I woke up this morning thinking of the excitement of taking my daughter to church and sit through the service together for the first time in a very long time. We wouldn't be attending the church I attend as I think she is holding allot of fear about what people will think of her after what she went through in 2009. I am sure if she gave them a chance she would realize it isn't as bad as the enemy has lead her to believe.
We headed back to the church where I was brought to when my children were nursery/preschoolers. I found I was walking down memory lane to a time long long ago. I had not been living long in town with my two babies shortly after my husband had left us and I moved back closer to family. I was overwhelmed as the reality of being single with two babies that liked opposite shifts in sleeping. I had boxes to the ceiling in our living space as I was finding it difficult in a two level house to care for my children and unpack a house by myself for the first time. I had never actually ever moved into a place before on my own I had always done it with family, boyfriend or husband. I was entering new everything. I was exhausted and burning out fast.
I had moved into a low cost housing townhouse complex and slowly got to know my neighbors. One of my neighbors was a lady older than me and a grandma. She told me and a couple of my new friends about a thing called Coffee Connections it was a place where woman got together, she said it was at a church called Central Heights. I didn't want anything to do with a church because I didn't believe in all this bunk as I was raised in a church when I was younger before my dad got sick and the church turned their backs on us. How could there be a God who would let all this happen, No way was I going to a Church. She said hold it a minute there is free daycare for a couple of hours every Wednesday morning, if anything else. I was exhausted and I figured what a safe way to get some down time so I had the energy to keep up with my children, I was sold!
I went that first Wednesday with a hardened heart that had already lined up a bunch of questions to confront them with as I felt I would be backed into a corner with their preaching. I think I was trying to push all their buttons, as I had allot of anger and contempt for God at this point in my life.
I would bring up each question thinking I would get a rise out of them but instead I was met with love and compassion. I was confused how could they be this way I am attacking the core of their beliefs, they should be getting defensive, instead God was answering all my questions. Every week it was like God was taking one brick after another off the wall that was around my heart.
I eventually started taking advantage of the Sunday services because what harm could it do and more free daycare with people my children knew. I stepped into the worship centre and it had a lower level and then a Balcony that wrapped around . The children stayed for the first part of the singing and then went off, so I went up to the very top of the balcony where no one would notice me. I did this for weeks & months. I started to hear the call to ask Jesus into your life and if you wanted a relationship just repeat the prayer. I started to over and over again, I didn't tell anyone because I was ashamed to admit I was wrong and that I needed Jesus.
I ended up one Sept. with my three new friends to a small group break of at Coffee Connections we were studying a book called "Learning to Tell Myself the Truth" God used this study to show me the truth and help me break free of the lies in my life that were keeping my oppressed.
I went to Sunday service and noticed all these people singing with their arms raised and I thought to myself how weird you will never catch me doing that, never say never as I can't stop raising my arms in praise for my Savior when I sing.
I cont. for a number of years ant coffee connection and during that time I was constantly being put on the spot to pray out loud and I held my ground there was no way you were going to hear me pray out loud , no way at all.
I remember the very first time I prayed out loud it was after I had pulled into the parking lot of the church, in 2009, as my daughter had just passed out after a very scary experience, my first experience with demonic spiritual warfare and for some reason my daughter became unconscious as soon as we were on Church property. My son was in the youth centre, so I phoned him and told him to get the Pastor or his assistant I needed to speak with them. After I spoke with them on the phone the youth Pastor came out with two other people one was an Elder of the church and the other person was a lady who was a prayer warrior. I was asked to lead the prayer and I told them I didn't know how and they encouraged me to just pray as I felt lead. I found myself in the dark with people I had just met for the first time praying for my daughters life. I started praying and words started coming and I knew this was of the Holy Spirit. I was encouraged by them that I was fine praying out loud. Prayer became a life line for me and every opportunity I had been given I joined the church in prayer. I was no longer able to hide from praying out loud and as time went by it has become easier and easier. I guess what I am trying to say is never say never especially when you are talking God.
I can say God has brought me along way from that heart that was so hardened by the scars that had formed around it. God has transformed those scars as he has healed the pains that my heart had to endure. He has taken those scars and turned them into a testimony of his love and great power, mercy and grace.
I thought today I was taking my daughter to find a church she could connect to, instead God was taking me back to where this journey started. I sat in the service listening to all that he has taught me this last couple of years about loving Jesus. I sat there with God prodding me to speak with the pastor once the service was over and I would soon realize God was wanting me to testify how this church was where God had planted the seed in my heart and how far he has brought me. I was left the impression by the pastor that this was what the church was needing to hear and in Gods perfect plan they were told.
Thank you Jesus for your care to remove all the scars from my heart and not leaving me to wonder as a lost sheep. Thank you for the people you put in my path that planted that seed over 15yrs. ago., Thank you for the opportunity to share how their service to you lead to my relationship with you. I Praise you God on most High!! In Jesus Name Amen.
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