean City to spread the gospel, it's been amazing to watch God work. :)