I was recently reading an article on our secret mindset of God. You know, those things we wouldn’t dare share or even write in code in our journal. I was taken back to a mindset, back to years ago. Confession is good, I pray this encourages someone.
I lived in the shadows of disappointed for about 5 years, 5-solid-anguishing-years. Survival was my number one goal, and to be very frank, getting through the day without eye contact was hefted to the top of my priority list. I was in full-time ministry, loved God, served my church and sat on the other side of Starbucks tables sincerely encouraging other women in their God journey. But then life rolled in, thick dark discouraging, disappointing clouds filling each corner of my horizon. In my steps to salvage my marriage, a marriage that was never happy, I stood in front of 40+ women and after 5 years of teaching, I told them I was stepping down. Within the year, the marriage failed, and soon my ex-husband was remarried. I was now working full-time outside the home in a job I HATED, just to pay the bills and take care of my two sons, who at the time were 9 & 15.
I clung to the one-liners, “Draw near to Him so He can draw near to you …Press in to worship and He’ll meet you there … God won’t give you more than you can handle.” All true, but at the time I didn’t see them flooding my reality. I found that following stepping down from ministry, that women treated me differently, they distanced themselves, there were no invites for coffee, lunch or even chat time on the phone. I felt alone. It was painful. One gal had the arrogant nerve to come up to me in church (Yes, I was still attending church, HOPING it was my lifeline) she stepped forward, with an accusing tone, and no love of God in her, and proceeded to tell me she could not figure out how “I” could let all this happen, she thought I was a ‘woman of God…’ etc… (tears) … etc. Although she didn’t know my home life or the history of my story, her voice rattled around in my head and heart, those words slid down and found their place among my own self-tagging of ‘worthless’. We know that the enemy of our soul will use any and all circumstances to break us and I … I was allowing it. I was broken. In that dark time, in my pain and confusion, I put my calling, my Bible, and any relationship I thought I had left with God aside, not disowning, just – aside. And with slumped shoulders and down casted eyes, I made incredibly STUPID mistakes.
But! I LOVE the ‘But…’ of God, someone told me in that dark season, that yes, I was broken, but was I broken over what breaks God’s heart? I was beyond broken over the unmet expectations that lay scattered all over the floor. I was torn in two with what happened to my family. I was shredded with the accusing and hurtful words of others. Although all valid, it wasn’t until I realized I needed to be broken over my ‘response’. Life is tough, life is hard, I just assumed because I was God’s, I was His, that what Paul wrote, stood as a monument I bowed to, ‘that ALLLLLL would work out for good’. MY definition of good! The restoration process didn’t start until I genuinely (keyword – genuinely) understood God’s love. ‘I’ was defining God’s love by how ‘I’ thought HE should act, to me and for me.
Now nearly 10 years later… I am no longer falling for or allowing the enemy’s breaking tactics, he attempted to destroy me and destroy what I was going to speak into others for God’s glory. God loves me! He loved me then, He loves me now. I am a daughter of the Most-High God, I walk in my calling and my Bible is right here and read – devoured daily! My head is up, my eyes are clear and looking – I am seriously accountable to 5 Godly women. I repented for my response to ‘life’ – how I assumed I should get special treatment, that somehow I was exempt from the ick, the pain, and disappointments. That my response took me in a tailspin of despair and yes, sin. I hurt God with my response. I put it all out there on God’s table, honestly and transparently. One by one, us together, me and the God that loves me, we took things off the table and He put them away, far away. God’s grace-filled filing system, ‘away, far away.’ God restored me (not ME doing it) He re-created me. (See David’s honest words in Psalm 51) I am married to an amazing Godly man, now have a granddaughter, and I’m teaching again, teaching with passion, teaching from the platform that GOD LOVES ME! And when those ugly accusations of worthless begin to resurface, I think of the woman at Jesus’ feet, (and have this posted on my bookshelf), when others began to spout off, Jesus tells them, “I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much.” (Luke 7:47) And we all know we can only love, ‘because He loved us first!’ (1 John 4:19)
Disappointment and even bitterness can hold us captive, a captivity that will lead us in the wrong direction. The only way out is our God! It took me years to realize I needed to put it out there, honestly – genuinely and without attempting to help God with a detailed outlined expectation, like we (especially women) obsessively enjoy. I surrendered, to His love, to His grace. As a friend recently shared “God didn’t cause it, but He will use it!” I can honestly say, God is using it ALL – I am a better version of the God in me because of it! God’s working out is not how we would do it, He does it RIGHT! (Please lean in ) “And it is good!“
How is your secret mindset of God?
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
Music is an amazing tool God uses: This was my progressive worship journey… when I could not raise my head, when my hands too heavy (Keep singing folks! Keep singing)
When in the midst of God restoring my heart: I sang this over & over
Now, now… as I stand in front of others teaching them about our God: “Sing with me How great is our God…”