From then on I was totally in love with Jesus and I knew that I knew that He was totally in love with me. His character and integrity awed me. He wooed me gently as I danced for Him in worship. In that setting, so many things about me began to change. I didn’t really know it but my family certainly could tell it. Julie, shhh, I am telling this, lol!
Oh gosh, back in my pre-Jesus days, they share stories of my aggression with strangers that would invade or threaten my space or a loved one’s space. I was the “keeper” of the space, and was protective, much like having a guard dog. That does not give you a warm fuzzy feeling does it? I can assure you, somewhere in the world there are people still bearing tongue lashing scars after encounters with me.
Then in my post-counseling days, if I didn’t have a relationship with you, I probably wouldn’t trust you. Trust to me was something one “earned” and never received without being proved worthy. Women really got a break with that, but character and integrity for men – was not given high regard at all – or rather, none at all. My world stayed pretty small. It is hard to keep your boundaries covered if your world gets too big.
But, it wasn’t until I walked away from not one, but two husbands after a total of 24 years of marriage that I realized I had an issue. Who sees a pattern with one time? I could no longer just blame the people around me of having issues, but realized that it was me. Now I am one of those people, that once they get their mind set on something, nothing will stop me. Some say that I am extremely strong-willed, some say stubborn, I say, sigh…“I hate it when they are right”. So God began to open up a door for me…
I don’t know if you have thought of it, but because of my traumatic experiences, I was carrying within me perceptions that controlled me in reactive instances. While much of my external life had been addressed and had me in a safe healthy place, my internal life was still very much controlling the issues deep inside, i.e., when something would trigger hurt, fear, betrayal, rejection, etc., I would shut down communication and/or gentleness, put up walls and step into PROTECTION mode. My personality would be more like a porcupine on alert…until me, myself and I determined that it was safe to come out. Has anyone ever been around an angry porcupine? Not for long, lol.
But anyway, you do what you do because you believe what you believe. You continue learned habits, patterns, behaviors, sensitivities, addictions, passions, desires, prejudices, and absolutely EVERYTHING you learned through life – until you learn not to do it.
Now we never get to the place in our God-relationship that He doesn’t reveal areas He wants changed. There is nothing you can do about that truth. The closer you get to Him it is simply the more He lets you see, not just about Him…but also about you. Though He himself never changes, we will change till He brings us home or rolls back the heavens with a shout and comes to get us.
You can fight Him, but He will win. The beauty of our life journey is that all Christians are in phases of these changes and revelations. We pray in them, we praise in them, we worship in them, we serve in them, we teach in them, we outreach in them, and we preach in them. God doesn’t wait till we are through – because we are never through! He just uses us when we get to the point He wants.
Oh, wow, I remember so many things when He began to redefine me. That is what I called it. When my definitions didn’t match His in the Word, they had to go. I learned down to my soul, that just because I thought it didn’t mean it was true. My next stories will be these private places that He took me when He laid me on that potter’s wheel…and changed me. But His hands never left me for one second and His eyes watched me each round that wheel turned.
When I realized that I believed wrong things I was stumped. I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t my fault that I believed what I believed. Bad things really happened. Survival skills were how I made it through it all. I couldn’t undo my experiences. Then, I realized that I had to replace the lies (my beliefs) with the truth (His Word). I literally went through the Bible and began listing things that I was supposed to believe about problem areas for me – that I didn’t believe. I made postcards and hung them all around my apartment, I framed them, I read them aloud daily, I memorized them and I slept with my Bible every night.
And day by day, lie by lie, the truth replaced the lies and I no longer was a victim of my wrong beliefs. I would get so excited when I would see myself respond with my new beliefs! I would keep pressing when I would respond with my old beliefs. The Lord spent many nights with me…teaching and encouraging….it was glorious.
Sometimes I just praised, worshiped, and danced – across the bed, the furniture, and the floor. I had ahold of my Jesus and I wasn’t letting go. He was rocking my world and would always do things for me that no one else could do…
Now God knew that I remembered the real monster in the dark when I was a little girl. So when I first moved into my apartment I left some lights on so that I wasn’t in the dark. But after encounters with God were changing me…I turned off the lights and began to dance in the dark, literally. Oh, Jesus…nobody gives freedom like You do.
Late one night I crawled into bed, pulled the covers up and whispered good night to Him…and I felt a kiss on my forehead. Now I don’t care what anyone thinks…I know that He kissed me goodnight…and watches over me still.
Another time, I woke up early one morning and I was surrounded by scripture. My Bible had finally broken apart in the bed and I was laying all over the chapter of Song of Songs. How awesome is that for saying, “I love you”?
And then He touched my mind with beautiful stories of encounters with Him. Oh, if only my words could reveal what my heart sees! Perhaps tomorrow night I will post one…
But anyway, after a year, well, I wasn’t who I was going to be…but I was no longer the victim, the survivor, the oppressed, the betrayed, or the sacrificed. I was a Princess and warrior of the King of Kings. God said so.
So let it be written, so let it be done.
For real, the journey wasn’t easy. But, so what. I wasn’t quitting!
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Patti Corbello Archer