Monday, October 31, 2011

The Makings of a Princess Warrior

The Makings of a Princess Warrior 
You know, I've discovered what people who know me best already know -- I'm as stubborn as a mule. Lol! And God has had to show me this (and so much more) before I could move on to the next step of His plan. All along it was in my hands and that makes me want to bang my head against the wall and say, "Stupid, stupid, stupid!" Why was I so blind all this time? Well, for one, I'm human...and I am mentally challenged with OCD and possibly a little ADD mixed in. Lucky me! =) But also, who wants to look so deeply inside that they see the ugliness that is there. I thought I was okay and justified in my reasoning. Little did I know -- my thought processes were like cancer eating away at the very fiber of my soul.

I started off this year wanting to do something for God, but He had other plans...He wanted to do something for me. There were a lot of things going on in my heart that needed to be mended or removed and because of my pig-headedness (as we say in the south for stubbornness) it has taken almost the whole year. But, God was patient and loving with His strong-willed child. He never wavered. He never gave in. But, most of all, He never gave up on me. And Lord, I want to pause right here and say, "Thank you for that! You are such a good Father."

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing sinful about being strong-willed as long as it is focused in the right direction. As long as it is a tool in the Lord's hands and not satan's (sorry, I don't capitalize His name lest I give him honor in any way). We need strong-willed Christians today -- People who will stand on God's Word and not compromise. People who are so strong in what they believe that when the winds of unsound doctrine blow by they will not be carried away with it. (By the way, the cure for that is to KNOW what God's Word actually says about a subject and get that good and settled in your heart. But, most importantly, you must have the Holy Spirit to help you rightly divide the truth. Without Him you WILL be swept away.) 

When I started this blog it was with the best intentions. I am disabled and housebound a lot. The opportunities I once had to be a witness for God dropped, considerably. Back in the day I was a decent writer and was so much better at expressing my thoughts in writing so blogging seemed like a good idea. I had all the right tools in place and a plan, BUT it was my plan, not God's, or should I say, not the order of His plan. He knew I wasn't ready. He knew that deep down in my soul a hideous cancer lurked and it was destroying me from the inside out.

After starting this blog, I fell under a satanic attack like I've never experienced before and I will be honest, it took me under. It was only by God's grace and mercy that I did not drown. He held tight while satan clawed at me trying to pull me down into the murky, dark depths of the sea of self-destruction. God is not slack in His promises though. In Psalm 37:24, His Word says, "Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand." Through this trial, I have lived out this verse and can stand and say, "It is true!" What Father would not cling desperately to his child and shield it while it is being mauled by a vicious attacker?

Though the enemy is strong, he was no match for my Father. My Father used the evil for my good. Through this soul-bearing trial, God got victory. His child made it through, battered and bruised, yet still alive and with a "healthier" appreciation for the One who would not let her go.

I use the word "healthier" because through this God healed me of a disease I knew I had, but really hadn't done anything about. It was the disease of self-loathing. I was carrying a weight of guilt that was so heavy that I used every ounce of energy every single day to carry it and I had none left for anything or anyone else. Now, you may be thinking if I knew I had it why didn't I do something about it? The sad part is I didn't want it to go away. My guilt was so overwhelming that I wanted to carry this monstrosity of a weight as self-punishment. I thought it was what I deserved for all the wrong decisions I had made in my past that not only hurt me, but hurt the ones I loved. In my mind, I deserved to die a little each day. I deserved all the unhappiness and heartache that this weight of guilt brought on a daily basis.

You know, when a person has a certain disease, like cancer, it can start in one place and then spread to others. Well, I came to realize that my self-loathing was not even the starting point of my spiritual disease it was a symptom of a much larger sickness. This particular "sin sickness" was at the very heart of ALL my problems. This is the one I DID NOT know was there and this one was the most dangerous. You are going to be shocked and so was I. I don't even like saying it, but I will for your benefit and mine. So here goes. On a subconscious level, I did NOT think of God as a loving Father. I even shuddered when I wrote that, but it's true. I know the scriptures that speak of His love -- I've taught them to others, but deep down in my heart I didn't feel loved...I felt condemned.

Why on earth would I feel condemned? Apparently, a tiny, single cell of this sin sickness attached itself to the healthy tissue of a young child's heart. I still remember life before the attachment. I was innocent (as innocent as sinners can be) and carefree. I was not burdened down -- I was happy and had that child-like trust. But, then the storms came -- the first of many. I think the first storm was when my brother (whom I idolized) left for Vietnam and never came back. Why did he have to leave me? Why did he have to die? If he had only stayed. The cell was planted. Satan smiled.

I'd like to think satan took it hard when this tragedy turned into triumph. Through the death of my brother and the questions it brought I came to know Christ as my Savior, however, satan knew that seed was still there and even if he couldn't have my soul he would still have a way to destroy me…from within. So, he waited.

Then, the second storm came. It was the day I realized that my daddy was not the perfect father my child-like trust had molded him into. Daddy had his own issues. He too had OCD and possibly bi-polar disorder and was burdened down with his past. One sad day, when he was a little boy, his mother dropped him and his 4 siblings off at the local orphanage and never looked back. He talked very little about the abuse he suffered there and the despair he felt as each brother or sister went in a different direction...some of them never to be heard from again. Even after my father was adopted by a good Christian family he just could not get over his past. It haunted him. It changed him and not for the better. He was so consumed with anger that he could not enjoy the good fortune of the family he was placed in and he squandered it all away. Then when he married, the ghosts of the past would allow him no rest so he took out his inner anger on his family, but mostly on mama. No, it wasn't in the form of physical abuse. His dissatisfaction with the hand life had dealt him caused him to rail out verbally. He tried the physical part once and mama broke his ribs. From sun-up to sundown he quarreled, fussed, and complained. He lived for the weekends to go out drinking with his buddies -- always leaving my mama at home. Our finances were in shambles. He was always "robbing Peter to pay Paul" as the old saying goes while we went without. The one person who is supposed to be the preeminent role model for a little girl is her father, but he was no father at all. Satan was ecstatic! 

Other storms would blow through my life. Each one shaking the foundation God had planted beneath me. With each circumstance--one after another--from molestation by a non-family member to rape at age nineteen to a spouse who spewed verbal abuse for years and the marriage that ended in divorce due to my spouse's infidelity. My parents dying 3 weeks apart. My daughter leaving at age 14 and communication cut off for years. Loss of health. Loss of job. Loss of credit. Some losses not mentioned, but just as devastating. Year by year my thought processes became skewed. Somewhere along the way, deep in my heart, the seed satan had planted so many years ago grew undetected. His smile...more evil than the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Now, here in 2011, it all came to a head. All of these circumstances had helped me to believe some of satan’s lies and because of those lies I made some very bad decisions along the way. Eventually, my guilt over them incapacitated me. I had been carrying this burden for a long time, but finally my knees buckled under the load causing me to fall before the Lord and cry out to Him to remove it. 

You know what…God removed that burden of guilt immediately. I’m still in awe that it is gone. Something else happened when God peeled that layer off though -- I realized that I, subconsciously, thought God wanted me to carry that burden. I felt that He wanted me punished – that He was okay with me feeling condemned. I did not even realize that was in my heart. How could I think that of God? He’s done so much for me. 

When it comes down to it, I had placed God in the same category as all the other people who had stolen a piece of me because He had allowed these circumstances. When I came to this final realization it broke me and I sobbed before the Lord for hours.

I could have asked for God’s help to rid me of my guilt at any time, but the thing is, I had to be ready to give it up. I had to be ready to forgive myself and move on. God had already forgiven me the instant I asked for forgiveness. As far as God was concerned it was under His Son’s blood and remembered no more. I cannot go back and undo anything. It’s not possible. God’s intent for me is to move forward for His glory and His purpose. 

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62) I have worked for the Lord, but not to my full potential. I could not be all that God had intended me to be by looking back. God lives with us in our present and future because the past He has chosen to forget.
To some extent we all have past sins we wish we had not committed, past decisions we wish we could change, things we should have done, and things we shouldn’t have, BUT God does not want us to dwell on them. They have no part in His plans for us other than teaching us that we are human and will make mistakes and He is there directing and guiding to make even the bad work out for our good and His glory.
Even when we are walking with the Lord…we still are not perfect. "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) What I thought was my righteous acts yesterday was the equivalent of filthy rags to God, but by His mercy He did not destroy me...instead giving me a clean slate and His unmerited favor today!
The last part of that verse says, “Great is thy faithfulness.” Dear one, ask God to remove everything that hinders you from being the best you can be for Him. He is worthy to have every part of us and He is “faithful” to give us what we need to be fit for His kingdom. Why? Because He loves us –He longs to be close to us – He is full of forgiveness, grace, and mercy. He loves me and you even more than I love my own children and that is hard for me to even imagine until I look into His love letter (the Bible) and then I see -- He is the example I never had. He IS a loving Father for He IS LOVE. 
This time, God smiled! He knew I would come to this conclusion all along.
I want to leave you with this -- a dear sister-in-Christ and Facebook friend, Missionary Marti Roberts, shared this and I got permission to share it on my blog. I hope it blesses you as much as it did me! =) 
Today I was watching some fish in an aquarium. The smallest one had a problem. It seems as if one of the bigger ones had taken a bite out of his tail fin. He was struggling so hard to swim to the top of the water where the food was waiting. But the more he struggled the more he stayed stuck in the middle of the aquarium. It wasn't long before he was too tired to try. Once he stopped struggling, a current from the filter raised him up to the food that had been his goal. I began thinking about this and realized that I am just like that little fish sometimes. I have a problem that needs an answer, or a goal I want to attain, and I struggle to handle it myself. I work and worry and things never seem to work out, but once I stop struggling and let the Lord take over, things fall into place. Hopefully the next time I start trying to work things out myself, I will remember that poor struggling little fish and let the Lord handle things from the beginning. ~Missionary Marti Roberts
May God bless you today over and above what you are able to receive!

Much Love, 

The Princess Warrior

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All blog entries are copyright by Wanda Williamson on the date they are posted, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are taken from the King James Bible.

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