Willfulness and loyalty of my love for God has grown by far this past year. Sometimes it makes me think of that time when I first found my new profound faith. I was not born into or raised in a Christian family, and it was a rather long path to get to where I am today. The struggle and pain that I had to endure was insane. Looking back now with a grown faith, I would go through it all over again. Honestly, because God is constant and His Love IS never failing. This tree in front of my house with the Private Property sign attached to it reminded me of myself not too long ago. My heart and life was a private property. I used to be very private with my thoughts and my faith, mostly because I held onto pain but God was knocking at my door a few months ago and He told me to stop. He brought me into a place where I found freedom and healed that part of my life. There are wonderful things that I kept to only me, and it is a selfish thing to do because sharing the Truth through my life should be shared. All I could think about was that it could harm me, but that was a lie because God is bigger. God is bigger than me. God has shown His faithfulness throughout my life and it has only grown my hunger for Him. I am constantly yearning to learn about God. With every miracle, I learn something new.
I am a learner. Whenever my husband and I watch a movie of great interest based on a true story, or visit a place, or anything that has some sort of history behind it... I always end up searching on Google to learn more. There is great love to learn about someone, something, or a place. I think everyone’s history is astounding and special. I’ve always wondered why it is this way about me and have never connected the mystery together, that is until I started reading a new book called “Women of the Word”, by Jen Wilkin. It’s to teach us how to love God with both of our minds and our hearts. I love God. I love everything that has to do with Him. This is why I picked up this book, but I am beyond amazed at the first chapter. This book is a hard read for me and it's probably because it is so convicting, but I pray daily for God to convict me to keep me on the path so hey, I basically asked for it. There was a lot of realization to backwards thinking towards God and yourself in the chapter, but I wanted to emphasize something else. Mind before the heart - It explained so many of the mysteries that I went through as a new believer. Like, why did I let myself go through so much pain and struggles for a God I barely knew?
The life I had was filled with loneliness and much of meaningless works that never meant anything. The prayers I was taught to do, I could barely understand the reasoning behind them. I was like a coaster, floating in the Dead Sea. When I said I am a learner, I meant it. If I don’t understand something, I will search for the answer. This big hole in my heart, I knew was waiting to be filled by something bigger than me. This over thinking mind of mine; I was waiting to learn something great for this thing we call life. Most of my teenage years were years of eagerness to learn more about God and what He stands for because life cannot just be this. It was years of wandering around without a stable ground. I searched in the wrong places and gave up plenty of times. I had no heart for God, but I still yearned for Him. I try to love and obey Him but I know NOTHING of Him. At the age of nineteen, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. When you come from a family like mine, this was unacceptable to an extent of being disowned.. Nevertheless, I did declare this because along with accepting this and experiencing the journey before it, it triggered peacefulness even throughout any storm. Even though this was one thing, it was a powerful touch by God. It didn’t mean I understood God. I was actually very confused by Him and everything around Jesus. Jen Wilkin pointed out something very powerful to me in this book. She said, “the heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” I didn’t love God fully because I didn’t know Him, but I wanted to. I knew deeply that God is good, but why is He good? To what? To who? Even me? And if to me, why?
I picked up a bible and read each page carefully from the first page of Genesis and until the very last word of Revelation. I was still incomplete in understanding to what God is all about... but I did notice the “Trust” the people in the Bible always abide to. It was literally everywhere, and God always delivers His promises. At that point in time, I was reading a verse that read, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” - Matthew 10:39 It was like... what? But if you go and read the whole verse before that explains about how we should not love ANYTHING or ANYONE before Him and whoever does so will lose their life. This gave me great peace and it made sense to love God first. This was when I first acted solely on faith and tested the words that God said that He would show me how to find my life if I chose to leave everything behind. I told Him, "I am holding You by Your WORD. I am leaving what I know to find You." At the time, I just wanted to test God's faithfulness if He will ever give my family back if I followed Him. I knew that He is a God of love so it can't be that frightening. Well, I was wrong, it was pretty frightening and scary but only in that time. After I stepped out of the "darkness", I saw the miracles and He did give me my family back. That was a miracle in itself, but what I didn't know though, was that I will receive much more than that.
I learned so many things about God throughout the years. Sometimes our eyes are half open and our arms aren't freely reaching out for God even after we declare that Jesus is Lord and Savior. That's the thing about mankind, we are stubborn and refuse to see above ourselves. I learned that to abandon and refusing to follow His word meant a life full of confusion and heartaches. It meant a life of storms that will drown me because I was not meant to live this life without Him. The moment I decided to follow Him FULLY with all my heart and all my mind....I learned that the more I know of God, the more I love Him, the more I want to live my life to glorify Him. Mind before the heart. My heart continues to grow in love the more my mind understands. Jesus had disciples that followed Him and they loved Him. I know now it is because they KNOW who He is. The more you love someone, the more you are interested in what they love. I love my husband through what my mind has learned about him, I love him more now than I did eleven years ago. We, as humans, love others even though they are imperfect. This is a model of God's love for us. We are made in His image. All the amazing things we do are embedded in our hearts and minds to continually have the strength to choose to love. Choosing to love and to do good isn't always easy but that immeasurable power is through God's power. God loves me even though I am imperfect. He loved me through the times I did not accept Him. When I didn't know Him... He created a pathway and saved ME from every consequence.
The other day as I was driving down the street to pick up my daughter from school, I was oddly thinking of the life I used to have and the weird events of my younger years before I even accepted Jesus... I was always protected. Through every mishap that SHOULD have ended another way, didn't. I've never really believed in coincidences, but at times I thought it could have been just that... but how many mishaps are you supposed to be delivered from every single time? I am mind blown. It could not just be coincidences. God knew my heart and He knew the endless thoughts in my mind. God KNEW I was searching for Him... and He protected me from everything that could have hindered my journey to Him. This yearning of mine was a good thing. I no longer say, "I know of God" but now I faithfully proclaim that I know God's goodness, that I know God's heart and I know He love us. I am blessed to be here, right here, right now. I am beyond blessed and feel extremely loved by God. I have a wonderful marriage by a man who loves Him, too. He delivered us from anything evil and He blessed us with MANY wonderful gifts. He also gave us a pathway to find other people who also love Him wholeheartedly. My family has grown, my mind has matured... that could only mean one thing. My heart has grown.
It takes our hearts and our minds to receive the freedom God wants us to have. Loving God and following His word is not meant to hurt us, but to free us. I am loved. YOU are loved. Let's take a step of faith with me and pray together.
I am coming to you today to thank You for all that You have done for me. You died for me. You saved me from everything harmful in my life. You lifted every storm that drowned me and You never gave up on me. You continually love me. I am thankful of the fact that you blessed me with this blog to share my love for You with others. I thank You for giving me the strength and the confidence to share the Truth. I pray for my readers that they too feel that unfailling love from You. Let them seek You with both their minds and their hearts so they know You, Lord. So that they could love You the more they know of You. I pray for my friends that read this post that they let go of anything that holds them back from You, that they too can be free through you. Touch their minds and hearts and give them the wisdom to know that it is You knocking at their door, that no matter what they have done, it is forgiven and erased. I pray for their willingness to open the door and to glorify You, Lord because glorifying you means a life of freedom and a life of joy. I pray in Jesus name, Amen.