“The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.” I had no clue what redemption truly meant until I was over my head in selfish, unwise decisions. Pursuing people’s approval, guys attention, and doing my best to change everything about me to fit in was just the tip of the iceberg. I not only took my eyes off Jesus but began to disbelieve my foundational truths such as not kissing before marriage, not going partying/to the bars, no sex before marriage, avoiding unwise company… I turned into the person who would praise God on Sunday morning who then turn around and ignore everything I just heard Sunday afternoon. This is what losing your identity looks like…abandoning everything you were taught as a child, thinking another way is better, and then ending up worse off than you were before. As I sit here and type this, I continue to ask myself where I went wrong… When did I decide that worldly things were more satisfying than Jesus?
Let’s back up a little shall we? The very moment I clearly heard God tell me to not take, what I thought was, my dream/destiny job was the first time the devil was able to create a scheme against me. Therefore, from fall of 2016 until I moved to Charlotte in summer 2019, I was slowly being lied to by the enemy. This opened doors for me to choose to drift from the purpose of God and into this misconception of who I thought I should be. I used God’s purpose as an excuse to run away from the ACTUAL place God wanted me to be all along. You would have thought after I ended up in the ER in California, I would have learned my lesson… to just stay in WV… but I was bound and determined to make my city dream a reality. This goal I claimed was from God was the way in which my greatest fall began.
So there I was in a big city, working within miles of the Panther’s Stadium. Thinking I had made it. But instead of loving every second of my experience, I ended up with a severe anxiety/panic disorder and a mild case of depression. As I sat in my apartment alone, all I could keep thinking was if this was what God had for me, I wanted no part of it. Disclaimer: this is NEVER where God wanted me, I wanted me in the big city, God wanted me right where I was. Did I ever say this truth out loud? Of course not! Deep down, beneath each scheme of the devil I knew I was wrong but did not want to admit it. Looking back the Holy Spirit was gently tapping at the door I should have opened but I was unable to separate truth from lies at this point. I continued going through the motions of my old ways as I pushed right into sinful behaviors mentioned above. From the beginning of December 2019 to October of 2020 I abandoned EACH fundamental truth and basically lived to please people and myself. I cringe as I look back on each decision I made… continuing to think, “Why?” But I know why now. I was not in the perfect will of God. I was running and in midst of aimless motion veered off into nothingness.
Amongst facing the consequences of my actions mentally and emotionally, I found out on November 2, 2020 that I was pregnant with whom is now named Teddy. Amid complete disobedience, God continued to tap at my heart strings and when He saw that was not going to be enough, gave me one last “nudge” that awoke me to begin listening to the Holy Spirit once again. As much as I don’t want to admit this, God used my baby boy as the final push to get me to open the correct door, to bring me back to Him.
As I continue allowing God to fight my way out of the lies and into freedom once again, the struggle of the shame and guilt are immense. I am broken and in turn broke many dear relationships. My hope by sharing this is that you would see that God’s way is ALWAYS BETTER. That you would recognize that you are also being lied to and schemed against by the enemy, but we serve One who is already victorious. The key is we cannot lose our fundamentals of faith because as soon as we decide we are smarter, better, or that God is not worth fighting for, we end up in our own vast story of redemption... when all along if you accept and obey Jesus while serving and recognizing Him as Savior and Lord you can live in redemption without the selfish mess.
I used to hope one day that my selfish mistakes would be used to bring glory to God and now I am very blessed and grateful to say mine and Teddy’s story are doing just that. Continuing the path of vulnerability and authenticity with Jesus is not one of ease but choosing to be for Jesus brings peace whereas being against Him is detrimental to you and everyone around.