From the time I was a little girl, I had a unique connection with the LORD. I didn’t “grow up in church,” and the only church song I knew was “Yes, Jesus Loves Me.” I was familiar with GOD’s love before I even understood the weight of it; of what He had done, and why. When I think back to that period of my life, I just remember sensing a real, awesome, delightful, tangible love, and peace unlike any other. I did nothing to earn it. I didn’t ask for it. His love just was, and He pursued me relentlessly.
“Like a Virgin” by Madonna was the first vinyl record (yes, I said vinyl record – I’m dating myself, I know) that I ever owned. It was given to me by my parents for my 9th birthday. I played that record out! And I listened to the radio all the time, recording songs off of the radio on cassette tapes (some of ya’ll don’t know nothing about that) that were mostly slow, romantic songs, although I listened to just about everything. This was my thing, all the way through my teens, and into my adulthood. In hind sight, thinking about those lyrics to all of the songs I listened to, most of it, I wouldn’t even let my stepdaughter listen to! The devil was setting me up!
I was saved when I was 15, in October of 1991. I was good for about a year, then when our youth pastor left for personal reasons, I left the youth group, feeling abandoned, even though I understood his cause. I had no earthly shepherd or mentor to guide me. My parents weren’t exactly living for GOD, although they had faith, so, the world ended up teaching me and shaping me into adulthood.
In my 20’s, Cosmopolitan magazine was my “go to” for love advice, fashion and horoscopes. I had literally stacks of them in my closet, because I had subscriptions for years! But often, I felt like I was less then when reading those articles, and as if I had to compare myself all of the time and do all of these crazy things, to keep a guy and to feel desirable. My image, my perceptions at that time, were in the hands of my torturer, the enemy of my soul. The music I listened to and the things I subjected my eyes to ministered worldly love, lust, and toxic revelry. These were the “tools” the enemy used to keep me bound, by feeding the fantasies I’d play over and over in my mind about how it should and would be, with “the one,” my “irresistible love.”
For the greater part of my life, I always yearned for love. I knew very early on, that I wanted to be a wife and mother, but I never left those decisions to GOD. I had my own plans, and I pursued them, because GOD’s way, in my ignorance, seemed like the “long, never-ending way.” My plans led me to a thorny, dizzying, traumatic road that had me bound for 20 years. It felt very much like I was living the story of the Israelites in Exodus from Egypt, and their dwelling in the wilderness for 40 years! And no wonder! My mind was so convoluted with lust, lies and imaginations, that I became stuck on “loop!”
In 2009, I rededicated my life to Christ and it happened in an amazing way. GOD was pouring into me, loving on me in ways I had never experienced before. He delivered me from many things and I began to see my gifts and discern His voice. But I still wasn’t free. I became a “repeat offender” of inappropriate, long-term, toxic relationships. Like a dog chasing its tail, I chased relationships, in fear of getting “too old” to be married, or “missing the boat” altogether. Because of my skewed self-perception and identity, I chose men that were of the “assembly required” kind. They all needed help and they all were devoid of what it took, to love me the way GOD intended me to be loved. So I ended up incurring sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse to the point where, I couldn’t trust anyone and I developed a fear of abandonment. Yet, I kept choosing this type over and over again, changing the “outer package” but the core was still the same. There was never much distance between the relationships I had, which also contributed to the insanity. I never healed right. I didn’t know how to. I just knew, that I hurt and I hurt deep. The pain became so great in 2012, that I finally surrendered to GOD my desire to have a husband. Of course I still desired one, but I got tired of doing things my way and I was finally taking responsibility for my part in the insanity. GOD did a deep work in me that year. It was painful, but necessary. He held my hand through it and gave me strength. GOD’s love got ahold of me in ways I had always yearned for. This love made everything else, things I used to really enjoy, pale in comparison. His love and grace is what gave me the strength to say “no” to old behaviors and embrace the new ones, He set before me (Titus 2:11-14). I finally saw who I was in Him and the worth that is invaluable. I no longer would settle for less than GOD’s best for me.
A year later, I met an amazing man that happened to be the cousin of my friend of over 20 years. She got the ball rolling for us to meet. At the time, I was a lead singer of a Christian rock band, doing the work of the LORD and we were busy with recording our first album, down in Tennessee. I wasn’t looking for him, I didn’t earn him, but it was GOD’s will. We were married 2 years later, and have been married now for almost 2 ½ years! He is more than I could’ve ever dreamed of, because he was sent from GOD’s hand, in His time. When I put GOD first and I put away the “idol” of man, that’s when GOD was able to bless me with my heart’s desire. I had to lay it all down, and do things His way and not my own, and guess what? It worked out for my good and GOD’s glory (Romans 8:28)! Don’t let fear lead you into rebellion. Trust GOD and wait on Him to deliver (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Throughout my life, I see the LORD’s fingerprints and the many times He lovingly called out to me, even in the midst of my rebellion. He was determined for me to see that only He can love me that way He does. This love endures, saves, heals, and transforms. In Him, you will find not only the love, security and fulfillment you crave, but all of the desires of your heart. He loves you with an irresistible, everlasting love. GOD is enough. GOD bless you always.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
– Matthew 6:33
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” – 1 John 3:1