Sunday, August 29, 2010

Feels Like I'm Born Again

Have you ever had the experience of being in a terrible place that you never thought you'd come out of, and then suddenly, unexpectedly, you're out?

I had this experience recently.  Our family went through a difficult time during the last several years:  one of our dear children was born with a complicated birth defect.  Praise God, she's doing well now.  But through that lengthy trial, I became a very sad and anxious person.  I felt I was only a shell of the person I used to be.  I walked through the world but didn't feel part of it, felt I couldn't join in.  I never thought I'd be happy again.  I felt I would be dragging around an emotional weight for the rest of my life.   I had my light-hearted moments, but deep inside I was a wounded person.

During this dark time, God always showed me that He was holding me and accepting me through it all.  His grace was like a lifeline to me.  I knew He was there for me, but still I had a lot of emotional pain.

Then an amazing thing happened.  God brought me to a point where I basically asked Him to baptize (saturate) me in and with His Spirit.  He'd been indwelling me since the day I came to Christ, and now I just wanted to experience all of Him that I could.

I really didn't think that some major change would occur.  And at first, I felt nothing different.  But after a couple of days, something amazing happened.  I could sense His presence with me, and I could sense the darkness lifting.  Suddenly the fears, sadness, and pain were actually gone.  I felt free.  Free!  For the first time in 6 years, I felt free and happy and alive again.  His presence drove out the sadness and anxiety and set me free.  He let me experience the verse that says "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!"  He had been indwelling me all along, and now He manifested His power and presence in a real and strong way.  It was such a grace gift.

It's been exactly two months since this happened to me, and I'm still still shocked that I am actually a happy person again!  The old regular carefree me is back, the person I thought was gone forever.  I really do feel as if I've been born again AGAIN.  I really do feel like a new child of God.  That's why I picked the song above to go with this post.  It is wonderful not to feel achingly sad or lost from the world.  I feel like life is worth living and as if I've got my life back again.  I still have problems, but it's as if He changed my perspective on those problems.  They don't seem bigger than God anymore.  And I don't feel alone and vulnerable in dealing with them.  I know God was always there for me, but I think I felt I was facing my earthly problems alone.  Now He shows me how He is actively working, no matter what my problems are.  There is a Person with me - the Holy Spirit - to take care of and strengthen me, fight pain and fear for me, and fill me with joy in His very presence.  He lives in and through and for me!  In His presence is fullness of joy!  He walks with me through every day and is my best friend.  He is just as grace says He is, loving and accepting, for He is the Spirit of Grace! 

I wanted to share all of this to just tell my story and thank God for this miracle.  But I also wanted to share my heart of love for all who have ever felt as I did - sad, hurt, wounded by life.   I hope that any wounded soul who reads this will know that I understand and have been in the darkness myself.  And I pray that He will bring comfort and healing to you.

He loves us so much and He cries with His children who are in pain.  I have felt Him being sad with me in my sorrow.  His presence surrounds us in the darkness, when we don't feel Him anymore, when we ask ourselves, "Why pray? It doesn't do any good!"  I've felt that myself.  We fail and we give up on God, but He never fails us and never gives up on us.  That's what grace has come to mean to me through all this - not just that He loves and accepts us as we are, but that He is faithful to be actively on our side fighting the pain in our lives and bringing His healing touch.  I believe He is doing that whether we see it, feel it, or even believe it.  Grace means He still works on our behalf even if in our pain, we've turned away from Him, lost hope and given up, and can't even pray or have a single spiritual thought.  He's still for us.  He still works to help.  I didn't ask to be healed emotionally.  I didn't expect to be changed.  I thought I'd be stuck in that pain for the rest of my life.  I didn't have any faith that anything would ever be different for me.  And He reached down and healed my wounded heart anyway.  That's grace!  And He extends that grace to us all...

May His grace overwhelm you as well.  May His Presence minister to you all that you need.  May He bring you joy and peace and renew your hope.  I just pray He will bring His healing touch to all hurts today..and make life worth living again in His sweet presence! 

                 With Love to all,

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14