WHAT I DID...
For a time, I gave heed to lies. It is a shameful admission, but the truth. I wish to spare other sisters this shame.
I did not have a strong Christian upbringing. I do believe my parents did what they could, with what they knew. Yet, I did struggle as a young, new believer.
I did not have any friends, that I can recall, that had the same frame of mind, as myself. Even when I sought out the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), in my public school, I would not say that that group supplemented my needs, and desires, for true Christian fellowship. Also as sad, I cannot recall any good friendships, of that Christian caliber, from my time in my old church. I do have happy memories from those times, nonetheless.
Even with those handicaps, I can see the Lord's hand on me, as I look back in my short history. There were Christian influences, in my life; here and there. I can see how He prevented me from attending those parties, dances, and the like (though, at the time, I greatly desired to frequent them!), that my "friends" attended. I had already been introduced to many things I ought not have; however, the Lord kept guard over me; and that protection, I see very plainly.
Although I was handicapped, spiritually, in some ways, I do have to admit: I had a conscience, and the Spirit within me. As I said earlier, that night I came to God to save me, through the amazing, redemptive powers of His Son, Jesus Christ, it was as though a light came on inside me, for the very first time. I could finally see. Life actually had meaning.
I can recall times, where God was warning me not to do, or say, or think, certain things. Many times, I failed to heed His warnings. All too frequently, I cared more about what my friends (or those of whom I desired a friendship/their good estimation of me), than obeying God. It was a battle, my friends.
I remember, so many times, being called a "Miss Goody-Two-Shoes:" by relatives, friends, enemies, and even other professing Christians. I remember being an oddball. I remember being told that I did not have to forgive those, who had so greatly wronged me. I could not understand that thinking, for I had been forgiven much.
I remember being teased: "She can't do that: she's a Christian..." That was an all-too-familiar, biting phrase, shot out at me. Oh, how Satan used those revilings, to tempt me to sin against my God!
As a weak, immature, babe in Christ, I was easily led astray. Oh, please do not blame my Lord! He was always faithful to me! It was I, who was unfaithful to Him.
Wanting to belong to the groups that had my esteem, I compromised. What did that compromise give me? A world of hurt.
I gave in to the temptations, of which the flesh desired to fulfill. I was ashamed, and rightly so. Satan used that shame, to keep me low. God did not let me stay down for the count, though.
So many times, God put people in my path, that rerouted my thinking back to Him. Maybe they would not be highly esteemed in some Christian circles, but they are esteemed in my heart! They were faithful to point me to the Lord: caring more for my soul, than many a "Christian" these days.
Forever I will be grateful for the Lord's ministry to me, and those fine folks who were faithful to Him, by warning and/or protecting my immature soul. It takes courage, my friends, to speak up to folks who are erring: many erring folks do not like being told they are in the wrong.
Not just when I was in the wrong, did the Lord send people my way. He also sought to keep me around believers, who would help strengthen my weaknesses. They would minister to me, so that I could live.
Whenever I seemed to be steady in my walk with Him, Satan was lurking right around the corner: always a temptation; always a fear; always a doubt; always trouble. Satan is good for nothing but heartache.
He wanted to get in between me and my God. The God who had became my Father. The God who was my Saviour, from a devil's Hell! The God, who was my family!
So, what did I do?
More times than not, I gave in to his wicked wiles.
And, I wallowed in despair, at my unfaithfulness to my precious Lord.
**Here are the links, to the other parts to this series: