By: Carmie Waddle
A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD SHALL BE PRAISED
Cursed be the woman who trusts in man and makes flesh her arm, and whose heart departs from the Lord.
~ Jeremiah 17 ~
importance of writing my story and sharing it with you is not for my own
glory. It's not because I'm seeking accolades and praises for all I've
done or how I've overcome adversity. My story much like many, has it's
beginnings in rejection, rebellion, independence, pride, a great fall,
real Godly sorrow, and a great redemption. It's a story filled with
hope, wisdom, understanding, and to those who receive it, deliverance.
The power this story contains is of the resurrection power of the Lord
Jesus Christ. I've been told by some that I've influenced their lives.
Influence is a double edged sword, because Proverbs 14:12 is true:
'There is a way that seems right, but the end of that way is death.' So
before I became born again, the influence I had in lives was only the
influence of my besetting sin: INDEPENDENCE. I pray this testimony will
lead and influence others to Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ.
It's my reasonable service for all He has done for me.
I was born to an unwed 17-year-old and for reasons I can only assume, my natural mother did not have the faith to provide a life for me and gave me to another family to raise as their own. I have no idea who my birth parents are. As a child growing up, I didn't know the Lord even though I went to church some sporadically with my mom and belonged to an AWANA group at a local Baptist church. I repeated the sinner's prayer countless times when I was young mostly for what I believed would be 'hell insurance.' That's the only message I remember and I certainly didn't want to go to hell so I prayed that prayer over and over. My belief in Jesus was a little like believing in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny. It was a good idea to believe that He was real just in case there was something to be gained, but I often wondered if He might prove to be as fictitious as they were. That was about the extent of my religion but I would find out years later that the Lord hears the prayers of children and takes up their cause. I'm not convinced my dad that adopted me really wanted to be a father, because his actions proved otherwise. He was an angry, verbally abusive man and indifferent. Mom was just overwhelmed trying to cope with it all.
We didn't talk about our problems and we interacted with each other with disdain and selfish attitudes. From a young age, I escaped into the fantasy of my mind, and hoped and dreamed of a better, happy life where there was love and respect.
As a pre-teen I was lost in reading romance novels and constantly daydreamed about my knight in shining armor who would deliver me from my circumstance. I was really looking for love and it would shape the next few years of my life immeasurably. As a pitiful, sad girl without the love of a father, I lived in the vanity of my mind because reality was miserable and I saw no way of escaping.
We all lived secret hidden lives and having pretentious relationships was just the way of life. We had a really cruel way of controlling each other through guilt and sarcasm, and never considered being open and honest with one another because we feared the war that would follow. My parents tried counseling once and my dad didn't say a word the entire time. He would go for weeks without speaking to anyone, and then out of the blue act as if nothing was wrong. It was insanity and we walked on egg shells around him controlled by his temper. This went on for years until my mom was finally worn out and divorced him.
Thankfully, my dad was not a drinker or his anger could have easily turned to murder. Because he was such a volatile man, I learned early on it was better to lie and perform jumping at his beck & call and do whatever I could to appease his anger.
I was constantly oppressed and felt the only way he would love me was to keep him happy through my performance. He could never be pleased, and I don't have one memory of him encouraging my brother or me in any way. His love was conditional and I never seemed to meet the conditions. I can see now years later that our impression of God as a Father is formed and fashioned after our fathers in life. I could not possibly see God as anything other than an angry task master and it carved a deep groove in my soul of independence and rebellion against authority. Ecclesiastes 4 says, 'There is power in the hand of the oppressor because they have NO COMFORTER.'
I found no comfort in my father, and he once coaxed me into kissing a family friend on the cheek for a quarter to buy a donut. I felt sick and dirty kissing that man but I wanted a donut, so I vexed my soul that day to get what I wanted. I doubt it was intentional, but through this cycle he was really teaching me you have to do tricks for men to get your needs met.
I felt like I had been prostituted by my own dad and he thought it was funny, and seemed to derive a sick pleasure out of it. He might have adopted me on paper, but I never felt 'adopted' by him in spirit.
My mom didn't know the love of a father either, and she put up with a lot looking to a man for her needs too. Dad never was a covering over our family, and mom was often left fending for her, my brother and me. After nearly twenty miserable years, she divorced my dad and remarried another soon thereafter. Under the circumstances, my mom was doing the best she could. My older brother and I were in our early teens and we were lost and confused, so we didn't exactly look to my mom's new husband to be a father to us. By that time we were hardened vexed rebels that acted it out differently. My brother started stealing and experimenting with drugs, and I reclused into my 'dream world' and tried to steal affection from whomever I could. I never opened up any of my thoughts to my mom, who I thought was always too tired and busy for me. She worked long hard hours; I felt like she couldn't relate to my teenage anxieties, and as long as I got good grades and fulfilled my works around the house, she left me alone. I doubt it was their intention but I still felt like a burden to my parents'like they couldn't afford to have me around.
We had a family 'meeting' once to discuss my attitudes and unhappiness, but I had become so familiar with lying, I didn't even know how to tell them what was really going on inside of me, and they did not have the ability to draw me out and speak to my vexed conscience.
I Decided From Early On That As Soon
As I Could, I Was Going To Do Exactly What I Pleased, And I Wouldn't Be
Told By Anyone That I Couldn't Or I Would Prove Them Wrong
Most people live trying to fulfill the law of do's and don'ts, and that was their only solution for me...do this, don't do that, and it didn't bring me peace. (The Law kills but the Spirit gives life!) The discipline I experienced was not profitable, because what I really needed was my conscience to be awakened to right and wrong. The discipline I experienced only produced rebellion and I had no submission to any authority. I decided from early on that as soon as I could, I was going to do exactly what I pleased, and I wouldn't be told by anyone that I couldn't or I would prove them wrong' the song of every rebel heart.
My family lived life without understanding the forces of darkness. Satan's desire was for us, and we weren't considering mastering him.
When I was eighteen, I started seducing an older married man twice my age. At the time I knew it was wrong, but I was desperate and needy for love and would stop at nothing to fill the emptiness. I had an emotional affair with this man, but I woke up one day thinking about this man's wife and family, and I just couldn't continue down that road. I actually broke it off, but my life as an adulterer was in full swing. For the first time, I really felt I held power over men and could trap them into the snare of meeting my needs for affection. I was becoming the 'strange woman which flatters with her words' that Proverbs 7 talks about. My flesh craved attention and the praises of men, and I was still highly motivated to get men's approval.
So when an opportunity for adventure and a chance to earn some money came my way in 1989, I headed off to Alaska into the Bering Sea to work on a processing ship for the winter snow crab season. I was drawn and attracted to rebellious, irresponsible men - men just like me that lived for fun and pleasure.
I got involved with another married man, still the adulterer, and experimented with drugs and thought nothing wrong with it. I thought working alongside men, that they would be impressed with my works and love me for it. I was always just looking to be loved but I was deathly afraid of commitment, so I played it safe by staying single and felt very much in control of my own life. I became very masculine and brutish working in that environment, and most of the men really despised me being there. I had to be one of the guys and harden myself as a woman to work with fishermen, most of whom just used women the way I used men. I despised them for their usury of women but didn't look at my own at all. To be respected in that industry, I had to stuff my feminine weakness. I refused to be seen as weak and took authority over the men all the time.
I coveted their respect but they couldn't submit to the false authority (masculine spirit) that I carried. Men just aren't made that way. (Godly men will look to deliver a woman from this unnatural authority; they will not submit to the control nor should they. Sadly, most women pick it up simply because of fear, but I know for a fact that most women, if they were truly honest, are looking for men to be true leaders.)
I was deeply deceived by my own philosophy, but it was my gospel of truth and I was going to live or die by it. By the grace of God, I didn't get physically injured in those three long seasons I spent on the ocean. I spent years putting myself in harm's way, climbing mountains, taking great risks and pushing the status quo of safety. I did things that most women wouldn't dream of doing and I took great pride in these risks. These exploits are often done by young people full of adventure trying to calm the storm inside by conquering the lack of peace, and we do it all in the name of fun. I had no peace with God; how could I? I did anything I could to avoid looking in the mirror at who I really was. That's where drugs dulled the voice of conscience and I used them to avoid reality. I had to build myself up somehow and the false confidence of drugs and alcohol filled the void temporarily, but I was on a wide path that was leading to destruction.
I spent years doing whatever was in my heart to do. In Isaiah 50:11, the Bible calls it walking in the light of your own sparks. I was fully living a sinful lifestyle and God was not in any of my thoughts. Pride and self strength were my armor and I covered up my fear and insecurity by cloaking myself with them as real garments. I had a lot of people agreeing with my way of life along the way, but I was living a life a deception, deceiving and being deceived. I justified my sin all the time and was dead in my conscience towards right and wrong. I kept in touch somewhat with my family, but I was so removed from them that I left out most of the details of my life when I talked to them. I wasn't personal with my family and wasn't going to be, and had anyone ever asked, I would have lied through my teeth like I always had.
We only talked about safe topics, and I painted the picture of the adventurer who was living my life free to do as I pleased and having lots of fun doing it. I managed to stay out of jail, although I did plenty that could have landed me there.
My 20's were work hard and play hard, but in 1998, I found myself at the bottom of a very dark depressing pit that my years of sin had bound me captive in. My idolatrous life with men was all I lived for and I hit rock bottom after being dumped by a man I thought I would actually marry. I was ready to commit and settle down and started looking to the future with him. The rejection sting I felt from this breakup drove me into a pit of depression and again I was left feeling abandoned and alone. This time I really felt used and I was devastated that I had spent so long trying to get what I needed from a man only to lose it all in an instant. I was filled with self pity and bitterness and my thoughts were filled with devilish voices.
I had been so wronged and had lost close friends over this man, and now I was a tormented lonely woman with no real friends to share my grief. I was so hopeless, and I had no idea how I could pull myself out of the deep depression that encompassed me. Most people that find themselves in this place look to the medical field for an anti-depressant to pull out of this condition. Deep inside I knew no pill would 'cure' me and that truly I had a spiritual problem. I know now that this was the beginning of coming to the end of my ways. Walking in the light of my own sparks caused me to lay down in sorrow for months. It was in this dark period of tormented days and sleepless nights that I turned my thoughts toward the Lord who I had prayed to as a child. I started to consider my ways, others I had hurt, and all the lies I had told myself to justify my decisions.
I Realized That Being In Control Of
My Life Had Landed Me In My Hopeless Condition
I realized that being in control of my life had landed me in my hopeless condition, and I really had no one to blame but myself. Maybe God did have a divine will for my life that would actually have a better end. It certainly couldn't be much worse. I had no faith except in what I could see, which wasn't faith at all. I went through bouts of despair and cried pitiful tears often yelling into the air asking WHY? WHY? I could barely function and it took all I had to put on the 'face' to show up to work and pretend everything was okay. Outwardly I appeared tough as nails but inside I was a fearful coward whose self strength foundation was crumbling.
Just like my childhood, I didn't open up to anyone. I kept all I was going through inside. Occasionally some bitterness would involuntarily ooze out in my conversations. I think people could see my condition but had their own problems to face, so they pretty much left me to figure things out. I'm sure they thought I would snap out of it and be back to my old self and all would be fine. My 'old self' was exactly what I was dealing with. I likened it to going to my own funeral every day, facing who I was and watching the death of a life that I had built and realizing it was meaningless and vain. No one understood this so I didn't bother to try explaining it. I did a lot of self examination.
'Seek first the Kingdom of God' kept running through my head but there were contrary voices speaking in my thoughts'thoughts of running and starting a life over somewhere else. I kept hearing "Seek first the Kingdom of God", but didn't have a clue how or where. I made a decision to go to a service at an Assembly of God church, willing to do whatever it took to get right with the Lord. I had never before considered there was a 'way' to be right. I just figured everyone does the best they can and God will accept that. I did come to the reality that my life and the way I lived were offensive to God. I decided to have real faith, that His plan and future for me would be better than the life I had created. After all, look where the road had led me to. Repentance was the key that unlocked the doors to the Kingdom. I came to the Cross of Jesus humbled by my wasted life.
I put away my pride, took off the rags of self-strength that evening and came forward during the altar call. I was under heavy conviction for the way I had lived my life. I knew God had cast me from His presence, but I wanted a clean slate and to be forgiven by a merciful God. In front of the entire congregation, I sobbed on my hands and knees for about 30 minutes as I told the Lord how sorry I was for not trusting Him with my life and that I desperately needed Him to show me what to do. I gave Jesus my life then and there to make out of it whatever He saw fit. Though none of my prayers seemed answered before, I went home that night expecting a miracle from Jesus because I got sincere for the very first time.
I actually slept the night through; I had many sleepless nights for many months prior. January 4, 1999 was the day that would change my life forever. The Lord spoke to me, not audibly, but I heard His Voice. The Lord said, 'Stay where you are; don't go away and seek.' Hearing this dumbfounded me because I had specifically asked for direction to stay or go. I didn't have any peace in leaving, but I really didn't know what to do.
I needed His direct guidance. Hearing His VOICE, I was instantly quickened in my spirit and I felt HIS Presence and LOVE fill me. This is a life altering, path illuminating, powerful mystery that only God can do. It's the greatest treasure we can ever seek and the greatest gift we can ever be given. God has put the knowledge of Himself in us all, and those that seek Him, find Him.
Funny thing, we actually think it's our idea, and it's really His Love that LEADS us to repentance. The Word of God says if I live for pleasure, I'm dead while I live. I had been dead while I lived, but now I was overwhelmed with joy and wept tears of gratitude. Jesus WAS the Redeemer! The burden and guilt of my sin was GONE, lifted off and removed. I was born again, free from the torment, and where I once had doubt and despair, I had hope and faith! This was the LOVE I had spent years toiling and striving to get.
No human LOVE could even compare. I had believed in a counterfeit and now the veil was lifted from my eyes and I saw so many things differently'self-willed opinions and philosophies of human reasoning, arguments I would have bet my life on before changed and altered forever.
I saw for the first time just how deep the deception really was, which made me even more grateful, because clearly I had been worthy of HELL, but had been delivered! I heard a voice deep in my heart say, 'The Kingdom of God is within you.' I had been given a new heart, a new spirit, and a new desire to follow this LOVE for the rest of my life! Hearing the Lord speak to me personally, I knew my life was no longer my own and I was more than happy to let Him direct my path. Though I didn't know where He would take me, I bought a Bible and Jesus set me on a journey into a whole new life. I spent hours reading His Word. I understood what I read, I was so hungry for truth He fed me and visited me and gave me great PEACE. Again, this was only the beginning of my walk, I would have many trials and peaks and valleys, but the Lord is a faithful Shepherd and he will lead those who are willing to follow.
God Sets The Solitary In Families ' He Brings Out Those That Are Bound In Chains.
In July of 1999 the Lord sent Gene and Ceci Sullivan into my life. Gene is an internationally known motorcycle stunt man, and in the 70's started an evangelistic ministry called: Jump for Jesus. Ceci has the most powerful testimony I have ever heard. She had formerly been married to a man who raped and murdered multiple women and was serving life in prison. Reading her story gave me no excuse for feeling sorry for myself EVER! For the first time I knew what the Word meant in Jeremiah 3:15'
'And I will give you pastors according to my heart which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.'
I was a woman without understanding to the motives and intentions of my own heart. Though I had some revelation about the sins of my past, I still didn't really know God's ways or my own ways, but I wanted to. Over the next couple of years I was able to graft into the Body of Christ and started to open up my life to other women to know and be known. (In my past I never got really close to other women because of my deep seated jealousies and insecurities.) I felt pretty free around my new women friends but really insecure around the men. I had never known men that cared for women as God's daughters instead of just using them, but the Lord gave me some wonderful Christian brothers who helped me have faith to let down my walls. Secretly in my heart I wanted to be healed and knew the Lord would use another relationship to bring this about.
Though I walked with Jesus as a forgiven sinner, I was still a fool who leaned on my own understanding. The Word talks about the sins that so easily beset us, and for me, it was Independence'doing my own thing without referring to the Lord for direction. There is a scripture in Jeremiah 17 that describes sin as written in our hearts with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond. I certainly didn't think I could possibly make the same mistake twice with men, especially as a Christian. But what I failed to see was how much of a curse my life was under, because deep in my heart I still was motivated by trusting in man, not in God. Cursed is the (wo)man that trusts in man and makes the arm of flesh his (her) strength. (Jeremiah 17: 5-10) The Lord tries and tests us to see what is in our hearts to do, and it's through this operation that we are either built up or destroyed. (Psalm 7:9; Psalm 28:5)
Becoming born again and filled with the Holy Spirit (with the gift of speaking in tongues) didn't keep me from listening to all the familiar spirits that I grew up with and followed. The sin of independence that so easily beset me, was deeply grooved in my heart. Because I didn't understand the fear of the Lord, I listened to the wrong voice. Familiar spirits are mentioned in Jeremiah 20. They waited for my halting (a time of temptation) and since I had no real delight in understanding, I was easily deceived and there was NO JUDGEMENT in my going.
I didn't cry out for wisdom and knowledge wasn't pleasant unto my soul. I still wasn't discreet and I didn't understand the FEAR OF THE LORD. I listened to the voice of a stranger and became alienated again from the life of God through my deceitfulness. I still made lies my refuge and was a simple, seducible woman that didn't want to listen to the Holy Spirit in my conscience. I was still drawn and attracted to conscience vexers, and ended up marrying a man who was pretty dead in his conscience too, and who was really just looking for a mother for his children and someone to meet his own needs. I was blind to his motives because I still had never looked at my own.
Neither of us was able to make a clear sound about our past, how we had not feared the Lord and how we were motivated by usury to get our own needs met by the opposite sex. I had lots of red flags early on'like feeling pressured to make a commitment to him, but I would not be honest with myself about the things I didn't feel right about or things that seemed controlling. These were things I should have talked to the Lord about and been open with others about. I overrode the Holy Spirit in my conscience and came under a strong delusion because I did not love the truth. We were counseled to wait longer and test the relationship, but we had made up our minds to go through with the wedding. The Lord gave us the desire of our heart but sent leanness to our soul.
One of the biggest factors in marrying was thinking I knew what his children needed. It was familiar to me to feel sorry for men and pity their circumstances, so I've always picked up burdens that were not of the Lord and got involved with men that I shouldn't. But the underlying motivation has always been going about to secure my future and to get my own needs met MY WAY.
My ways have not been God's ways and it fostered me secretly accusing God of not giving me what I need. I've always played the harlot by flirting with men and the lie I've believed is 'there is no harm in flirting.' How many women and men relate in a spirit of flattery, right in the church, not knowing it will bring ruin?
A young man in our fellowship grew up in a church where flattery was 'normal.' It eventually caused his mother to fall into adultery with a leader in the church. When things didn't go her way, she shot the man to death, then shot and killed herself. This all happened right after church on Mother's day when he was only 16. It all started with flattery'a woman who was looking to a man and a man who was looking to a woman for their help, all in the name of Jesus. Maybe that's why fornication is alive and well in most churches. In 1Corinthians 14 there is a principal of truth that goes like this:
'They all came together and the unlearned and unbelievers heard their testimony and the secrets of their hearts were revealed and they knew God was in them of a truth.'
This didn't go on in the Assembly of God I attended in Alaska. I'm thankful I got saved, but I couldn't get converted. There were no older women with an overcoming testimony that even saw the ruin of flattery. Most men and women are disordered spiritually; their hope is in getting their needs met through the opposite sex, their parents, their children, and they ARE NOT REALLY LOOKING TO OR TRUSTING IN THE LORD.
The church has become a pick-up joint, like a bar, sad to say. There are odious women crying 'give me, give me' and men looking to women for strength; full of lust, hiding, pretending, and waiting to lead silly women astray. Just recently the Lord showed me that men and women that enter through the door of intimacy without commitment, which is what the spirit of flirting really is, will NEVER BE SECURE WITH ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE THEY WILL ALWAYS KNOW THE OTHER PERSON IS CAPABLE OF BEING UNFAITHFUL AND WILL DO WITH OTHER WOMEN WHAT THEY DID WITH THEM.
Flirting, The Way People In The World
Get Their Needs Met, Is Spiritual Fornication
Flirting, the way people in the world get their needs met, is spiritual fornication. Their heart will NEVER safely trust in the other. Real men of God will not enter the door to a relationship that way. Women that play the flirt game and think its harmless are willfully ignorant to how they are feeding a spirit of lust in men.
If women use this spirit to get in the door of a man's heart, those same women will be damning the man for his lust later on down the road. I knew I needed to get saved from the WOMAN THAT FLATTERS WITH HER TONGUE'.the woman in Proverbs 7 and 2. If I didn't cry out to God to deliver me from the strange woman that lived in me, I would be a path of utter destruction to more men and also other women who were being justified by MY BEHAVIOR. The Bible talks about self-serving women whose hearts are bands, snares and traps, and those who escape from these kinds of women please God. I was a relational thief, with my hope and faith set in man, and what I could steal from them emotionally. I was looking for the praise of men, but Proverbs 31 clearly says that a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised, not a woman who fears not getting her needs met.
I had a FEAR OF THE LORD encounter not long ago realizing I would have to account for my life of seduction; of leading others into the wide gate of destruction, and I needed the BLOOD OF JESUS to cleanse my conscience from forsaking and forgetting the covenant of my God. I had sowed to the wind and I reaped the whirlwind. I didn't really believe that apart from Jesus I could do NOTHING! I thought I could bear good fruit in my Christian walk by doing what I thought I did right' leaning on my own understanding.
(Proverbs 3: 5-6), 'Many shall say to Me, Lord, I did this in your name I did that in your name, but He shall say, depart from me, you who worked lawlessness, (yielding to the flesh over the spirit) I never knew you.'
It was time for me to get personal with my Savior, and face the truth about myself. I feel that I need to give all who are reading this a glimpse into my failed, sorrowful marriage and all my works of selfishness and why I see that apart from Him I can do nothing. I deceived myself that I was walking in true faith when I married, and although I loved my husband carnally and wanted to be his helpmate and give myself to his family, I was still very much in SELF WILL. (Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.) I never considered on a day to day basis that I could really do God's will in regard to another person's life.
I truly thought I could overcome divisions and offences that came up by just avoiding the issues ( I grew up in a family doing that!), which proved that I really didn't love HIS SOUL; I just loved his gifts and the gifts of what the relationship gave me'companionship, sex, provision. It became pretty obvious early on that we were in for some stormy battles. The Bible says, ''where strife and self will is, there is confusion and every evil work.' (James 3:16)
This was a relationship of strife and self-will. I started to feel shut down emotionally right away when I would try to be open with him about things I felt wrong or divisions. I felt the presence of a lying spirit which covered up pride, and I could not connect with him as my husband. I desperately wanted to be able to give him ALL MY HEART, to have the liberty to be totally and completely honest. We had conflict over the craziest things and I really wondered'who was this man now; I don't remember him this way while we were dating. I hated conflict and was much more for peace than war. I did not bring the Lord into my battles, and I had great fear when going to him with just about everything. The weapons of my warfare were carnal, and my fear was certainly greater than my love, and many times I did not go to him in a right spirit.
He felt threatened and controlled, and usually would turn everything around and somehow I was the problem. I yielded to this oppression continually and denied Jesus in my conscience so much that I became what my friends called the classic 'Stepford Wife'. This was no joke, but a major dose of truth from friends that truly loved me. This label was taken from a movie in which all the women had been programmed into robotic wives with empty smiles and pretentious happiness. I was truly dying spiritually because I stopped looking to do God's will in the relationship and just get my own needs met. I was deathly afraid that he would reject me and end our marriage. I didn't believe I could survive the rejection again if I kept fighting for unity in the relationship and going after problems. What we called love, in reality was still flattery. I was back under a spirit of performance and strived through my days seeking his favor through all my works for his family. I was living the same way I have lived with my dad as a child! I was living out the same way I saw my mom live with my dad. I could not please the man I was married to. Living in the dark with him, I habitually denied my God conscience.
I sensed things wrong but was too afraid of the consequence to face his rage, so I denied the gift of God in me, especially with his children whom he idolized. I knew he wasn't really leading them and helping them make righteous judgments, but I always had to face his anger.
He accused me of not really perceiving things correctly because I never had children of my own, so he gave me no position to help him parent. This was a huge source of conflict. We made a series of bad financial decisions, which I begged him not to do, and it nearly bankrupted us and I lived in constant stress. The riches I hoped to gain'fellowship, intimacy, unity' made themselves wings through my continual deceitfulness, lack of honesty and fear of the Lord. I realized my Christianity was lacking and I needed to begin losing my life again to find it. Loving him in spirit and truth would test his control and the spirit of oppression and intimidation he used to shut people up. No other woman had taken him to this area of his soul to really get converted himself.
In two years time our relationship had grown very cold and when we weren't being indifferent to each other, we were exacting love from each other, feeling like each others' victim. We had a brief and hopeful moment of humility after a tumultuous couple of years when I broke down hysterically crying. I was a broken wife who didn't really know how to love a man. I had obviously failed in my own strength to be what he needed me to be, and he was genuinely moved by my humility. We started talking freely with one another that day and I had great hope that we could walk in unity and be of one spirit. It was short lived and a few days later were back at square one, contending and battling each other like the other was the enemy. He preferred me to walk in darkness with him and I just wasn't willing to.
I Secretly Hated Correction
I live in close community with a Body of believers that speak the truth in love to one another, and during my marriage I withdrew almost entirely. In my pride I did not want others to see where my relationship was at because I secretly HATED CORRECTION, and when I would spend time with Ceci, she could always see right through me. She knew me very well, and because she had made some tough judgments about her own life and how she tried to live in control. I gave her permission to speak to these issues in me and it took real faith again to receive her testimony. She had taken the log out of her eye and could see clearly to go after the specks in my eyes. The Lord used her and many of my other women friends to help me start being honest with MYSELF, and it was through this admonition that I had to face who I really was.
This shook me to the core and it took me a long time to stop living as the victim. I had to face the harsh reality that I DESERVED TO REAP EXACTLY WHAT I HAD SOWN into our relationship. We had, after all, built our house on the sand of lies and flattery, and it was destined to fall. I knew our relationship had become a testimony of usury and I hated living in a pretentious lie. Our marriage wasn't a marriage that glorified God and no one could see that Jesus lived by OUR love for one another. I was in a terrible bondage and felt yoked to a life of lies. I was deeply regretting the message that I was sending to his five sons that it was acceptable to treat women treacherously and with contempt, and I feared they would be drawn to a woman who was just like me: a rollover, controllable, and performer without personal integrity.
The other message I was sending them in my despair was'.THERE IS NO HELP IN GOD. How many people will account to Jesus on the day of judgment of how they have caused a young one to stumble? What has our reflection of God's character been to them? What was the song of our heart about the God of our Salvation to our children? I read a scripture that said'
'The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.' (Proverbs 21: 6, 7)
They refuse to judge their motives of robbing and stealing to feed their needs. I came to realize that my selfish life of looking to get what I needed from him was destroying me and the treasure I was seeking was not the Kingdom and God's will, but my own happiness and pleasure. I knew I would really have to be looking to Jesus to help me reach him and I started applying my heart to understand.
Job said, 'The things my soul refuses to touch become my sorrowful meat.' Jonah says, 'Those that regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy.' It was time to look in the mirror and look at what manner of woman I was. I started making righteous judgments and looked to bring our deeds into the light. I refused to fellowship his offenses about others and admonished him to love his brother. The Word says 'If you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another.' (Galatians 5:15)
How could we teach the children to have passion for souls saved and souls kept when we were bitter and critical? I started caring about pleasing God and being a woman of integrity, someone that I did not have to be ashamed of being. I feared it would cost me my marriage, but I had already paid a high price for being silent, and we lived in a spirit of divorce anyway. Spiritual death encompassed me and I hated who I had become. I was willing to be rejected and persecuted for being a woman of real faith and real love because I started walking in the light with Jesus and His people. I knew our only hope was for one of us to begin walking in the light and hoping the other would follow.
The day I set my heart to please the Lord instead of live under oppression, the worse his anger manifested. During one confrontation he punched a hole in the door in an explosion of rage. As long as I lived as a shut up woman, I perceived the silent threat that he could unleash violence and I was greatly intimidated. But when I started going deep, hoping to be true to the Lord in my convictions, he was no longer able to control his anger. Loving his soul and not feeding his ego through pity exposed his vengeance. I was fortunate that I wasn't physically abused, but the threat seemed evident. I could have chosen to be the 'Stepford Wife' and come back under a spirit of bondage, but I started trusting that my times were in God's hands and if I lost everything and got abused for doing what was right, I could still have peace with God that I wanted His approval more than the favor of a man. When he was unable to shut me down, he offered me the door, not once but twice. An elderly couple that lived with us was asked to leave also.
Even with all the oppression, it was hard to leave and it was not my desire to separate, but I truly hoped he would have a lucid moment and cry out to God for his own deliverance. Sadly, I had to leave him to his own devices and he chose the darkness, control, and walking in the light of his own sparks. There were times he would confess to many of his sins, but he never chose to forsake them. He preferred being a carnal man over being a spiritual one, and despised God's operation in his life, and chose to find another woman to go around the mountain with again. He, like me, had already been around the mountain several times, but chose to be a man without understanding, so he continues to be an oppressor and flatterer.
It amazes me how the sins of the father are visited to the children to four generations. You, me, we really need Jesus to break the generational curses in our lives. I decided once and for all to get understanding to the curse in my life so it can be broken.
I was forsaken, later divorced, but the Lord has taken me up and the more I inclined my heart to understand MY WAYS and not live as the victim, the more repentant I've become. I broke down and wept tears of grief when I realized the way I felt being rejected by my husband was exactly how Jesus felt when I forsook Him and trusted in man. I needed to feel the sting of abandonment so I could know the Lord's heart toward me.
I always considered it strange that the fiery trial tested me, and in my foolishness my heart fretted against the Lord. The Lord really opened my eyes to the spirit of the strange woman and that flattery can still be active in what we DON'T say. Because, if we aren't willing to be honest and sincere, we are nothing but flatterers and all who are lied to and seduced by strange women fall off the path of life. The Bible says flattery brings ruin; it's a promise! It's a demonic force I have set my will to starve rather than feed. I have been so deeply convicted and broken knowing I've caused others to fall. I have repented and have faith that He will help me to be a woman who FEARS THE LORD, for she alone shall be praised.
He's carved more of his Word into my heart and He's showing me His ways. I have been blessed to see some of the logs in my own eyes and have let the Body help remove them. None of us escape suffering in this life, we either suffer for Jesus and move into GLORY, or we suffer for our own sin and live lives of shame and sorrow. The Bible promises we will be held captive by the cords of our own sin. Confessing and FORSAKING is the only way to get free from what enslaves us. Jesus has proven Himself faithful to me in my unfaithfulness. God told Hosea to marry a whore named Gomer (Hosea 1:2,3), and like Gomer, the fruit of my own way has been hedged up with thorns. I followed and sought after my other lovers but didn't find them, but said''"'I will go and return to my first Husband (Jesus): for then it was better with me than now.' (Hosea 2:7) Jesus is my bridegroom and I am the bride that is being washed and made ready. He is the VINE and I am a branch and apart from Him I can do nothing.
Daniel 11 talks about the end times, and those who will be deceived because they are flatterers, and will be flattered. Flattery is a serious sin, that seems so innocent, but I pray that everyone reading this story would find room to confess, and forsake this spirit that ruins lives. (Verse 21)
'And in his place or office [in Syria] shall arise a contemptuous and contemptible person, to whom royal majesty and honor of the kingdom have not been given. But he shall come in without warning in time of security and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries, intrigues, and cunning hypocritical conduct.
When we live to bless ourselves, we can expect to find sorrow around the corner. The Blessing of The Lord makes rich, and adds no sorrow with it!!!
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"And this gospel
of the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
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