Thursday, December 19, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I've heard it said that our greatest stories come out of our darkest hours and from my own life, I know this to be true. Birthed from my hardest times have been my greatest victories, and the internal pit of hell I found myself drowning in back in 2007 marked the re-commencement of my relationship with Jesus Christ. Though I didn't understand what giving my life to Him meant 16 years ago when I initially invited Him into my heart, I grasp it clearly today, and it's rarely an easy walk. God has gotten involved in my life's most personal and intimate details and shaken things up in such a way that has sometimes hurt, but always, always been worth it. More recently He has been leading me down a path of both inward and outward exploration as I endeavor to navigate through the daunting task that is my dissertation. In heuristically examining the phenomenon of abandoned faith among former clergy (more posts on this later), I have purposed to immerse myself in the life narratives of those who have gone from serving God in the church to a life of atheism, and the journey already has been challenging. While one day I'll experience great success in finding answers, other days like today found the enemy a temporary victor over my mind and heart. As I tearfully talked through some of my struggles with my husband this afternoon, he gently reminded me that God isn't the only One walking alongside me on this path. Our adversary, the devil, walks nearby as well, and as 1 Peter 5:8 says: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." As I reflected over this, it occurred to me that I had momentarily let down my guard over the last couple of weeks, and unfortunately, the enemy is always watching and waiting for an opening and the door need only be ajar. In he came and tore at my spirit, but God is faithful and reminded me that the enemy is desperate and fights us harder as our light shines brighter. To this end, I must give God my all in reckless abandon.