Last week I shared that my next three posts would be regarding things that stuck out to me during the Vicki Courtney ‘Unchained’ women’s retreat. God broke so many chains that weekend!! He sure stirred my heart in more ways than one.
Vicki Courtney shared out of 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf. Be reconciled to God.”
Then she asked the questions, “Why don’t we talk about the messy parts of our lives?” “Why do we only give the highlights?” “Why don’t we share what brought us back to the auction block where God had to buy us back?” Well, let’s just say that these scriptures along with those questions really hit a note with me.
I know we all are sinners. We have been and always will be while we are here on Earth. So why do we, why do I sometimes pretend that I’m not a sinner? Doesn’t Satan win when we pretend?
Why do I try so hard to forget my past sins? Why can’t I share my past to show others what God has delivered me from? God really spoke to me personally on this topic. Walking away from that retreat I knew it was time to share something from my past that I honestly hate to remember but knew that maybe my experience could help someone else who may be struggling with the same things. I have only shared pieces of my story with a handful of people, so sharing this is scary for me. I pray you don’t just see the sin, but see what God has done in my life, what I have been delivered from.
I come from a very caring family. A family that was very well-known in my hometown. Known for being hard workers and doing the best with what God provided. But also a family that only shared about the good things in life. Don’t talk about the bad, because it will affect the family as a whole. When you carry that name, you have to keep the reputation good. So ultimately, you lie- A LOT and about A LOT of things since everyone isn’t so awesome and perfect in every way! Well, unfortunately, I learned from all the examples of this and carried on lying into adulthood and even into my marriage.
Well the number 1 thing for me to lie about in my marriage became money. I was never taught how to manage money and never tried to learn. For whatever reasons, I found ways to get myself (and my husband) into financial trouble not once, not twice, but three times. It started when we moved from my hometown all the way to Alaska and continued for about 5 years. I always justified to myself the purchases I was making, the bills I wasn’t paying and found it was pretty easy to lie to my husband about it all. All this time, I had God nudging me and speaking into my heart that what I was doing was wrong. I knew it was wrong! I knew at some point I wouldn’t be able to hide it anymore. But I kept on lying about it, giving into my desires and kept on doing it until we were maxed out in every way. I found myself wanting my husband to find out, to me that seemed easier to confess when confronted rather than come clean on my own.
The first time, that is exactly what happened. I felt that a huge burden was lifted when I was able to confess to him the trouble I had gotten us into. The second time, I couldn’t bear it any longer and I came clean to him. The third time was a little different situation but it still revolved around finances and around me lying about it and having to come forward. The first two times, I pleaded with God to forgive me and to help me to get better with finances. But it wasn’t until the third situation where I asked God to help me with my problem not only with finances but with the bigger issue of lying.
Each and every time I know God forgave me for my actions, but there was something different about that last time. I took the time to listen to God, to be still and study His word. I found so many scriptures regarding honesty and God’s provisions for our needs. I wrote some down and put them on a post-it in my wallet so every time I would go to pay for items I would see God’s word and I could evaluate my purchase. I found myself praying to God at times of temptation. I found that I was seeking God’s plan for our finances and marriage instead of my own. I guess you could say that the last time, I actually allowed God to deliver me out of my sin!
I look back and think of all the things that God could have allowed to come into my path to make things worse, but they were not there. I think of how my husband could have reacted on each of the occasions. His parents divorced over finances and I was so afraid that he would say he had enough. But it was the reaction of a very loving, forgiving and godly man. I thank him often for forgiving me and also for checking up on me! He is holding me accountable and I’m so grateful for that! God knows what we need when we are or have been struggling! He doesn’t come at us with his fist raised putting more pain into our lives. Satan also knows just what we need when we are or have been struggling. He does comes at us with his fist raised and probably smiling as we give in and allow more pain to come into our lives. I am happy to say that I now can determine the difference when I am struggling with this and I haven’t let Satan win again. I pray everyday that the outcome will be me being victorious in God’s plan!
God used some terrible, selfish situations in my life to teach me some valuable lessons. To learn to trust in Him in everything, especially our finances. Not only did God provide a way for us to get out of each and every circumstance but He has provided for our needs ever since. He has even provided me opportunities to learn about budgeting and has allowed me to hold treasurer positions with organizations in order to grow in my knowledge of finances. In every way, shape and form we are and have been beyond blessed!!! Am I perfect? No! Do I get tempted? Yes. But God has taught me that my marriage is more valuable than what I view as a little white lie. He has taught me that He will provide for our needs. I thank God everyday for delivering me out of these situations and helping me be victorious in not falling into the pit of this sin again.
Now that I have emptied my dirty laundry out onto your computer screen…
I hope that someone can relate to my story. I don’t know if anyone reading this struggles with finances or lying. Maybe you are on the side of my husband and your spouse has these struggles. Or maybe it’s another sin that consumes your everyday life. Sin that you can’t seem to bear any longer. I pray that you will seek God’s guidance in your life and that you will allow Him to help deliver you from these sins. We were all bought for a price- the price was a sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Bearing ALL of our sins as he died on the wooden cross, so our sins would be forgiven and forgotten.
Vicki Courtney also shared a lyric video at the retreat that my post is titled after. The song is called ‘How Can It Be’ by Lauren Daigle. I am also sharing it here for those that missed it. It’s words are so amazing and very fitting!
If anyone would like more information about what I have done or still do to help in my times of temptation in these areas of sin, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by email email@example.com or you can call/text me at 907-398-9325.