I think it is such an awesome thing how God can drop something into a person's spirit and it grows into so much more as time goes on. This is what happened to me with something recently. I have always known I need the Lord for everything and that apart from Him I am nothing. When I got saved, suddenly there was meaning to life, suddenly I was excited about my future, I was motivated to move forward in God, not to mention the radical changes in myself. Without God, my life was lonely, boring, and seemed so pointless, with my fears, doubts, anxieties, and worries flooding in on a daily basis, robbing me of any sort of peace or joy. It was spiitual death, literally. But then Jesus came!
As time has worn on, and as the Lord gradually gives me revelation of His ways and His thoughts, I can see very clearly what one of my problems has been for years. That is that I have always been one who likes to be independent. Even when I was out in the world, getting involved in all kinds of chaos and rebellion, I would not go to my friends for help with much of anything. Also, they called me, I normally didn't call them. Oftentimes I preferred to be alone. Unfortunately, it carried over into my Chistian lifestyle. Some 10/11 years ago when I was first involved in church, I did not fellowship much, except with a selected few, an elder and my best friend, as the elder invited us into her home for teaching. (FUN! :) ) As time wore on, I still had not grasped that it was okay to reach out to others for help with the many hangups in my life I was going through. I look back now and can't believe I kept all the heartaches and problems to myself for the most part. I'm surprised I didn't spontaneously combust and blow up or something!
So what was the problem? Why was I so silent about the things that really mattered, the things that, truth be told, were hindering my spiritual growth?
I think there were a lot of reasons. One being I felt ashamed, which of course is not of God, because there is no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Satan is the accuser, not God. I am forgiven. I was in the midst of a lot of religiosity, but because I was still a "babe in Christ", I could not recognize that. That, I believe, is a very dangerous environment to be in. I was surrounded by people who put on a happy face, but were hurting within and didn't want to deal with it. Because of that, I would stick out like a sore thumb if they knew what I was going through. (Those of you who have read my testimony know what I mean. And even then, that is just the tip of the iceburg.) Many were also egotistical and proud, and there were a lot of rules. I also would not reach out because I felt I would not be received well. I did not sense or even hear anything much about love in the beginning years of my walk with the Lord. I can say one thing about that though. I was honest in telling them some things, about addictions and such, because I wanted to change, and God knew that, and He radically changed me, and He gets all the glory for that now. I can remember in the beginning going to church in blue camoflagued pants and strange t-shirts, with my piercings and shaved head with blonde and at one time pink hair. I definitely stood out and I think there were some prejudices that went along with that. These people judged me on my appearance, but God saw my heart and that it was after Him. Over time, the piercings came out, the hair grew out, and I wore skirts and stuff, but for a while I believe people's true colors showed and I am glad God allowed me to go through that time of being put down by the church. Now, I know I would never do that to anyone, whether they come into God's house or not, whether they are Christian are not, because you never know, that person could become God's next called prophet, or preacher, or teacher, or evangelist. Afterall, He is no respecter of persons. Praise God for that!
About 2 years ago, I started going to a healing and deliverance church and God has done a work, let me tell you. But even there, among some of the most kind, compassionate and loving people that I have ever met in my life, I found myself still depending on myself. It was my struggle, and I couldn't even see it until God showed it to me. The pastor, the armor-bearer, and the brethren had all given me their phone numbers and offered to help me because I have really been going through it to get my healings and my deliverances that I didn't realize were even there before they were brought to light. After a long time, I finally decided to start calling the pastor when I was especially troubled because that is what she wants us to do. She believes it is a part of her job descripton and I agree. Many of us have been through some really rough patches. We would talk and she would pray and I would feel restoration in my spriit. Now, I talk with the armor-bearer from time to time also, who is a woman much wiser than myself, who I admire and respect as my elder very much. I also have another friend who calls to "check up" on me often and we have such refreshing conversations. I also reach out to my family and close friends now, and all of this has not always been so.
I believe God has placed us where we are, with the people that are a part of our lives, doing what we do, for a reason. The call on our life may be as a home maker, social worker, teacher, preacher, living near a shelter where we can volunteer, with grandkids and aunts and a spouse, writing blogs, or playing music. We're here for a reason, and life becomes more pleasant when we interact with one another in a positive way and contribute to society, as the Lord has given all people talents and abilities galore. Maybe there's someone new at your church, or at your job, or someone that moved in the neighborhood, or even a stranger who needs what may seem to be the littlest of help, like 1 cent in the grocery line so they don't have to break another dollar...whatever it is, it's all a part of the adventure that is life. Monotony and mediocrity can both be overcome with a little love and an outstretched arm. :)