I came from a two-parent home, with the addition of a grandmother (my mom’s mom). She raised us while my parents worked. I have one younger sister. We had a normal childhood. Granny was active in church, so I grew up knowing about God. I was baptized at twelve and continued to work in the the church. I ushered, sang in the choir, went to workshops, and learned a lot of stuff. I went to college, sang in the Baptist Student Choir, and made many great friends.
While in college, I took a job with a large retail store, just to pay some bills and for gas money. I stayed with that company after graduating and joined the management program. I woked day and night, and I got so tired. Then Granny got sick, and Mom and Dad needed help. So we packed up and moved back to Jackson. I transfered stores, so I kept my job. My sister stayed with Granny.
I was still involved with my home church, working with the childrens’ ministry. I’d help with anything I could. Then it came to a point where they didn’t need me anymore. The children had a new couple who wanted to run the entire departmant without help, so I left. I was hurt and disappointed.
Granny passed away. I bought a house in Jackson, but I still drove to my home church every Sunday. Then I quit that for a little while. I thought to myself, “God, why is stuff so odd?” A church is supposed to heal the broken. I didn’t understand why people did what they did.
My cousin asked me to go to church with him and his wife, so I did. I would attend the 9am service with them at their church, then drive to my home church. In this new church, though, it was different. It was like the messages were just for me. That’s when I knew all the hurt feelings, disappointments, let downs, and the failures could be made better. But I still didn’t want to get too close so I wouldn’t get hurt. So I ran in and out of church for two years. But then I heard a great word from God one night, in a ladies meeting. The speaker taught about metamorphosis. I realized that there is help, and you can be restored. I had hope. Not long after that, someone mentioned a connect group. I went, and everything changed.
This was a group of supportive women who loved God. Ms Debbie was teaching a class on the whole armor of God, seven steps to freedom. I didn’t know which steps I needed at first. I thought I didn’t have any problems, hang-ups, or habits. As I got in to the Word, though, I learned about truth, righteousness, endurance, faith, trust, and how to obey God. The workbook assignments allowed me some quiet time to think. I asked myself, Do I trust God? I tried, but I held back.Growing up, we were taught that you do all you can do to the best of your ability, and God will grant the increase. Back it all up in all things, pray, and ask God for direction. I heard that plain as day once I realized what I had been doing. I had wanted to give God bits and pieces instead of everything. But now my heart had changed. I finally knew how to ask God to guide my steps. My first issue was feelings of not being good enough. My classmates are doctors and nurses and “important” people.
Then God set me free. I was worshiping and crying one Wednesday night in church. I had just learned about another ministry that helped women, and I was praying for those ladies when it happened. God saw fit to set me free while I was praying for someone else. I felt it, like a button popping off a coat. I could feel the ripping of a weight off my heart. God removed my guilt and shame.
God is so awesome. My job was changing again, but I had not bothered to act in a negative way. In all things praise God. I changed my mind to focus on bringing Heaven to Earth, and I’m trying to do what God tells me to. Our pastor encouraged us to give all our disappointments and hurt feelings and mess to God. I did. I still feel lighter, like a thorn was pulled from my heart.
As I seek God, I can still find Him. He is still blessing me. I don’t have to do anything on my own. I had to learn that God is my everything. Trusting in Him in all things.
I tried to put my ideal on how I wanted God to work. And I soon found out I cannot limit God. The more I studied, the more I learned if I seek God, He will answer. The more I prayed, the more peaceful I became. Once I changed my focus from me, to what I can do for God, my life changed. If all I can do is say a kind word, then that’s it. It takes a journey to get to a destination, and my trip is leading to Jesus’ arms. God will fight for us, we need to fight for Him. I will!
I got my fight back! Life knocks you down and hurts you. It makes you feel unwanted, unloved, and unfilfilled. But I found my voice; God cares to hear what I have to say. One thing I choose to do daily is defeat the devil. The whole armor of God is perfect for that. Allow Ms Debbie to teach you, it works!
THE FREEDOM CLASS
with Debbie Wallace