Tag Archives: Satan

ALL In

Original Post was on Dec. 20, 2013

Surrender done right is not a one-time act, it’s a lifestyle. There is the initial time where you make the choice to go “all in” with the Lord and surrender anything you can think of, but then it’s important to continue in that manner and begin living a life of surrender, by daily giving everything to Him.

On New Year’s Eve 2011 we were having a huge party, Christian style, in other words, no drugs or illicit sex, just a bunch of people having fun together who used to partake in all of that. Everyone was dressed up, everything was decorated and the bass was bumping. It reminded me of my clubbing days, except that I was in my right mind and not intoxicated. Going dancing at clubs used to be my favorite hobby, so giving it up was really tough for me, but I knew I needed to though, because of all that went along with it. I actually started going to dance clubs twice a week from the age of fourteen and it had been 5 years since I had been, so this party was a safe way for me to enjoy something old in a new way.

As I sat at my table catching up with some folks a techno song came on that I used to dance to when I was high on Ecstasy. I instantly felt paralyzed as I stared off into space. It was like I was back there. Most people who use Ecstacy take a half of a pill and sometimes a whole pill for an entire night, however there were many times that I took multiple pills in one night, sometimes as many as five. It still amazes me that I made it out alive. The song reminded me of my second marriage…my ex-husband, you see, he is the one who introduced me to hard drugs which he encouraged me to use with him for the purpose of “spicing things up.” In my healthy frame of mind, I now know that His definition of “spicing things up” is equivalent to what most people would consider to be sick perversion. Due to the drug induced daze I was in, it took me a long time to realize that I had passed from Party Girl to Drug Addict.

I was shaken out of my triggered state as I heard clapping and people chanting my teenage son’s name “Stefan, Stefan, Stefan” I turned around to see that they had made a big circle out of people around him and wanted him to show off his moves. He jumped into the circle and danced to the song that had reminded me of something evil. Without Stefan’s knowledge, God was using him to heal me. Happy tears filled my eyes as I knew the Lord was taking that moment in time to replace an old evil memory with a new innocent one.

We were having a talent show that night and everyone was working on their talent, but I didn’t have anything in mind yet. Then the Lord impressed on my heart to dance for Him to that song. So as the talent show was coming to an end I asked someone to start flickering the lights as if to create a strobe light effect. I had everyone make a huge circle on the dance floor, grabbed the mic and said “Earlier there was a song that played that triggered me really bad to the point of almost ruining my night, but then I saw my kid dance to it. I used to go “all out” in my past for Satan, so tonight I’m going to surrender all that I am and dance for my Savior Jesus Christ.” I made my way into the circle and danced like I’d never danced before, giving all the glory to my Lord. A bunch of my Girls joined me on the floor to show their support. I started bawling. It’s a good thing it was dark, so they couldn’t see my tears. A bunch of my boy’s friends came up to me after and were shocked “Dang, we didn’t know you could dance like that.”    “Ha, ha…there’s a lot of things you don’t know about me.”

Once again I chose to surrender all, not holding anything back. I went all in for the Devil in my past and now I needed to do the same for my Savior only in an appropriate way. I even gave Him dancing-one of my favorite things, He changed it and gave it back. What are you still holding onto that the Lord is prompting you to surrender? You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

Blurred Lines

Sitting in the back row at church always felt most comfortable to me, you know, the “assigned seating for the sinners.” I would slip in, sing the songs, get “re-saved” and slip out. I had no clue that church was a place to make relationships. I actually attended a church where after three years only one person knew my name. I just thought it was where you went to get good, get forgiven and sing about God.

The view from the back row looked something like this; a sea of good people all dressed in white filled the front seats, with their happy little families, hands raised high…the real Christians. In the back row sat those dressed in black with their heads held down in shame, faces stained with tears, spread far apart from the rest and feeling completely out of their comfort zone.

It was obvious to me that there was a distinct line drawn to separate the good from the bad. Oh, it may not be a literal line of separation, but we all feel it, especially those of us in the back. The church is divided. I always wanted to be like the ones in the front, but I just wasn’t. I wanted to get good, but I couldn’t. Those of us in the back row want to “get good” that’s why we’re there, but we don’t know how. The ones in the front seem to have it all figured out, while we sit alone, clueless. The conclusion we draw is “they must have been born good and we were born bad.” Whatever the case, they have judged us and we have judged them, so we keep our distance and stay on our own sides.

I developed a prejudice against “Goody Two-Shoes” thinking they were all alike. I’m sure it was birthed out of envy, because they were raised in two-parent Christian homes and I wasn’t. I would compare our stories and think to myself “She never went through anything hard. Look at all that I have gone through.” In fact, I began to get arrogant about it and thought “Jesus came to save the sinners, not the saints.” I had judged a lot of “churchy” people until the Lord put me in my place and gave me compassion for them. He encouraged me to get to know their stories, stop competing with them and holding them at an arm’s distance. After taking the time to get to know them, I realized that they had gone through their own difficulties, including some circumstances I don’t think I could have endured. I discovered life can be hard for all of us and that everyone has their own painful path to walk.

To the “Goody Two-Shoes”: We don’t want to be afraid of you judging us anymore, thinking we’re not good enough or questioning our motives. We want to feel included and worthy of His love and yours. You are the Bible we’re reading from the back row when we come into church. Drop your mask fast, because we may not come back if we don’t connect with you on a deeper level. See past our sin and see who God created us to be. Consider us better than yourself-we already consider you WAY better than us. Invest in us and show us our place in this whole “Christian thing.”

To the “Rebels”: give the “churchy” people a chance. They’re just as messed up as us in different ways. We’re just more outward about it. Sometimes we scare them on purpose with what we talk about, all in the name of “testing” them. Go easy on them will ya? Sometimes we make comments like “You don’t get it. You don’t understand where I come from.” But if you really think about it…do you REALLY want them to KNOW? Our pain is SO deep, let’s not wish that on another person. We judge them for judging us and that’s just wrong. So let’s learn to love them like Jesus does.

If there’s nothing else you take from this blog entry, I feel God wants you to understand this point….that division, that clear line we feel in church has been drawn by the Enemy himself. He is trying to separate and divide us because he knows that we are stronger when we are united. He wants to keep us in our corners, alone and weakened.

It’s time for us as the people of God to blur those lines! We need to rise to the challenge and begin taking uncomfortable relationships to the next level, or as my friend Jenna would say “Learn to Embrace the Awkward.” Let’s intentionally push through our fear of each other and get to know one another. Look at it this way, we’ll be spending eternity together anyways so we better start getting to know each other here and now. Someone needs to have the guts to do it. I’m willing, are you?

This song keeps playing in my head as I’m writing this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAWeHo8E70E

“If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand” Mark 3:25

All In

Surrender done right is not a one-time act, it’s a lifestyle. There is the initial time where you make the choice to go “all in” with the Lord and surrender anything you can think of, but then it’s important to continue in that manner and begin living a life of surrender, by daily giving everything to Him.

On New Year’s Eve 2011 we were having a huge party, Christian style, in other words, no drugs or illicit sex, just a bunch of people having fun together who used to partake in all of that. Everyone was dressed up, everything was decorated and the bass was bumping. It reminded me of my clubbing days, except that I was in my right mind and not intoxicated. Going dancing at clubs used to be my favorite hobby, so giving it up was really tough for me, but I knew I needed to though, because of all that went along with it. I actually started going to dance clubs twice a week from the age of fourteen and it had been 5 years since I had been, so this party was a safe way for me to enjoy something old in a new way.

As I sat at my table catching up with some folks a techno song came on that I used to dance to when I was high on Ecstasy. I instantly felt paralyzed as I stared off into space. It was like I was back there. Most people who use Ecstacy take a half of a pill and sometimes a whole pill for an entire night, however there were many times that I took multiple pills in one night, sometimes as many as five. It still amazes me that I made it out alive. The song reminded me of my second marriage…my ex-husband, you see, he is the one who introduced me to hard drugs which he encouraged me to use with him for the purpose of “spicing things up.” In my healthy frame of mind, I now know that His definition of “spicing things up” is equivalent to what most people would consider to be sick perversion. Due to the drug induced daze I was in, it took me a long time to realize that I had passed from Party Girl to Drug Addict.

I was shaken out of my triggered state as I heard clapping and people chanting my teenage son’s name “Stefan, Stefan, Stefan” I turned around to see that they had made a big circle out of people around him and wanted him to show off his moves. He jumped into the circle and danced to the song that had reminded me of something evil. Without Stefan’s knowledge, God was using him to heal me. Happy tears filled my eyes as I knew the Lord was taking that moment in time to replace an old evil memory with a new innocent one.

We were having a talent show that night and everyone was working on their talent, but I didn’t have anything in mind yet. Then the Lord impressed on my heart to dance for Him to that song. So as the talent show was coming to an end I asked someone to start flickering the lights as if to create a strobe light effect. I had everyone make a huge circle on the dance floor, grabbed the mic and said “Earlier there was a song that played that triggered me really bad to the point of almost ruining my night, but then I saw my kid dance to it. I used to go “all out” in my past for Satan, so tonight I’m going to surrender all that I am and dance for my Savior Jesus Christ.” I made my way into the circle and danced like I’d never danced before, giving all the glory to my Lord. A bunch of my Girls joined me on the floor to show their support. I started bawling. It’s a good thing it was dark, so they couldn’t see my tears. A bunch of my boy’s friends came up to me after and were shocked “Dang, we didn’t know you could dance like that.”    “Ha, ha…there’s a lot of things you don’t know about me.”

Once again I chose to surrender all, not holding anything back. I went all in for the Devil in my past and now I needed to do the same for my Savior only in an appropriate way. I even gave Him dancing-one of my favorite things, He changed it and gave it back. What are you still holding onto that the Lord is prompting you to surrender? You’ll be glad you did, I promise.

Worthy Enough

As the launch of this ministry approached, feelings of unworthiness flooded my mind.  I experienced an onslaught of negative thoughts with a running theme; “I am so unworthy…who am I to be doing something like this? It’s as if I’m a tiny piece of sand on the face of the whole earth.”

These familiar inadequate feelings of long ago were persuading me to doubt myself and my calling. “Wait a minute…I’m definitely under attack here! Satan hates what I am about to do with the Lord, which puts a bulls-eye on my back. I need to talk to God about this.”

Me: Lord, who am I to be starting a ministry? I feel so unworthy!
God: You’re My child.
Me: Ya, but Lord, I’m NOT like the other women who blog and run ministries!
God: That’s right, you’re not. I made you unique.
Me: Why me Lord? I feel like a tiny insignificant grain of sand!
God: I want to tell My story through you. Remember your favorite verse ?

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But GOD CHOSE the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; GOD CHOSE the weak things of the world to shame the strong. GOD CHOSE the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.”
1 Corinthians 1:26-29

God: You see Michelle, you ARE worthy, because I CHOSE you! You were also worthy enough to die for! I’m not looking for perfection-I desire willingness and obedience and that is what you have.
Me: Lord, you are so right…thank you for reminding me that I don’t need to be perfect or be like anyone else. Thank you for loving me and wanting to use me just as I am.

Have you been struggling with feelings of unworthiness like I’ve been?
Please, please consider the fact that YOU ARE WORTHY according to God-WORTHY ENOUGH TO DIE FOR! He didn’t just die for the sins of those who profess to be Christians, rather He died for the whole world! All you have to do is accept it.