Sunday, July 28, 2013

Give it to GOD!

Are You There GOD?

Have you ever cried out to God wondering if He hears you, wondering WHY He isn’t answering your prayers? 




I sure have. 

Today I feel compelled to share with you how I came to a point in my life where I could fully surrender my life to God… and how it completely transformed me, from the insideout.

Most of my life I have felt very close to God, but far from connected to any particular Religion… I was not raised going to church, and the few times I DID go, I never felt comfortable, accepted, or “at home”… that is, until the day Billy (my fiance) dragged me into Grace Family Church in March of 2010.(www.GFConline.com) From the moment we walked through the doors, I could feel God stirring inside of me… and in an instant, as the worship began, tears seemingly flooded my face as if they had been stored there for YEARS waiting to be released. Little did I know of the GREAT plans God had been preparing me for…

Grace Family Chruch


Let me rewind for a moment, to just one year earlier, March 2009. I was 24 years old and had just given birth to my daughter London, born 8 weeks premature with a severe brain bleed and 90% chance of Cerebral-Palsy… At the time I found out I was pregnant, Billy and I had only began dating just 3 months prior… both of us bartenders without insurance… and now parents to a sick baby with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of medical bills. As you might imagine, I was pulling out the, “WHY ME?” prayer card quite often those days! I just couldn’t see how THIS could be God’s plan for me!!!


London Hodges



By the GRACE of GOD, our prayers were answered and London’s brain bleed slowly re-absorbed. She over-came EVERY odd stacked against her and is, to this day, the picture of perfect health, showing ZERO sign of any delay. She is my miracle baby!


London and Mommy


Un-resolved though, was the lingering debt of the 7 weeks she had spent in the NICU, totaling over $400,000! I had also made the mistake of purchasing a home with my ex boyfriend of 7 years… at just 20 years old, which just happened to fall during the PEAK of the market! (lucky girl, eh?!) Oh yea, and I had better credit than him… So guess who had sole responsibility for the mortgage?… You guessed it…THIS GIRL! My combined debt at 24 had climbed from $0 to $500,000+ in just 12 months… and I had NOTHING to show for it!

I was at war with myself… and with God.


In one hand, I held this unbelievable miracle of a child… and in the other, I could hold 20 envelops with bills in them that said I owed half a million dollars!


Feeling as though I had no other way out… I made the very difficult decision to file for bankruptcy. I couldn’t take the pressure of the noose around my neck any longer… and traded in my perfect credit score for a fresh start


Debt
This is a good point in the story to jump back into where we first began… my first experience at Grace Family Church! 


The 2 years before that day had been a mess, to say the least… and I still couldn’t come to terms with the bankruptcy… I felt like a failure! [A little fact about me: It is very difficult for me to be WEAK in front of people or lean on anyone else for support, so NO ONE knew anything about the bankruptcy or that I was a complete MESS for almost a year because of it... So many of my friends & family are learning of this at the same time YOU are.] 


After that first service at Grace I literally counted down the DAYS until the next one, and the next, and the next… They almost ALWAYS seemed to have a sermon on the one thing I was battling with most that week… which explains the name of the series that ended up completely changing my life! It was called INSIDE:OUT.



Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways submit to Him, and He will set your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Cross

But, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated in that moment, I mean, come on God… I had been asking for change, direction, and a purpose-driven life for as long as I could remember… and came up with NOTHING! What gives?!


Then came the kicker…


Pastor Craig said, “Surrender is not bartering with God… there is no give & take with Him, He will wait, not just until you stop pulling the tug-a-war rope, but until you get on your knees and lay it down before Him… So if your prayers are not being answered, ask yourself, “What am I holding onto?”

BINGO… it hit me like a ton of bricks!


I had always asked God for what I wanted… and asked Him to change my life according to MY WILL… and NOT HIS! I would say, “God, please let me find the career I am meant for… but don’t change my money… I need to have bartending UNTIL the other job can take its place!”… take THIS, but NOT THAT GOD, I NEED THAT!!! 


Everything started to click after that service… and I finally had my “moment” of fully surrendering, on my knees… giving my ALL… and I mean EVERYTHING to GOD’S WILL, not my own.


It was almost like I had GPS implanted in my head… I would get to a fork in the road of my life and I would internally hear a voice speak and tell me which direction to take! The more I have learned to trust THAT voice… (and not question it as I used to…) the better the outcome of my life! I have realized when I trust in those two verses Pastor Craig spoke of during the sermon that day… Jeremiah 29:11 & Proverbs 3:5-6, that life, and the challenges that arise, seem much more manageable & purposeful! They are there for a reason… whether it be to bump us back on track, make us STOP in our tracks or change the track of our lives… Only God knows, but He has a plan for each of us… and if we only lay down the rope & listen… we will begin to hear the calls He’s been giving us all along!


Now, I totally remember when people would share their stories and how their lives changed over-night when they surrendered their lives to Christ… but let me just tell you… my life’s circumstances didn’t immediately change… but I definitely DID!



GOD'S Plan


I know there was a reason that I was called to write this today… Maybe it was solely for YOU to come across it… but whatever the case, if you happen to be in a place where YOU need to surrender, but need someone to talk to… Please feel free to message me! I’d be happy to help!


RECOMMENDED READING:
Purpose Driven Life 

"Purpose Driven Life" - Rick Warren


2 comments :

  1. Lindsay, I just want to thank you for being brave and transparent. This video touched me and is just one of many things I've seen or read from you that have inspired me. I have been asked in the past - "who do you admire?" Of course my parents I have admired... However it wasn't until I met my husband, Pete, that I learned what true admiration was. He stands for truth, he's compassionate, kind, wise, a man of his word, he doesn't waver to the popular vote--he is real, authentic, has integrity. He's a man after God's heart. I have always hoped to have a female that I could list as someone I admire and finally I do! You!! Thank you for being you! Being so willing and obedient to do what God has led you to do. I know God has blessed you greatly and I'm sure he will continue showing you favor. So glad I have "met" you and am getting to be mentored by you. I know I am blessed and am being shown favor from God through you. ��

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