Journey or Destination part 2

geesje-vera2

Journey or Destination? By Geesje

https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

 

I can safely say that on November 30th, 2016 I received Christ in my heart. In spite of all that has happened before then, and my faith in God being older than that, the joy of being saved was never mine until recently.

It has changed me in a way I always thought was impossible. Yes, I have heard the stories and read the testimonies that claim there was a sudden peace in surrendering, asking for and being granted forgiveness after repenting, and accepting the gift of the Cross. In spite of my being baptized in 2010, I had never experienced it for myself.

Finally, my heart was changed, in the middle of a pile of laundry, as I admitted I cannot do it alone. I am not strong enough. I need Him.

My journey to get to this point has been a long one, with a lot of ups-and-downs along the way. My long distance pen-pal Jack, whom I have never seen in person, has been an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to my travels on the path to my Savior. Jack now blogging at www.JesusChristExalted.com sent me emails, books, and music over the past 20 years, that have helped me to get to know the Lord better. Getting to know him as a gifted poet, Jack has shared his faith and his knowledge with me during the times when I was on spiritual crossroads in my life.

Jack pointed me to the Lord’s Prayer when I needed help to pray all those years ago. He was also the one I turned to on that November-night, when I felt lost, hurt, alone and so confused about what it was that God could want for me in my current situation. What would God want FROM me ?!?!

Jack pointed me to Matthew 5 and 6 in the Bible, and to a chapter in 1 Corinthians, so that I could read for myself what the answer was in God’s own Word. And reading, I did! And while reading those words I knew that what Jesus asked of me in Matthew 5 and 6, I could not do. I was not strong enough. I would have to have help.

God’s help.

So I got down on my knees and prayed. Prayed for Jesus to come and save me, to help me fight the darkness I felt surrounding me, to take my troubles and my worries from me, help me to be who He wants me to be, and help me to do what He wants me to do, rather than what I think is best.

I asked Him to forgive my sins, and change my ways from the inside out. And He did!

The years of struggle and slow progress to get to that point made me think I was “there”, that I had arrived, so to speak. I felt elated, walking on clouds! Happy to finally be saved and feeling like the Lord was really with me, inside of me, changing me from the inside out. I felt like singing His praises all day, and literally did.

And then, a couple of days later, Jack told me I needed to find a church close by, to be my family in Christ and to learn more. His own online guidance was not enough for a Newborn like myself, that I needed actual spiritual family…

For as long as I can remember, Jack has been the only spiritual family I have had. Even though living at the other side of the Atlantic, he has been there online during my struggles and questions. Jack has been the one to suggest I start this blog. Jack has been the one suggesting I start singing again. Jack has been like the voice of God to me.

And now he told me that I would have to find a family. And I didn’t like it one bit. I felt disappointed, rejected and abandoned. I didn’t need anyone over here, did I?! I had not before, and I was saved now. I had finally reached my destination, had I not?!

No. I had not.

It took a picture of my daughter to make me realize that I had been foolish to think so. My precious 4 year old, 7 pm on New Year’s eve, outside while it was dark.

Holding fireworks in her hand for the first time, her little safety glasses on, wide-eyed and oh so proud. She was lighting fireworks like the adults, and she was a really BIG girl now! Oh the look in her eyes, thinking she ‘had it made’! … not knowing that her ‘fireworks’ were merely  sparklers and throw-downs. Literally child’s play compared to what would go up in to the sky, later, at midnight.

d-sparklers

Yes, to her it was immense. But in reality, she was still at the start of her journey to being grownup. It will take several more years of growing up for her to experience the real fireworks at midnight. A lot of falling and getting back up, questions and struggles to learn and understand the risks that are involved and the consequences of her actions and choices.

In her eyes I saw my own feelings reflected: I had felt like I was all grownup now, like I had arrived at my destination and from here on it would all be a piece of cake. That I had overcome all danger and all sin and all struggle to finally be a saved Christian for real! My pride got the better of me, and I thought I could handle it, from now on. What Jack had tried to tell me was that he wanted to make sure that I would find all the support, help, and care that I need as a Newborn.

 

Because this is not a destination, but rather the start of another journey. Being reborn comes with a whole new world of challenges, experiences and questions. All of those needs are way more than a single brother in Christ, no matter how kind and Guided he may be, can answer and take care of from across the Ocean. I am not abandoned nor rejected. I will not lose the family I feel I have…. no, He simply wants for me to find more family!

So I am looking at churches around here. To see if there is a church that could be the family that I need. I no longer feel rejected or abandoned. I feel blessed because I am not travelling alone. And my brother in Christ? He is helping me, pointing out local churches that might be suitable that he finds through the Internet, sending me links and even looking up websites.

My God is a great God, for He has given me everything I need and more to grow so that I won’t have to be a newly born forever. And I thank Him for working His miraculous ways, across oceans and through cyberspace, with me every step on this journey. Because a journey is what it is. And that is what He does!

 

Geesje https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

Netherlands

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry.

Kingdom Definition in Baptist Faith and Message

The Kingdom of God was the central theme of Jesus’ teaching while on earth. After His resurrection and ascension, He personally spent 40 days on earth training His disciples. The focus of His teaching was the Kingdom. Acts 1:3

As I grow in Christ, my knowledge of the Kingdom has grown, but this statement from the Baptist Faith and Message shows the commonality among Baptists and a starting encapsulization of my personal convictions.

Thank you,

Jack McCarty

IX. The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God’s will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1Isaiah 9:6-7Jeremiah 23:5-6Matthew 3:2;4:8-10,2312:25-2813:1-5225:31-4626:29Mark 1:14-159:1Luke 4:438:19:212:31-3217:20-2123:42;John 3:318:36Acts 1:6-717:22-31Romans 5:178:191 Corinthians 15:24-28Colossians 1:13Hebrews 11:10,16;12:281 Peter 2:4-104:13Revelation 1:6,95:1011:15;21-22.

Sharee’s Testimony of Deliverance

As I have been going through some major changes in my life, I have been seeking direction and reassurance in the path that God has set me on. Just this morning, I awoke after dealing with rampant sickness and difficulty in my family when I finally had the opportunity to respond to a message from a long-time friend. He let me know he had moved several hours away from the same place in which I had previously encountered similar issues to his. Bondage, frustration, drug-addiction, and attempts to change – all to no avail. I encouraged him as best as I could in the moment and then proceeded to embrace all the goodness this  day would hold. I am a fighter, a survivor. I hunger and thirst for Truth, hold no secrets of my own, and am constantly seeking help in areas that are too difficult for me to overcome alone. I have found that serving others helps me to share light with them and offer encouragement on a particularly elevated level. During this magnificent day, I had the pleasure of getting to know a new friend a little more and encountered an experience that took me back to one of the greatest days of my life. Let’s rewind a bit.
It was the year 2009 and I was struggling greatly. I was saved, baptized, and had begun a  new life. I was constantly in my Bible – so much so, that I read it from cover to cover in about 4 months. However, I was still mixed in with old acquaintances and old habits that would one day result in nothing short of death if I did not change. One day, I was alone at my residence. I flushed down the toilet a major “investment” that I had purchased for someone else that didn’t go through. I was exhausted. There in my bedroom, I looked out of the window into the beaming sunlight and I uttered these words, “God, please help me rest.” Immediately, I heard a response. One word – “Rest.” So, that is exactly what I did.
I slept for a while, and when I awoke, I perceived the beams of the sun rays as red-hot lasers scanning every inch of my surroundings continually. I lay there in a cold sweat, not sure of what I was experiencing. I heard the voices of my little sister and mother praying on the other side of my bedroom door. Being still felt so uncomfortable, so I moved a bit. Once I did that, I heard dogs barking and footsteps pounding. I heard my little sister’s whispered screams of, “Sharee! Be quiet! Be still! Please!” So I did just that. Not many more moments passed and I began to feel the breath of dogs and their wet noses around the bed. I couldn’t “see” them, but I knew they were there, and that I was no longer just in my bedroom. I was in the midst of a prison that I had created! Once I was still long enough, the dogs retreated. This happened several more times. I thought my life was over.
After many more moments, the guard dogs left and pigs took their places. As I moved, they returned. Eventually, I was still long enough that nobody came. I could no longer hear my sister and mother on the other side of the door. And in all reality, nobody was there except for me. I laid there a while longer, terribly afraid. The rays of the sun transformed from the beams of a hot laser and into a  healing light, as the flames of a fire lancing a wound.
When I awoke, I looked up dogs and pigs in the Word and encountered the Truth of this verse: Matthew 7:6 (NKJV) Do not give what is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. Once I came back to awareness and stepped out of the vision, I knew something was different about me. I no longer had a desire to run in the circles that I had before. My life began to transform. This is a story that I am not ashamed of. This is a story of an  event that changed my life dramatically and re-charted my course, re-aligning me with my destiny. I pray it does the same for you.
That day, all “alone” in my bedroom, I was healed, delivered and set free from ties that had bound me for so long. I never struggled in that area nor went down that path again. Jesus and His saving grace chased me down that day. Since I allowed him into my heart, my life has been so full. When I encounter difficulties throughout the days, this vision is a constant reminder of Who I am, Whose I am, what only He can do, and that my story was not through. Be encouraged.