God began the year by putting these verses on my heart in a post called Draw Near To God.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
and purify your hearts,
you double-minded. Jas 4:8
let us draw near to God
with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse
us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed
with pure water. Heb 10:22
I am thankful God does not show us ahead time what He is preparing. I didn't realize that by drawing near to God He would take me on a journey to see the Real Me! I shared a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne, from The Scarlet Letter that say "No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
Oh how true this was. God brought me to the point of seeing that I did not know which "ME" was true. The ME I felt I was or the ME God said I was. For far too long I felt I was only pretending to be good, to be holy - it wasn't the real me, or at least I couldn't see it.
I walked through February learning that I am a Saint. I was reminded that I do not live a defeated life, but am called to be holy, to set myself apart from the world’s way of living and live a life worthy of being called saint. I am set apart for God. There should be a difference between the way I live and the way the world lives. Anything less than living a life ‘set apart’ is a misrepresentation of who Christ is and is sin.
In March God brought me to a place that I didn't expect we would go. A place I thought was healed, I thought we had already "been here and done that" and I really did not want to do it again. But God knew there was still unfinished healing and it was time to go forward. So God began with writing these words through me in a post that is titled Untitled but since then I have called it His Beloved. I share with you the final paragraph...As I sat on His lap tears run down His face, He knows that His precious little girl will walk through years of pain that she will not understand until she is grown. He held her tightly and whispered, "My Beloved, I love you, I will walk with you."
March I asked the question Who do you say I am? It was here that I realized that "hidden deep in my mind was the lie that my old nature still defined who I was. If someone said to me "Sharon you need to let the women know the "real" you my mind would alway go to the past and what I've done, who I was before Christ etc...but that IS NOT who I am IN Christ!"
April 25 I wrote "Oh Jesus, my precious Jesus, I want You to live through me. Keep me near to you, search me Oh God, let my heart be humble before you. Help me walk along with You, never on my own. In all I do Lord, I want it to bring you glory, I want it to be pleasing to You.
In May I wondered Am I Adding Flavor? when I prayed "Father help me to see YOUR truth. Help me to add taste and flavor to this world. Show me how I might give meaning to those with no hope. Father help me to have the desire to go out into the world and be salt and light that makes a difference."
June and July had such wonderful uplifting lessons like dying to self, servanthood, loving others more than myself and being thankful for God's Goodness in ALL things.
Oh my goodness, AUGUST! This month brought me on my face before God as He began to open my eyes to understanding how to mourn what I had lost and to be able to see what He has given me now. God allowed me to see the gifts I have in A Kindred Spirit and in When I feel Overwhelmed God reminded me that He is my strength and my shelter. It is in his strength and in his spirit that I am able to do that which He has called me to do.
And I would need that reminder as I learned to cry and share my grief in I Cried for You Today when I shared how I cried and mourned for two women who had lost so much because of childhood abuse. God used that to open up the locked emotions so that I could mourn my own losses of what was taken by others. To admit the losses and to mourn them has been a very hard and painful process. I am thankful for my sisters who keep telling me it's ok to mourn. Even now I still find it difficult to allow myself to cry and yet I know that there is healing in allowing yourself to mourn.
It was in walking through the mourning process that God helped me to see that HE has put a love in my heart that could only come from being in His presence. I finally understood that the old me no longer exists. She died long ago as Christ hung on a cross. I have been made alive, new, beautiful, beloved, safe, secure, LOVED because I am IN Christ Jesus!! Allelujah!!! Praise God!!
I learned that God had to get me to the point of experiencing the pain, and emotions of my past so that I could embrace his great LOVE and JOY. In September I shared with you my testimony from the retreat in Learning to experience the Fullness of God's Love and more in part 2 and finally concluded in part 3 as realized and BELIEVED that God says that I CAN live in the fullness of His love. God says I am HIS, Iam Beloved, Holy, righteous, redeemed...I am no longer who I thought I was.
October, Novemeber and December brought a deeper look at what it means to walk in the fullness of His love.
It means to learn to walk in His ways, knowing that He guides me with His hands and that I am His delight!
It means that HE is more than enough even in those times when their is great loneliness.
It means not forsaking my first love and being willing to put all aside so that I can be Ready.when my groom arrives.
I end the year realizing that this journey is not over. I am still learning to mourn, to cry and share my grief. I am learning to love the way God intended me to love. I am learning to be a friend that desires the best for my friend. I am learning to be a wife that God made me to be.
I am learning to LIVE in the fullness of His mighty love!
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