Sunday, March 27, 2016

Being in the Know...

I took a hiatus from blogging. Maybe it was because I didn't have much to say; not sure. I think that I just needed time to breathe. To focus. To regroup. Mostly, I've been so busy with life, love, kids, career, finances...the list goes on and on. What I really needed was time to get to know Him.

See, I've always known that there was a God. My Mom taught me to read from the Bible. She drilled it into me that you were supposed to say your prayers. Do good deeds. Follow the 10 commandments. Treat others like you want to be treated. So on and so on. Honestly, it became monotonous. God wanted alot and what about all those other people that skate by on living less than holy and always seemed to be blessed?

One big thing that's been eating at me is that I've always known ABOUT Jesus. He was born in Bethlehem. He preached and told parables. Performed miracles. Pharisees and Saducees didn't like Him. He died for my sins and came back in 3 days. I mentioned him in my prayers. Said His name out loud when the kids plucked my last nerve. But...I don't feel like I KNEW Jesus. And this BOTHERED me. Deep down; just bothered me.

So about a month ago, I talked to God about this in my prayers. I asked him to help me grow closer to Jesus. I wanted to know Him. Really know Him. To know why He chose to die for Me when I don't deserve that kind of sacrifice. (None of us do.) Know why He loved me when I certainly wasn't worth it. 

I went a step further and told God to remove those people and things from my life that didn't need to be in it. And boy, did He listen! As a matter of fact, he removed the one person that I wanted most to stick around. And oh, how that hurt. Like a bandage being ripped off times a thousand--hurt! And He shook up some other things in my life as well. That raise I got came w/ a ton more of responsibility than I saw coming. The older kids decided that they were going to depart from all that I had taught them and when their plans backfired--Mom took the brunt of the blame. Guys, it felt like there was an earthquake under my feet and a hurricane at my window. I couldn't get my bearings and I was no longer in control. Which is a big thing to me. Honestly, I love being in control. So, I learned the hard way to be careful what you ask for.

Anyway, I was so upset that I became rebellious. Questioned His judgement and decided that I would only offer the sacrifice of prayer when I needed to because in my mind, He didn't care so I wasn't going to waste my breath or time. My faith was in the toilet and inside I hurt so bad that I would tell myself to take it hour by hour because I was just--DONE! This went on for weeks.

Until God decided to use my 11 year old daughter to wake me at 4 in the morning for a discussion on sinful nature. See, I had my Bible app set to Job because in my mind, that's how I felt. Just like Job. But this particular morning, I had a hard time going back to sleep so something said, read the Bible. At 4 a.m! So, I open my app and low and behold, my app was set to Romans. This is what I found:

Romans 8: 5-9 (NLT) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  

So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.  

That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

I knew this came straight from God because 10 years ago, He used a dream of me and her to pull me into church. Anyway, I felt sick inside because I knew that I was wrong. I thought about how I feel when my kids disrespect me. And refuse to listen even when I have their best interest at heart. I could only imagine how God felt and I was not too proud of myself. So...I started to take a long hard look. At myself. My life. My relationship w/ God AND with Jesus. And what I saw was something that I didn't like. Somehow, I'd stopped trusting God with my life, my heart, and my family. I'd gotten so complacent that looking back, even my prayers seemed insincere and just plain half-hearted. I'm surprised that he even listened.

I mulled over those verses that I'd read, thanked Him, and went to sleep. The next morning, when I prayed, immediately, I broke down. Apologized. And BEGGED for forgiveness. I asked him to comfort me, I told him that I trust him, and I meant it. Then I told him that I wanted to get to KNOW Jesus. Not about him, but know Him. And something in me just changed. How I think. How I feel. The way that I want to live.

So here lately, I'm in my Word constantly. Bible study apps and devotionals. Tithing. Getting back into church. And surrounding myself with Jesus. I can't tell you how long, if ever, that I've felt so much joy. And peace. And this feeling that whatever it is, I don't have to always try to handle it myself because He loves me, has a plan, and if I glorify Him through my trial, whatever the result is will be better than what I had. Because He promised. And his Mercy is new everyday.

One day, I was reading a devotional by Rick Warren and he said God can bring you closer to him with pain than he can with comfort. How right he was. Glory be to the one who was, is, and always will be!