This past year was the most difficult one of my life.
As holds true in any trial that we face, I have learned so much and seen so much of God’s faithfulness to me, but it has come in the midst of great pain.
I wish I could share what happened to me, but the truth is, I am not ready. But I will say that in the storm, I learned how much God really loves me, and I learned how much human beings – even the ones who follow Jesus – can let us down.
I am not perfect, and I have never made any claim that I am. I am simply someone who has an intimate relationship with Jesus, who has enjoyed his presence and the knowledge that he loves me in spite of my shortcomings. I know and believe with all of my heart that he will overcome everything that I struggle with, and I know that I will walk in his authority and power. I know that his promises to me will come to pass.
In the midst of the storms I dealt with this year, I had friends who abandoned me and felt righteous for doing so. I also experienced people trying to discredit my relationship with God. Honestly, I was hesitant for a while to start writing again because of the weight of the accusations that came against my spirit.
But I have learned a few things. The first, and most important, is that the validity of my relationship with God and my ability to use my gifts for him has nothing to do with my perfection. I did not choose God, but he chose me. He revealed to me who I am, but often my fear of man has prevented me from walking in everything he revealed to me.
For the past two years I have faced one situation after another with people who cut me down, lied about me, or spewed condemnation at me. People who looked for flaws in me so as to discredit me and what God was doing in my life. But my failures don’t discredit God. His righteousness is at work in me, transforming my mind daily. I was lost when he called me by name and spoke his promise over me. When he has finished his work, I will share my testimony of his goodness with all of the boldness and authority that he gives me. The idea that my shortcomings could discredit God’s work in me comes entirely from a system of self-righteousness. It is not how God operates. He calls sinners and he purifies sinners to do his work. We do not earn the ability to experience God or to speak boldly about him by manner of our own excellence. It is a free gift, available to anyone who pursues it. And what he calls us to be will always be a matter of his own decision, not the decision of man.
The second thing I have learned is that man has no power to define me or to confirm or deny what God has spoken to me. Each of us has the ability to hear from God, and he desires to speak to us individually. When it comes to his promises and who I am in Christ, the only one I want to hear from is God himself. Human opinion or perception can be distorted by so many things. We often make hasty judgments about people when we don’t understand what they are going through or how far they have come. Our own insecurities, fears, enviousness, or bitterness can twist our perception of someone else. But God sees through it all. I have learned that if every man turns his back on me or misunderstands me, God will remain by my side. He sees it all, he knows the truth, and I regret ever giving man such power over my perception of myself.
If I continue to write, my resolution is that I would write by God’s power and not my own. I have always desired to write things that bring refreshment – like drinking a glass of pure water. I pray that this is true of everything I write as I dive back into this thing called blogging.
Note: In addition to this first post, I’ve included a carefully chosen selection of posts from my old blog, which I took down. I don’t remember the original posting dates, but if it’s dated the same as this post, you can assume that it’s something that was previously published.