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 

 

 

 

Really, God?

Putting my life’s scandals on the line with the dirty laundry and my husband’s battered Army gear is NOT my idea of a good time or a release of bottled-up emotions. I learned a long time ago to get the thoughts out on paper then burn them in the fireplace to get them out of me and out of the hands of anyone who could use my thoughts against me. Alas, here I am diving into unknown waters after my Lord tells me to jump. I started reading The Power Of A Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian a couple weeks ago to learn how to pray for my husband concerning all areas of his life such as his work, health, purpose, finances, his relationship with his future children *hopefully* coming and his relationship with God. Yesterday as I was reading her entry on his relationships where I came across Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come offer your gift.” 

Well… As I said in my last post I am fairly new, a baby Christian with a heck of a past, still trying to figure things out. Since February this year I’ve felt a deep need to share my story, to help others who have been through what I’ve been through find Jesus, the only One who can save and heal. The problem with that is talking about my family, respecting their privacy, keeping their secrets, and most of all my father. He’s such a different man than he was then, I couldn’t possibly go forward about the past once I’ve finally made it to “good terms” with him. Yesterday as I read that passage I realized God has no grandchildren, that my dad is also my brother and I needed to reconcile with him before offering any gift to the kingdom. I needed to call my father, apologize to him for being such a rebellious child and ALSO dig up old dirt about his abuse toward me. I called my mentor, my husband and a close friend to saturate the prospective conversation I was to have in prayer. I was so nervous, this is the sort of thing one should do in person but I’m out here in Fort Benning, GA and my dad’s back home in Folsom, CA, and I really really felt like I had to call him. We never talked about the past but I forgave him long ago and started building a wonderful relationship with him a year and a half ago when I was saved. I was completely blindsided by his reaction; he said if his heart could smile he’s grinning inside out, he said he could never be more proud or happy to have me for his daughter and that he was deeply, deeply regretful for how he used to be. My mother did absolutely everything she could to destroy him, and I think somehow when I was young I reminded him of her. We didn’t get that deep, but that’s my thinking on why he was so resentful and angry with me above my sisters and brothers. He told me to read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver as it reminded him of himself and my sisters, and gave me his entire blessing with this journey I have with writing ahead of me.

Anyways, I feel there’s nothing holding me back from beginning this writing and sharing journey except my own doubts. I pray God won’t let me make a fool of myself, that He won’t let me be ashamed- I’ve had more than my share of shame in this lifetime. And who the heck am I to write? I’m neither witty nor punctual, proud or haughty. I am not a savvy person, I don’t even know what that means! I don’t know anything about writing except for the essays and papers I had to complete in college, I’ve never studied it, I just read! Obviously I’m assuming a more relaxed format here as the purpose of this blogging experience is for open discussion, not grammatical punctuality and correction, but I digress. I pray I’m not just drowning myself in hot tar, chicken feathers and all for everyone else’s amusement and judgement. I pray that if God wants me to blog and tweet and start writing my book that He will fill me with an unquenchable desire to do so and provide me with the strength and courage to do it. I pray that He will give me the words to use and a teachable heart as I go forth on this mission trip. I also pray he will give my husband patience with me as I learn and grow, and lastly that He will provide us with the means to spend this time putting together this work He has put out for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

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