I have written my testimony for The Intercessor before, but I must write it again. I want to give testimony to the love and sacrifices made by those who fought against Satans strongholds in my life that resulted when I continuously chose sin, and the grace and mercy of God who gave His Son to die for me so that I need not be slave to the very sin I would not give up.
One reason I am writing my testimony again is that as recently as May, 2003, I was still living in sin. The worst part is that I lied to my family and friendsI had deceived them into thinking that I had turned from very specific sin and unbelief. The truth was that I had never put to death addiction and self-indulgences I had claimed to have repented of. I realize the picture I paint may seem overly focused on the sin I chose, but I am at a loss as to how else I can truly depict what God rescued me from and how miraculously His saving grace, cleansing blood and Holy Spirit have transformed my life. The fact is, it is when I finally and fully faced my sin and how it was destroying my life and affecting everyone around me that I began to live from this truth: I am helpless with no hope outside of Christ living in me.1
It might help to give you some background as to how I grew up and how my spiritual deterioration started and progressed. So as not to get bogged down in too many details, here is the upshot of my background in capsulated form: I grew up in a home where I went to Sunday church, Sunday school and Wednesday church. I was baptized when I was eight after talking with my preacher and my Sunday school teacher about how I was a sinner and that I needed Jesus to save me. I sang in the youth choir, went on youth church trips, attended a popular Bible study in high school, and was part of a core group of students in a Christian college ministry.
I am ashamed to say that even as a young adult, I gave God very little thought. I thought mostly about myself and what I wanted to do. I read the Bible, but I did not embrace it, apply it or live from it. The tragedy is that even though I had had so much exposure to God and His truth, I still chose a life of selfishness. I began making very deliberate sin choices, the most gripping of all being that of obsession with my weight which led to years of anorexia and bulimia. Entering into this addiction, I gave Satan an all-consuming hold over everything I thought, believed and did. The foundational lie I based my addiction on blocked out all truth and light that came my way. My life was built on the lie that I was not good enough unless I was thinand that I was better than others if I was thinner than they were. I did not want anyone to know this was how I thought and believed. My life was one of spiritual darkness, hiding and deceit. I was in physical danger and in certain spiritual death.
And then God intervened. I met my future husband and those who were to be my future spiritual family. They were obviously concerned about me, as I was deep in the throes of my eating disorder. They faithfully and firmly presented Gods truth and light to me so that I could be rid of the Satan lies that ran my life. Here is where my greatest shame lies. I did not accept their Godly rescue. And worse, I pretended that I did.
Through the next 18 years of getting engaged and then married, moving to North Carolina, starting a business with my husband, brothers and sisterin- law, having two children and beginning to raise them, I continued to hang on to my addiction and deceive all those around me. Oh, I gained weight, I was no longer bulimic, and I ate how I thought would appear right to others, but I was not right inside. In my heart, I still wanted to control my weight, to make sure I didnt gain too much and to still only eat when I felt like eating (which for an anorexic isnt that much). And what did I do with these pulls in my heart? I went with them, made choices based on them and hid them from my husband, family and friends so that I would not have to do differently. I was willing to eat, but not willing to eat in a way that would cause me to gain more weight than I liked. Nobody knew, but I would eat much more in front of others and then when alone, I would balance that out by eating less or not eating at all. I was still obsessed with my weight and I was still a rebellious, selfish liar.
God, through His marvelous way of working details and timing out, exposed all of this sin in me in May of 2003. The events leading up to the exposure of my sin makes a long story to tell, but what is more important to relate is how lifechanging the spiritual help and admonishment that was poured out to me was. My sister-in-law was on the phone with me repeatedly for days urging me to be honest and confess my hidden thoughts and beliefs to her. My husband and other family members tirelessly listened to the details of my sin. I knew it was painful for them to discover how I had deceived them for so long. Admitting the blackness within me to them and hearing out loud how hideous I sounded and feeling a right shame for deliberately hanging onto my sin for so long began a work in me. This was not how I wanted to live nor how I wanted to teach my children to be. I knew once again I had a choice: would I take or reject Gods loving rescue from a life of death and sin? Would I continue to subject my family and friends to lies and abuse from a Satan-bossed vessel? I did not want to continue to do that. God had created me for one purposeto manifest Himself through me to His creation. My sin had blocked that for too long.
I took a long hard look at my life. I had no joy, meaning or purpose. What had my salvation meant other than that I was going to Heaven? I made a decision. I wanted to be a clean vessel to contain Gods Holy Spirit through the person of His Son Jesus Christ. I had sinned knowingly and rebelliously against God and everyone I lived around. I had hurt my husband, children and family in ways I knew I wasnt even aware of. I had pretended to be a person I was not. I had lived opposite from the way God and godly people in my life had wanted me to live. I could undo none of this and for that I was very sorry. I wanted no more of Satans lies and doings and I wanted to live a right, Christ-life to those around me. There was no hope of doing that unless Christ lived out every moment in me. That would not happen if by my unbelief I gave Satan opportunity to sin by me. I had proven I could not live a life pleasing to God. I knew my only hope was that Christ would live life through me. But would He?
I had read the truth of what God says about me in the Bible and heard that same truth from my family and friends for years. Would I now take Him at His word and base my life on the foundation of His truth and not Satans lies? Was it too late now? After all my years of rejecting Gods truth and plan for my life, did I still have a right to ask His forgiveness and claim His promises? Well, I did not know the answer to that question but I did know that I had failed completely at living life, and at this point I had nothing to lose.
My root sin had been to see myself as an independent self, an alone-I who could live life by myself. This was Satans original sinthe lie he wants us all to believe. The truth is that I am not an independently operating person and have never been one. Before I was born again, I was operated by Satanby his spirit of evil (Eph. 2:2). When I became saved, I was as God sees meone with Him. God says in 1 Cor. 6:17 that He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. He also says in 1 Cor. 6 that my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you. Further truth God reveals in His word is that I am perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. God had presented me with this truth many times before, but only now was I convicted to the core. I had lived from nothing but lies that I wanted to believe about myself and selfish wants that I did not want to give up. How tragic that I had squandered the riches and gifts God had made available to me through His loving kindness and the sufferings and death of His precious Son.
With a very sorry and broken heart, I could only hope that if I put my faith in Christ and the promise of Galatians 2:20, then I could dare to believe that it was true in my life: I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet, not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God. I pled with God as David did in Psalm 51Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me.
God is wonderfully faithful and true. In expressing His life through me, He has renewed my mind. He has completely changed how I view the very things that I had believed Satans lies about. I agree with Him that I am whole and complete because His life fills me and it has nothing to do with how much I weigh. I am no better or worse than any other person He has created to live His life through. Selfishness, self-centeredness and any self-for-self are Satans sin life and are worth nothing and will cost me everything. My husband, my children, my family and friends need Christs life poured out to themnot the abuse that I heaped on them when I chose to let Satan live his evil by me.
I can say today with a contrite but grateful heart that God is faithful to live His life out through me. I, in return, must be faithful to believe. I must put my faith in Christ to do what I cannot dolive my life. Today I believe what God says about methat I am joined with Jesus Christ in my spirit and have been since the day I was born again. Lining up with that truth determines how I see myself, others and everything that comes to me in life. Whatever comes to me, Jesus Christ through me has already determined to take on, handle and live it out according to His perfect plan. I know Satan the enemy is ready to confuse and deceive me with the lie of an independent I. God warns me that Satan is lying in wait to bind me up in wrong believing. It is by the grace and mercy of God that I can put my faith in Him and by the faith of the Son of God that Christ-I lives.