Saturday, February 27, 2010

A little reminder of why I believe in God!

I have been a victim of my own flesh my whole life. I have spent most of my adult life at odds with God much to my own disadvantage. I let my carnal nature lead me instead of allowing God to lead me. My own spirit filled with lusts of the world was in complete control. I was addicted to life. An alcoholic, chain-smoking, daily porn viewing, angry, lonely person! I was in control of myself, or so I thought? I was consumed with always wanting and always worrying. The more I thought I was in control, the more things fell apart. The more I tried to reason with my own sanity, the more I came up empty. I had enough but didn't know what to do. I was a mess!




Then something happened. I met God at His level. I bought a Bible and began to read. I read and read and read until my eyes burned. The more I read the more I began to see parallels in my own life to the stories I was reading about. Out of every verse came hope. Out of every chapter came closure. I didn't know where to start or even have a reading plan, I just began to read. The more I read the more I understood. I reached out to God in my weakest moment and found His strength. He extended His grace to me and I accepted it.................I accepted it! When I could take no more, when I hit rock-bottom, when I had been drained of every last ounce of my own feeble strength, I had reached the point of absolute exhaustion. I had never been so lonely, so out of control. I felt as though there was nothing that I could possibly do to save myself from myself. It was at this darkest hour that I made a decision. I used my attribute of choice. I chose to follow God. I chose to just get on my knees and talk to Him. I didn't know how to pray or what to say, I just talked to Him as if He were sitting across the table from me. Every day, I talked with God, every day I felt closer. And every day, He became more real to me.



You see, I had to do something. I had to surrender. I had to completely surrender all of me to Him. I went even further though. I submitted my entire life as I knew it to Him. I was completely surrendered and in absolute submission. I dropped all my addictions. I began seeking people out for forgiveness. People I had come into contact with throughout my life and rubbed the wrong way or offended. I began to start viewing every day and every moment through the eyes of Jesus and the Scriptures. I started going to church. I revamped my life as I knew it and this time I was in it for the long haul.



Some things began to happen. I became a different person. Everyone who knew me noticed the change. My children noticed the change. But, it wasn't "happily ever after." No, rather the opposite. I lost my marriage which was already shaky. My wife filed for divorce and even though I fought it, eventually, I was forced by law to sign off. My three best friends turned their backs on me. Members of my own family turned on me, taking the side of my ex-wife. My mother-in-law turned on me along with other family of my ex-wife’s who I had known and had relationships with. I was confused, depressed, anxious, and saddened. And, I was going into three more surgeries on my back to remove and replace broken hardware in my back from previous surgeries. All while going through all these other issues and problems. While I was in the hospital undergoing surgery number two (three piggy backed) a day after the first surgery, I received information that my soon-to-be ex-wife and mother-in-law were attempting to take custody of my two children out from underneath me. They had banked on my medical problems as the doorway through which to obtain custody of my children. I have had a very close relationship with my two children since their births and this news devastated me. But, I was helpless to do anything at all. All I could do was pray and believe that God was bigger than this. He is!



God did something. He stayed with me through it all! I repaired a relationship with a very close person in my life which was destroyed by my own doing years before. I began to notice little miracles happening all around me despite the confusion and constant disappointments. I was faced with daily battles, attacks from other people around me and Satan, mostly daily. I was constantly on guard, ready for what would happen next. I had to remain on guard due to several potential land-mine situations which almost became nightmares in my life. I was in recovery through all of the divorce proceedings and, even with no attorney or plan, God still showed His grace by protecting me and my two children. Without as much as a dollar to spend in my defense while undergoing the custody battle, I came out as the primary-physical custodian which was more than I imagined would happen. But there was more...................



About this time and with not much else to do in recovery, I had been sorting through my veteran affairs disability paperwork (I am a disabled veteran) and I noticed an error in the records. I should have received an increase in my disability payments, so I sent this error in to the regional Veteran Affairs office. A month later, they corrected the error and I received an increase in my monthly disability payment amount. This was right around the time when I was in dire need of money to afford a new vehicle with air conditioning. I had been driving my Honda Civic since 2001 (bought it new in 2001) and the air conditioning had gone out around 2008. It was 2009 and summer time in Arizona. It was a very HOT situation. I spent a little under a year praying about a new vehicle prior to this after the rededication of my life to God and finally, a year later, I got a this blessing in disguise. It was a rainy weekend and I had the idea (hmmmm?) to go to the local dealership to look at new vehicles. I test drove a new Jeep and two days later, without any real expectations, I drove home in that same Jeep.



After this, I had planned on moving to Texas from Arizona to me near my sister and her family so they could assist me my children so I could attend my medical appointments and to be closer to the children's mother (she lives in San Antonio). But, my ex was fighting me relentlessly with trying to keep me in Arizona because her mother (she lives in Arizona) wanted to control how I raised my two children. I was not completely divorced and the paperwork required a court order or both parents consent to moving out of state. I obviously could not get both consents, so I attempted to go the court order route. Problem was, I didn't have any money. I prayed on it and decided that God was telling me to move forward. I went to court and submitted a hearing request to get permission to move to Texas. Because I had allowed the divorce to go into default (I could not fight because I didn't have an attorney) the judge was not supposed to grant any court appeals or hearings regarding the divorce. However, not only did I get a hearing granted, but the $800+ court fees were deferred. But God stepped it up a notch. Because of the trouble of having to show up in court, my ex's attorney called me and worked it out were, not only did I not have to show up to court, but I received permission to move to Texas from my ex (at the suggestion of her very intelligent attorney).



I have been living in Texas ever since and God has continued to prosper my life just as He says He will if we obey Him and trust Him to do what He says He will do. There are so many more miracles in my life since I have given it over to God, but it would take all day to tell them. Just remember to give God the glory and praise and obey Him. Live His Word and do what He says and He will give us the desires of our hearts. He will do so much more if we will just allow Him to. I know that He is real because He has shown me this. He has given me so much more than I thought I had lost through all of this and He will do the same for all of His children, but we have to step out on our faith. We cannot regress back to our old selves and we cannot get so carried away that we lose our faith. If we do stumble, He allows us to pick ourselves back up and keep moving forward. He is an awesome and gracious God with more capabilities than we can humanly imagine. But, we can at least give it a try and in doing so, we will taste the goodness of His glory and grace. I pray that each and every one of you may also experience God's goodness and awesome power. May He bless you as He has blessed me. And remember, there is nothing that you have done which He is not willing to forgive and forget, but you must be willing to change and seek forgiveness. God already has more blessings in store for you than you can possibly imagine, you just have to give Him a try...................................Amen!

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