Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

The newfound me…

Romans 6:21–

What benefit did you reap at the time from the things you are now ashamed of?

For some reason this verse is really sticking with me today, Lord. I think about college, and when I was about as far from You as I’ve ever been in my life. I knew my Shepherd, but I insisted on wandering off. I was set on finding my own way.

I was working all those jobs to pay for school, and I would tell people that I worked hard and I played hard.

So the answer to the question in the verse…

What benefit?

It was fleeting, temporary, and the “happiness” always had to be sought, to be recaptured, and I knew in my heart that it was hollow, and sometimes it felt downright icky…yet I continued…because that ickiness was better than the unacknowledged pain inside me…

Then I went to Paris. There I was all alone and I did reconnect with You, praying in cathedrals as bombs of terrorists exploded all around me…months of fear and upheaval juxtaposed with the beauty and magic of the city…and Your peace.

After, to return and fall in again, into the trap. This time I hit rock bottom. From that space it came…shame…the profound shame that I should’ve been feeling at some point all along (perhaps it had always been there, tamped down and tucked away, with all the other emotions I’d avoided or ignored).

And finally, Lord, to You did I run! And You took me in, wholeHeartedly, no guilt, no shame, just love.

Just love.

Do I wish I’d gone through a little less of the “other stuff?” Absolutely, because I know it hurt You to see that. I know when we sin, unrepentantly, it hurts You, as it would any parent with a struggling child.

But I sit here writing today and all I can think is…it is well with my soul. I am whole in You. Everything that happened, I can look at it, dispassionately, no regrets. That was the old, lost me. I am now the new, found me. You are in my heart. All of that past is truly, truly washed away.

And I know that You make the bad good. All I have learned, and lived through, and healed from, CAN HELP SOMEONE ELSE REACH YOU!!

In the end, THAT was the benefit.

Please help me to always keep that in mind above all else, when I think on that old life.

2 Corinthians 5:17–Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here!

I was a broken vessel, cracked and empty, toppled on its side, but You didn’t toss me away.

No.

You picked me up and tenderly repaired all those fissures and fractures, then stood me upright, stronger than before…and filled me to the brim with Your good, golden love.

John 4:14–But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Lord, I thank You for this journey…every single part of it.

The good, the bad, and the (icky) ugly.

I know this adventure with You isn’t over.

It’s go time!

Under the slowly expanding glow of the rising sun, I eagerly embrace this day…

With a smile on my face…

And joy leaking out of my eyes.

The newfound me.

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