Two years ago I was in a really bad place emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I was miserable, and I was causing misery all around me. I felt like I was falling in a bottomless abyss and had no idea what to do. But in early March, with nothing, with everything, to lose, I finally got honest with myself and people who loved me about the chaos of my life and in complete brokenness I turned to God and confessed that I was far from him and needed his healing in big ways.
That was a turning point in my life. I love that phrase. There is a ministry for addicts at our church called Turning Point and I can't think of a better phrase to describe what happens when someone, when I, completely changed direction. It was the start of a new journey. God has been transforming my heart and molding it to look more like his. He has been chipping away at the addictions, fears, resentments, anxieties, greed, jealousy, and pride. He has been pouring his Truth, Love, and Grace into the dark, empty places. And while it has not been an easy journey, he has brought mentors and friends alongside me and blessed me with the most self-less, tender-hearted partner in Cody.
I love these verses in Psalm 18 because they so perfectly capture how I feel about all of this:
I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
God has truly brought me into a "spacious place." I even see it in my mind as a lovely wide-open meadow, a symbol of freedom. It's a place where I can breathe again, no longer chained and confined in slavery to sinful patterns. I am learning to rest in him, to feel his presence, to let go of managing and controlling so he can be in charge. Because of the trials I have passed through, I am now even able to reach out to others with love and encouragement as they face similar things. I can exclaim with complete assurance, "God Saves!"
I would say the lesson I have been learning most is summed up in the last line of the scripture above. "He rescued me because he delighted in me." God loves me. I am God's Beloved. I have never operated out of a place of truly believing this, and I still don't half the time. It has taken a lot of reading and prayer to start accepting the truth that I am dearly loved by God. When I really grasp God's love for me is when I will be able to let go of the stupid ways I have tried to prove my value. That is when I will be fully at rest and able to give love unselfishly to all around me. That is my continued journey.