He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,,,All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked,, “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.,
Luke 4:16a, 22 & 24
Well I finally gave in and sat down to purge some old stuff...things that I only just realized...I was still holding onto. I am ready to let this go and open up some space for more of God in me, the deepest parts of me. So this is MY testimony...on what I learned recently...
I went to my regular Saturday afternoon service this past weekend...I LOVE my time with God...at church, or home...really anywhere. This past weekend was amazing. I prayed for a day or two before to get a message on a certain situation and relationship...He did NOT make me wait. From the moment I began the drive I could feel His presence deep in me. He built the excitement all the way there, then He MET me in the depths of my worship and while I had my hands lifted and my heart was completely EXPOSED I physically felt Him lean down and blow on the embers of faith in my heart...my heart physically warmed and a calm mixed with the most joyous peace started to completely envelope me...filling my lungs with a new breath...His breathand from my heart down to the tips of my toes and up to the very end of each hair...tears rolled down my face...tears that He named as they dropped into His palm...guilt, shame, anger, bitterness, unforgivness...with each one I felt something lifting...felt the freedom and lightness I was getting used to being my comfort zone...before I stepped back into the past.
As the Pastor started, I heard God whisper...."be still..." I got the answer to many questions. Some I hadnt even thought of yet...He has been giving me words for several days. Of course I tried to put it off...until He sits me down and gives me the words He wants to share...usually it takes a pretty good amount of pressure until I give in. I am stubborn...for as long as I can remember, I've been stubborn. As I sit down and begin to type I realize what He's given me...a TREASURE to share...His TREASURE...it reminds me of the last time I was too stubborn to share His TREASURE...no more tears.
God's been teaching me something about weight over the last year. He has walked me through losing 100 pounds. He taught me when I was full, He showed me what foods work with my body better...He got me to get up and move, whether it was to clean, shop, or workout at the gym. As of November I had lost over 100 pounds. None of this was easy...NOT one part of it...it was a struggle to continuously say "no" to foods I loved...stop eating when I was full, not just binge through emotions, habits and depression...it was physically painful for me to get up for myself, it still hurts when I get up for the first several steps I waddle...but God asked me daily to make choices...He asked me to choose Him...each time. In His strength I was able to make these choices...not mine. He was right there to show me what my choices were changing...not only on the outside....but also on the inside. Then I stumbled...I "went home"...it was easier to go back to my past coping techniques at "home."
I saw just how little strength I had in this struggle...in any struggle. I learned that every bit of work He did in me could crumble in an instant...all I had to do was make the choice to believe a lie...which led to making another and another...until I was fighting myself to keep making choices like God never trimmed away the lies that had become the layers of "who" I was...that I am the same person...the old me.
While I was dredging through this dirty old place I heard God say "you're not where I am taking you...but you're not who you were..." That was enough to make me choose His plan again...until I gave into the temptation to fill the empty painful areas with the food again trying to "show" someone I want to make proud...to make love me...to make happy, that God is changing me...He is moving mountains in me...He is making me like Him...He really is
I'm learning, one step at a time, that we are born with NO condtions...we are His workmanship...we have no conditions placed on us to perform. We are raised by parents that were raised by parents...on and on the history goes. Through each generation the parents bring their "conditions" from their parents...in some families their conditions are unattainable.
Most of us parents will say that we love our children unconditionally...do we really?? Do you think they believe we love them uncondionally??? As I look at the word unconditionally I think "without limits, NONE." But as I look at my parenting I see limits...some limits are for their safety, health, things necessary...but most of the conditions we set are to make us happy...to ease our stress...to make our family "look" like a good family.
As we grow up our parents, grandparents, siblings, and other family members, place more and more conditions on us for their love...or at least that what it seems like to me. That if I could just do ... then my parents will be proud of me and love me...If I can be more like they want they would love me...but the reality of it is that these "conditions" that are invisible are weighing us down...they are physically and spiritually weighing us down. As they put conditions on us, we then adopt that condition for our own...
I let the "conditions" that I grew up with take me back to the place God Himself walked me out of last year. I realized that what Jesus says is true, those in the past cant see out of the past...they cant see me for who God is making me...not until they are ready. If I rush Him, I am setting myself up to not only be hurt...but to hurt someone I love. Which is exactly what happened. I rushed head first into "saving" this person...she wasnt ready.
As He walks me away from this place again, I feel the the peace He alone can give me as I really learn that I cant go home...yet. I'll never give up hope.