I was looking back this morning to a message that an elder of the church sent me about three months ago when I asked for direction regarding how to deal with the struggles I was facing. In that message he said, “The most loving way I think I can put this is that your problem is that you don’t understand the gospel like you should.” “Those of us that have come to know Christ aren’t afraid of our past because it got nailed to the cross, we aren’t afraid of our future because the resurrection was an amazing prelude to our future, and we live in the present with confidence because we are currently adopted children of God that are protected by a loving Father and literally have God in us.” “Your view of yourself and the church desperately needs to be through the eyes of God, not human eyes. Pain and trials are not your enemy, but are instead a means to you looking more and more like Jesus Christ.”
This left me thinking back to all that God has taught me and changed over the last three months. When I received this message it didn’t make any sense to me at all, and in a way I was offended because he didn’t offer me help but sent me right back to the pastor that I was not communicating well with. Now that I have walked this journey though I realize how my mind was so darkened and deluded. I didn’t have the belief in God to be big enough to do the things the elder mentioned. I had limited God so much and was doubting the power of the gospel.
This week has been a time of dramatic shift for me. My heart is really softening, the healing has gone so deep into it now that most of the old wounds are covered and healed. I have found such joy and freedom that I can barely keep from smiling, and joy is just bubbling out of me. I feel such anticipation and am looking for places where I can share with others about all that God has done in my life because I want to testify to him!
My church dropped me when I really needed them most, but God is faithful and he refused to let me fall. Instead of leaving me alone to suffer and to be left at the hands of Satan, he came along side, healed, cured, grew, blessed, and filled me to overflowing. I see nothing in God’s word that refers to dropping people completely. There are references to cutting others off from fellowship for the purpose of causing them to repent, but as I have voiced in other posts the heart needs to be that people are still reaching out and trying to get the sinner to repent. I am sad that my elders will have to stand before God to give account for their decision to reject me and turn the entire church against me. I have forgiven them and am asking God to forgive them and show them mercy for this when the time comes.
The journey back to restored trust in the church and spiritual leaders is not easy, but I have learned this summer that if we stop doing it under our power and turn completely to God that he will give us a heart, love, and desire for those relationships like never before. I think I will soon be ready to return to a church and give this another try. I know with all that I am that it will be different this time because God has changed me so deeply. Thank you for being so amazing Father!