My story. God’s story. Whose story is it anyway?
It’s not about me. It’s God’s story of transformation in me. It’s a story about God’s grace and immense love for His children. It’s a story worthy of public display, unlike the stories highlighted in the news of horrendous acts of violence; stories that glorify criminal minds and encourage copycat behaviors. God’s story is one of redemption, honor, and hope. It is designed to encourage, empower, and equip people to live well and inspire each other. So yes, I will share.
Not so long ago I was a wretch, desperately seeking to fill the ache in my heart with destructive behaviors and relationships. I could not bear the pain of my chaotic childhood and the ensuing years of pain that I created as I tried to justify the lack of my unmet needs. It was in this tumultuous space that I married and birthed two children, creating yet another generation of chaos and dysfunction. My marriage was a contractual one, based on impossible conditions and expectations and soon failed. I spent the next several years struggling with guilt, shame, and self condemnation for bringing two innocent children into the destruction of my life. Thankfully in the midst of this chaos and divorce, God came to my rescue and captured my heart!
He slowly began opening my eyes to the reality of my ways. I started seeing very familiar negative behavior patterns in my preteen children and it devastated me. I dropped to my knees, pleading with God to show me a different path, or take me out of this life. I couldn’t handle the realization that while I had given my children all that I had; what I had to give had been crap! In that very moment, God showed me that he had a plan – a plan of redemption and transformation. It is impossible to describe the instant relief and hope that I felt the moment I realized that there was indeed a different pattern – God’s pattern.
I didn’t know what it was or how to do it, but it was enough to know that my pattern was not the only way! Within days, I was introduced to a healing journey that changed my life. That journey was the Ultimate Journey (formerly known as Christ Life Solutions). The minute I started reading the course material, my heart leaped for joy. The words resonated with the deepest part of my soul and I knew that I was reading truth! During this part of my journey, God showed me how to give grace to myself (and others).
I was enamored with each phase of the journey as God began untangling the lies that were so deeply embedded into my thought patterns. In phase I, God gently shined a flashlight into my heart and began revealing unfinished business; wounds, beliefs, negative thought patterns, and unmet needs. In phase II, I was taken off guard by the love God shows in His covenant to his people. I remember asking a hundred times if it was true – that It Is Finished – that the story is already complete and God is the victor; that my only job is to surrender everyday to his divine authority and providence, and victory is mine. This was very exciting to me! And then in phase III, I learned about the necessity of transforming my mind into the likeness of Christ. I took this seriously and devoured the affirmations of truth. I adopted the mantra of Whatever it Takes and did many creative things in an attempt to create new neural pathways that let straight to God.
It became clear to me that there was nothing more important than keeping myself in a peaceful and loving state of mind so that when my children (or anyone else) came my way seeking guidance or support, I was able to share the source of my hope with them. Changes in my family did not happen overnight but changes in my heart and attitude were happening every night as God began weaving a new story of love and grace into my spirit and soul. God was equipping me to be a vessel of his light to others on this amazing journey.
As I continue on my journey, delving into God’s word and promises, I experience new levels of freedom and have been blessed with the opportunity to pour into the lives of others. Words cannot describe the transformation God has done, and continues to do, in my life, which intimately affects my family and the lives of the women and their families that God sends our way toencourage, empower, and equip to live well.