Faith,  Love,  Relationships

Fully Known

Well, this is not what I wanted to write about for my first entry. Why? Probably because I didn’t want to be fully known. I didn’t want to have all my brokenness and imperfections and realness exposed to everyone. Again, why? Is it because I’m afraid of judgment? I’m ashamed or embarrassed? I have a “standard” as a Christian to uphold? Possibly. But I was divinely directed to take a 180 from what I was originally writing to tell you my story. Someone somewhere needs to hear it, and I am your vessel.

I currently am in a relationship with a wonderful, God-fearing man for the past five years. Three years into it, I was blessed to have him ask to be my husband for the rest of my days. Every girl’s dream, right? It was mine. Our relationship was picture-perfect. We volunteered at church together, traveled the world together, our families loved us as a couple, Facebook definitely did, and I even think we thought we were pretty good at this whole “relationship” thing. Enter Satan.

I’ve learned now through all this that I was putting my identity in my relationship. I was having this—through no fault of his own—fallen, sinful man complete me, instead of finding my fulfillment in my relationship with Jesus Christ. What happens when that fallen man disappoints me? What happens when he doesn’t fulfill me (because no one human can)? I sought to fill the void of whatever was missing. What was actually missing was an intimate, personal relationship with my God. It was Him wanting to be the One who completed me, Who satisfied my every need. But, I didn’t realize this. Or maybe I just ignored it. Either way, I sought fulfillment in another man instead.

For about a year and a half, this secret life of mine was going on. It started out as simple as filling the need I had for intimate conversation. I was talking to this man about passions, fears, goals, life and God. Inevitably, I longed for these conversations every day, and my heart fiercely attached to him.  We weren’t satisfied with just conversations after a while, and saw each other as much as we could. I gave this man what didn’t belong to him: my heart, my body, my mind. I had fallen in love with two men at the same time and could not break free from Satan’s grasp he had on my life. I was full of fear, I was full of selfishness, I was full of shame, I thought I had control of the situation, and yet, I couldn’t get out of it. As sin always does, it has its way of being known. My fiancé at the time found out, and the wedding was called off.

Calling all the vendors to inform them they were no longer needed because there wouldn’t be a wedding was hard enough, but then I had to let my dad know. I called him and told him that the wedding was called off. Then he asked, “Why?” Having to actually speak these words into existence was paralyzing. It’s one thing to do it, but actually saying to someone what you’ve done is a whole other challenge. It was easier to be in denial or in my own little sin bubble. Words didn’t come for about five minutes after he asked, only streams of tears. The reality of what I had actually done sank in.

James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” There is amazing freedom in admitting the sin in your life to others, realizing the need for change, and giving it over to Christ. Satan would love to have us keep it all inside and think that we can handle everything on our own. In my experience, that leads to an overwhelming, constant anxiety.

What in your life do you need to admit today? What is stopping you? Shame? Is it because you want to be accepted by your peers? Do you put up walls due to a fear of people rejecting you and your past mistakes? Do you put on a “happy face” because you don’t want to burden anyone with your problems? After telling who needed to know, I started seeking out counsel. Getting rid of this poison that was consuming my mind was the catalyst to overcoming it. I sought counsel from multiple pastors in my church, as well as righteous family and friends. Key word: righteous. Someone who has the heart of God and will respond in grace, compassion, and truth.

With a LOT of failure on my end, I finally got to a point where I didn’t want control anymore. I knew in my heart that what God wanted for my life was best, even if it meant pain. I was not bringing Him glory through my actions, even if I tried to rationalize or justify them. Through words of wisdom from righteous people in my life, through hundreds of nights laying on my couch with worship music on and tears streaming down my face, through endless days of just listening to what God had to say to me that day, and diving into God’s word with an intense passion to know more of Him, my entire life has transformed. God had a gentle and persistent way of convicting me to release the other man in my life, and through this worst season of my life, He led me in to the most intense, loving, and life transforming relationship with Him. And I am praising Him for the storm that I went through to get to HIM!                                                         

The great thing about Jesus is that He always sees, always knows, and always loves people right where they’re at. He knows ALL of you and still loves you more than you can imagine. He ALWAYS responds in grace, compassion, and truth in the most perfect way. He sees you as more than just your failed actions. Admit to Him what you are hiding. Let His call for repentance take hold. Stop running from Him. Stop hiding from Him. Stop hiding your sin from Him, and run into His arms.

Heavenly Father, I come to you with my brokenness. You fully know me, Lord, and yet you adore me. I praise you for that. God, I give you all the strongholds in my life for You to overcome because I can’t do this without You. Thank You for always pursuing me to repent these things with grace, Lord. Give me the courage to come to others for healing through You. Guide my steps, and help me fixate my eyes on you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

3 Comments

  • Sara M.

    “Someone somewhere needs to hear it. And I am your vessel.” Lovely. God makes all of us vessels to share a part of Himself with His children. This is a big reason why I love Him and you, dear sister. Thanks for this.

  • Robin Lee

    What a beautiful story Natalie. You are clearly grounded in Your identity in Christ and his love to have the courage to share His story. The temptations of this world are real, and many of us have a similar story, Sharing God’s true nature, power and love about your darkest seasons is true surrender and trust that he is and will use it to glorify His name.

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