Once upon a time, there was a girl named Shannon. Her life was missing Jesus. It took awhile, but she eventually found him and she lived happily ever after. The end.
The fairy tale and movie version, do you ever fall prey to that kind of thinking? If you listened to “Why Holes to Whole?”, you know I did. My story does not include a lightening stroke moment like Saul experienced on the road to Damascus. My journey has been like building a house of bricks one at a time, which at times has felt painstakingly slow. My story includes a lot of time spent in the wilderness. The upside to being in the wilderness is that the Promised Land is on the other side. I’m grateful that I have experienced that too.
So I have told you what my life was like before Jesus, I told you what happened and now as promised, I will tell you the end of the story, what my life is like now since meeting Jesus.
The first words that come to mind to describe my life since being reborn are Freedom and Direction. Once I was saved, God began to open my eyes to the many things that held me in bondage. Now that I was awake, I was looking for, listening to and seeking God’s direction for my life. As promised, He revealed it and He gave me the strength and willingness to follow His guidance. My life started to have true meaning and purpose.
The sense of direction that God provided was pretty immediate, while the freedom……. yep still working on that 🙂 My freedom has not come all at once, rather in one area at a time. Sometimes it has been a back and forth dance between freedom and bondage as I have struggled with God, myself, others and circumstances. Not much of my freedom has come easy, many times it has felt like a wrestling match (check out the story of Jacob wrestling with God).
I relate to Jacob so much because God’s victory in my life has usually only come after battle. At times I have thought that they would kill me or close to it. But at some point during or after each and every one, God has faithfully shown His face to me. Although I have often walked away from these wrestling matches limping like Jacob, I have also walked away stronger and more grounded in my faith.
For whatever reason, God has decided to awaken me slowly over the years to different areas of my life that need healing. Had He given it to me all at once, I surely would have died! Yes, the awakening and the wrestling have been excruciating at time. However, without them there would be no freedom, no message, no ministry and no blog. My greatest miseries have turned into my greatest messages.
As I share in About Me, I told you that I was going to share authentically and vulnerably. In order for me to truly connect and relate to someone I need to hear some of their mess and some of their message. Honestly, one thing that really triggers me is only hearing about or seeing the highlight reel. I told myself when I started this blog that I would not fall into that trap. Please let me know if I do.
So yes, my life has gained direction and freedom since meeting Jesus, but it hasn’t all been peachy. Lots of it has been just plain hard and I haven’t liked it one bit. If I got paid for every hour I have spent healing and growing toward God, I would be a very rich woman. The work continues to be rigorous, continuous and exhausting. But it’s my life and I do my best to embrace it.
A short recap of my life history since meeting Christ goes like this:
- Have baby #3.
- Join Al-Anon for codependency issues.
- Join Overeaters Anonymous for eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia & compulsive overeating).
- Divorce after nine years of marriage with children ages 5, 3 and 1.5.
- Remembrance of trauma and abuse I experienced that was repressed for decades.
- Severe depression and anxiety resulting in a two week stay at the hospital.
- A slow rebuilding and recovery process.
- Work in ministry.
- Meet a great guy.
- Get married.
- Leave job.
- Court battles.
- Blending a family and getting comfortable with new normals.
No biggie, right? Hahaha. My point is that my life has been wonderful and horrific since I have walked with God. I have experienced so much joy and so much pain. I won’t say that I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because honestly there are some things that I would gladly trade. But the thing that I have learned is that everything is a package deal. I won’t get the mountain top without the valley. Today I am truly awake to life, no longer numb and comatose to the world around me. If I lost the amazing while dumping the junk, I wouldn’t do it. What I can honestly say is that I no longer want to live someone else’s life. Meeting Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I am living a life that I never thought I could or would (despite the heartache and pain that nips at my heels).
Of course this is only an overview of the rest of the story. Please continue to follow along as I share more specifically going forward.
I would love to hear your salvation story and about what your life is like since meeting Jesus. Please comment below or contact me individually here.
Please reach out to me if you would like to talk more about meeting Jesus for yourself or would like to connect around any heartache in your story. Feel free to comment below or send me a confidential contact.
Together we can do what we could never do alone!
Until next Wednesday………….