Friday, December 27, 2013

2014

It was a night I will never forget.

I was a student at Lee University in Tennessee, a second semester freshman.  I had spent my first semester at Zion Bible college in Rhode Island but then transferred to Lee to be closer to my boyfriend at the time who was in graduate school right near the university.  It was nearing the end of the semester and I was feeling very unsettled about my future- whether or not I was going to stay at Lee University and whether or not I was going to stay with my boyfriend.  I ended up having a vision from God that night which would leave me with a choice that would forever change the course of my life.

I was laying awake in my bed late that night when the room around me just kind of disappeared and I could see nothing left of the life I was currently living.  Instead, I could see two very clear paths in front of me.  On the left, was a beautiful almost picturesque home- your classic, two story house with the picket white fence.  Perfectly manicured lawn, a bright sunny day, and all the feelings of comfort and security that life could offer.  It was safe.  It was steady.  And I knew it could be my future.

The I looked to the right...and it was black.  I could not make out a single image.  All I could make out was a feeling- not entirely bad, but there was definitely the feeling that this future would cost me a great deal- possibly even my life.  I knew it held no security, no comfort, and no outward safety.  Yet at the same time I knew it held all the security that comes from a life lived in the perfect hands of God.

When I "woke" from this vision I knew I was being offered a clear choice from God about my life.  And it resinated in my very soul- because it was the choice I had been choosing every day since the day I gave my heart to Christ only now, it was time to actually make my life's actual path follow my heart's desire.  I immediately called Nathan, one of my closest friends, and just told him what had happened.  We talked well into the night and he just listened to me, realizing the sanctity of the moment and the weight and impact it would forever have on my life.

I made my choice.  I gave up security and comfort for something of far greater worth.  I have stepped every single day from that moment on never knowing where my foot would land.  It lead me back to Zion; it lead me to Jeff; it lead to ministering in the streets of Albany; it lead me to birth six beautiful children and lose two; it lead me to an illness so physically painful that I just cannot fully describe it to you...and that is just what I have chosen to share with you.  There is a story within a story within a story about me that I have not shared with you- but that which I have lived.  That is why I write the way that I write.  Some people work very hard to become their profession- writers, preachers, teachers, speakers...and they eventually will become very good performers.  But me?  I write from the depths of my scars.  I write from what I have lived.  From the darkness of things you will never know I have come through.  And every single word I pen is real; I never perform.  I carry many scars- some on my body, some on my heart.

But one thing I do not carry a single piece of, is regret.

If I chose any other path I would have lived with regret every single day of my life.  The road may have been dark, and it may have been painful, and it may have cost me every single piece of myself, and I'll tell you what- it has lasted until the very bitter end of this year.  I faced death.  I lost every single ounce self I once possessed...

but that is the point.  That is the awesome, incredible, amazing, blessed, BEAUTIFUL point.

Less of me.  More of Him.

I joined the ranks of those who count it all joy when we are met with trials, because "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." Romans 8:18

And let me say this: resist the temptation to let your pain overtake you!  Do not let it define you or change you.  Use it- use it as a tool to shave away all the characteristics and all the traits about you that are not pleasing to the Lord.  Do not become bitter.  Do not become hard.  Fight- fight for your life, because that is exactly what you are doing.  I will not give myself over to the way this world has tried to rob me.  I refuse to feed the seeds of bitterness attempted to be planted by so many throughout my life.

There is no earthly reason for me to still be standing here today.  Many times over it was the enemy's plan to take me out and to see to it that I would not have the strength- be it emotionally or physically- to be here today to proclaim the goodness of my Lord.
And yet here I am.
Talking about the goodness of my God.

All because I made a choice long ago.  Because I chose a road less travelled.

And it made all the difference.


Happy New Year.

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

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