God's Grace: My Cycle of Sin & A World Of Hurt

Wow. I love God. He's so faithful, like, it's crazy amazing to me.

Last night, I was desperately trying to get some sleep because I was headed back to work the next day, but I laid wide awake, talking to God. I had just ended my devotions- trying to get back on track with my Bible In A Year reading, and was hugely mistaken when I thought that I would be able to snuggle up with my covers and fall asleep lol.

Sometimes, when you open your Bible, with an expectancy to hear from God, the time spent reading and "devoting" has an overflow; you can't just shut it off. Such was the case last night. It was like a Samuel moment, when he was in the temple with Eli and the Lord was continually calling him, so finally Eli pretty much told him to say "Here Am I" and invite God to speak to him.

As I laid awake, the Holy Spirit brought to mind everything that God had brought me through. My goodness- I was so humbled by it, man. I say it all the time, but God has truly brought me through so much! 

Last night, He reminded me of how I was brought up in a good, Christian home and church, but refused to do what I knew was right because the World was too tasty looking, and my appetite craved worldliness. You see, I knew the taste of the church and Christianity, and it was okay, but it seemed so staunch and stale, compared to the allure of the World at the time. I went to public school and was so heavily bombarded with things contrary to the Word of God. As a young girl, I had so many voids in my life due to insecurity that I was unaware of. I wanted to be popular and loved by everyone (not realizing that in reality, it's not evennnnn worth it). To be popular and loved by everyone, according to the world's standards, means that you must be worldly. Don't let anyone convince you of otherwise. This world belongs to the Devil; it's anti-Christian. The Bible says in Matthew 6:24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

In my teenage years, I sought to do that very thing. I tried to serve 2 masters; both God and the Devil. Whew! It was so confusing. I was getting my double lives confused! In church, hoping that a curse word didn't come out because I was used to saying them so freely at school, and in school, hoping that no one knew I spent my weekends engulfed in church.

I got caught up in so many sins that led to such a downward spiral (I've spoken about it countless times on this blog). You see, sin is a gateway drug to other sin. Like the Pringles commercials, "Once you pop, you just can't stop". So I started with lusting after the world in my mind, and then listening to secular music, watching secular tv, which led to dressing like the world. But of course, my mom was not here for that, so I would go to the stores, sneakily purchase clothes, wear one thing on the bus, and promptly change when I got to school, and rush to change before my mom saw me when I got back home. So this was of course, lying. I started to lie to my parents in countless ways. This took away all accountability in my life, so I started involving myself with ungodly friendships and ungodly relationships. I mean, "Who was gon' check me, boo?" Which led to a life of continuous fornication  and going places I didn't need to go, and so on, and so forth.

I would be at church physically, but completely not there mentally, emotionally, etc. I hardened my heart to the things of God because they weren't "cool". I went to church with several other teenagers from my church, and I avoided them like the plague. They knew I was living a double life. It's one thing to live a double life and do your dirt, but for church folks to know? OH NO lol.

Sometimes, we as Christians think that just because we've been saved for a certain amount of time, or because we've grown up in church, we're better at covering up our sin and our worldiness. It's so FALSE! The Bible says, "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). Everyone can see your instability! Don't fool yourself- You're not that slick lol. I was completely fooling myself in thinking that no one knew I was caught up in sin.

So as I thought about all this last night, I thought about all the time I wasted pretending and all the time I spent away from God. My heart was completely impenetrable during that time (Think Pharoah when Moses repeatedly asked him to release the Hebrews and each time he grew increasingly more angry? That was me.) Not only was I refusing to get myself together, but I grew more anger towards anyone who tried to correct me and confront me in my dirt. This was my family. Last night, I literally began to weep, not just at how far God has brought me, but in thinking about all of the people I hurt.

Your sin doesn't just affect you. It affects everyone around you. My mom and my sister are my BFFs now, but during my teenage years, they were almost on enemy status in my mind. They wanted me to do right and firmly tried to correct me/steer me into the right direction, but I hardened my heart to it each time. I would sneak out and do my dirt, and my sister would find out and tattle. My mom, she would put me on punishment and restrict me from going out, and I resented her because no one else's parents would do that to them. GOSH I know I hurt my mom. The pain that I've caused my family seriously had me sooooooooo overwhelmed last night. I weeped like a baby! I wanted to wake them up and just hug them lol. To think of the patience my mom had for me, how she prayed for me and never gave up on me, even though she knew I was involved in terrible relationships, a full-time party goer, liar, etc. and she still loved me through it all AND prayed for me. Such strong faith! WOW! Wow, man. Wow. I'm speechless at that.

To anyone reading this, surround yourself with people who will love you through your dirt, all the while NOT supporting you in doing it. Be very careful about people who support you through any and every thing, unquestionably, and never hold you accountable. When everyone is jumping off the cliff haphazardly, you need someone in your life to say, Seriously? That's stupid. Go sit down. lol

God is so good. It's so cliche, but seriously He is. I cried even more last night just thinking about how I refuted God's guidance and direction, much like the Prodigal Son, and went my own way seeking to fill my own voids through any means necessary. God created me for a purpose, to give Him glory- to worship Him, and I was disinterested in that altogether, YET He still saw fit to love me through it all. He protected me through all of my poor decisions, and withheld what I truly deserved. I look at some of the people that I ran with in high school and college, and I look at their circumstances and always question why God didn't allow me to end up like them. I mean, that was the path I was choosing for myself. I wanted to fornicate and was willing to accept all of the risks that came with it, but God didn't allow me to contract some terminal disease or get pregnant. I was in ridiculous relationships that I was okay with settling for, but God broke them up; He could've let me be married to the jerks I dated, and even permanently caught up a in domestic violence situation, but He freed me from it. I remember going to the clubs or parties and always being near a shooting or a fight, and God kept me safe. That's crazy. I truly don't deserve to be where I am. I am completely indebted to God. Sometimes I forget where He's brought me from because I displace the memories and am so far removed, but then there's times that He brings them back to my mind, and I can't help but to shout at how He withheld the destruction I was so willing to take on and accept.

There's nothing greater than the love of God. NOTHING! The grace and mercy that He bestows- priceless. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to separate yourself from Him. He loves everyone! There's nothing that you have to do to be deserving of His love. It's freely bestowed on all who believe; that's amazing. There's nothing you can do to earn it because you will always be unworthy of His love, but He still made a way to redeem us for Him.

To anyone who's reading this who is dabbling in a life of worldliness (or completely engulfed), CRY OUT TO GOD FOR DELIVERANCE! Allow Him to break your chains of bondage! It will only lead you on a downward spiral leaving you completely used up and exhausted. It's not worth it- I'm a witness! I say it all the time, but lean on God to fill all of your voids and insecurities. It's only through Him that we are complete. A life in the world is only fulfilling for a short time, but a life alongside God is eternally fulfilling. TRUST ME! There's nothing out there better. God will take your guilt and shame away- no matter what you've been through. You will never have to live in the past again.

In Awe,

OH GOD! You are truly amazing! I'm overwhelmed by Your love for me because I'm so undeserving of it. You saved me, yet even when I was doing my dirt and living life away from You, You kept me under your watch and protection. I'm so undeserving, and I'll never understand why You love me so much, but I'm so thankful. God, keep my heart in a posture of continuous remembrance of how You have changed my life. Help me to never go back to the bondage of sin. Help me to be so reminiscent of the pain and hurt that I put spiritual guard rails up in my life so that I don't even get close to walking or falling back into sin. God, I pray for anyone reading this. Help them to know that only true joy comes from You, and they don't have to accept the bondage of sin or living a double life. Break the chains that bond any one reading this, God. Draw them close to You. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Anthony Brown & Group TherAPy ft. Gaye Arbuckle- Deserved
Casey J- Journal