The Joy of Youth

via Daily Prompt: Youth

May 6 2012 

That’s the day my life changed forever. 

At 30 years of age, that was the day I was reborn of the Spirit of God.  The day that I finally came to the end of me, and let Jesus take upon Himself the full weight of the penalty of my sin, and along with it, the wrath of the Father against sin poured out on Himself.

That was the day I experienced His Mercy and Forgiveness.  Ultimate. Unending. Forgiveness.

That was the day that I experienced Love like I had never known in my life.  Love, Pure, True, Un-defiled Love.

wpid-wp-1432264245557.jpegAs I finished my prayer, confessing everything to my new Lord and Savior, I opened my eyes to a brand new world around me.  A veil had been torn between me and Him, and my heart was–for the first time in my life–clean!

I felt like a brand new baby.

Pure. Innocent.Child-like in my adoration of a God who could fill that place in my heart that had been empty and longing for so very, very long.

From that day forward, I became lovingly indebted to a Holy and Righteous God that will never fail me.  I owe Him everything!

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I remember sitting in my morning meeting the next day, all of us gathered together for our daily talk from our boss before we set out to do our work for the day.  I could barely contain my beating heart.  The joy that filled my chest was overflowing and all I wanted to do was to sing praises to Him, to gather all the guys together that morning in a prayer and lead them to the Cross of Jesus–anyone who did not know Him!  The fervent love that I had swelling in my heart since the day before was too much for me to contain!

I had begun a brand new life, and never again would my heart beat the same old depressed and worn-out way, longing for fulfillment and hope and satisfaction from things in this world.

The light began emanating from my eyes.  The corners of my mouth, which had always been turned downward before, just began turning upwards and I was helpless to do anything about it!  Not that I wanted to, per say, but I did for a few days try as hard as possible to just continue to “fit in” and “be my normal old self”.  Mind you, this was around 20 guys who had for years known me as the girl who cussed more than them.  The girl who was never happy and complained all the time about everything. The girl who argued that Jesus was just one more way for people to achieve salvation–definitely not the ONLY Way. (Which, by the way, I now know to be completely false, and a lie from the pit of hell to keep people from believing in the One True God in order to receive eternal life. Jesus IS the Only Way.  No one can come to the Father except through Him.)

The guys I worked with day in and day out knew the girl who, like them, had always liked women.

But not anymore.

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He changed everything about me–He began before I even surrendered complete control of my life to Him.  He knew me, He loved me and He sought me out a long time before I ever thought about seeking Him.  He knew this girl from before the foundations of the world, and He knew the lies that the enemy had trapped me in for years–and years.

And He was diligent, as soon as I asked, to bring me up out of that pit of destruction.  To deliver me from a life that kept me from knowing Him.  He changed my heart so that I no longer wanted to live that lifestyle.  A lifestyle that is all I had ever known and all I had ever wanted, since coming to grips with who I thought I had been born to be.  I had finally given into the lie that I was made that way, even though for years I had tried to free myself and hide from its oppressive grip.  But years into it, when I gave into that lie, I finally faced the idea that I had been born that way, I had another dilemma to face:

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Apparently I had been doomed for all eternity, because God wouldn’t accept me the way I was.  After all, I had heard it was in the Bible.  (read more of my story here)

But I thank God that He is able to deliver us from our past, make us brand new creations, putting His Spirit within us and gives us a brand new heart and new life that honors Him!

 

 

Since that Sunday morning, the light was radiating more than I knew.  A couple weeks into my new life in Christ–when I could just not contain it any longer–I had to sit down with my boss (the first one outside of my parents to ever present me with a Bible of my own as a gift a few years before that), and tell him the news.  I just couldn’t keep on pretending that all was normal in my world.  It was far from it!

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To my surprise, he told me “yeah, I kind of thought so. I could see your countenance had drastically changed over the last couple of weeks.  You are so much brighter and happier now.”

I just could not contain the overwhelming, unending joy in my heart!  There were times in which I had to ask God to just please, please MUTE the joy –the overflow that was continually pouring out–because I just couldn’t handle it all!  He did.  -and then, I instantly wanted and prayed for it back!  Fickle we are, as humans!  I think God had a good time with me in those first days, laughing at His newly-reborn daughter as I understood what it was to walk with Him and be able to cast my burdens on Him, but also to receive the unending joy that He was so readily giving me.

Oh boy, do I long for the days of my Youth in Christ again!  Oh how I want His joy to be so fervent in me and overflowing beyond anything I can contain once again!

Since those first days, I have been through a lot of spiritual attack.  I have been through bouts of depressed states and moods of feeling just completely unworthy and unlovable.  BUT God!  He uses those periods in my life to bring me closer to Him!  And He always brings me back to Himself, cleaning me up from my willful ways and setting me back on the straight and narrow road once again.  Even after the things that I have been through since coming to know Him, I would not change a thing!  Except of course my refusals to be obedient too many times.  Oh, how I long to be in His presence!

wpid-wp-1432682808803.jpegThe joy that I have in my heart was maybe more prevalent and more obvious to others in the days of my youth, when everywhere I would go, I would share the joyous message of Christ and explain to them how He had changed my life!

 

 

 

 

wpid-wp-1432208318979.jpegAs I grew in my walk, and especially during my dark days of spiritual battles, my countenance grew more stoic and muted.  But Oh Lord, I don’t want to stay in that state.  Please, bring me back!  Bring me back to the days where I was so in love with You I couldn’t go anywhere without praising Your Holy Name!  Let others see Your Light shining so bright from me, because I am once again entirely submitted to You, Lord Jesus!  Bring me back to the joy of my salvation in my youth!  There’s just nothing like the joy that comes from You!

 

 

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