March 21, 2011
by Brenda Harmon on Monday, March 21, 2011
My walk has been a long odd one–but for the first time in my life, at age soon to be 37, I am now understanding the process and changing power of Grace, and Mercy, and that Salvation is a gift–a cleansing-a rebirth. There has been a revival of my soul that was until recently gasping for breath. I can’t explain it—there are no words! I’m still me—but things have changed—God is breaking away all the things that weighed me down.
To break it down, when I was little I looked at God as a judge in a black robe. I thought to get to heaven you had to be perfect-like I thought everyone around me in church was. I tried to “earn” His love, and then got completely turned off and thought it was hopeless—which ultimately made me hopeless and consumed by worries-because I thought I had to control and fix everything—both at home and at work. Trust me, that is one pit I wouldn’t wish on ANYONE–to believe in God but also think that there’s NO WAY He could love you? That is blackness in a bottomless hole. Believe me. I’ve even been down the road of running away from His love and thinking I knew how to handle my own life. I didn’t realize it at the time but that was exactly what I was doing. I was wrapped up in sin and self-centeredness. It was all about me-what I wanted. I’ve done just about everything either thinking I didn’t deserve God’s Grace, couldn’t earn it and then feeling condemned because I couldn’t, or being completely an idiot and thinking I could survive without it. I still have those thoughts of “not deserving” creeping back in, especially lately (I think because I’ve gotten plugged back in and the devil is not happy), but the difference is now I’m armed. And I’m arming myself more every day. I have been in an awful place-my soul was dark, and bitter-I couldn’t even see it at the time—and it wasn’t until one friend prayed with me one night and literally commanded Satan to leave me alone, another wrote to me, and my husband stood calmly by my side praying the whole time, that my eyes were opened to what I was doing.
So through my life, first I did what I thought I was supposed to out of fear, then I tried to do what I wanted to out of rebellion. I’ve hurt the ones I love the most, that loved me through all of it. I’ve done things through my life that would probably surprise you. I was acting in sin, and I almost walked away from everything. BUT-Thanks and praise to Him, God has not left me at any point in my life. Ever. It’s by His grace that I’m still breathing today. Even when I thought I was a “Christian”, I know now I still wasn’t getting it. I wasn’t grasping that Grace, and I sure wasn’t letting it change me. I see it now, looking back on EVERYTHING. He was pursuing me the whole time! Through my family, through my friends, He hammered me with His love that doesn’t know an end. Even when I was doing things I knew I shouldn’t, he was speaking to me, deep in my heart. He’s still hammering and I pray that He never quits.
So surprise! I’m not perfect. I have stumbled, and fallen, rolled around in the mud—and then I sat and cried in it. THAT was when God said “Now, Kid–Are you Ready?” He picked me up, used His blood to clean me off, dried my tears, told Satan “This one is MINE” and is now holding my hand. I have begun a new and renewed walk with the One who revived me. Sometimes it feels sort of like boot camp—I see the tests for what they are now, and I am constantly tested, must constantly be on the mark, must constantly stay connected to my new Commander. But it’s awesome and with His help I will stay on this course. He has put me at a place-Out of the Box Worship Center–and has surrounded me with people who love me exactly the way I am. There is transforming power in that church!
I’m here to tell you: You may think you can’t trust Him–you may even think you don’t NEED to trust Him. But that trust–that faith, no matter how small it starts out, will connect you to the most awesome changing power you’ve ever felt in your life. It is a consuming fire that burns everything else out and begins to soften that metal in your heart so that God can mold it. It’s not easy–don’t fool yourself with that thought—LIFE is not easy. Things will not automatically get better for you—it’s not even about you—it’s about HIM. AND that fire can and will hurt, because God is molding and hammering me to this day—but I will take it over where I was ANY DAY. God is also not a genie to grant your wishes—God is God—whether you believe in Him or not–He does what He does, through you—for His will-His purposes that we can’t even begin to understand. Even where I was has a purpose. That black hole has a purpose. That’s where the faith and trust have to come in. Life on this earth is not easy, but God will give you new eyes and a new way of looking at things. It’s a walk–it’s a daily choice to follow Christ…and He will continually feed you what you need to grow. He WILL NOT LEAVE YOU-but He will also not leave you alone—as in expect to be changed. He will be with you till this earth is no more and forever after that. He promises. I don’t even know why I’m writing this–I’m just compelled to. I finally get it!! It’s clicking. Loud and clear. I owe it first and foremost to my Savior. But also to my husband, who also NEVER gave up on me, and to my friends, who prayed with me and helped me to see-even though I was hurting them in the process, and to Out of the Box Worship Center, where I was led to back at the beginning of the year and have set out on a journey that is bringing me closer to God every single day. My prayer is for every soul to feel that fire and yield to it. If you yield to it—there are no chains on this earth that can hold you!
Love In Christ,