Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't Stay Stuck

It is a New Year. In preparation for the big ball drop I made some "party food" for the festive occasion. One dish in particular I created was Taco Nacho Dip. It is a meaty cheese sauce that coats a spoon very well. After stirring the contents of my crock pot I turned on my faucet and watched as the hot water showered the spoon clean. As I watched the stubborn sauce cling to the spoon I began to think how much we as Christians are like that cheese that refuses to let go.

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone, or perhaps had a friendship with someone that you know is not good for you? Sometimes in life we tend to connect with the wrong people. We may recognize signs that the relationship is wrong for us, perhaps even toxic to us, but yet we cling to them as though we have no other choice. I have been in such a relationship. I am happily married now to a wonderful man that God chose for me but before I knew my husband I was in a relationship with a man who was not someone I needed to be with. Of course there were signs early on and I ignored them. It was easy to look past these flaws when I found other features to focus on. For some reason this person just mesmerized me and I followed after him like a puppy. Everyone around me could see that it was a bad situation. I made excuses or would simply smile and say nothing while deep down inside I knew they were right. My soul was vexed and I had no hope inside. Everything about who I was and what I truly believed in was shook to the core and I failed miserably when tempted with what to do.

Nearly a year later I was sick of the lies and the torment I had been through with this person. I had been faithful, kind, loving and loyal to someone who consistenly betrayed me, belittled me, used me and pretended to care. It turned my world upside down when I came to the realization that I had to end the relationship. For months I had built my life around this person. Instead of seeking what God wanted for me, I tried to earn this guy's approval. When I could never do that I tried harder and stopped seeking God for anything at all. I was miserable and hurting and I felt like I had no one to turn to. I had no hope and no peace. I really thought I was worth nothing at all. I remember I talked to my mom and sister who were so concerned for me. My sister was married and she knew I was unhappy in my relationship. She had met the man of her dreams... a man God had chosen for her and she wanted the same for me. I knew they were right. They told me I needed to make a decision.

I walked outside of the house and looked up at the big beautiful blue sky. It was as if my eyes were opened for the very first time. I could see clearly and with a very heavy heart I walked to a bright green grassy spot in the yard and fell to my knees. My head was bowed low and my shoulders slumped. I felt like I belonged under the earth. I felt hot tears form in my eyes and fall down my face as I prayed earnestly from my heart. I asked God what He wanted for me and that if He did not want me to be with this person I wanted Him to make a way. I said I knew what I wanted but not my will but His be done. I sat there alone for a little while. I felt the warmth of the sun on my arms and neck and I felt peace come upon me. A burden had been lifted and I knew I was set free.

I got into my car and drove over to his house. He met me at the door and when I tried to talk to him he was rude and angry. He hurled insults at me and said if I wanted to listen to my family then I should go home and be with them because he did not want to be with me anymore. He slammed the door in my face and I remember just standing there stunned that it was really over. I made my way back to my car knowing the dark days were over but not really sure what my next step would be.

That night was our church service. I grew up in the church and though I am ashamed that I did not always do the right things or make the best decisions, I knew ultimately that God is the only answer I will ever need. I felt as though a part of me had died and my heart was in a million pieces. I did not feel like going to church but that was the only place I truly longed to be in my soul. I remember sitting beside my grandmother through the service. She knew all about what had happened. I had sang in the church since I was two years old and she urged me to get up to sing. I told her I did not feel like it as tears filled my eyes threatening to spill down my cheeks. She said, "Please, Bridgett." Her gentle urging nudged me out of my comfort zone, out of my chair and I slowly walked to the piano. I know that God was fully aware of what effort it was for me as I took the microphone in my hand and stood by my mother at the piano. The music began to play and the Anointing fell on me as I sang the words to "When I Feel The Savior's Hand Holding Mine." I felt the healing begin and I can tell you that I sang every word from the depth of my soul. I meant every word and when I had finished I felt whole again.

My break up was a sad experience for me. The LORD had washed me clean and helped me that night at church and it was surely His hand holding mine through the coming months and even years that my heart was mending. If it had not been for God and my relationship with Jesus I would not have been able to trust Him to help me through that. So as the hot water ran over that cheese covered spoon, I began to think that we are a lot like that cheese sauce. Sometimes we cling to something we shouldn't and it takes a lot of heat and some uncomfortable pressure to pry our hands lose so we can be free. God has to allow us to get into circumstances that hurt us in order to help us sometimes. Sometimes the bad things that occur are only meant to bring us good.

My favorite scripture is Romans 8:28 and I believe it really sums it up for us. It says:
And we know that all things work together for good
to them that love God,
to them who are the called
according to His purpose.
I love when I read on it encourages me with:
34. Who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ that died, yea rather,
that is risen again, who is even at the
right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us.
I am so glad that He does that. Jesus helps us when we pray by being our advocate to the Father.
35. Who shall seperate us from the love of Christ?
shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36. As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed
all the day long: we are accounted as sheep
for the slaughter.
37. Nay, in ALL these things we are more than
conquerors through Him that loved us.
I love that! It brings healing to me to know that in all of those bad situations we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Jesus who loves us!
38. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come.
39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our LORD.
So even if you feel like that cheese sauce clinging to the spoon, let me offer you some hope and encouragement. You can be free from the bondage holding you bound. You can be free and walk in the love and peace that only comes from knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Let this be your new year, your new beginning. This can be your year to be free.