O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy; And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south. They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. – Psalms 107:1-5
I’ve been hungry and thirsty for so long that I’ve forgotten what the abundant life is all about. I have struggled so long, chained by religion and my own failures and insecurities, that I had lost sight of God. I feared the opinions of church leaders more than God’s. In an effort to serve God and others with all my heart, I lost my joy and all the strength and fervor for God’s work and anything else. The chains I carried were more heavy than those of sin, as I was in torment and at a loss for the cause. Sadly, this is the story of person after person I have met lately.
After more than three years, God heard, God saw, and God moved. During that time, The Lord had been sending me to Genesis 12- Abraham’s call to leave all he knew and go where God was leading him. Lately, He sent me to Genesis 26- Isaac’s call to leave his home and move away from his home because of a famine. I had no idea what He wanted me to do. But through a series of events, he made it clear that it was time for me to go out from the church I had been a part of for many years. It was all I knew of church; most of my friends are there, so this has not been easy. But, He reminded me that I belong to Him, and that He was with me.
So I sent my letter to the pastor, spoke to to two members of leadership and said my good-byes. It was hard to hurt those that I still love and move on, but in retrospect it all for the best on all accounts. I am so blessed to have had such a devoted church family who stood by me in tough times, and I am grateful to them all. I’m not writing to criticize my former church in any way; some wonderful people are still there who truly love God, but it was simply time for me to go.
Ecclesiastes 3 reminds me that life travels in seasons that have their trials and test, but there are also joys, and I had not experienced much of the joys of serving God in so long, I’d forgotten that it was part of the Christian life. As I live and breath, for perhaps the first time in a long time, I can truly say I am free; I feel the freedom Jesus died for me to have! I’m out of all chains and bondages! I’m not struggling and feeling like I don’t know where I stand with God anymore. Jesus opened my eyes to many things that needed change in different areas of my life, and I cannot stop thanking Him for getting me out of the mess my life had become! Praises be to His holy name- to Him be all glory, power, praise, and dominion! Oh how I love You, Jesus! You are my heart. My true love, My King! Today, I’m dancing with Jesus in joy; I’m redeemed!
Christianity is NOT hard. Please seek The Lord if you are not experiencing the abundant life! God loves you and wants you to live free! Woo-Hoo! Celebrate Jesus!