Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Warrior's Testimony

            What I am about to write to you today, is hard for me to write. It is hard for me to find the words to say. But, for my sake and in the hopes that some woman out there needs to hear it, I write. I haven’t written in a while, in fact, it’s been months. My life has changed in a big way. In a very big way. I am getting a divorce. After 23 years of marriage, raising two kids, and loving the Lord my God with all that I have, the decision was made, and I left my husband. This was not an easy decision for me. Ever since my baby girl moved out and started a life of her own, I began praying for God to show me the road I needed to take. After many years, He did. I will not go into details about my marriage or what caused it to fall apart. I will only say this; this divorce is biblical and has biblical support for why I left. I have the support of my church and my pastor in this decision. I do not seek your approval, nor do I want your judgement’s. I only ask that you take the time to read my words; and I pray, that through them, you will find the strength to keep pressing forward- no matter what comes your way.
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            In July of this year I realized that a door was opened and my prayers were being answered. It was time for me to leave. I made my plans, talked with women and men who gave me solid, biblical consul and I left on August 3rd, 2017. This is not something I have gone public with yet. In fact, this is the first time I am speaking of this in any public forum whatsoever. I have not announced it to the world, until today. Why? I was not ready to. But now, I do because it is my prayer that these words will give that woman who is struggling right now the courage to stand upon the Word of God and walk away.
            The day I left was one full of fear for my future, and full of excitement for what the Lord was going to do with my life from that day forward. I would love to tell you that it has been easier than I thought it would be. But that would be a lie. It has been hell. I don’t know how else to describe it other than that. It’s like I was standing under an umbrella in the pouring rain and not getting wet. The wind picked up and ripped the umbrella out of my hand, and there I was, left in a downpour of trials and tribulations. My armor was down and I found myself vulnerable to the darts and condemnation of the enemy.
            If you have ever followed my blog, you will know that I own my own business. But, I have never had to depend on my business to support me. My x-husband has always been my provider. I know that God alone is my provider, but through my x-husband God always made a way for me. I couldn’t depend on the business anymore. The business was in trouble more than we realized and it came under attack. We began losing clients, and not gaining any new ones. One thing after another hit me and I began to lose hope in God, and began to doubt and question my choice to walk away from my marriage. I fell under condemnation. How do I know it was condemnation and not conviction? Because condemnation drives you away from God, but conviction draws you closer.
            The business became such a focus for me that I began to slip away in my prayer and devotion time. I began to fall away from the Word of God that has been and always will be my strength and hope. I began to chase after worldly things. I began to strive for making the business successful so I could support myself. My business has never been mine. It was a work of God from the beginning, but I forgot that. I forgot that because of His favor upon me, the business was where it was at. (See the link below to purchase my book about how God built this business for me.)
            Things just got worse from there. I began to do things, say things and think things that were not me. I began to follow down the wide path and left the narrow path behind. My behaviors changed, and I began to distance myself from my church family, my godly sisters and from His Word. The harder I tried to build, the more darts came my way. I began to slip back into old habits that God had once redeemed me from. I became a version of myself that I never wanted to be.
            I was beginning to lose hope. I was beginning to think that God was angry with me, that He had forgotten about me. I began to find myself chasing after things of this world, instead of after the things of my God. Then one day, out of the blue, someone said something to me and it hit me. I was driving in my car, coming back from my morning workout at the gym, crying and praying to God for forgiveness. I began to repent of the things I had said, done and thought. I cried out to Him for His mercy. I had my hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel and I said out loud, “This is not me! This is not who I am in You.” I realized that day that I was not walking under conviction, but I had been brought into the darkness of condemnation. Everything I was believing about myself and my relationship with Christ was a lie. He had not turned His back on me. He was still there, with me, every step of the way. The enemy had taken advantage of my vulnerability and tempted me with success and worldly opinions to turn me away from the only Hope I have ever had in this life- Jesus Christ.
            I drove home that day in tears. Tears of repentance for turning away and believing the lies that the enemy had told me. Then, tears of hope and grace began to replace them, and I started to see a light through the thick clouds that hung over my head. I had texted my pastor’s wife, a few days earlier and asked her to pray for me. My pastor’s wife is one of the godliest women I have ever met, and I knew God heard her prayers. I told her I felt like there was this hedge built up between me and my God. I could see Him in the distance; beyond the hedge, but every time I tried to get to Him, the path was blocked. I know, without a doubt, that the prayers of my church family, my friends and many other Christians in my acquaintance is the reason I sit here today in peace, and harmony with my One True Love, Jesus Christ. It was their love and prayers for me that helped me fight the battle the enemy was waging against me. I am more than what I was becoming. I am a daughter of the King, a sister of My Brother, and a friend of the Savior. I am more than what the enemy said I was becoming. I am and always will be- His.
            Since that day in my car, there has been light in my life again. Don’t think I am not still fighting this spiritual battle every day. I am. I am still fighting the financial battle to keep my head above water, which I am failing at. But God is my provider and I know that He will not let me fail, or beg for bread. He has never left my side. I forgot where He was in my life, but He never forgot about me. I am still struggling to keep the business a float and to be honest, I am behind in all my bills. Until the alimony settlement is reached, all I have is what I can earn through my business. It isn’t much, but He is making a way for me. In that I have hope.
            I am still getting hit with darts, but this warrior, she’s got her armor on. This warrior is not going to let the enemy bring me under the power of his condemnation again. I am forgiven. I am loved. I am redeemed! God, my God, has a plan for me! I am not giving up on Him because He has never given up on me. I will stand one day in the presence of my enemies and I will glorify His name because He will bring me out of this trial and out of this war in complete victory. I need to stay in His word, stay in His presence and know, without a doubt that my God fights for me. I am not giving up today, nor will I let the mistakes of yesterday cloud up over my head again. I am His and that is all I need to get through today.
       
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     I pray that through my words you, sister, who are fighting to stay in Him; I pray that you will hear His words to you today and keep fighting. Don’t give up. Don’t focus on what the enemy and even those who call themselves friends tell you. You follow His Word, you stick to His opinion, His direction and His help. There will be many who will judge you for the decision you made to leave. There will be some, who in some way think they are helping, will hurt you with their words, their texts and their looks. But stand tall, and stand strong. God, who made this way for you will not let you fail. God is with you, sister. Don’t let the enemy tell you different. Don’t let the trappings of promised security in the world tempt you away from the eternal security you have in Christ Jesus. He alone is your One and Only True Love. Hide yourself in Him and He will lift you up and carry you through this.
            I am not through this yet. But I am confident of this very thing, “He who began a good work in me will complete it unto the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6) Don’t give up hope in God, He never gives up on you. May the words I write be a blessing to many and may they give glory to God our Father, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

If you are struggling right now and need encouragement. Please, email me. I want to hear from you. I want to encourage you as you encourage me. We are in this together sister, we are not alone! Stephis545@gmail.com

A New Adventure; Following God in Business, Ministry and Life
Stephane Singletary