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Letting Go and Letting GOD
by Teresa Altman
6/30/2007 / Short Stories
How could you let this happen, Lord? Is this what I get for giving you control?
At nine years of age, I surrendered my life to Christ and felt His call to service. However, as an adult, I wanted to be in control. I feared if I submitted to His call, it would mean packing my bags, giving up everything, and moving to some hot, damp region where snakes were more common than flies. At least, thats how I saw it.
The next 40 years of my life was spent running from His will. I never seemed to find lasting happiness. Oh, dont get me wrong, I was happy, but my happiness seemed to only thrive with change: changing jobs, changing homes and changing relationships. Forty years, twelve jobs, and four husbands later, I found myself alone and broken before God. I was, at last, ready to stop wandering in a wilderness of self destruction.
One desperate night two years ago, I was on my face before God, weeping bitterly over the mess I had made of my life. Take it God, I cant do it anymore, I begged, Ive made such a horrible mess of my life and dont know where Im going. Please fix it, Lord. Ill do whatever you want, just make me happy.
A few days following my renewed commitment I was listening to a Christian singles tract by Rob Eager. My attention was captured when I heard an amazing concept, Christian women must first accept Jesus in the role as husband and intimate companion before they can know the fullness of a relationship with a man.
Did I hear that right? Jesus is to be my HUSBAND? But He is my redeemer, my teacher, and friend. Yes, its true that my husband will be my friend, but my view of a husbands role was a lot more than just a friend. And my view of Jesus was completely different.
How can I accept Jesus as my husband if I cant picture Him in that role? I remembered my commitment to God, so I had to give it a chance. That night, on my knees in our secret place, I asked, Father, please teach me to see Jesus as my husband.
Later that same week, while engaged in a simple run-of-the-mill conversation with a friend, the topic took a surprising turn when she asked, Teresa, do you know for a fact that when you die you will go to Heaven?
In an instant, it was like a veil over the heavens opened before my minds eye. I saw Jesus but He was different. Every characteristic and quality I had ever imagined in a husband I saw in Jesus and immediately fell in love. I found a happiness I never knew existed.
From that moment on Jesus has been my companion, leader, protector, and provider, as well as, my savior and friend. He is my companion and He is enough! I have walked with Christ as my companion for two wonderful years. After finally letting go and letting God have control of my life, He lead me to a new home near my family and a wonderful Spirit-filled church. For the first time in my life I knew I was exactly where God wanted me. My life was in order and I knew where Gods will was leading me. At least I thought I knew, until I lost my job!
How could you let this happen, Lord? Is this what I get for giving you control? was my initial reaction. I knew in my heart that God would open another door of opportunity. This is just a test of my faith, I concluded. Two months passed quickly and anxiety began to creep into my heart but I knew I must remain steadfast. My new motto became I WILL NOT LOSE MY JOY.
One day it occurred to me that I should start writing again. I use to be a pretty good writer and journalism was my college major once. I have enjoyed creative writing since childhood and one of my better professional skills is technical writing. Why not? Ill give it a go! So I decided to write articles wherever I could find them until I could land a real job.
That was when God began feeding me ideas for poetry. Before I could get one written, He would give me another, and then another. One day, He began tugging at my spirit, This is your calling, Teresa.
No God, not this! I protested, Ive never done this before. I cant make a living by writing and nobody ever buys poetry! Give me another gift, please!
Then one day I received an email requesting prayer for an eight year old girl. She had suffered a heart attack due to an undetected disease. Her only hope, according to doctors, was a heart transplant. She was given little more than 72 hours.
Although I didnt know her or her family, I placed her on my daily prayer list. During my prayers that day, something different happened. As I prayed for this little girl, the Holy Spirit began pressing me so deeply that I was unable to control my tears. My soul ached for her. There was urgency in my heart like I had never known and suddenly, my own troubles were irrelevant.
Why did God give me this burden and compel me to intercede for a child I didnt know? For eight days I prayed continuously: in my car, cooking dinner, in the grocery. It never mattered where I was. I could feel His Spirits unrelenting press of loving compassion for her. On the ninth day I received another email. The little girl had died in the night.
No, Jesus! Why? How can this be? I sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed hours. When no more tears would come, I arose from the floor, walked to my computer and began typing. God embraced me with each keystroke and, soothingly, reached through me to pen a poem for a child I never knew.
I learned from my prayers for this child, that whenever the Holy Spirit presses your heart for another it creates an eternal bond. I did not have to meet her in order to love her. Gods love extends far beyond that. He loved her through me so I would feel the strength of His love. It was shamefully clear to me then, that my gift was not for my own purpose. God had blessed me with a gift that He could use to record the breadth and depth of His love.
Sometimes it is necessary for God to stir our lives and remove our comfort zones so we are able to fit into His Kingdom. Until I experienced a surprising love for a child I never knew, my unwillingness to submit to Gods call had been selfishly motivated. Now, I have gained a new understanding of His purpose for me, which I received through a profound lesson in the power of prayer.
That night, on my knees in our secret place, I prayed, Yes, Lord, I will be your pen.
Teresa Altman, http://www.faithwriters.com/websites/my_website.php?id=28787 , an engineer for 25 years, answered God's call to write in 2007. A mother of two and grandmother of six, she lives in Northwest Tennessee.
@2007 by Teresa Altman
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