I didn't grow up living for Christ. I came to Christ after I was 30. The bottom dropped out of my life, I was just about to give up when God spoke to me. Sometimes God speaks audibly, most time not, most time you'll just "know" it. This time it was audible. I suppose He knew my heart and knew I was really going to give up this time. When He spoke He didn't give me this big detailed list of what I needed to do to correct my life or my circumstance, He simply said, "You won't get to heaven". Just like that, and then it seemed He was gone.
So I picked up the Bible, I found a church, I cried uncontrollably for about 3 years. I was labeled the "cry baby" of the church. I was as desperate as I could possibly be, but my life seemed so out of wack, it didn't seem like anything was changing.
Why not just go back to what I knew, at least then I would be comfortable and I would know what I was doing. It was easy to live like I knew how, but it seemed hard to live like Christ wanted me to.
I found in 2 Peter Chapter 1:4-7 ; Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
I'm not sure I possessed much of any of this, I had no knowledge of God, nor anything else really here I could relate to. Except maybe love, but I'm not even sure I knew what that was anymore. I had been hurt and reacted to the hurt, lived my life, how I saw fit and created some out of control habits and strongholds.
I made a choice, I was going to stick it out. What did I have to loose? I was trying to leave a life that had nearly destroyed me, but part of me wanted to go back for the comfort, but part of me wanted to stick it out.
Ang, you won't get to heaven....
This one statement kept ringing in my ears. Now let me tell you that it wasn't the actions that I was about to do, that changed that, what changed it is the acknowledgement to Christ that I needed Him, the actions simply follow that.
I stuck it out, and I cried. 3 years is a long time to cry in desperation. 3 years seems like a long enough time, before you would simply give up, but I kept going. I kept saying, "if I could just touch the hem of his garment". There's got to me something more than what I was seeing. By this time, I had quit smoking, (one of the hardest things in my life), I had stopped frequenting the bar scene, I had gotten rid of R raided movies, I had changed my music to praise and worship. I vowed to never use the word "divorce" as an option to argue. I lost nearly all my friends, and I was in a really confusing place. Those people that did know me, noticed my drastic changes, and they voiced their opinions about it. I didn't know how to act Christian, and they all reminded me. All these habits that I was breaking seemed like I was making life worse...
Until it got better....
In any thing you are trying to do in life, to change something that you've always done, it can be quite the process. I hear people say "when God spoke to me, he instantly changed "xyz" in my life". Well, they better know how lucky they are, that doesn't work for me, in most cases it takes a very long time. But during that very long time, some amazing things are happening. When it does change, it does happen in an instant.
I haven't drank alcohol in over 8 years, I quit smoking, I became a better wife, a better mother, my children are benefiting from seeing stability and structure and I'm leaving them a life of much less chaos. Most importantly, we all know, and have a relationship with Christ. There is still a very long road ahead of us, we have many things yet to overcome, to stretch and grow, but it got easier, mostly because of the results I was able to see through that 3 year struggle.
Faith is an amazing thing....and....Ang you will get to heaven. :)
Have a great day friends!