Monday, June 02, 2008

This post brought to you by the letters G, O, and D.

And also lots of coffee, because I've been up since 4 a.m. Happy Monday to me!

So, the ever-challenging Heather has been brave enough to share her personal testimony over the past week, and now is challenging her readers to do likewise.

And, as one of her readers, I guess that means me. Yikes!

It isn't that I'm ashamed of God, or His place in my life. It's just I haven't thought that my testimony was "exciting" enough.

(Yeah, last time I thought I had no testimony, I was a teenager, and I totaled my car three days later and almost died. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson.)

Really, I've been in church since before I was born. My grandfather, several aunts, and mother are all ministers. I spent my childhood traveling all over the country, in one beaten-up vehicle after another, so my mom could fulfill her call as a "singing evangelist."

Then what do I grow up and do? Attend a Christian college, and marry an ordained minister.

I can't get away from this God stuff, even if I wanted.

But you know what I've learned in the past few months, especially? That just because I got saved at the age of five, sitting in the floor of my bedroom, with my mother and her object lesson involving construction paper hearts, doesn't mean I can't learn a thing or three from God.

My family, y'all, is pretty messed up. There are some folks right now, that are seriously acting a fool. I mean, seriously. They are taking an already not-ideal situation, and "stirring the pot" to make it more than it has to be. They can't deal with their own business, so they feel compelled to get into someone else's and see what they can do to make it more exciting - at least for themselves. They apparently don't care about what happens to those they leave in their wake when they move on to their next drama.

They're destroying themselves, and they don't even realize it.

I'll admit, it can be somewhat "fun" to sit around when a crisis is ongoing and go over and over it. I know, because I spent the entirety of my summer last year doing just that. In a morbid sort of way, it satisfies some need within us as humans. But it doesn't profit us one whit.

It's like our pastor said yesterday in Sunday School, some folks can't stand the quiet because it would cause them to stop and think about where their lives are now and where they are headed. And that's the predicament that a segment of my family is in right now.

There are folks in my family who operate solely out of fear, out of a need for affirmation, or out of a need for self-preservation. And really, aren't those all just about the same thing?

And if it wasn't for God, I'd be in the same boat they are.

As we were singing one of the songs during worship yesterday, a thought hit me. The lyrics talked about wandering aimlessly in the dark, before God led us into the light. Most of the time, people use that terminology to describe a life of sin and disobedience. You know what hit me? My darkness might not have been what most folks term "sin" - I've never used drugs, never been drunk, and I was a virgin when I got married.

(Yeah, let that last one sink in for a minute.)

My darkness is this legacy that my family has created.

My darkness would be following in the footsteps of some of my relatives, even those who claim to know the Truth, and choosing to live in fear and selfishness.

Self-preservation as a motivation is a natural instinct, but it denies God the chance to provide for us. Fear isn't in His will for us either - He wants us to live free from fear, dependent upon Him. Fear can't live in an atmosphere like that.

So that's where God met me this time. I wasn't out in the bars, or cheating on my husband, or even on my taxes. I was fighting against those things which some members of my family have chosen over The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

With God's help, I have chosen the "more excellent way" that Paul speaks of. I have chosen light over darkness. I have chosen to rely on God, and not my own schemes and manipulations, to help me make it through. And I have chosen to embrace the silence, and to let it force me to introspection and prayer, rather than creating a constant drama so that my soul's cry is drowned out by the noise.

These are conscious choices that I have to make every day.

Heather's challenge is to testify as to how God meets us where we are. We aren't always in the same place, but right now, right here is where I am. He's so good, He knows exactly where we are and how to get there.

She's even adding an incentive, in the form of surprises, because she knows that it sometimes takes a bribe to get us to do the right thing.

And now, I repeat that challenge to you: where has God met you? You don't have to have a "Damascus Road" conversion experience (although there's certainly nothing wrong with God meeting you there) but start to think about the more subtle ways that He meets you at the point of your need. Then share them with us! I don't know about y'all, but I need all the encouragement and strength I can get!


Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing... your story reminds me that there are obvious sins in the Bible... lying, cheating, stealing... but then there are those that are sins for us, those that we are convicted of that might not apply to someone else. (I just learned that by the way... i had NO idea!)

It is so easy to get sucked into the darkness. And sometimes, all of a sudden you're there and you don't remember HOW you even got there... it was just so gradual...and that is what I fear happening to me way too often, making me conscious of who I am around, who I chose to associate with.

Snob? Maybe. But I don't think so.

Thank you again for stepping outside your comfort zone to share. Our God is AMAZING and I NEED to soak up as much as I can, where ever I can... :D

franticallysimple said...

I'm here form Heather's. I too have walked in darkness with my family, but I feel so much better in the light of Christ.

Melissa said...

Heather, when I lived in SC several years ago I realized that there were folks that I absolutely could not have a casual conversation with because I'd end up gossiping. Something about them just drew it out in me, and then I'd feel all dirty and horrible after we'd talked.

Like someone said last night at our small group meeting, if you're trying to lose weight, you don't go down the cookie aisle!

Irritable Mother said...

You're making good choices, Melissa!
Thanks for sharing.

Amy Bennett said...

Here via Heather..we have a similar testimony actually. Thanks for sharing.

wendster said...

Melissa, I just typed in this crazy long wonderful testimony and when I clicked on post it went to the "technical difficulties" page and LOST MY WHOLE COMMENT! Sigh.

I can sum up by saying that I DO know that God lives, I love Him, and I appreciate his beautiful plan.

He ALWAYS has my back.

My mom has a picture hanging in our den of Christ knocking on a door with no handle. Only we can
"LET HIM IN" (It's a song, too.)

I choose to let Him in. I LOVE Him.

Can I get a


from the bloggers who Love God?

He rocks my socks!


doodlebugmom said...

Thanks for sharing your testimony and make me think about mine.

Vikki said...

I'm hear from Heathers too.... enjoying this fun! Great point, thanks so much!!!! I don't want to think I'm 'in the clear' now that the really messy part is over :)