I don't think we realize (or really think about) just how amazing God is until after He reveals something to us. Just as I am coming back from that inner struggle between apathy and wanting to move on and enjoy life to the fullest, God has shown me that He IS with me and that, thanks to His divine grace, I am exactly where and who I want to be. I want to cry tears of joy just thinking about it.
Out of sheer curiosity I looked up an old friend whom I used to count as a best friend. Without going into the gory details, our friendship ended around the time I got really sick, right before I returned to the Church. It didn't end well. She badmouthed me to anyone who would listen, dragging my name and reputation through the mud. How someone could go from telling you she appreciated you for who you were to being the opposite... well, I don't know. I don't remember what caused me to look her up but I am glad I did because God was able to show me what I needed to see.
Not only is she still holding a grudge against me, which is justified... I guess (this is the "I probably deserved it" mentality I've grown to have), she is still badmouthing me. This is YEARS after our friendship ended. My heart pounded, my anxiety reached a 10, and I wanted to cry. How could I have ended a friendship that would cause so much pain; pain that would ultimately cause someone to say so many hurtful (and often times, untrue) things about me? After the initial shock, I had an epiphany. If I hadn't gotten sick and subsequently rejected the path I was going on, I would've wound up in a place I would've hated. I don't want to think about what sins I would've been tempted to do.
I am not going to sit here and criticize her. I refuse to take that road. Despite what she's done and said, I have forgiven her and pray that God forgives her too. Lord, she may not truly know what she's really doing. I've seen the path she has gone down on, the path I would've continued going down on, and it's not pretty. I have never been so thankful for my illness as I am at this moment.
I've often said that I find my illness (anxiety/panic disorder) a blessing because it brought me closer to God. I am now even more grateful that God allowed me to see, through this late night/early morning epiphany, that He is incredibly merciful. If I had continued down the path I was on, I would be someone entirely different from the person y'all know today.
Can you imagine me cussing up a storm? Dressing immodestly? Jumping from guy to guy (though still not sleeping with them; that was one thing I've never had an interest in doing)? I would've probably also still abstained from smoking, doing drugs, and drinking (three other things I've never had any interest in) but I could've done other worse things. Lying to keep people liking me? Lying to my parents about what I was doing and with whom? Slowly poisoning my mind with lustful thoughts that could've easily made it into my mind and sight? Supporting things like abortion (which I have never supported) and other things liberals are passionate about? I feel sick to think that could've been me right now. At the same time I'm eternally grateful I was able to avoid that. Thank you, Lord, from keeping me from that!!!
It's nearly 4 a.m. and I should go to sleep so I'll say this one last thing: be thankful for every experience God gives you. You know the saying, "What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger?" It's true. I've survived so much (including malicious gossip and negative people) and I'd like to think I came out a stronger person because of it. And I owe it all to God who is truly amazing!
That's all for now. It's way past my bedtime. ;) I hope y'all have a wonderful Sunday. :D
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.