Saturday, April 24, 2010

Milestones

Do you ever wonder why there are such stark memories of moments when it comes up on a year since that moment happened? Why is that? Like first birthdays (one and two (and yet one more eventually...)) or first wedding anniversaries. Or like "it's been one year since we've moved here". Or the year after a memorable death. Or the year after 9/11. Those significant one year markers cause me to step back and reflect. Not just the simple "oh, remember that?" but I really reflect. I don't know what it is about those one year milestones, but they are very significant.

Today marks a huge one for me.

A lot of you don't know how difficult last year was for me and my family. February through...well, Evan's birth, was very significant in our family. God did a major overhaul in our lives last year. February 6th through April 24th of last year was a time where I struggled with great sin that affected the most important relationships in my life, especially between me and God. I was fighting Him, running from my husband and my children looking for ways to escape the life God had given me. My very best friend in the whole wide world gave me a scripture last year during this time frame of my life that I breathed in and grasped to with every fiber of my being, holding me close to God with a fragile thread:

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6


I had a hard time believing that God could allow my my chosen portion to be so miserable. How could the lines of my life be pleasant? And 3 kids rather than 2? Man, that was not beautiful, or so I thought. God???? Where were you? I didn't have anybody last year. Even when my friend gave me that scripture verse, she had no idea what was going on in my life until later. Yet God used her. Man, I'm thankful.

On April 24, 2009 I turned away from that which was distracting me from my chosen portion. I was like Joseph who ran from Potipher's wife. This sin grabbed me, alluring me away from my Master, telling me no one would know my sin. My sin had me by the coattails and I had a choice: give in or turn and run. Can you imagine what Joseph dealt with? The consequences he faced of just associating with that woman? The years in prison? Do you think he ever wondered what would have happened if he just gave in and indulged in sin? I think he thought about it. He was sinful like me. But instead, Joseph chose God and even through years and years of turmoil, God delivered him and restored his relationship with the King and most importantly his family. God helped me choose to run away. And I pray He will receive all the glory because I couldn't have run away without Him there to run to.

There are consequences of my sin, like memories of what life was, the months and months of restoration back to God and my husband, and emotional turmoil of why I wasn't strong enough to choose God during those months and months of hardship. I think I will always face the battle of “I do the things I don’t want to do but the things I want to do those I don’t do." Just like Paul.

My marriage almost failed. I did not want my life as it was. I did not want my son, who was growing quickly in my womb. I did not want God.

That was a year ago.

Today, I'm a new person: in love with my husband, thankful for God's grace through Evan (man, God's timing was PERFECT with my pregnancy with him...), blessed beyond words, moving closer to God and wanting to renew my mind with the things of heaven and not earth. The lines of my life have fallen for me in pleasant places. I did not believe it a year ago.

I believe it today.

You know, there are still a lot of people who do not know what Patrick and I faced last year. And maybe I'm making it sound worse that it really was, but to me it was miserable. I've realized through all that we went through how important it is to rally around our believing brothers and sisters in Christ. Our pastor has been preaching in Philippians over the past few weeks, encouraging us to surround ourselves with a fellowship to help us stay strong in the midst of a battle. We did not do this last year. Honestly, I can only count on one hand (plus a few) how many people know the details of what we went through. And it's not because I wasn't willing to talk about it. I NEEDED to talk about it but no one was willing to listen. And that isn't entirely the fault of others. I didn't make myself available to others, too, to share such a burden. I was so engrossed with "staying connected" through Facebook or other means that I became disconnected with my friends. I spent so much time giving away my time to time-toilets. That's why I've given up stuff like Facebook. I just don't want those kind of friendships. I want friendships that I can invest in and lean on. I don't want my friends to EVER think that I don't want to bear their burdens. How can they know that if I don't invest? Can you also believe that no one has followed up with me about my sin? Can you believe that no one has held me accountable since? Shame on me for not opening myself up to those kind of relationships. I'm praying for someone here to be burdened for me. And I'm not writing this as a WANT ad...please know that. It's just a prayer I'm praying right now that ALL of you should pray. Pray for God to burden someone's heart for YOU. And pray that your heart be burdened for someone, too.

Today is a huge day for me. I'm glad this milestone is passed. I'm no longer bound to this sin, praise God. He has delivered me. It doesn't mean that I'm not tempted to give into the SAME sin. God is showing me ways to keep on runnin', which means sacrifices that I don't want to make. And man, sacrifice is H-A-R-D!

This time last year I ran towards God, even when sin had me by the coattails. I ran towards what was pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praise-worthy: things worth thinking about and remembering.

5 comments:

Frag said...

Mel, just so you know, you are an inspiration to get closer & stay close to God! I have been devastated that things haven't worked out with Chris & I keep asking God why. Why am I all alone? When instead I need to be praising Him for bringing me closer to Him, my family and my friends, through all of this. I just need to open my eyes wide enough to see His work in my life. I need to open my eyes & my heart & let Him back in to guide me on the path that He has laid for me... not just the path that I choose to see.

Big hugs to you, Mel! Congratulations on this milestone!

-Frag

Josh and Dana said...

Would LOVE to talk about all this and offer accountability if it's still needed. We've hit some difficult times this year as well, and I definitely understand the need for accountability. Feel free to email if you want...sweetapple30@hotmail.com.

Dana

Josh and Dana said...

ok....kept getting an error message saying it couldn't post my comment so sorry for the double comment (now triple)!

Tiffany said...

We may have more things in common than we know. Thanks for being as transparent as possible on the internet! I probably need to be running more to God than I am. I would love to get together with ya'll if you are in the charlotte area the month of may or 1st of june.

Tiffany

Melanie said...

Tiffany - thanks for the comment. I know there are a lot of people who struggle with sin like me but just aren't talking about it. It's so important to, something I've learned the hard way. I don't know when we'll be in Charlotte again; Patrick and I haven't discussed that. We can possibly meet you half way, though. Email me: dawgator01@hotmail.com