~*~ Demolition ~*~ Foundational Scripture:
Revelation 2:10 "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."
I know, you're looking at the title of my testimony and are wondering what gives. Well, let me tell you, God had to do some major demolition work in order to win over my heart. Almost all of my life, I had built up so many walls around my heart thinking that in some way I could protect it. I had come to believe that people who said they loved me were always lying and they never did. I won't go into a long, drawn out version of the events that led me to that conclusion, but I will give you a 'cliff notes' version.
The house that I grew up in was not alot of fun for me. I lived in a house where I was made to feel like an outsider. I was also made to feel like I didn't matter and that people had the right to treat me the way they wanted to and I had no choice. I felt ugly, unloved and worthless. When you feel that way about yourself, it's very easy to take it out on the rest of the world. These people were supposed to love me and I never felt anything close to love. I do have to say that there were three family members who never failed to make me feel loved. They were my brother, and my grandpa and grandma on my Dad's side of the family. Still, when you don't feel love from your parents, it's hard to appreciate love from others.
When I got out in the real world, I went hunting for the feeling of love. I wasn't sure about how to get it, so I slept around looking for it. One day I looked at myself in the mirror and got so disgusted with myself that I basically gave up. But God never gave up on me. He loved me from the start and he now started to show me little by little just how much I meant to him. Well, here I was twenty years old and I was pregnant. When I first found out, I was so angry. I decided that the best thing for me was to give him up for adoption. I knew that I wasn't ready to be a mother. As the pregnancy went along, I realized just how much I loved that baby. I loved him enough to know that adoption was the best thing for him. God led me to his family and he is now with the family God had for him all along. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, and yet it was the first thing that I ever felt I had done right.
About two months after I gave him up for adoption, I met my future husband and father to my sons. Our marriage hasn't always been as good as it is these days. We fought alot and we started building up years of resentment that even the love for our sons couldn't erase. It was only through my rebirth as a christian that things started to get better. And yet, it seemed like I went through so much agony. The changes I went through as a new christian caused alot of tension in our marriage. It was almost like my husband was angry that I was no longer the person that he married. He didn't like that he was no longer my leading man.
Well, that's what life was like until February of 1999. I was still growing as a christian, but there was one thing that was hindering my relationship with God. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God loved me. My brain had no doubts. However, since my heart had been hurt for so long by so many people, my heart was being stubborn. It refused to trust God. Christ told us that to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind was the greatest commandment. I had that down except in one area. I couldn't love him with all my heart. That is where he had the most work to do. He was going to have to do something really drastic to break down my walls and mend my broken and fearful heart.
In late January, my leg started hurting me. It wasn't anything new. Ever since I had ruptured a disc in my lower back which pinched my sciatic nerve for an extended period of time, leg pain came and went every once in a while. So, I didn't think much of it. I went about my business but as the weeks progressed, the pain didn't subside, it just got worse. On February 2nd, I woke up and I could hardly move the pain was so bad. So, I called the station clinic to see if I could get a referral to see a doctor locally about it. They called me back and I got an appointment that day to see a German doctor about it.
One thing I do have to say about German doctors is that they aren't shy about using non-conventional means. In fact, what Americans consider non-conventional are considered conventional here. When I first went in to see him, he tried acupuncture on me and stuck three needles in each ear. After that and a few other options didn't work, he decided that the only alternative was to have surgery done on it. The type of surgery that he recommended was an outpatient laser surgery that would cut away the parts of my discs that were pinching my nerve. So, the next evening, I had the procedure and I immediately felt much better. That wasn't going to last long, however.
When I woke up on the 4th, I immediately started crying because the pain was so bad. The doctor hadn't given me any pain killers and I was in complete agony. So, I called the clinic again and asked if they could prescribe me something. They gave me some Tylenol 3 but it only lasted about four days. Even when I was taking it, the pain was still there for the most part, I was just sleepy. Let me tell you, if I had to choose between that pain and being in labor, I would have gladly chosen labor. The type of pain that I was feeling was the type that I would never wish on my worst enemy. I turned into such a pathetic person. My husband got really annoyed with me. The only position that I could even stand to be in was lying down. It was sad really. The only way I could eat was to lay on my stomach with my plate in front of me and feed myself.
In reference to the foundational scripture, I was in prison. This horrifying pain lasted for ten days. Every single day, I broke down weeping on the floor. I cried out to God in desperation. I begged him to take the pain away. I told him that the pain was so bad that I would rather die than to live another day like this. I told him that if He wouldn't take the pain away, he was going to have to give me the strength to live. I had lost my will to live. In all of my life, no matter how bad things got for me, I never wanted to die. This was the first time ever that I just wanted my life over with.
Let me tell you that all the while there was this voice in the back of my mind that kept repeating the same things over and over. "God's not listening. He hasn't taken away the pain like you asked him to. He doesn't really care about you. Give it up already." I had to fight so hard not to listen to that voice. Each day it got easier to listen to and that scared me. But with every last bit of hope that I had ever had that God loved me, I fought. I was fighting for my life. But with all of the pain I was in, where was all that strength coming from? I can honestly tell you that it wasn't from me. I had no strength left. It had all been depleted having to deal with the pain.
For TEN days, God gave me the strength to hang on. He never left me and he never failed me. The only reason that I am here and able to give you this testimony is God. If you ever question just how much God loves you, you had better be prepared for just how much he will allow you to suffer just so that you will truly understand that he loves you perfectly. When I woke up on Valentine's Day, the pain was still there, but it was about one sixth the amount. I still wasn't able to go back to work, but I could sit up for more than five minutes. I would like to tell you that at that moment, I realized just what God had done for me, but it wasn't until late that evening that it really hit me.
For the first time in my life, I felt loved. I knew that God loved me so much that he fought against my desire to die so that I could live my life as a testimony. He gave me the strength every single day for ten days. I suffered, even to the point of death. God had finally broken through the walls around my heart and had healed it. There was no longer any doubt in my heart that God loved me. Not only that he loved me, but that he loved me perfectly. If you have never felt the perfect love of God, let me tell you about the wonderful things it has done for me.
I have let go of so much frustration, anger, and resentment. My marriage is brand new. I am brand new. I almost always have a smile plastered on my face, and my physical stature has changed. I used to walk with my head down and my shoulders slumped. Now I walk with my head up, smiling at everyone I see. All of my friends remark about how I glow and sparkle. I am constantly thanking God for the little things each day. Every day he has something nice to say about me. Whether I'm checking myself out in the mirror one last time before I go to work and he says that I'm looking good today or even something simple like laughing at my jokes. There is not a day that goes by that I don't hear his voice or feel his presence.
I now call him My God because the relationship that I have with him is unique. He talks to me differently than he does to other people. In fact, I think he speaks with a nice southern accent. You may think me silly to say such a thing, but the fact that God is omniscient means that he is with all people all the time. That makes the God that I know foundationally the same, but he takes on different characteristics just for me. He knows the things that I take pleasure in and he takes the time to give them to me. I have joy, peace and contentment like I have never known. These days, whenever I hear a love song, I immediately think of God. The love that he has given me has allowed me to love my husband and our two sons more.
God is waiting to give you this love. Perhaps your heart is like mine and you don't really trust him with it. I can't tell you what to do, but let me say this. God will NEVER give up on your heart. Even if he has to do something drastic, he WILL break through. He loves us enough to allow us to suffer until we realize that we can't do anything without him. Until we love God with all our heart, our heart will always be devoted to something else. Don't waste your heart on the things of this world. They can never love you back. Give your heart to God and you will get perfect love and so much more. God desires to bless you with good things, all you have to do is love him with all your heart, all your spirit, all your strength and all your mind.
If my testimony has inpired you, please let me know.