Café Menu for Friday, April 10, 2015
Today’s Special is: A Long and Winding Detour
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Andrea
Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
Jeremiah 3:15 NIV
God had a plan for my life from the very beginning, but I didn’t know it. From infancy, I learned about Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. I attended private school for 10 years and was involved in all the Sunday schools, church choirs and youth groups. I even became a youth leader and taught children’s Sunday school.
My family went to church and professed to be Christians, but there was no affection or love shown by our mother or father. We lived in an abusive home, which eventually ended in divorce. I learned from my parents how to act one way in church and a totally different way elsewhere.
My father was the authority and we all lived in fear of him. One would think that fear would have been enough to keep me on a straight and narrow path, but it wasn’t. I learned how to live in a state of denial and deceit.
When I moved away from home, I took control of my own life happy to no longer have my father in authority over me. I had dated guys since I was 15, but had been unable to find that something that would fill the gaping hole in my heart. I felt same sex attractions as early as the age of 12 when a friend and I would “explore” during our frequent “sleepovers”.
At the age of 23, I became friends with a woman at work and one thing led to another. I knew what I was doing was wrong according to God’s Word, but it didn’t feel wrong and I thought I had finally found the one person who could give me the love I so desperately desired.
I began to live a life of deception contrary to God’s original design. In time, I found the support of others just like me, who accepted me and loved me and fueled my world of deception. I eventually believed I was born this way and that God was still with me and blessing me. After all, He blessed me with a good career, health, possessions, friends, and relationships. Still my convictions prevented me from serving in church, thus ignoring the gifts God had given to me.
One day, God sent one of His shepherds to bring me back to His flock. This beautiful woman took an interest in me . . . an interest in my salvation. From her, God’s love overflowed into my heart, and I haven’t been the same since. She expresses God’s desires for us in ways I have never known.
I am learning how to find love, grace, healing, and strength from my true Father. He is slowly healing the damage done from my childhood and from the detour that I chose. This process is very painful, but rewarding in that I am being molded and shaped with every battle.
Every day it seems, a new lie from my past surfaces. I fight to discover God’s truth, which counteracts that lie. My heart is being reprogrammed and is now filling up with God’s love instead of the world’s.
I pray God will use my life now to bring others to Him. I can clearly see now that we live in a broken world, and I am only one of the casualties. I now believe that we have two choices to make. We can choose to live for God’s glory, according to His original purpose or we can choose to live for our own desires. I can’t deny that I still have same sex attractions, but I choose not to act on them. I choose God.
Do you know someone who has fallen into this trap of lies? Do you have a family member or a friend walking this path of deception, living in the dark?
If so, pour out your love to them. Rather than judge, or shun, or look the other way, tell them how much God loves them. Help them to see WHO they are in Christ – a beautiful, unique creation, a son or daughter of the King and an heir to the throne of righteousness.
PRAY for them non-stop. Pray that God will shine His bright light into all the dark places and send a shepherd to show them the way back to Him.
Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. You know Your sheep and You know when they are lost. You can hear us calling for You when we are stuck down in the mud. You find us, pick us up and wash us off. You are the only way to eternal life and many do not know You. Please use us as You will because we can bring so many others who are lost back to the flock. In Your Precious Name. Amen.
© 2011 by Andrea Hine. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 10 April 2015.