Another week means another blog! This week is second post about how God is teaching me and testing me. If you haven't read my last blog, I highly encourage you to do so. Welcome to Part 2! Let's get going.
Obedience, it's a word we heard since we were young whipper snappers. Obey your parents, obey your teachers ,obey the law, (for some of us who grew up in the church) obey The Lord. However, as kids and growing up we had a little rebelliousness within us causing us to do the complete opposite. Disobeying our parents, disobeying our teachers, disobeying the law, as well as disobeying The Lord. During this season of my story, I'm finding out that obedience is the key to overcoming these tests that’s being thrown my way. For example, I’ve started to attend this program called “Regeneration”. It's a 12 step program that guides you during your struggles and helps you recognize that you are a New Creation in Christ Jesus. I’ve been attending the past couple weeks, but this week's meeting was somewhat different. I've been talking with God asking Him to change my heart of stone to a heart of flesh. He’s been giving me exactly what I’ve been asking for. (Matthew 7:7) This particular night, He wanted me to share my sins with the class and boy was I scared. I started wrestling with the fact that I’m going to be sharing some of my deepest darkest secrets with men I barely even knew. Yet His calm soothing voice guided me throughout the entire process. It started with a message with how much God loves us no matter the things we have done. Honestly that's a hard concept for me to grasp, because I’ve done things that are just terrible while still calling myself a Christian. However, Nate said otherwise. His love covers a multitude of sins and that's what I started to rest in going through the rest of the night. When they got into our small groups and one of the instructors Mark said something that pricked my heart. “When you share about your struggles and sins, be specific”. I hated it! I started shaking in my boots because I was NOT trying to do such a thing. Except this is what I was asking for, a softer heart, a heart that’s more open to healing and vulnerability. As the men were sharing I began to panic looking for a way to escape, but He reminded me that I was able to share these things before, and that it can happen again. Especially with brothers who are going through the same thing as I am. It eventually got to my turn, my rebellious nature started to tug on me slowly, but with a couple deep breaths and a little side prayer, The Holy Spirit helped me speak the things that needed to be said. After it was over I felt some type of relief as if a flow of water was unleashed from my being, it's crazy to just think about. Thn afterward the instructor came up to me and said it was a blessing to be a part of the group I was in. I’m thinking to myself who knew my vulnerability could bless someone's socks off like that. I was ecstatic with joy. It was hard to show my expression. I then got in the car with Lori and just expressed to her the emotions I was feeling and going through.
Maybe wondering what the test was, well the test was to see if I was going to be obedient to the Spirit and listen to Him, or just flat out ignore His guidance and direction. I’m glad I was able to pass the test and do what He said to do. I’m glad that He was with me during that situation to grace my lips with the words to say to the gentlemen in the class. I’m continuing to just listen to His voice and His guidance as I go through these obstacles and tests in life. As James said. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” That test/trial definitely produced more faith within me , saying that I can literally do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I pray that this helps you in your going and coming this week. Be obedient and listen to His guiding Spirit because He knows what's best and He wants you to succeed and pass the test!  

JAMES 1:2-5

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