This Life I Live to come. sit. and share from her heart and she has delivered! I was almost in tears as I read what she wrote below and how she not only took the concept of "The Porch", but I felt like I was right there being a good friend listening! Danielle is a wonderful writer and blogger and I do have the pleasure of knowing her in real life, too!
Here she is!
When Vanessa asked me to do this, I let her know that there was not a crafty bone in my body. She was gracious to still want me to share something, so I went to the obvious subject tucked down deep in my repertoire, adoption! While I think that there is so much to say about adoption, I felt God leading me somewhere else! I thought about sitting on the porch with friends, chatting it up, and I realized there were some other more pressing things I would want to talk about. So.....
Lately I feel like I am completely coming undone. The story of my salvation is a true testament to God's sovereignty. However, I have spent the entirety of my Christian life, trying to catch up to everyone who had been living it so much longer than I had. I came from a family that was dysfunctional on so many levels, that I was really unequipped for life in general, but even less so for the Christian life. I didn't know any of the stories kids learn in Sunday School, I didn't know how to pray, and I didn't know how to live a life that was so contrary to every example I had ever known.
So, I went to work.
I learned about sin, (confessed it quickly of course) and moved on. I went to every bible study my church had, never missed a service, and spent as much time as possible with my youth pastor and my pastor (and their wives!). I knew I had a past, and was determined not to let it define me. There was freedom in Christ, and I was going to find it if it killed me! I was going to be the girl who came out of all of that craziness, completely unscathed.
And for a while, it worked!
I went to bible college, married an awesome Christian guy (with an awesome Christian family), did everything I could at church to show that I was moving on, in control, and able to live this Christian life, well! I lived for the praise of others, worked hard to not feel the weight or pain of anything, and kept pushing on towards my sanctification. But, eventually, I couldn't do it anymore.
So, I found ways to cope.
And in my ways to cope there were levels of sin (founded completely on pride, self righteousness, and idolatry) that got so intertwined into the fibers of who I was, that they were unnoticeable to me. Fear, anxiety, and thoughts of an obsessive nature just became who I was. In all of my working, I somehow managed to completely cut myself off from the sustainer of life-abundant, and began to settle for the piddly little drops of dirty water that Satan offered as he was stealing, killing and destroying.
But God chose me, for Himself, as a vessel to clearly display His glory.
So, He is undoing all of who I am right now. There are some really surface level practical things that He is starting with, but He is also digging way down deep into the core of who I am. He is showing me sin upon sin and lie believed, upon lie believed. He is using His Spirit, His Word, and His people to spur me on, speak truth into my life and encourage me to pursue HIM.
For the girl who lived, thrived and hungered to maintain the tightest grip of control over her life, I can honestly say that right now, I have none. I desperately wish I did, and am dealing with my core beliefs about who God is, so that I can fully surrender that to Him. He is totally undoing me, and I am terrified yet hungry for living water that I know He alone supplies. And in this process of undoing, I know that there may be great sorrow and pain during this process, and in this life, but the great comforter is my Father, and the great Counselor brings eternal healing, and in my mind, that is worth the pursuit!
Thank you, Danielle for that sweet openness that I pray God uses in a mighty way! Thank you for being my first "The Porch" friend to stop by! If you would like to hear more from Danielle and learn more about her life story, be sure to visit her at This Life I Live!