As I wrote about in my last post Oh, Baby – I’m Cruisin’ Now, I was crushed when I got nailed by the women’s ministry lead during my year-long mentor group at our new church. Here I had thought I was doing so good in my spiritual walk – why had I been so blind as to not have seen how I had not been trusting God?
But you know when you start beating yourself up, remember it’s not God that’s doing it. Either you’ve given the enemy a foothold by letting your anger take control of the situation (Ephesians 4:26-27), or you’re just letting your “humanness” bang itself against your head for falling into the same sins over and over again (Romans 7:15). Me? I tend to do both.
But here is one reason why I love to journal. Because as I look back on the good times and the bad times, I realize that even though I often give up on myself, God never gives up on me – and when I look back I can see how He always reveals ways He’s working in me!
As I wrote about in many of my earlier postings (e.g. Yep, A New Season), both my husband Gary and I got in a lot of mischief (some would say trouble) in our teenage years. We both spent a lot of time drinking, doing drugs and just doing a bunch of dumb stuff. Previously I had a habit of dumping and adding new friends (Enough of This Whole School Thing) whenever the mood struck me, but Gary had a wonderful core group of friends that had all gone to school together for many, many years. I, as well, came to love them dearly.
One yearly activity that Gary’s friends had done together for many years was to put on a yearly coed golf tournament. Gary and I dropped out of participating for a couple years after losing our boys and I became a Christian, but this same year that all these other milestones were taking place in our lives, we decided that we should really go and participate once again. They were our friends, and we knew that we needed to keep in touch with them and hopefully let the light of Jesus shine amongst them (Matthew 5:14-16).
And this year during the tournament – which lasts all day – I actually saw how the Lord was indeed changing me from the inside out, in spite of myself!
We were there in time for the big tee-off, and almost immediately I felt as if I was totally out of place. I used to feel so comfortable with these friends. I was like a bouncing ball – feeling repulsed at their dirty jokes and bad language one minute – then wanting to join right in with them the next!
The couple we were joined with we had played golf with many times, and we really enjoyed their friendship. It was strange though, because I could really sense how the guy was really guarded with us now. Yet we had fun regardless, and after we finished up we all gathered together on the deck at the clubhouse where there was lots of food – and lots of beer…
Gary and I went around and chatted with our friends for a time, but after hearing a couple different people say, “Oh, YOU’RE not drinking?” we kind of felt we were being shoved over into a little corner and put on display.
Once Gary and I left we talked about how difficult it was – yet at the same time it was good because we could really see how the Lord was indeed changing us. But our hearts were so heavy because we loved those people very much…
So wrapping this up – I spoke at the beginning of this blog how blinded I felt I had been when my women’s ministry mentor had nailed me of my sin. But Hebrews 13:5 says that God promises to never leave nor forsake me, so as long as He has me on this earth, He will continue molding me and shaping me into what He wants me to be. Yes, we will fail at times, but if we keep our eyes open, we’ll see those wonderful glimmers of how He’s regenerating us from the inside-out. Amen!