MISS MOOX + time


Yesterday, I got to thinking about something that, contrary to natural expectation, filled me with such an amount of joy that I was pumping my fist in the air as I ran down a country road. I felt almost like I was flying off the ground.

God has been doing a tremendous amount in my life lately. I don't even know how to explain it. It's like he's broken in, finally, and I'm loving him and enjoying life in him and being filled to the point of bursting by the Holy Spirit. I've had more joy, more closeness to God, more wonder, more breakthrough, more healing, more realization of truth than I think I have ever, ever had in my life before. And all of it came about as a result of the most horrific breakup I could possibly have imagined.

I don't even know how to explain it. The only thing that comes closest to describing it is that magnificent verse in Romans 8, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

That's the only thing that can describe it. God took what was possibly the worst thing that could ever have happened to me, humanly speaking, and somehow has turned it into the absolute best thing that could ever have possibly happened to me, divinely speaking.

I was utterly devastated by the breakup. It wasn't simply a breakup but a betrayal of the highest order. I felt like a nuclear bomb had gone off in my insides, leaving everything flattened, decimated, and destroyed. I felt that renewal would never come. I remember thinking as I lay on my friend's couch, in the darkness of her apartment, "I will never be the same again. This will change me forever."

And it has. But not in the way that I expected. In the manner of a volcano spilling lava and ash all over a landscape, and leaving it in the interim devastated but ultimately enriching the soil so that life forms grow and thrive there that never would have before, God has brought more good out of this incident than I would ever have dreamed possible.

Two days after the ultimate ending, when in hatred he spoke the words that broke off even the possibility of a friendship forever, I went for a walk. I didn't intend to speak with God. I was angry as I could possibly be, I felt hopeless, and I was certain that nothing I did, no matter what it was, would change the situation. Certainly talking to God wouldn't. He was the one who'd put me in this mess, and he wasn't about to get me out of it. I was as desperate as I'd ever been. I was convinced this was the end.

But God met with me. I can't even explain it. In an intangible yet utterly tangible way, in an indescribable, un-understandable, thoroughly mysterious way, such that I didn't even know what was going on but knew only that it was God, he met with me. I felt his presence. I was healed. I walked away having forgiven. I walked away understanding. I walked away able to love the person who'd hurt me the most.

And more than that, I walked away with God.

I have "known God" for a long time. I knew I was a Christian. I knew I was God's child. I knew even, in a distant sort of way, that he loved me. Yet life's disappointments had shut me up to him. I was enclosed within walls and fortresses, and his loving presence was not allowed inside to touch me and to heal. I was too afraid. I'd been betrayed too often. I had too thick a shell, too stubborn a will, to ever yield. Even to love.

As years went by, I despaired. I had prophecies and words spoken of God's love for me, of the purpose he had for my life. I believed somehow that it was true, but if so, why didn't it come to pass? Why did I go to church week after week and remain unchanged? Why did I harden my heart in the message or against prophecies that I knew were spoken directly to me, persuading me to yield? Why did I go weeks, months, years without reading my Bible, without praying, without talking to God except in angry, hopeless desperation? Why did I cry when I was alone, asking him with all my heart to let me die? When was his promise going to happen?

And this. It seemed like the ultimate betrayal, the ultimate trick played on me by a God who was determined to make me suffer. My life had been one long record of suffering, and this one thing, the thing that finally seemed like some good, had turned bitter and sour. It was as if you'd bitten into the sweetest chocolate and found it ridden with the most deadly poison.

But it wasn't. The poison gave way to the healing medicine of God's touch. I had no choice, in that circumstance, but to turn to God. He was literally all I had left. Finally, he got me to the point where even my supremely stubborn will and hardened heart had to give way. I had no other choice. It would have eaten me alive.

And my heart has been set free. I surrendered to God, finally. Laid everything down. Gave myself to him heart and soul. Gave up. Gave in. Allowed him to do what he'd been longing to do for all those years: take me over. And it has been the sweetest thing that I have ever experienced, and my heart is free. I have known his touch, his presence, his voice, and his love in ways that I have never known them in my life before in these last few weeks. I have a renewed thirst and hunger for him, seeking him in prayer, reading his word. I have discovered him to be sweeter than anything on this earth. And I want more.

And not just that. It's spilled over to other people. Last night I had dinner with a co-worker and he bared his heart to me about his recent divorce and how he'd been seeking God. Today, he was in church. His heart was touched and tears spilled down his cheeks as he received prayer. He gave me a hug and thanked me for inviting him. I know he'll be back. And all of that is because, if God hadn't done what he's done in my life, I couldn't have reached out to another.

The preacher in church today told us that our mission is to bless everybody around us. Everybody in our city, everybody in our region. And for that, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. And I can testify to the truth of that.

I'm loving God. I'm loving other people. For the first time in my life, I'm loving myself. And I'm free. I'm totally free. The thought that made me pump my fist in the air as I was running, was that absolutely nothing in my life has been permanent. I have shifted around so much, moved so much, changed jobs so much, lost relationships, been hurt by other people—all to teach me the glorious truth that made me so happy: all I need is God. He is enough for me. Nothing on this earth lasts, nothing is reliable, but he is faithful. He is permanent. He will never leave me or forsake me. And his love is the greatest thing I can possibly possess.

I used to never understand the end of Romans 8. It says:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
'For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:35-39)

For a long time I judged God's love in my life by my circumstances. If I was suffering, surely God did not love me. Now, for the first time, I understand these words. God's love is greater. God's love is greater than my circumstances. It triumphs over any earthly reality, even persecution, suffering, and death. If I have that, I can actually go through anything. It's real. It's great. And it's believable. He is all that I want.

I'm loving this. And for the first time, I make no apologies about being so blatantly "Christian" on my blog. I want everyone else to know this, too. Because if God's done it for me, who was so bitter, so hurting, and so closed against him for so long, he can do it for anyone.

Even you.

art, church, dinner, god, HAPPY, Heart, HOPE, inspiration, Jesus, life, love, people, person, relationship, road, and more:

Relevant to: Freedom + time