I remember being afraid to open some of those notifications.
I’m a runner… well… I was.
For a long time, I think I thought a new town meant a new name. What I know now, though, is a new town may have been a new opportunity, but it was still the same me.
There was a time when every old memory would usually reveal an old self- the ‘who-I-was-then’ self.
The ‘yeah, her dad died’ self
The ‘she doesn’t have any supervision anymore’ self
The ‘out of control teenager’ self
I bounced from home to home, but with each new experience I carried one name over and over- ‘the no one is going to hurt me, I’ll take care of my self’ self.
and I failed me over and over.
That changed with Christ.
I don’t carry shame for the mistakes that I made or the dark places I’ve been. Those things are encouragement for those that need to know God is still in the business of healing. God can’t change your past, but He can redeem it. It’s my testimony; I’ll show you.
Now my old problems are a new platform for God’s glory, but those old scriptures like that one above; it’s an ever present reminder.
I see scripture pop up in old memories and my stomach literally turns.
I’m nauseous? Over scripture? Yes, yes I am.
I know Hebrews 11 now, the faith hall of fame. I also know Hebrews 12, discipline from God, and I also know God.
I don’t know what happened on that particular day 8 years ago, but I can assume that I goggled ‘scriptures about trial’ and cherry picked the one that best fit the occasion and posted it. I probably prayed over it and probably got mad when my prayer wasn’t answered the way I thought it should be, but here’s the thing I desperately need you to see…
Something happened that day and I acknowledged the need for scripture but failed to acknowledge the need for God.
I barely missed it.
Church, Sunday school, devotionals, serving meals for church showers… holding hands with my ex-husband in bed at night as we prayed together. I barely missed it.
I truly, truly thought I had it figured out and as close as I was to God, I honestly couldn’t have been further away from the real thing.
You want to know how God caught me? it wasn’t because I was looking for Him. I was in a new marriage, desperate to have a real family after having already failed one union… and I bought a Bible, actually I bought three.
One for me, one for my step daughter, and one for her mom. I wanted to bond with my step daughter and I guess I thought Jesus would be a good way to do it. We all could. She could journal with me, she could journal with her mom, we’d all be happy, happy. Because life works that way in tragedy?
I was looking out for me. God, make my step-daughter love me. God, let her mom not hate me. Me, Me, Me.
Little did I know that Bible I bought for us to color in is the one that saved both my life and my soul. The night God swooped in I had that Bible in one hand and a well contemplated suicide plan in the other. It was both the most desperate and most fulfilling day of my life that almost ended but instead had just begun.
“Katie, your life isn’t over; Katie, I am going to use all of this. Katie, this is all going to be okay.”
Words can’t describe, tears cannot paint, the way that felt in my heart. My only reply was “okay.”
That’s it. Okay. God offered me a gift and I accepted it.
I knew God was good; I knew my step daughter needed to know God; but how HOW did I not know that I didn’t know Him for myself?
Because I thought I had until I knew I didn’t.
I was so close. I done all of the checklist right. I had barely missed it.
and what if I really had? What if I’d spent all of those days in church, in devotionals, in prayer for me to come to the throne of judgement and God say, “wait? and who are you?”
If you are googling your scriptures and only running to them on the days that bad things happen.. please know you are missing it too.
God is more than the answer to that prayer on that bad day. He is Lord.
We have the hardest time living for Him, because we can’t seem to stop living for ourselves.
That bible verse 8 years ago wasn’t for God or His glory. I’m positive it was for me and mine.
Somebody, somewhere knew what that status was about. That was me saying to them, “Look at me, faithful even after what you did. Faithful no matter what. Trusting God no matter what. Take that.”
“I can see it now- at the final judgement thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ and do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat All you did was use me to make yourselves important’ You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.” Matthew 7: 22-23 the msg version
Are you sure?
Are you sure that you know God, not things about God?
Are you sure that you trust Him, all of Him; the things that feel good and the things that don’t?
Are you sure you follow Him and His plan for your life, or do you try to tuck and squish Him into the things you want?
Are you sure?
It’s too easy to dress it up- too, too easy, so easy. You can know scripture and not know God. You can do church, and not be the church. You can be moral and not be saved.
I pray that I pray that I pray that if you aren’t sure, you will seek. Genuinely, genuinely seek.
Knowledge of scripture can be faked, but salvation cannot.
Search your heart; God is not interested in your social media.