Friday, March 02, 2007

A Heart For God -Part 1

That is the title of our Ladies' Retreat this year, and I, by the Grace of God am going! My husband can't get off work (no surprise there) but God is making a way!

The past couple of months I have been studying on what it means to have a heart for God. The Bible speaks of David being a man after God's own heart(1Sam 13:14), there is the portrait of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 :10-31, Titus 2 is an excellent resource...There is truly such a wealth of knowledge the Lord can reveal to us...wisdom He wants to impart if we are in a state to receive it. His Word is so amazing and the way He has used His Word, trials, blessings, chastisement, paint a picture of His wondrous love for ME a sinner saved by indescribable. His ways are beyond words I have to describe. I am now 32 years old and there seems to be so little time. In my study, I was moved to look back at my own life..the presence of God, His hand in my life, and the decisions I made.

I was saved at the age of 7 in a children's church service and by the age of 10-11 would say I was "in love" with my Lord and Savior. At that point in my life, in a child like faith, I believe I had a heart that was for that was well guarded as far as what outside influence there was, thanks to my parents, one that was influenced to share the gospel-by teachers, one that had deep compassion for others- the Lord and one that genuinely wanted to learn more about the Bible. I had a heart that by the GRACE of God knelt at the throne of God and He was the cause for that- He called ME, a sinner, to come and kneel at His feet. It was up to me to stay there, it was up to me whether or not I would "hear" His teachings and allow Him to mold my life....would I pour out my best ointment on His precious scarred feet and let its aroma drift upward? Would I take what is known as a woman's glory..her hair, and wipe His feet in the spiritual gesture showing Him that He could have all of me? It was He that equipped me with the ointment..the was His all along- I had given Him my heart so my life in the flesh was crucified with Him...I was to be a new creature- what would I do with these precious gifts that belonged rightfully to Him? The symbolic picture created when Mary took the ointment which was preserved in an alabaster box was a beautiful one of the breaking of Christ's body and His perfect blood poured out for our sins. Just as He poured out His life blood for us, we are to be a living sacrifice for Him- pouring out all that we have of ourselves to be filled with Him.

I would love to say that my testimony is filled with all the right choices and decisions, but it isn't. If you would like (and if you have the time ;) ), you can join me as I turn back a couple of chapters in my life to better understand what happened and how I can better cling to the feet of my Savior today. I have seen that the way to have a heart for God is to be kneeling at His feet in all things...pouring out my best to Him daily...forsaking any "self glory" and wiping His feet with any "glory" that might be- sowing in tears and reaping with His joy.

I attended a Christian school until I was in the 7th grade- at that time and for various reasons- mostly having to do with the distance of the Christian school-my parents decided to put us in the local public school which was only a block away. Here is where I was awakened to the cruelty of kids and the world in a *deafening* way. I heard words that I had NEVER heard nor did I want to know. I was hated..and ridiculed for my innocence...and I mean INNOCENT of any knowledge of what these kids knew. Daily I was asked what this or that meant, and as I "glowed" red from embarrassment and went home crying daily..I couldn't see that the Lord was drawing me even closer to Him. I can see looking back that at the tender age of 11 my faith was being tested...and it stood -for a couple of years. One day the kids wrote a poem about me which was passed around for all to started out "Heather Evans (my maiden name) is so ugly, Heather Evans smells like pee..." At this point, I was so angry that I took the poem to the school office and begged for help...I am sure you know that was probably the WORST thing I could have done. My parents, however were impressed that the boy who wrote the poem had to write me a letter of apology. I was not impressed, I was bitter and continued to be bitter. I was not even crying anymore..I had spent many a lunch period sitting in the bathroom so no one could ridicule me or tell me I could not sit at that was pretty pathetic. Looking back on that little girl (me) I want to just hug her and tell her to hang on...the Lord has a special plan for her life. We all have these little girls/ and boys in our lives -we see them in Sunday School, on the bus...especially in our Youth Groups...who were/ are confused and need a little boost of encouragement- if you see one, write her a note, give her a hug...tell her/him the Lord has a plan. In my 7th grade Latin class, the boy across from me dared me to tell the teacher when he kicked at my shins under the table..I chuckle at that now, but I loathed Latin and my bruised shins. Another girl, Marie, who badly needed the Lord, hated me, but left me alone when I wrote her a note asking genuinely why she hated me and that I prayed we could be friends. She kind of lost the heart to lead the taunting after that and her "affectionate" quips of "nerd" and "loser" she said with a smile that let me know that was where her meanness stopped. Threats to beat me up came a couple of times for who knows why, but the Lord caused the others to lose interest in me as another new kid came to class...Stanley...poor Stanley. I did have one or two friends by the end of my 7th grade year that were an encouragement. One of them would introduce me to my husband a few years later.
I tell you all this to kind of give a backdrop. In trying to understand when it was that I had fallen into my backslid state and remained there for about 12 years and how I came to find my way back to my knees before the Lord...I have also found healing and been able to see some things that I had left "undone" in my forgiving others. The Lord has helped me see that if I would have clung to Him even tighter during that first experience of trial and type of persecution and trusted the Lord, He could have done a mighty work through me to be a witness in my class...and I am sure that work was already started. When was it that I departed? What happened spiritually? Well, I had gotten a taste for what it was like when the world "liked" you...and I wanted more of that "quick high" one finds when they compromise....I gradually got up from my Savior's feet...took my talents..the vessel/temple that belonged to Him and, as the Prodigal son did, I departed from the paths of righteousness. I thought that "riding the fence" by compromising in some areas could possibly satisfy both God and the world...I was dead wrong. I tell you that it led me blindly down a path in which I kept justifying and defending until there was very little left of that heart for God that I once had...I had all but quenched the Spirit. The harvest was ripe but instead of pouring out my precious oil on the feet of Christ I took all He had given me..and sold it for cheap attention and worldly be continued


Free In Christ said...

I can't wait to hear more. I believe that God allows thiings to happen in our lives so that we can someday help others going through the same sort of things. Just think of the compassion you have for others when you see them hurting.

I went through some of the same ridicule around the same age, going from Chrisian School to Public school. I embarassingly tell you that I fought back, I mean I beat up some boys for picking on me and my sister. UGH!!! I wouldn't dare do it today.

Again, I'll say, I can't wait to hear more.

Love, Melissa

Happymama said...

OH, Heather, you nearly have me in tears thinking about you sitting in the bathroom during your lunch hour. But you're right...God had a plan and it's still unfolding. And beautifully, I might add. I can't wait to hear the rest of your story.

Love ya,


Heather, Your testimoney touched my heart with compassion and regret that you had to go through that awful time. But, throgh it all, I can see the faithfulness of God. He let you have your way for a time and you saw your need. I am so glad you found your way back home to the savior. I, too, will look forward to the rest of your story. May God bless you in the giving of it to us. Connie from Texas.

Liz said...

Heather, I wish I had gotten to know you better in Okinawa. I love reading your blog though. It seems we have quite a lot in common. Except God has been working on you for quite a while now and well, I still have infinitely farther to go to be where I need to be in service to Him. I love you, Heather! You are such an inspriation to me.

P.S.-I can't believe you *loathed* Latin! I absolutely loved it. Took 3 years of it and wanted more. I guess that just reaffirms my geekiness! :)

Mishel said...

Heather, I am literally in tears reading this. Thank you for sharing, dear friend. You are precious to me and to the Lord, and I am so very thankful for the work He has done in you and through you. Love you!

Heather said...

Dear Ladies you are such an is amazing the pain that comes back while flipping through my "life files". Things could have been so different...God is so good for allowing me to share what He has done in my life. I love YOU.