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Choices

  • James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    Galatians 6: 7-8 “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

    Hebrews 12: 11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

    Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore; he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

    Ephesians 5: 11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”

    I was very young age when I realized I wanted to be a Christian. There was no conviction of the heart as some would say but more of I knew that God loved me and I loved him. So I can understand the saying ‘the innocence of a child’. As I grew older, my love came to fear.  Being raised in the bible belt of America, I was being taught that God was all fire and brimstone and if I did any wrong, I was doomed to Hell.  My fear enhanced as I grew older and I personally felt it was because of the teachings around me. Needless to say I became a perfectionist and my fears tortured my mind and I became so burdened with guilt when I had actually didn’t do anything wrong.  

    Years later, I realized that God was not the God that I was raised to believe.  Finally, one day I confided with a friend all my pent up fear of how I was afraid because of my mistakes that I was going to Hell. She began to explain to me that God wasn’t a cold and evil God that demanded perfection but he was of love and forgiveness. 

    So let’s talk about complete confusion. My thoughts were all messed up and as I grew older, I began to question if God actually existed and even more how did Jesus fit into the picture?  Was God and Jesus the same person? At that point in my life, I had a choice? I had to choose  one of three ways; the worldly ways of living as if there wasn’t a God, living in fear the rest of my life, or to find out for myself that God was a loving and caring God as my friend explained and I definitely needed to understand how Jesus fit into all this.

    I am not going to say that my choice was the best, because I decided to believe that God actually was about love and forgiveness because I needed to have that in my life. I needed the fear to go away but I also decided that since he was such a loving and caring God that I could do what I wanted.  I was exhausted with everything that had been shoved down my throat growing up.  So I did as I pleased, I made some really bad decisions that I knew was wrong because of what I knew about God and what I was taught, but after you do wrong the first time, it becomes easier as time goes by.

     So with the scripture in Ephesians 5: 11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” I was living the fruitless deeds of darkness and I was the one that needed to be exposed. I believe that is when the actual conviction of the heart came upon me. I realized all the fear and guilt I had lived as a child was placed upon me by man, but what I was feeling at this time came from God and it was a hundred times worse. So I became of fixer of things. I felt I needed to fix issues that I had done; I began to realize I wasn’t living the life I knew God wanted me to live. So I suffered in silence. I was reaping what I sowed as in Galatians 6: 7-8   “Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” I became to learn that the people of this world lived in ways that I didn’t want. The sin of this world that I had been taught deceived me and I became angry because my thoughts again made me to believe the fire and brimstone God was true.  He once again became the God of what I had been taught and I hated it. I refused to live in that fear and I didn’t know how to fix things. I was stubborn because I didn’t want the people in my life that taught me about this angry God to be right.

    So my journey of truth, faith and trust began. At this point in my life, I needed some type of hope and love. I needed to feel love and not fear. I needed to have a personal connection with God so it was then I realized who Jesus was. I prayed, read my bible, devotionals, self-help books and I began to journalize my feelings. Whatever it was,  I had to get things right in my mind and my heart for me and not anyone else.  So God began to discipline me, as in Hebrews 12: 11 ‘no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” The journey God had me on was to truly understand all the love he had for me and the love that Jesus had for me too. It was painful but I needed to know but knowledge is power and that knowledge taught me God was about love and forgiveness.

    I realized the joy of Jesus; he became my best friend and still is today. I became so thankful that God loved me so much to allow his son, Jesus to die for my sins and even more I became so thankful that Jesus loved me as my Heavenly Father because he could have come off that cross but he chose not to. It was such a wonderful blessing he provided me on my journey. I realized on this journey he saved me as in Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore; he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Jesus walked upon this earth as we do and he knew my battles. I’ve learned that how I was taught the things about God is not how I needed to be taught but that is okay.  Everyone is different and we all have our battles.

    Some of us don’t need to be preached to all the time, yet some of us do. Sometimes we need to feel only love. Sometimes, we need to be accepted for the adults we have become. Sometimes, we just need our people to say “hello, we love you”, no matter what. Sometimes, we need to know my decisions are being made for what is best in my world. Sometimes, we just need for someone to listen and not be judgmental.   Sometimes, we need to know that no matter how messed up we may be to others, God loves me and we just need to know we are loved by the ones that raised us.

    My journey that God placed me on, I know was brought about by prayers of my loved ones and sometimes that is all we can do for others. It was my choice whether I wanted to go on that journey, it wasn’t shoved on me because that’s not who God is. He wants us to freely choose him. I chose to follow that journey because of how I was raised even though I felt smothered by it. Prayer is powerful and God does listen. I know the Joy of Christ now in my life; it may have taken me awhile to get there but as in James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  So be patient with those you love and may feel that are lost for sometimes words is not needed to get them on the journey they need to be on. Maybe; just maybe they just need to know you love them no matter what as I know God loved me when I was lost.


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3 comments
  • 3
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Beautiful message, Linda, thank you <3! I pray that all are able to recognize the able choice and blessing they have in Jesus <3!

Apr 26
  • 3
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Thanks for sharing that message, Linda. I can relate as I too was raised in a "religion" and felt God was not personable to me but distant and harsh. My life's journey, pain, regrets, etc.. have all helped to change that perspective and draw me closer to knowing Him as my best friend, forgiving, loving and constant. So I thank God for those experiences however painful and hard they have been!

Apr 27
  • 3
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardleedited: Apr 27

Thank you so much for this testimony, Linda!! This meant so much to me, especially when I think of all the loved ones that haven't found and accepted the Lord as of yet, and I'm growing weary! But, the lesson here is to be patient and to wait on the Lord, because HE isn't slack concerning His promises and He hears our prayers and petitions!! Dear Lord, please grant me patience, in the name of Jesus, Amen!!

Apr 27