I recently joined this group at church called table groups.  It’s a more in depth study of our Sunday sermon and that study was followed up by a group called Equip.  Equip was a study that dove into the Bible and helped us learn if we were followers of Christ or just fans, and I am definitely a follower with a hunger to learn more and dive in deeper to bring more closer to Him.  Why?  What has He done for me?  I mean really, I’m a survivor of child sexual abuse, a survivor of rape, a survivor of an emotionally and physically abusive marriage, I’ve never had high self esteem, I’ve suffered with my weight, I suffered from bulemia for about 20 years, and now, I am finding myself alone again, an empty nest without my child, without parents and without my sibling – not by my choice, through theirs.  But what has stayed constant during all this, has been God’s love.  God’s everlasting, perfect, constant, never ending love.

I recently had a conversation with someone and was telling him how until I knew him, I had never experienced the feeling of having someone say the words to me “I’m sorry” Period.  Not, I’m sorry, but if you hadn’t….Not, I’m sorry but you shouldn’t have, and then I wouldn’t have….Not, I’m sorry, but you started it…Just I’m sorry.  Those were foreign words to me and it took me a very long time before I could realize they were meant.  An even longer time before I could hear them and not be waiting for the explanation of why Sorry came with no but, blah, blah, blah after it.  I shouldn’t be surprised however, by my past experiences with “sorry” Kyle Idleman even write’s of this “blame game” mentality in his book AHA.  It goes back as far as Adam and Eve.  In Genesis 3:12 Adam blames Eve for his sin of eating from the tree of knowledge.  He doesn’t take personal responsibility for his actions.  So why should I be surprised no one in my life can?

I was also explaining to someone recently why I’ve always been an observer in life.  I’ve never quite been good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, sporty enough, tall enough, short enough.  There was always something “lacking”….something never quite “enough”.  Growing up and being compared to the “perfect older sister” and “why couldn’t you be shorter like your sister” or “why couldn’t you have curly hair like you sister” or “why couldn’t you have the perfectly straight teeth like your sister”?  Well, now I guess because God made me this way because He wanted me this way.  But the message I received was, I was not good enough, which fed into my insecurity so I remained the quiet observer.  Now, I fully understand God truly did make me this way, and He certainly loves me just the way I am. And so do I.

I’ve also learned through these two classes we are all human, and we do make mistakes.  While we try to live in the word, and stay in the word, and remain in the word, and remain in Him, we do live in the world, but we do not have to become the WORLD.  John 15 is such a beautiful chapter about being in God and Him in us.  It mentions REMAINING together 11 times.  Can you believe that’s all we have to do?  Just stay in the word.  Stay with Him.  He stays with us.  How hard is that?  He is the vine, we are the branches, we bear His fruit, we continue to grow.  His command to us?  Love one another.  How hard is that?

The more I think about this, the more I start observing again.  The more I start observing, the more I want to start gathering those I love around me and sharing their stories, and then reaching out to others who are hurting, and spread the hope to those who feel hopeless….I’ve been hopeless…I’ve let God down by feeling hopeless…for that I apologize to Him.  I did not mean to doubt His great power.

So, I asked for forgiveness and gently reminded myself of Phillipians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  And He gently reminds me in Phillipians 4:7 “the peace  of God which guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”  I know He forgives me my doubts, and I know He knows my heart, I know He has my request taken care of before I even ask.

Because of all I’ve been through and because of this great revelation I have recently experienced, I’ve decided to renew my vow to Christ.  I’ve decided to rededicate myself to Him and to be rebaptized.  Now, I know it isn’t necessary to be dunked again, but I really want to do this symbolic gesture for myself and for God.  I want to wash away the past 27 years of my life and renew my spirit, my hope, my faith, and feel the rebirth of His love.  My life has changed so much in the past few years.  And for the first time in a very long time, I finally feel my life has purpose and meaning.  I told my therapist as much today, as well as telling her for the first time in my life, I know God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my best friend and God knows I am worth giving HIS ONLY SON to die for me.  No matter what any other person on EARTH thinks of me GOD LOVES ME…and God knows my value.  I thank Him for this, and all I want to do now is serve Him and show Him how thankful I am for His perfect love.

I remain guarded of my new heart and grounded in this verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 “Be joyful always; pray continuously; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I remain in Him.