Tuesday, June 05, 2007

IOW--From Pit Dweller to Glory Reflector

"What use to make us stumble, God can use to make us stand. What once made us bow our heads in shame, He can use for His glory."

~ JoAnna Weaver ~
Having a Mary Spirit

There is a part of my past I'm not happy to admit is there. In fact, for a long time shame dominated any memory of that time. Very few people are even privy to the knowledge of those days--German, my pastor at the time and his wife, a friend who is now in Phoenix, German's best friend and confidante during that time, a counselor and a couple of other friends. It was a dark time, largely brought onto me by me (although counseling helped me unearth the roots from where it grew). I thought at the time that the sin that was dominating my life would always define me. I was sure that I would never again have a vibrant ministry because of what I was. Ashamed and disillusioned, it not only made me stumble it pushed me to my knees. When I finally hit my knees, the Phoenix friend used his gift of encouragement (lol) with one word, "finally."

You see, I had to stumble before I would admit that it was not a "problem" and that it was sin. I had to fall flat on my face before I would look up for help. And I had to get on my knees before God could remind me that I was not defined by my sin but by His sacrifice. Through that humbling and shameful time in my life I learned that God loves sinners unconditionally. He had loved me from the moment of my birth. He had cherished me from the moment of my spiritual rebirth. And years later when I was refusing to act like His child He still loved me. Once I admitted what a fraud I had become, He healed it. And He forgot it.

But I didn't forget. I don't want to forget. I am forever grateful that it no longer defines me. I am amazed that most days I don't consciously remember it. Yet, that time changed me. I stopped identifying people by their behavior--because I didn't want to be identified by mine. I became more willing to pour out grace because of the grace that was poured on me. I started to take intercessory prayer more seriously, because without the prayers of others I might still be in the pit. It changed me into someone who could stand in the assurance of God's unconditional love. Recently a dear blogging friend commented on my ability to speak of the frailties of human nature without being demeaning. That comment meant more to me than so many comments I have received, because I am able to do that only as God is showing His glory. Not being harsh in our frailties was learned from that time in my life. Praise God He has taken that dark time and made me a reflector of His Glory. Dear friends, please know, no place is so dark that God cannot illumine it and use it for His glory. I stand as proof of that!

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for men
Psalm 107:13-15

Abba, Holy God, thank you for not leaving me in the pit of despair. Thank you for loving me in spite of me. Thank you for breaking the chains of bondage that were in my life and making me whole. I praise you that I am no longer defined by sins of the past but I am defined by your blood. Thank you for dying for me when I was a pitiful sinner. Thank you for allowing me to stand and glorify you! Amen.

Loni at Joy in the Morning is our hostess for In Other Words this week. I pray you will be blessed by the words of others. Thank you for visiting today.


Alycia said...

What a beautiful and touching post. I am so thankful to have found your blog and will return to read more. Have a blessed day.

Denise said...

Very heart touching post, bless you.

heart of wisdom said...

Finally :}
Great and humble post. Thank you

The light is brighter in the darkest night.

Julie@Shanan Trail said...

[I would admit that it was not a "problem" and that it was sin] Wow! Since I adopted my daughter, I have spent a lot of time, on and off, in counselor's office. Even the ones billed as Christain counselors, tend to see sin as a problem to be fixed and not a sin to be confessed.

You should put out a shingle!

Tami Boesiger said...

Finally. . .hmm. You're getting my wheels spinning, MiPa. Do you think all people have to hit rock bottom before God can renew them and use them?

MiPa said...

Thanks for the comments ladies.

Tami, no I don't think everyone has to hit rock bottom to be renewed. And I think everyone's rock bottom is a different place, some have to go further down before they look up. But I do think that we all need to reach a place where are willing to bend our knees to His Lordship before He can use us to our potential. Even during the time I described, I was teaching a class at church and leading a ministry. I was being used--just not as much to His glory as after I submitted to Him fully. Does that make sense?

Pearls of Wisdom said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful and inspiring post . I always enjoying reading your posts and take on the quotes of IOW. May the Lord bless you this week and always.

Angel ():)

Rosemarie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosemarie said...

"...please know, no place is so dark that God cannot illumine it and use it for His glory. I stand as proof of that!"

This post means speaks volumes to me concerning a close family member. My heart is encouraged.

Heavenly Voice

PS This is certainly a featured post in Proverbs Women in my sidebar!

Rosemarie said...

Unfortunately, your new design doesn't have "previous posts" in your sidebar, thereby no access to the specific URL to this post. :( Therefore, no featured post on my sidebar.

Heavenly Voice

PS I do like the Quilt theme of your design! :)

MiPa said...

rosemarie~thank you for the honour. I've been able to get "older pieces" (monthly archive) to work but "recent pieces" is still under construction. :-( I've got a coding error. It will be back.

Loni said...

Thank you for sharing your heart so personally here. I can relate to a lot of what you wrote.

Blessings ~ Loni

Tami Boesiger said...

I completely agree that we must bend our knee to His Lordship to reach our best. Do you think of this as a physical bending or a bending of the attitude or both?

I think it is both. What surprises me, however, is the number of times I need to keep doing it. Humility is no one time deal. You'd think a couple of broken kind of experiences would be enough, but I need those humbling experiences over and over again. Some are more traumatic than others, yet all are necessary to keep us in our right place. I guess the good news is that the older I get, the more I roll with the punches and learn to trust His judgment. With maturity comes less whining (well, most of the time.)

Traci said...

What a blessing this post has been to me....thank you.

Ruth said...

you are an incredible blessing. i was reminded as i read of a jewish proverb, that says, "light is not recognizable except through darkness."

shalom friend.

MiPa said...

I definitely believe it is both. And I too am surprised how often I am reminded that my attitude is not bending to Him.

lol at the less whining comment. Oh how I relate!

Bonnie W said...

Thanks so much for sharing.

I love the line: "please know, no place is so dark that God cannot illumine it and use it for His glory."

God often reminded me of Ps 139 during the dark days of healing from the shame and pain of my past. There is no place I can go where He cannot see me!

God bless and keep you.

Tara Sloan said...

He's been SO faithful to us all- even when we are SO faithless! Praise God!

eph2810 said...

Miriam, what a powerful post and the title of your post is just wonderful.
I have to agree that your tender heart shows through on your posts :)

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this week's quote.

Be blessed today and always.

BTW - I really enjoy your new LO.

Christine said...

wonderful post, mipa. sharing our trials is what God intends for us to do. it is such a blessing to others.

Linda said...

Mipa - isn't it amazing and wonderful that we are not defined by what we've done but by who God says we are. We are His loved children who sometimes stumble and fall badly, but He is always there to reach down in love and lift us back up. I really enjoyed your post.
I love your beautiful blog. I'm attempting to make a quilt. My Mom is a master quilter. I love them so much, I'm trying to make one too. It's a struggle :-)
Thanks so much for visiting.