Sunday, July 7, 2013

Let's Get Real For A Minute

I know I've mentioned a few times about how I hurt my family so much even before I got pregnant.  I want to talk a little more about that, and what God has presently been teaching me about my past.

After several abusive, and unGodly relationships, I was brainwashed into many wrong ways of thinking.  One of those ways, was that sex is how you showed love.  There were a lot of negative affects that formed after my experiences, that the enemy used them to push me into a downward spiral of destruction.  Ironically, instead of running from men, I ran to men.  I wanted to be loved so much.  I did everything I could to show love to any guy I was in a relationship with hoping I could earn their love in return.  There is nothing biblical about that.  In the process, I lived in sin in those relationships-which just hurt us both.

Having this mindset only pushed me farther to guys that weren't right for me and bad situations.  Eventually it just led to feeling worthless.  I was at a point in my life where I truly did not care what I happened to me.  I pointed out that I went to bars every night and partied like crazy.  I was that girl who seemed happy-I was always laughing, flirting with guys, and I drank... a lot.  On the outside, I looked like I was having a good time and living it up.  But inside, I was broken and miserable.  I was that obnoxious girl that wanted attention from every guy at the bar.  I could make any comment dirty and inappropriate, and for a time, I was proud of that.  WHAT?!?!  Now I look back in shame and regret.

Here are some things I have learned from my past:

1. Love that leads to sin is not love.  I was taught my whole life to love sacrificially.  It's in the bible, they will know us by our love.  If you show love, you show others Christ.  How can you show a loving God through sin?  God is infinitely Holy and Perfect; He cannot sin and He cannot condone sin.  I was giving out a false love.  I tried to "change" guys to be God-loving men... WITH SIN!!  I figured, this is how I get them to keep talking to me, and eventually we will stop, and they will learn to love God.  NO!!  I was disrespecting myself, disrespecting my Savior, and believe it or not, disrespecting those guy.

The thing is I didn't realize what I was doing.  I never rationally tried to think it out.  I now realize what I thought I was trying to accomplish subconsciously.  The moment love leads to sin it no longer reveals God.  I knew what I was doing was wrong, but rationalized it with "good intentions."  That is not a legitimate excuse for sin.  Good intentions can destroy you.

2.  Single women and men should respect boundaries.  I did not get along with girls.  You can't trust girls.  Guys are simple; they aren't emotional, they are easier to get along with.  I always had more guy friends than girl friends.  I rationalized it as ok... most of them were just friends, and those that were just friends, we truly never did anything we shouldn't physically.  The thing is God has given boundaries between men and women for a reason.  

There was one specific guy that I wanted to "change" into a Godly man.  First of all, only God can do that.  Secondly, it wasn't my job to counsel him.  That guy happens to be Brody's birth-father.  Although I did impact him in some way, it cost me everything, and after everything that has happened in the past year, it has probably pushed him farther from God.  

I need the council of GODLY women in my life.  Men need the council of Godly men in their life.  The spiritual mentors in my life taught me about these lines.  I always had close relationships with my guy friends.  There was one friend in particular whose house I would go to almost every night.  Nothing would ever happen, but it still wasn't smart.  Nick would constantly tell me that yes, it was ok to be friends, but not on the level that we were.  I argued with him about this, but now I understand.

  Also, the couple that mentored me, I used to go to the husband more often for advice.  His wife was always present, and now I talk to her more than him.  Over the past 2 years her and I have developed more of a relationship than me and him.  NOTHING inappropriate ever happened, but it's just that fact that a married man should not be counseling a single (or even married) woman.  It was a matter of respect for their marriage and for wisdom in boundaries.

3. I wasn't ready to let go.  I knew what was right, and I was tired of living this shameful life.  Until recently, like very recently, I thought it took me so long to "get back to God" because it was hard.  I thought I felt shame and guilt and couldn't approach Him.  To some degree, yes, I believed those lies, and I put it off.  But what I am just now realizing is I didn't run back to God, because I KNEW that is would mean that I would have to change, and I wasn't ready to change.  It wasn't just that I didn't think I could do it, it was because a part of me liked being stupid.  I don't really know why.  I honestly just think it's being human; without God, we are evil, and desire worldly things.  I wanted to hang on to that life.  Also, running back to God meant I had to give up control and be humbled.  I like being in control.  I didn't want to give that up.  However, that's the only way to accomplish freedom.  I've finally had enough of learning the hard way.  And the fact is, when I am in control, nothing goes right.  I am so thankful God was able to get my attention when he did.  Living for myself was exhausting.

4.  With God, anything is possible.  It's amazing how God has done so much in me.   He has been working, hands-on, in my heart.  First of all, he's healed my heart and given me peace with having given Brody up for adoption.  That is huge!  But there are so many other things he's done.

I mentioned before how when I was living in sin, I could take any comment and make it dirty or inappropriate.  That was one fear I had.  I had lost my innocence, and that part of me would never change.  I would always have a "dirty mind."  God has given me a different mind, and I haven't even prayed about that issue specifically and directly.  He knows my heart though.  He knows who I want to be.  He sees my surrender to him.  

I thought I was always going to be burdened with feeling like I had to be "that girl." I always had to show cleavage, I always had to talk dirty, and be super flirty; inappropriately.  NO!  He has broken that bondage.  Those things made me the center of attention for exactly the type of guys I don't want or need in my life.  I no longer desire that.  I no longer feel worthless or the need to disrespect myself to get attention.  I don't need a man to be whole.  If it's God's will for me to get married, it will be to a Godly man who loves me for me.  I won't have to do those things to win him over.  I've always known this, and desired to have a Godly man.  But I tried to create it for myself.  It doesn't work like that.  Now I actually believe it and acknowledge it.   

God has given me a pureness of mind that I thought would never come because of losing my innocence.  He is restoring that for me and giving me a mind like His.  I am so excited about that and thankful for it!  It may seem like a little thing, but a pure mind is something I've wanted for so long, and thought I would never have.

5. You have to stay faithful.  I have to continue to allow God to stay in control.  I have to renew my mind daily.  Without God, I am not beyond going right back to that old lifestyle, no matter how hard I try to avoid it.  In my own efforts and good intentions, I will fail without God.  He has to be my motivation everyday.

I know this was a long post, but I hope you read to the end.  Even if your struggles are different, this applies to everyone.  Love that leads to sin isn't real love, you have to be willing to let go, you have to respect boundaries, with God anything is possible, but you have to keep Him number one and make it a daily thing.  I encourage you to examine yourselves-what parts of your life have you not given to God fully?  What are your struggles?  Are you willing to let go?  Are you willing to make God the center of your life?  Just food for thought.

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