I'm not sure why I feel the need to continue to talk about my climb out of the pit of deception and lies, when what I started out wanting to talk about is the study I am doing now. But it seems that I can't get there without a little bit more of the background, the groundwork, so to speak, that has opened my eyes and my heart to the truth of God's word...not the twisted words of false doctrine...but the truth that has, and continues to, set me free.
It all came to a head...to a crisis point in the fall of 2001. September of 2001, coincidentally it was the week of 9/11...that's when everything came to this huge climax and my world spiraled completely out of control and became this horrible train wreck of circumstances that stripped away everything I had been clinging to as truth, and caused me to realize it had all been lies. (When I think of that moment, I always hear that Phil Collins song in my head that has the line, “It's all been a pack of lies”) Looking back at that awful week from where I am at now I realize that there are so many people who endure hardships that are so much worse than what I went through that week, but at the time it was absolutely devastating.
Because of the cult like quality of the church I was in, I had alienated almost everyone else in my life. Anyone who spoke against my church and what was being taught was avoided. The only people I associated with were the people from my church. I was encouraged by my pastor (it still irks me to call him that but at the time that's what I thought he was) to avoid people who were “negative. All that “negative spiritual energy” would get in the way of my being able to have faith in the “promises of God.” I am ashamed to admit this, but those “negative people” included my family. My Parents, my sisters, even my grown kids. I simply avoided them or had as little contact with them as possible. God is still at work in my family situation, healing hearts and restoring relationships. My family is awesome and forgiving, and we are all reunited and working through the scars and hurts from that time, I'm happy to report. It was tough because my family used to all go to this church together and it was so awesome to be worshipping the Lord together for the first time ever! (at least that's what we thought we were doing) My family, one by one, began to see that things weren't right long before I did...and they began to leave the church. I considered them to be backslidden. That's something I look back on and realize that I was so prideful! So arrogant to think that I saw the truth when everyone around me saw that it was wrong. Satan has a field day in a prideful heart!
Even back then I knew that we would know the things of the spirit by the fruit it produces. But I was so blind to the fruit that was being produced in my life. It was “fruit of the spirit” alright! But it wasn't the fruit of the Holy Spirit...that's for sure. The fruit that was ripening in my life was pride, arrogance, a critical, judgmental attitude, confusion, anger, frustration, desperation....and yet I clung to my false doctrine like a lifeline in a storm. And what a storm it was!
It was September 2001. I was going through an awful divorce. I had met a man during the early years at church when I was a new believer and recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. He too was a recovering addict and we met while working together on building the church nursery. We decided that God spoke to our hearts that we were to be married. And who knows....maybe He did. I sort of doubt it now, but I know now that God could have, and would have used that marriage to conform me to His image if I would have let Him. But, I was stubborn and prideful and wanted my way and...well, I was a mess! We made each other miserable for 9 years before I decided I couldn't take anymore and chose to end the marriage. Once I made the decision to end it, my husband confessed to me that he had never been faithful to me the whole time we were married. Somehow that made me feel justified in ending it. At the time I thought our divorce was all his fault...I really believed that! I don't believe that anymore.
Oh my goodness! I am out of time this morning and this is a long story. I am going to stop here so I can get ready for work. It looks like I am going to be telling this story in installments. This is the first time I have actually sat down and “journaled” this part of my journey and the words just want to spill forth from my fingers. I don't know why and I don't even know for sure if it's wise to put this all out there for the world to see...but here it is. I'll continue when I have some more time.