My Journey Until Our Father Calls Me Home

“The path that I am on is not only for me, but for those who are watching me. It’s my journey until our Father calls me home.

I very often forget that my body is the Lord’s temple. That I’m here for a purpose, a purpose that God has for me. Not the purposes I might have for myself.

My life as a Christian began 4 years ago. Before that, I didn’t know what it was like to have a personal relationship with God. I claimed to have faith, but really didn’t understand what that meant. Growing up in an Italian/Irish Catholic family, my sisters and I were brought up to have manners, to know right from wrong, and to respect our parents and other adults – but for no other reason than that’s what we had to do or there would be consequences, man’s consequences.

So here I am now, still learning, but with a faith, joy and peace that is so indescribable that when I speak of the Lord a passion wells up within me and explodes outward!

God is doing much in my life right now. He has placed a new direction in front of me, and although there are hardships along the way, I am excited to see my growth and the changes He is working in me.

I used to be very prideful. I thought I was a strong woman because I could do it all by myself, but was very untrue. Those are lies that I once believed. I know now that it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to ask for counsel. These are not weaknesses, as I had thought. It’s not selfishness to receive help. On the contrary! It’s just the beginning for me to let go and lay myself at the foot of the cross; a time for Jesus to develop and bring out all that He’s placed inside me.

I’ve been learning to forgive – always. It’s the always I have problems with. Forgiveness is a conscience decision I must make, and sometimes it’s easier than others. Unfortunately, there have been times when instead of giving it to God and making the decision to forgive, I’ve wanted to have control, to hold onto the hurt for my own agenda. I knew it was wrong, that it was against God’s Word, but I wanted to own it. Yes, I’ve fought with God, trying to convince Him why I shouldn’t forgive. In one particular situation, it seemed like weeks before I made that decision to forgive. But in reality, it was just 2 days – 2 long, ugly days. Even then, it wasn’t over. I continued to struggle, knowing that someone I love so dearly could maliciously and purposefully choose to hurt me. So I continued to dwell on that portion – not so much on the action itself, but the intent to specifically hurt and anger me. I had a landmine of past hurts that I wasn’t aware of. I asked God for His help and direction, because I knew that if I didn’t forgive this would fester inside me and my light would turn dim. I also sought godly counsel. I wasn’t looking for anyone to take sides, just godly counsel to point me in the right direction – a practical application for my situation. Through that counsel, God showed me that I needed help with bitterness and resentfulness. It wasn’t about the wrong-doing itself, but how I handled it. I later asked myself, “How can I be a beacon of light if the waves keep me captive?”

There was a time in my life when I had a hard time moving on if I apologized to someone and they chose not to accept that apology. That rejection would tear me down. I have since learned that it is between that person and God, as I have done what God has instructed me to do.

I also realize that because it is now between God and that person, I need to continue on as if that person accepted my apology, because God has. It was especially difficult when that person was someone very close to me. I would often stay out of the other person’s way because I knew they were mad. It became an ugly cycle of ignoring one another. I’m still working on turning the other cheek, but I know that forgiveness is always!

The following scripture awakened me from my slumber and directed me to an urgency to become a much more compassionate person:

Ephesians 4:29-32   “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I pray that I continue to use what I have learned, remembering that yesterday was the past, today is the present, and God willing I have a tomorrow. I pray that everything I learn today I apply to my life.”

-“My Journey Until Our Father Calls Me Home” by Janine, 07/11

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