Beauty from Ashes

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Recently I have been struggling with jealously, anger, and loving myself. I was consumed and controlled by the enemy. I was living for male attention, selling myself when necessary to feel loved. I was heartbroken and gave a year of my life to a guy even though he didn’t care whether I breathed or not. (We were only friends with benefits for a few weeks) Everything I did was with him in the back of my mind. Then, I dated a guy to try to get over the first guy. That just brought me down further as I hated myself for hurting my boyfriend, now ex. About a month ago, a different guy started talking to me. We ended up hooking up for an afternoon, and I happened to catch feelings for him. We hooked up again then, however he got back with his ex-girlfriend which tore me apart. In the midst of that, another guy came along who was a friend with the first. We only made out but then he stopped talking to me. I’’ve had sex with 2 guys. All this just took me down. I don’’t regret doing it though, but how I got to that point and how I gave everything I had were hard realities. Just the other week I thought about cutting myself while doing the dishes and make it look like an accident if my parents asked because of these guys always leaving me. I felt alone. My friends were never supportive and they didn’’t care about me. I never contemplated killing myself but that little dishes incident crossed my mind. Thankfully I didn’’t. I couldn’’t remember the last time I was happy. Life was rough and I wanted to get more Jesus but knew there was things I wasn’’t ready to surrender and that it wouldn’’t be genuine.

Then, Sunday happened.

My life is now His. I cried the entire service. Brian had us stand up and he started to pray. I couldn’’t stand and I just wept. I confessed my heart to God, and then I managed to go up front. I again met the floor because He is so good and just took me in His love and mercy. I lay in a ball and cried while the only thing in my mind was “Father”. After a while of that I smiled because my friend had said she had a vision of me in that position wrapped in His love or something and finally, after months of hell, I had peace. Eventually I managed to sit up which made me feel light headed and like I was going to puke. While balled up, my left hand tingled then went numb. After getting off the floor, Mr. Yost prayed for me, and without telling him what was going on I felt like he knew anyways because of what he said. And yet another time, I met the floor. It was soooo good, God is so good and He came when I was bankrupt. Mr. Yost gave me the advice I was always looking for–how to deal with the voice of the enemy. Sing and praise God. That’’s paraphrased but true. Time and time again the enemy has stolen the seeds I was given but this time I REFUSE to let him have it. This one is forever mine. I’’ve seen what it’’s like without God in my life and it is a place I never want to be again. By the grace of God I made it out alive. I feel so free now and happy. Emotions no longer will control my life. This is where I take a stand! #TeamJesus

Submitted by Cayla

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Encouragement

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I have been desiring to see God work in my life every day. For the most part He’ll parade people by me and it’s obvious what they need, I’ll pray and sometimes I see Him move and sometimes not. When the “not” happens it can be slightly discouraging. I was having a discouraging day when it occurred to me to return a call to my brother who lives several hours away. When I called he said to me “you know, in the year since we’ve been in touch again, it has been the best year of my life!” That was encouraging! Backing up a bit we had lost touch for about 30 years and didn’t do much other than the occasional Christmas card and phone call. He had left home when he was 18 and never really looked back having a lot of “issues” with my parents. When I caught up with him he was looking pretty rough. His knees were shot and all he could do was hobble. He was still bitter about things my parents had done more than 40 years prior. He knew Jesus and in fact was the one who presented me with the salvation prayer when I was young. Still, he seemed to be hurting quite a bit. I told him about what I had been hearing in church about our identity in Christ and that we could do the things Jesus did. I tried to help him with the resentments he had with our parents while having compassion for the pain he felt. He was also overwhelmed with a work situation. We talked, we prayed, we laughed and things seemed a little lighter for him. I went to lay hands on his knees and being that I was just starting to do these types things and expect instant results, I was disappointed that nothing seemed to happen while I prayed. Still I knew it was better to try than not. I was a little embarrassed but at least he knew that I loved him enough to give it a try. Coming back up to the present, he said that his life was better than ever, that he was down to working one job that he loved, he loved the church he was involved with and the people there and his knees were much better. He was walking about 8-10 miles a day and had dropped several pounds. So, thank God for bringing out encouragement at the right time! We don’t always see the answers to our prayers right away but we should always believe that he’s working it out when we are praying according to his will. Thank you Jesus!

Submitted by Anonymous