Today is a big day for me and anxiety is running high. I'm not sure why I allow the devil to use his ways against me. But, never the less the anxiety is there. Normally my blogs with not focus on such intense discussions. However, the weight of today can not be lifted until I get it out of my head.
Unplanned is premiering today all over the United States. I am going to go and see it with my best friend and constant support system... my sexy hubby. If you have read my last blog then you know why this movie hits so close to home. And to be honest, as I am writing this, trying to not tear up again, there is no denying it. I AM SCARED. I am scared (and anxious) to see this movie. Ever since having Briseis I have not be able to see anything that deals with children in pain. Heck, I cried on Kung Fu Panda 3 when his mother had to leave him to save him! I don't know if that is you or if I am just really weird in this area. But I cry at every heart pulling thing that involves a child. LOL. But like I said, I am scared to see this movie. I am scared because of the pain it is going to cause me (something I feel I have no right to complain about). Regardless though I need to see this movie. I WANT to see this movie!
Now on to why I am a Paul. If you do not know Paul let me give you some back round. Paul was actually Saul to begin with. He was a pharisee and a shrewd one at that. He not only had followers of Christ murdered but he even carried some of them out himself (Acts 9 NIV). It took Christ revealing himself to Saul and blinding him so his eyes could not betray him, for Saul to finally see his sins. After Ananias was given the power to restore Saul's vision he then became known as Paul. Despite him murdering Christians God still chose to use him for His glory (Acts 9:15 - But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my CHOSEN INSTRUMENT to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel."). This proves that no matter our sin our God is so powerful he can turn it to be used for good.
Despite all the goodness that Paul was then used for after sinning against Jesus and repenting, Paul still has consequences he had to endure. There were Christians that ran from him fearing he was lying to get to them for example (Acts 9:26 NIV). But this was not the half of it, nor the worse of it. God makes a promise about Saul in Acts 9:16 NIV which states; I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. Now there are a couple of things I feel as Christians we must understand. One, God loves us and is for us. Two, God tells us in Philippians 4:13 through Paul, I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. But as Christians we must be careful to read the previous text. This verse is so simple, it means no matter the circumstances we find ourselves, happy, sad, in good health, or in torture we can find contentment in all when we lean on Jesus. Three, to share our testimonies (1 Peter 3:15). So Paul's suffering was in my opinion not found so much in the physical but in the spiritual. His suffering came from the thorn in his side that God would not remove (2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV).
"To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take away from me. But he said, " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
As mothers we have all made a sin or sins that we use to give testimony to our faith. But have you ever been able to forget that sin or more likely the regret of that sin? Now all sin is seen as equal in God's eyes, but to use we tend to put a scale on ourselves. A white lie I may have told someone I may also have forgotten. But then there are the big sins. The ones we can't stop from regretting. An abortion (my case), lashing out in anger toward our children, saying something that is so cruel you can see the actual damage to the soul of the person at the receiving end and the list goes on. I believe, like Paul, that these regrets that wont leave us are our thorns we must suffer. We suffer not because God wants to punish us, but instead to strengthen us through Him. How can we continue to give testimony after testimony to others if we no longer feel the pain of regret? Would it possibly start to seem fake to some, like we are just going through the same old story with no emotion or worse, as Paul says, conceitedness or maybe self righteousness? No, God loves us so much he allows the pain in our soul to stay long after the person we hurt has moved on because otherwise our testimony would become stale and dead.
As much as the regret of what I did to my child still hurts, God uses that pain when I give my testimony every time. The person I am telling can see the hurt, see the pain, see the raw regret of sin. And once seeing that I have been used to allow an opening for the Holy Spirit to work in that person. If I were to yell and scream at the person why they are wrong, then all I accomplish is the hardening of that person's heart. Especially if I have not walked in their shoes. That is what makes our testimony, our thorn so powerful. We HAVE walked in those shoes, we know the pain is real because we live through it and people who hear it believe it genuinely because it is "lived through truth".
So sweet momma, the next time you feel the regret of your repented sin climbing its way up your chest into your throat and out your eyes in the form of tears, be still and let it strengthen you for the battle of a soul is heading your way. We have three weapons on this earth you and I, love, prayer and personal testimony (our thorn). We are to LOVE all regardless, we give TESTIMONY to sway someone from a sin that we ourselves committed, and if those fail, we PRAY for our God to help by sending the Holy Spirit to intervene. We were once all Sauls and through God's grace we are now Pauls.