Saturday, January 14, 2012
I have decided to do the Beth Moore study, "Breaking Free," again. The first time I did it, I was a junior in high school. You would think that a junior in high school wouldn't have much to break free from, right? Wrong! In this study, Beth talks about the captives being set free. In God's word, He talks a lot about setting the captives free. The captives are not only the lost, but they are you and me, believers. When I was a junior in high school going through this study, I was challenged to memorize the verses in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Let's see if I can write this from memory. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world, but on the contrary, these weapons have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish every argument. We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I think that is pretty much it, or at least how I have memorized it to be. I have used this verse over the years, but increasingly less and less. However, I need it again. Satan has come back to attack me spiritually with something that I thought I dealt with almost ten years ago. When going through this study the first time, I didn't know it but God was preparing me to deal with the divorce of my parents. I started this study only a few months before they were to separate. I had no idea, my parents had no idea, but God knew! My naivety was what led me into doing this study in the first place. I grew up, was saved at the young age of 5, and yes I really was saved then. I thought it my duty as a good girl to do this study with the women at my church, First Baptist Van Buren, AR. I waltzed in and took a seat by my best friend, Melissa. Soon after I sat in that chair, I realized that God had brought me there. God had just brought me out of the despair caused by the death of my young uncle. He had come from Texas to live with us because although he had dated much, he had never married. He worked as a chemical engineer in Dallas Texas, and had no one to watch over him as he died. So, my Dad and Uncle went to Texas, gathered up him and some of his belongings, and brought him back to Arkansas to live with us. My brother's old room became his final resting place before he met Jesus just four months after his diagnosis of lung cancer. Although I didn't show it, when I walked into that room full of women at my church, I was heavy and burdened. In my short 17 years on this earth I had already dealt with my fair share of hurt. I had lost my Pawpaw on my Mom's side to cancer, when I was six years old. He and I were best friends and I was the closest to him as I was my own parents. On the day that I lost him, my parents found out that my brother who was a twin to my sister, would not be born as a normal and healthy baby. At that point, my Mom was about 26 weeks along. My brother and sister were born a few months later. They were premature, and my brother was immediately airlifted to Children's Hospital. My Dad accompanied him on this ride and I don't remember seeing either of them again for months. As a family, we lived like this for two years. During this time, I found out that my Mom had Muscular Schlerosis, and may not live. I also had to deal with almost total eye loss in one eye and partial in the other, due to a degenerative eye disease. The day after my brother and sister turned two years old, I was headed to school with the neighbors so that my Mom could get to work on time after taking my sister to the babysitter's house. My Dad always worked from home. He is an engineer/attorney and has his own oil and gas business. I remember Gabe's alarm going off that day and watching as my Dad scrambled around, shoes being flung across my brother's blue bedroom, as he tried to resuscitate my brother. I was used to this because my brother's alarm went off a lot of the time, but that particular morning, as I walked to the Meadow's house up my driveway, I wondered and worried that my brother might not make it this time. It was not long before I was called out of class. I remember looking at my best friend, Grace Anne who I am still close with today, in the eyes. I don't know if she knew what I was thinking, but I felt that she did. I was met at the office by my Aunt who broke the news that my brother had passed away. On the way to the hospital, I remember just losing it. When I got there, I saw my brother's dead body being help by my Dad. For the first time, I saw my Dad cry. He shed some tears, but there was no sound. Soon after my brother's death, I had corrective eye surgery. I had to wear a patch on my left eye for weeks before it. Thankfully, the surgery worked, but it was still excruciatingly painful. Again, we as a family made several trips back and forth to Children's Hospital. A few months later, I was staying in Vicksburg, Mississippi at my Mawmaw and Pawpaw's house on Spring break of my fourth grade year, when while sleeping on the couch that made out into a bed, I was awakened by a loud crash. I looked up and my other Pawpaw, Pawpaw Gatling, my Dad's Dad, was being wheeled out of the house. I had noticed that when I went to bed, my cousins were with me, but I woke up alone. I saw my Pawpaw that night lifeless on that stretcher, and I can't seem to forget it. It was hard on me, but I knew that my Pawpaw had accepted Christ just months before when my Mom, his daughter in law, whitnessed to him and he accepted. After the funeral a few weeks passed, then on April 21, 1996, a night I will never forget happened. An F-5 tornado hit our city and our home. I truly believed that I might die that night, but as we were being sucked up the stairs, God had another plan. He saved us from that storm so that we could live on this earth a little longer. I'll be honest, after that point fear took such a stronghold in my life. In the evening if we got a phone call late at night, I thought someone was calling to tell us of the death of a loved one. Or, if there was a storm, I worried that we might die in it. In the next few years, I dealt with the unfaithfulness of a parent, sickness of my mother, and fighting on all sides. There was much abuse in my home, and many different kinds of it. Then, my uncle came to live with us and he too died. Finally, by God's grace I walked into this study. How it has helped me through my college years to trust in Him. I know that it had such an impact on my life, but I do not believe that I have dealt with many of my strongholds fully. I plan on doing it this time through. I know God is able to do immeausreably greater than what we ask or imagine. I also know that things that I dealt with as a child and growing up were things that I cannot change. I know that God has strengthened me through the many trials, but if I do not deal with fear and unbelief than I will not be able to fulfill all that God has called me to. I share small pieces of my story with you so that you will know that God is bigger. No matter what life throws at you, death throws at you, you can live in freedom. I believed that I had dealt with my fear and that it was gone for good, sometimes the enemy has other plans. That is okay because my God has bigger plans. His plans will not fail. So no matter what I have to give up, it won't even compare to what blessings I will gain throughout this process and in the future. Living in captivity and in bondage is living with anything that hinders us from the fullness of what God wants for us. What does that mean in your life? What do you need to give up so that God can have His way with you?