In an effort to remain true to God‘s calling on my life, I am going to share a part of my journey, which is hard to admit. Praise the Lord for my strength as I write and publish today’s blog!
God has revealed to me over the past two months that my greatest weakness has been seeking the approval of others. You see, I am a words of encouragement person. What does that mean? It means that my “love tank” is filled when I receive words of praise, love, and encouragement from others. These words can be delivered verbally or in written form.
It also means that if you really want to hurt me, I mean really deeply hurt me, speak words of disappointment, shame, guilt, manipulation, ugliness, condemnation, etc…I think you get the idea. I often explain it to others this way. You words hurt me more than any type of physical abuse. Hit me, spank me, push me, spit on me, none of these hurt as much as you telling me your hurt or disappointed by me!
Over my lifetime, I have made a staggering number of mistakes! The ones which have been the most damaging are the ones related to the men I have allowed to be part of my life. I have searched for love in all the wrong places. I have been married 4 times! There, I said it! My current husband is amazing, loving, and gentle. God uses him to speak to me about who I am
He is NOT God! As much as my husband CHOOSES to love me today, God loves me UNCONDITIONALLY!!!! Forever! There are things I can do which may prompt my husband to reconsider whether he will choose to continue to love me.
There is NOTHING that I can do which will separate me from the love my God has for me! Why? Because I gave my life to him when I uttered the words to my parents at the age 8. I want to be a christian. I want Jesus to come into my heart. I want to know God and serve him all the days of my life.
I have made a lot of poor choices! I have suffered consequences for my poor choices!
I used to be a strong-willed child. I wanted things my way. I chose my first and third husbands. They both were emotionally manipulative individuals using passive aggressive behaviors. They were both masters of manipulating others to do their bidding. What is sad? The third one was a professed christian so I thought he was a safe choice. UGH!!!
My second husband was and still is a good man! I screwed up and cheated on him. I take full responsibility for my selfish behavior because that is exactly what it was, selfish! He wanted to forgive me and begged me to stay with him. I was too scared, ashamed to stay. I made such a mess of my life. What happened?
The economy was shifting and my second husband’s employer needed to downsize. God gave me a vision of what was coming a few months before it happened. So I was prepared. We put the house and the market. We began looking for new jobs. We chose to move back to his home state of Illinois. He had a daughter there and she was getting ready to turn 5 years old.
What I was not prepared for was not being able to find a new church home. Other challenges were going from a beautiful Texas home to a falling apart, crappy looking, squirrels in the attic above my kids room 2 flat apartment. I was in shock when we arrived to know this is the only thing we could afford. I couldn’t breath at first.
We made the best of it for a while. However, things began to weigh on our marriage. We both became increasingly more frustrated with our circumstances and with each other. Intimacy fell to the waste side into non-existence. I began suffering more and more tremendous migraine headaches.
Then one day, I went to have a drink with a friend before my train home. My friend invited a friend who was nice to me. We all laughed and had a good time. The next thing you know, weeks have gone by and drinks, turned into lunches, turned into dinners, turned into a full-blown affair.
What was I thinking?
You see. I lost my connection with my community of church friends, my women’s small group, and regular attendance of a church. I hit the mute button with God. I was angry about our circumstances. I was angry because I had convinced myself my husband at the time did not love me anymore. UGH!!!
Mistake, after mistake, after mistake, after mistake…then condemnation sets in over the years.
You know what? God knows it all and he still has a plan to use it all for His glory!!!! AMEN!!!!
So as I have been walking with Jesus and he has been healing me of guilt, shame, and condemnation from Satan here are the words a friend brought to me from God.
A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria.
5 So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”
26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
In my study bible there a sections written called Kingdom Dynamics. My bible is the New Spirit Filled Life Bible, New King James Version published by Thomas Nelson Bibles in 2002. On page 1450 this is what the Kingdom Dynamics says about this Biblical Woman without a name:
1) the ongoing contempt of Jews for Samaritans (v.9);
2) the reputation of the woman (v.18);
3) the cultural restrictions of male and female interactions (v.27), this scenario becomes a classic lesson in God’s redemptive action.
Jesus’ initiative forgives, restores, and empowers a woman, who persuades men to heed a Jewish Messiah! Our Savior’s grace, seen in this woman of Samaria, illustrates how past overt or covert prejudices, beliefs, practices, and exposures need not confine or destroy the potential of a person. A Transformed woman became a great evangelistic influence as many Samaritans respond to Jesus as Messiah (v.29-30, 39-41). An added lesson of significance is to see the Savior reaching out to those deemed different or indifferent, teaching the value of our affirming the worth of all people. An unnamed Samaritan woman received life-changing revelation that had eluded many rabbinical scholars (1 Cor. 1:26-29) – spiritual insight that propelled to another dimension, perceiving Jesus as “a prophet” (John 4:19), and then as “the Christ” (v. 29). She is a model of how true revelation may translate into a powerful witness.
I am here to declare my FREEDOM in Christ and my place in this world to share who He is with others!