Good Monday, y’all! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I had yet another bizarre but blessed one with a wild storm and my poor hubby having to go on an emergency run when the power went out at the water plant! Then Sunday morning as we pulled into the parking lot at church, he got a call to come locate some water lines for a repair crew cleaning up after storm damage. Thankfully we got to go to the second service and after that, we had a nice cookout with the baby kids and a short visit with the firstest kids before they rushed off the Lexington to pick up a replacement phone after Corey’s got dropped into a pump station. sigh
There’s always some off-book craziness going on around here, it seems. This is why I avoid making plans whenever possible.
This weekend we had another amazing sermon. Pastor Trevor said God nudged him at like 5 p.m. Saturday that his planned sermon was NOT the one he needed to give. So yesterday we heard about something we all have. BAGGAGE!
It fit in so perfectly with all the sermons in this series, What Lies Beneath. He talked about how we all have baggage and what makes it bad is when we tote that baggage around everywhere with us! It’s inevitable to accumulate some baggage if you live very long, but we don’t have to drag it around with us.
How do you know if you’re carrying your baggage around? You’ll know by how often the source of your baggage comes to mind. Does that event, that word, that action from your past come rushing to mind often? Then you are carrying yours around with you.
I think baggage–a regret, a shameful guilt, that something we wish we’d never done–results most often from the fact that we have failed to forgive ourselves AND that we haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness. I know that is so true for me.
I’m so thankful that I’m finally starting to recover from the years I’ve spent feeling guilty for many things, feeling worthless and unlovable…unforgivable. Whether it was from something I actually did or said OR from the shame and guilt that has been spoken over and to me by others, I have carried all that around far too long.
The thing is, it’s hard to give ourselves a break of any kind sometimes. We feel the full weight of what we did or said, all the shame and regret of that one moment (or several, sometimes) that we begin to identify with that in such a way that we forget how big God’s grace is.
If we’re a Christian though, we should know that God’s love is unconditional and His forgiveness is vast and easily attained! Have you ever thought about the lives of the people we think of as “Bible heroes”? Do you realize they were NOT perfect people, they weren’t faultless, super-humans who always did the will of God or even pleased God!
For instance… consider Abraham. In Isaiah 41:8, 2 Chronicles 20:7 and James 2:23 God Himself calls Abraham His “friend”. Abraham! The adulterous (even though he had his wife’s permission!) patriarch of the Jewish nation who lied about his wife resulting in her being basically prostituted out to the king of a foreign country!! SERIOUSLY!?? And yet, yes, AFTER all of that, God referred to him as a friend of God. Wow!
How about King David? David is called a man after God’s own heart even though he committed adultery, impregnated the wife of one of his soldiers and when he couldn’t get the soldier to sleep with his wife to offset any suspicions, he sent the soldier to the front lines of war knowing he would be killed!! (2 Samuel 11) Talk about messed up! David’s great grandmother was the prostitute Rahab (Joshua 2) and his grandmother was a Moabite (not even a Jew) on “public assistance”! (Ruth 2) That is one jacked up family history! And yet, God considered him to be “a man after” His own heart.
Does that mean God’s sense of morals is messed up? Um, no. It means that He looks past our screw-ups and regards our honorable actions above the sin of our pasts! If we make Him Ruler of our lives, our sin and our past mistakes are no match for His boundless grace!
If you have read the story of our marriage, you know that we are in the process of healing from a decades-old wound, a curse of sorts, that at long last has been broken. This past week has been amazing. It’s really weird to be looking 50 in the eye but feel like a couple of newlyweds. Heh. But that’s how it’s been around here. After all those years of living with the confusion, the depression and sometimes anger, with the guilt and all the whispers from satan of “You’re defective. You’ll never enjoy your marriage fully. You must have done something horrible for God to punish you this way…” it’s been a struggle for me not to start worrying. He’s back whispering in my head again…“This is probably another fluke. It’s just a stage. After your husband being so patient all these years, he is probably getting bored with you. Maybe now that he can have you any time, it’s not as great as when it was seldom-if-ever? Maybe now that you can be intimate with him all the time, he’s realizing you’re not all that fun.”
I voiced as much to Tommy last night and he was flabbergasted that I’d think this way. He asked if I was getting bored with him! Not at all! It’s just…well, it’s just the devil, that’s all. God has done this. He has healed us after 30 years and given us this sweetness, this closeness that we’ve never had, satan wants to create doubt, fear and uncertainty.
I refuse!! That is old baggage. The fear, the guilt and anger, the confusion about why it was happening to us. Now we have this amazing story of healing and grace! He’s not taking that from me…I won’t listen to the devil’s lies anymore!
God has given me a new reason to smile. One I never thought I’d have, but here it is. Healing has come and I shall praise Him, smile and claim it!
I’ve mentioned our LIFE group before, but I thought I’d expand on it a little. It’s become a big part of our lives, Tommy’s and mine. As I said in this post, we were really thirsting for community, for a deeper, more close connection with fellow believers. We wanted a way to share our testimoniesRead More »