Last weekend was the Vineyard house party and as some of you were no doubt aware, it was a very powerful time for me.
To be honest, there is no other way to describe how it was for me other than that God took me completely apart…
Every single part of me; my heart, my mind, my spirit.
It was like a major operation. I cannot describe the pain I was in. I cried virtually without ceasing from Friday night to Sunday morning.
It was if every single day of pain, depression and sorrow of my 32 years was being drained from me –actually it was exactly that.
So many people prayed for me; Grace & Charles and Tazz & Anna-Marie were especially wonderful.
In the midst of being at every meeting and being face down on the floor feeling completely overwhelmed, something in me broke, my recent feelings of apathy and self hate, my feelings of anger and frustration at church and at God were replaced with a sense of something that I have never realized before:
That God loves me.
Simple to say, and hard to believe that it has taken me the whole 14 years of my faith to come to that simple place but I can finally, really say it: God loves me. And the thing is, He is showing me how much he likes me too and that is amazing.
There seemed a simple response for me –so on Saturday afternoon, without any fuss, without any show, Matt and Becca baptized me in the pool.
When I came up, I knew everything would be different, everything would be ok, and that no matter what I do or don’t do, no matter what I think of myself, God loves me. That is all I was created for and it’s all I need.
Since then, I can honestly say I have had a peace I have never had before. I have realized how much my thinking about myself has changed in the last few weeks. I still get moments when I feel wobbly or feel crap about myself but they are fleeting, they no longer occupy much of my thinking like they use to.
I can look at myself and say I love myself and I like myself too and you have no idea how freeing it is to be able to say that after such a long time being like a prisoner in the dark. I suddenly feel free to cry out when I am in pain instead of forcing a smile through it because I think its just payback for my sin. And free to worship not because I am ‘working off debts’ but because it’s a simple thing I can do to show God love.
For the first time in my life I know I’m going to be alright.
For the first time in my life I know I am healed; I have to continue to walk in the light of that healing.
For the first time in my life I am safe in mind and spirit and finally, truly living for God.
For the first in my life…
I am me.