The Point of Suffering

I’m learning that every trial I have endured is so that I may help others in turn who are suffering the same ways that I have. This may seem like common sense to the average Christian, but before I gave my life to Jesus I believed in such things as luck, fate, and destiny. I thought there was some sort of invisible spiritual sign on my forehead telling others to hurt me, mistreat me, use me. When I reached adulthood I learned how to play the game, how to hurt others, the sweet succulence of revenge.

It has taken the worse-half of my adulthood to realize life isn’t a game to win or lose, there is no such thing as luck, only God can bless us according to His divine will. The trials and tribulations we go through are governed by His sovereignty, He allows bad things to happen to us so that we may turn to Him for guidance and strength. When we grow closer to Him, I believe we still suffer and don’t always get our way so that we may learn to seek Him first, whether for good or for bad. How unsatisfying is a relationship with someone who only comes to you when they need something? I believe the more we build our relationship with the Lord the more we learn to seek Him first, before all things so that He can show us His love and faithfulness even as we suffer through the trials of this world.

As I learn and develop a loving and intimate bond with the Lord, I’m able to appreciate Him so much for the depths of His forgiveness. I have high hope now that beyond this new and exciting relationship I have with Him I will be able to encourage others through their trials and doubts by sharing my experiences. We were never meant to go at it alone, we will never succeed unless we depend on Him and learn to encourage each other. How awesome the Lord is! To know that all the pain and suffering I’ve endured was all for a divine purpose and not just because of bad luck is so astounding, so inspiring, so emboldening!

I pray the Lord will guide you in your walk, that He will teach you His ways and rain His blessings down on you and your family. I pray He will heal you of your pain and suffering, that He will work through you to glorify Himself and that you will be a wonderful instrument made pure and new by Him. May God place you within His perfect will and strengthen you to encourage and uplift everyone around you as a bright candle in the midst of darkness. May your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one (Colossians 4:6). Amen!

“Blessed be our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.” -2 Corinthians 3-6

 

Repeat Lessons for the Stubborn Hearted

Doubt and regret will eat you alive if you let it. My past sickens me at times, I get on the memory train and can’t seem to get off. I have strung-out periods of thought, hours can go by and I’m trapped in a memory, tantalized and tortured by the details. My past choices grip me, holding me captive in a covert tryst, modern entertainment, my own personal show. My perceptive reality now convicts me of my unscrupulous past, and now I am gripped with fear of any contingency…

It’s not like I am infallible now, being a new creature in the Lord. The past two weeks have been lovely, my husband was on leave and it was our first anniversary yesterday 7/31/16. He surprised me with a trip up to Atlanta, GA for the weekend. It’s been months since I’ve had a drink, though not because I believe it is wrong but because my husband is sagaciously inclined concerning our low budget as of late and also my very serious issue with abuse. There is something deeply wrong with me, most people can have a few drinks socially, some champagne and wine for an anniversary. Most of the time I am okay, and by “most” I mean about 80% of the time. Every time I drink it’s like playing drunken roulette, it can go from fun, positive exuberance to disappearing down the middle of the streets of Atlanta during our anniversary dinner. It is a very good thing my husband is a Ranger in the Army and quite capable of tracking me down and rescuing me when I’ve lost all control.

I tell myself my memory walks have a purpose, the re-opening of old wounds will somehow make them less painful. It is easier to just forget but what was the point of it all then? Why do I stumble on the same roadblocks? I do believe there is a reason for all the suffering I have experienced in my life, and will continue to suffer if I don’t put God first. I’ve learned what happens when I drink, it’s the same as any drug I’ve abused, but somehow in my mind I justify it because it is legal and quite biblical to drink some wine. Though once I have some, I don’t have the judgement to leave it at that. It is certainly more disheartening for me to know the truth, and not abide in it. The messes I made in the past were before I knew God, before I tasted sweet salvation and before I learned what love really is. I am entirely dubious of my ability to restrain myself, only God can do that. Whenever I try to call up my so-called “willpower” I fall on my face and wake up in a bed of regret with an earthquake between my temples.

It’s a battle trying to overcome the shame of my past, I have to remind myself that I have already been forgiven and that God will never forsake me. Even though I screw up still, I make mistakes, I completely blow it, God is faithful and forgiving. No one can measure the depths of His love and understanding. And He really knew what he was doing when he gave me such an understanding and patient husband.

“Though He give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, He will be with you to teach you- with your own eyes you will see your Teacher.” -Isaiah 30:20

My dream is to share my story by writing a book, I truly feel this is God’s purpose for me and would be very pleased if you would hold me up in prayer, advice on these blogs or through donation. For more information about my story and how you can support please check out my site at Gofundme.com/ElizabethGudel 

 

 

 

First blog post: Finding Grace

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I dream to write a book sometime very soon, I have quite the story to tell and I’m here for feedback and comments as I go forth with my writing journey. I feel I can give bits and pieces here, put it out there and see what happens. Please leave me any feedback you may have! I’ve never felt compelled to tell my story to anyone and never imagined I would write a book. I was a Psychology student, about one semester from attaining my Bachelor’s degree in Sacramento, CA when I realized I didn’t want to spend my life administering to crazy people and label them based on a set of symptoms to make a living. The idea of writing my story is not to make a profit, either, but for what I feel God has called me to do. To be honest, the idea of talking about my past terrifies me and I feel the only way I can get it out is to write, however laconic that may be for a while. I became a follower of Christ in December of 2014 and have since transformed entirely. Before you go thinking this is going to be some esoteric Jesus party, hang on to your hat.

My childhood was very sad, I was abused and neglected, searching for love the only way a little girl can- by finding value in what the world told me I had. I was pretty, so pretty my mother never had trouble finding some random person to watch us girls. My mother put me into the hands of a modeling agency where I achieved a certificate of completion after two years at Barbizon when I was twelve (a total scam, come to find out) where I learned to pose, put on makeup, act and walk runway. As I reached my adult years I started modeling for multiple companies, the most widely known being Playboy. I’m still rather young physically (28) but I’ve seen and done so much it feels like an eternity. During that time and among the gregarious company I kept, I was rewarded with more money than I knew what to do with, people vying for my time and attention, the jealousy of other women pretending to be my friend in the highly competitive industry… The world rewarded me for my lascivious lifestyle and I believed I’d finally made it on top. I perniciously kept myself fueled with toxic relationships and chemicals, searching always searching for control of my heart. If I kept my heart closed with my soul buried deep inside it then nothing could hurt me, I’d tell myself over and over like a mantra. In my never ending disillusionment I became a stripper, a dancer at multiple different “high-end” clubs, Sacramento, San Francisco, Reno, then to Las Vegas. Then I got real sophisticated and became a webcam performer. Adelante! I eventually ended up robbed on the streets of Las Vegas with no family, no friends, and nothing but the clothes on my back and my empty heart. I was at the end of my rope at age 26 in June of 2014. It felt like I was born to be used, created to suffer, made for precarious purposes.

I was able to get in contact with a friend in Santa Clara by email and stayed with him, detoxing and screaming at the voices in my head. A few months later I moved in with a girlfriend from the past, the only true friend (as it turns out) I had in the industry we both clawed our way out of. She pointed me to Jesus, and since I have accepted Him as my Lord and called upon His name, my life has been turned inside out. I’ve grown such a heart, I’ve learned to love people and truly care about others as I never knew how to before. He has filled my life with meaning and purpose, He blessed me with a loving husband who helps me grow and challenges me to progress in life, He restored my health to me, helped me reconcile with each member of my broken family, taught me to forgive others and pray for those who hurt me in the past. I just can’t believe I was so spiritually blind and ignorant before, I never gave Him a chance, but he chose to give one to a wounded and soiled dove like me. I am so excited to share the gospel and bring women in the industry closer to Jesus! I know my purpose now is to share my story by writing so that others who can relate will turn to Him. I know now that my suffering was all a part of God’s path for me, that I would arrive at His intended purposes for my life’s long and painful journey not a minute late to bring other women still trapped in the corrupt industry of sexual hustling. I pray that you won’t have to suffer as I’ve suffered to realize the God of the universe is very real and ready to open His arms to you, bless you and give you everlasting life. May the Lord place you within His perfect will and hide you in the shadow of His cross, bless you with a life of joy, peace and everlasting love.

I have already personally donated to this cause. Would you join me? Please check out my site for more on my story and prayer requests at Gofundme.com/ElizabethGudel