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14 June 2019

Deliverance



In August 2018 I did a search for Christian choirs & found one at Northcross Church that didn't require me to be a member of the church because I had absolutely no intention to go to church because of previous hurt that prevented me from going to church for 11 years. All I needed, or so I thought was corporate worship. During our first Sunday morning performance in church, God was speaking & I felt myself drawn to find a church to call home & be planted in. In November my osteopath suggested I try Life, & finally, in January 2019 I walked into the doors at the North Campus & was met with an overwhelming feeling of being "home". That morning I re-dedicated my life to God & He put me on a path of recovery. I still spent a lot of time listening to online sermons and during the prayer of one of Sarah Jakes Roberts' sermons I felt the weight of depression being lifted off my chest.


Even though deliverance was instant, remaining free & walking in victory over depression has been a daily process of spending time with God to renew my mind according to His Word. I spend a lot of time Bible journaling to keep the enemies lies under control. I have believed these lies for so long that it takes a daily effort to choose which voice I will be listening to. Changing my inner narrative has been my daily challenge but I am grateful that when I am weak, He proves His strength through me. I still fight off the natural reflex of self-isolation & often have to boot myself out the door for creative team & church. But without those activities I feel lost & defenceless. The enemy’s attacks never stop, but now I know that when I’m at my weakest, God carries me.


I had spent most of my life struggling on & off with high functioning depression & anxiety due to complex PTSD caused by all these traumas. All my life I identified with guilt, shame & worthlessness well hidden behind fake smiles, workaholism, busyness & servanthood. I was convinced I was unlovable, worthless, after all my own brother had ignored me for 30 years & my mom & sister only knew my number when they wanted something. My need for love & acceptance drove me to do anything I could to be accepted & appreciated. My inability to set healthy boundaries left me vulnerable to exploitation by those who knew me only for what they could get from me. I would give until it hurt & seldom received anything back, which of course confirmed the lies I had come to believe about myself. I had sacrificed myself & everything I was meant to be on the altar of my need for acceptance instead of receiving & accepting my validation from the One who had created me.


There are still many areas in my life where I need God's intervention to change the fruit of my sinful responses, but I am becoming more aware every day that God doesn't love me for what I do but for who I am & that I'm not condemned when I mess up. His grace is sufficient & He doesn't expect me to change to be accepted but He loves me too much to leave me the way I am & is constantly showing me areas where healing & restoration is required. He is walking with me through this furnace to burn off everything that is not of Him.


I now call Life North home. It brings me great joy to sing in the choir, serve on the welcome team, attend weekly prayer meetings, serve in our Henderson Community Kitchen & last but not least host a small Creative Connect Group at my home on Friday mornings.

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