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Archive for February, 2009

It’s been a long time since my first post about seeking God’s will for my life right now. I remember that first day I felt so excited, so sure that God had huge things planned for me and I was so ready to embark on that journey right then. But I didn’t continue in that fashion. I became distracted by my new boyfriend, by the relationships I was building, by the importance I felt when asked to be the preschool Sunday School teacher. I grew lazy with my schoolwork, I didn’t keep up a lot of friendships that were important to me, I selfishly pursued only that which benefited me directly and immediately. But most importantly, I discontinued my walk with Christ.

I didn’t read the Bible on my own anymore. I was more likely to skip a church service. I didn’t listen to my mp3 player, full of my favorite God-glorifying music, and I found more joy in watching movies than I did in talking with my Saviour. I found that suddenly I had no time for devotions, no time for fasting or meditation. Where I had previously been zealous for the spiritual disciplines, they ceased to even cross my mind. My prayers were few and far between and never in depth, always quickly-worded, never sincere or heart felt, and never about someone else. My thoughts seemed to revolve around the here and now and how I could take full advantage of it.

But God does not let His people leave Him.  There is not one prodigal son He does not accept with open arms, not one lost sheep He doesn’t rescue and not one lost coin He doesn’t search the world over for. And not one Sarah Beth He doesn’t let ignore Him or His calling. It amazes me how utterly wrapped up in  myself I can become, with God every calling me to Himself and I can’t hear any of it. It’s not until God completely shakes my world up that I snap out of it and realize that I’ve gotten so lost I don’t know which way is up.

But even as God turns my world upside down, He is loving me. He yanks me out of the street, not to hurt me, but to save me. His mercies are ever new and His love never ends. Everything He does is for His kingdom and for His glory and it is in my best interest to work towards that goal as well. He is there to support me as my emotions go for a roller coaster ride and He is forever supplying all my needs because I can’t in my own power take care of myself.

Take my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above.

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My Story

God has truly proven to be my rescuer and my protector throughout my life. I can look back now, with a clearer vision of what was really happening behind the scenes and realize that my Redeemer loves me with a love that is pure and holy, meaning set apart, completely different from anything that we as humans can come up with. We don’t even have the capacity to explain or describe or understand God’s love.
 
When I was in 6th or 7th grade, right around that puberty/awkward stage, I got my first glimpse of porn. I was raised in a very conservative Christian home and had been homeschooled most of the my life at that time, so I hadn’t even heard much about porn up unto that point. But I knew in my heart that something wasn’t right about it. I didn’t understand why, but I was hooked. Mostly curiosity, but something else propelled me to that computer screen and to that Google homepage again and again when Mom wasn’t looking. Being young and naive, I didn’t realize that those pages track you so they can send you pop ups and emails to further the addiction. My mom eventually found out, was very upset with me, and I played the stupid card and pretended I had stumbled on it by accident once. Not even I understood the rot that was gathering in my heart.
 
I couldn’t go to porn sites anymore, but my curiosity was peaked at this point to sex and sexuality. My parents are great parents and they raised me right and taught me excellent morals but they forgot to teach me about sex. My mom said we listened to tapes about it at some point, but I don’t have any memory of it. Thinking back, I can only think of maybe 3 times of seeing my parents kiss, much less anything else. So sex wasn’t exactly anything I knew a lot about. I didn’t feel like this was something I could talk to my parents about (and what kid wants to talk to their parents about that) so I did my own research. Unfortunately, that research involved chatrooms and cyber sex, online dating websites,  and masturbation at night in my room. I was addicted to this stuff and I didn’t know why. I felt so dirty everytime I masturbated or had cyber sex with a complete stranger over the computer. I hated myself and felt like God must too. I saw Christianity as works not grace…I believed that once you prayed the prayer, than all the good things you did earned you God’s love. I wasn’t even sure how to know if the magic prayer worked, so I prayed it several times, I walked the aisle at church several times, I tried to get baptized several times. I felt so filthy most of the time, I thought I was light years away from God and that I had to work to get myself back close to Him…although I never felt closer than, oh say an entire continent. I would decide that I would never do anything sexual again, that I wasn’t supposed to have a sexuality, and that I wouldn’t give in anymore. And everytime I did give in, I’d fall deeper and deeper into this pit that pinned me in from all sides.
 
My senior year in high school I had my first serious boyfriend. He was totally out of my league, a football player for one of the schools in my district. It felt nice to have a guy pursue me, tell me he loved me, talk about marrying me…it wasn’t until after the break up that I realized that shouldn’t happen within the first month of dating someone. For 9 months I was in a very emotionally dependent relationship, that involved me dropping all my morals, dreams, plans, aspirations…basically changing myself to be someone that my boyfriend would want. I remember thinking the first 2 weeks or so of us dating “I would have sex with him if it meant he’d be with me forever.” I lost about 20 pounds in around a month, because he thought I should be thinner. I started wearing more makeup, paying more attention to the clothes I was wearing, sneaking out at night to rendevous with him. I let him do all kinds of things that up until meeting him, I had already decided I wouldn’t do until marriage. We never had sex, frankly because he broke up with me before we got to that point. He told me one night that he would never abandon me, that he wouldn’t be like his father who left him when he was 5 and the next morning he broke up with me. This is after he convinced me to go to a community college instead of a big prestigious school out of state like I had planned so I would be near him, convinced me to marry him as soon as he graduated from high school, had me completely change my plans for children and my theological beliefs, and had me plan out how we would survive financially once we were married. After the breakup, he deleted me off his myspace, blocked me, called my father and told him I was stalking him and that if I didn’t stop he’d have his dad come and have words with mine. Several months later, when I was in college, he toilet papered my house and had a bunch of his buddies prank call me.
 
After that, I was a wreck. I couldn’t stop crying for over a month, and didn’t get over him until almost a year later. I didn’t have any plans for college anymore but God somehow got me into Dallas Baptist University with maximum scholarship possible and plenty of financial aid. After the breakup, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how relationships were supposed to work, but I knew that I desperately wanted to be loved. After my previous relationship, I concluded that sex was love. My boyfriend seemed most happy with me when I would fool around with him. So that summer, I started opening myself up to guys physically. I had very thick walls put up so I wouldn’t get hurt again. I was going to be in control and I was never going to feel that vulnerable again. So any guy that wanted to date me, that respected me or treated me right, I shut down. I wasn’t having any of it, because I would have to open myself up and it hurt too much. But the physical, I could do that. I would feel loved, for a few days or weeks or months, and I didn’t have to take my walls down. In fact, I could completely disconnect while the guy did his thing and not even be affected by it. It seemed like the only solution available to me. I thought this was how things were supposed to be.
 
Along this scary road that I had found myself on, I truly discovered God’s grace and love and mercy. See, He had brought me to DBU to get me away from everyone I knew so that I could finally here His voice. He taught me that He is not about works, but about love. He romanced me to Himself, held me when I cried, whispered how much He loved and adored me in my ear as I slept, and protected me financially and sexually. There are so many times I should have ended up living in a box without a penny to my name, raped or molested but God always had my back, even when I didn’t care what happened to me.
 
God is my Lover, my Rescuer, my Protector, my Alpha and Omega, my Jehovah Jireh, my Elohim, my Adonai. He will never leave me nor forsake me, no matter how many times I run from Him. He has healed all my hurts, He has torn down all my walls, and He is leading me in the way everlasting. And He has awakened a passion inside me and given me this cry in my heart:
 
I want to be leading and changing. I don’t want to be a side person or a follower, I don’t want to be there when history changes, I want to be the catalyst! It doesn’t matter where, what, or how, I just want to shout from the rooftops what God is speaking to my heart and see it take action on the people around me. I could take up nearly any cause and be its champion, I could cry out for those without voices, I could speak the truth that transforms lives. I don’t care what God calls me to do as long as I’m not sitting on the sidelines or dealing with the mundane. I want in the game, I want on the front lines!
 
I want to be a Rescuer, because my Rescuer lives in me.

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