I am a daughter of God, a servant of the Lord, a wife to a patient husband, and a mama of two forgiving boys. God has placed these three men in my life rightfully so. I thank Him for them everyday. And like so many of the Lord’s children, I am a work-of-glory-in-progress. I am on a journey to reclaim and renew my life in Christ. It took me 34 years to learn that when nothing else works, God does!
Lost and Found
After a lifetime of struggling with the illusions I paraded for others to see, haphazardly treading troubled water on my own feeble strength, I was drowning, suffocating within myself. I was broken in every sense of the word. My body, my mind, my spirit, my faith, and my heart were ransacked daily by emotion. Vital pieces of me were tossed to and fro, the things of worth were eventually carried off by this relentless thief. I was mortally wounded and in terrible turmoil. Rad seems like a happy word until you live with it. Rage, anxiety, and depression ruled and consumed every part of me. See, not so “rad” afterall. I was blinded by darkness and chained to its bottomless pit but through it all I was not alone. Internal torment and suffering kept me company. They even ushered in their closest friend, hopelessness. She nagged and sneered all day long about why I simply can’t go on. When her job was done. I was done. Period. Physically, mentally, and emotionally done.
But here comes the rescue as I like to say… God got ahold of me in an amazing way!
Reclaimed and Renewed
The dawn of a new day bursts forth as the sun glides across the horizon illuminating the darkness and weariness of night with shining prisms of gorgeous light, so does the One who seeks to save that which is lost, He rescues them from the dominion of darkness and transfers them into the Kingdom of His Son – the Light of the world – and there He ministers healing, redemption, and forgiveness of sins. Like a magnet of Love He draws all people, everywhere – every tribe, tongue, and nation – personally and intimately to Himself.
When I say, “God got a hold of me!” Oh, I mean but He absolutely did! He pursued my eternal soul and wooed my heart with all-consuming compassion and unfailing love. He cared that much for me – His daughter – that He scooped me out of the muck and mire that confined me like quicksand in the hold of the pit and held me in His powerful hands. I saw Him as He was. Perfect and True. I knew Him, like I knew Him, like I knew Him. The Great I AM – the Almighty Creator of everything. The Faithful of Ages, my story…He knew. His brilliant perfection drove me to my knees. My face buried in His palm, I trembled and wept before Him. He lovingly lifted my head to meet His gaze. His touch sent rockets of energy through my entire being – the Light of Life bubbled within my veins. I quickly cried, “My God, my God, You are too wonderful for my eyes to behold.” Through the sweetness of tear-soaked lashes my reflection in His eyes glimmered. In Him I am not what I once was. I am made new and set free. Illuminated by the flawless Truth of His Word. Not broken but made whole. Holy, righteous, and royal. I am His and He is mine.
After many, many agonizing years without Him, I finally surrendered my life in repentance to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I traded ashes for beauty, bonds for freedom, and sin for the Righteousness of God. All of Heaven rejoiced with me on May 23 2013. He works in such amazing ways; He continues to renew and rescue me daily. His Word transforms my life from dark solitude, desperate pleas, and the deepest pit of despair into blossoms of His Grace and Mercy.
Despite my best effort, this daughter of God is still not perfect, nor will I be this side of Heaven unless Jesus Christ returns during my lifetime (Oh, how I yearn to behold thy face Jesus. Even so come Lord, I beckon thee with great longing and desire!). But until then… I take up my cross and follow my Savior to Calvary. There I am crucified with my Lord Jesus. Spiritually speaking, the life I lived died, was buried, and was then raised in newness of life with Christ and infused with His Holy Spirit. It is not I who lives then but Christ in me. He reigns in my body and I live by faith in Him. I stand in the resurrection power of His blood and I contend with my flesh – crucified nature – daily. I actively engage the weapons of spiritual warfare – the Sword of the Spirit and the Armor of God. I submit myself to the Mighty hand of God and He enables me to stand firm resisting the wiles of the devil.
Even with all viligance, I fail to do what I set out to do – I am continually at war with my old “flesh” nature and my new “Spirit” nature. I must resist depression and anxiety every day or it will enslave me again. Sometimes, I fail to exercise the Fruit of the Spirit – peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, love, and self-control – and I get all bound up in knots again.
Despite all this, I remain steadfast in obedience to His Will. I can face the ‘evil day’ with perseverance and a joyous spirit of contentment because I truly believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Though I seek daily to be more like Him, allowing God to conform me into the image of His Son is a gradual process from glory to glory and as He builds my character, I make every effort to add to my faith.
I eagerly fill every facet of my life with God. The more I store His Word in my heart, the stronger I become, and all the more I reclaim the stolen pieces of my life for Christ and His Kingdom. He is the Master of the 4-R’s – Reclamation, Redemption, Restoration, and Rest. How could I not share His awesomeness? How could I keep Him to myself? God revealed that the strongest calling of my life is hidden in Christ. I want to prepare the way the Christ’s return. Though His Spirit lives in me, I cannot get enough of Him. I know that may sound silly but it could not be truer. I cannot imagine being this on fire with an all-consuming passion for God and just going back to life status quo; sorry it is just not possible. I cast aside into the Lord’s shadow whatever meaningless life I previously planned for myself. I cannot imagine carrying on my new Christ-given life in meaningless, selfish ambition.
I have the deepest desire in my heart to proclaim the Gospel, to love well, write, disciple, and share Jesus with the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, nonstop until I join Him in eternity. I have no idea where God will lead me but I make no plans of my own, I put my entire trust in His hands to mold, make, and accomplish anything He wishes of me. It is the solemn prayer of my heart that nothing hinders me from sharing the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ with the billions of souls in this dying world and that I be a completely surrendered vessel for God’s glory. And let me tell ya, God will be found when we seek Him wholeheartedly and above all else!
But that is usually about the time the devil’s sorry nagging returns. Which come to find out, is the familiar voice of my old companion, hopelessness, “What can you do to help others, when you can’t help yourself? You continually struggle to get through your day, how can you possibly be of help to others when you’re not 100% fixed?” I got your number Accuser! Aside from Jesus – the perfect, spotless Lamb of God – is anyone 100%? Yeah, no, nice try! So, I remind him what Jesus once said to him, “Get thee behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” I am a daughter of God – blood bought, fully forgiven, joint-heir with Christ, sanctified, and sealed for the day of my redemption – and no serpent, evil spirit, demon, devil, antichrist, beast, dragon, nor satan himself is going to talk me down from the pedestal of Salvation Christ’s sacrifice put me on.
I cannot see my new Christ-like self, this amazing new creation, continuing negative patterns full of worry and strife, depression, anxiety, and self loathing – the very opposite of God’s beliefs about me. Yet knowing all this and acknowledging the fire for God raging inside me, I struggle with my “old-self” and sometimes fail miserably but therein lies the beauty of Salvation. I am not enough but Jesus is. Though I deserve death, He gave His life for mine. And not just for me but for the entire world. Every single one of them – of YOU. Glory be to God!
As you can see, I am a work-of-glory-in-progress. I am on a journey to reclaim and renew my life in Christ. It took me 34 years to learn that when nothing else works, God does!
I am so happy God has led us to one another. I invite you to join me on the journey to reclaim and renew our lives in Christ, while sharing God’s love with others. I believe we can, because God says we can!
God Bless You,
Jennifer – I Give God all the Glory