God's Overflow
"For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" – Luke 6:45

Testimony – “When You Get Too Close to God”

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This is a testimony of a good friend of mine. It is a long read, but it is well worth taking the time to read through it. It really is amazing how our God works! This story is just another story of the many that we all have about God’s grace and His goodness.

“I had the most amazing experience yesterday and I want to share it with you. This is very long and involved so if you don’t have the time to REALLY read this–save it for a time you do =)

Before I begin–I want you to think of all the times you questioned or doubted God. The times that you slammed your fist down and said, “God! Where ARE you?” Or even the times that you said “WHY GOD? WHY ME?”

You all know that Beckie and I are best friends and sisters of the heart. We ‘do’ life together everyday and we love and support each other spiritually. Our walk and journey with God has been almost entirely together.

For many months now, Bex and I have begun to notice the way that somehow–every week–SOMETHING we’ve talked about, a song we’ve listened to, a scripture we’ve read or shared on Facebook or something we are going through in our lives–end up showing up or being addressed at church that week. For example, one Saturday on the way to church–Bex and I were having a conversation about our inner voices and how sometimes negative or fearful thoughts take over our minds and consume us. The message at church that week? TOXIC Thoughts. Are you getting the picture now? If not, here’s another example. In my daily morning bible reading time–there is almost always a verse or chapter that really sticks out to me. It might convict me–wreck me–or sometimes even confirm something I had questions about. It is usually that very verse that ends up being somewhere in the framework of the message that week or in a song sung during worship. We’ve begun to expect it and however or whenever it shows up–we just look at each other and say, “There it is!”

So now I need to give you some background on some situations in my past so that you’ll be able to understand ‘the rest of the story’. Most of you know that I’ve been married once prior to God sending me my Patrick. Through the marriage I became a stepmom to two children–Cassondra (Cassie) and Michael. They were three and five years old when I met them. Not long into our marriage, we got full custody of the kids. So I raised them for 7 years. My marriage ended with an infidelity and consequent pregnancy, and so after a year and a half of trying to make it work (I didn’t want to leave the kids), we separated and divorced. The year and a half prior to our separation was pretty much hell on earth. I finally realized that my attempt to stay with the kids was doing nothing but dragging them through hell with me.

After our separation–I went into a deep depression for about 6 months. I hermitized myself and barely left the house. I was heartbroken, angry, horribly bitter and felt completely alone. With time–I was able to forgive my ex-husband, mostly because it was so crucial for me to stay in the children’s lives. Over the years–I have had a ‘hit and miss’ relationship with my children. I was always there, but I chalked up our ‘few and far between’ communication as just part of them being teenagers and their natural desire to be with their friends all the time. They seemed to be happy and they seemed to be getting along with their dad and their new stepmom. I found out yesterday that it wasn’t the case, but that’s a very long story I won’t get into.

In the past few months–a lot of things have happened in regard to the kids. Cassie (unmarried) got pregnant and it was a tubal pregnancy. Her fallopian tube burst and she almost bled to death. That was the first thing that woke me up–and I prayed and prayed that it would be a wake up call for her as well. I went as far as saying to her–that maybe this was God’s way of telling her that he had better for her–that the time wasn’t right. She agreed and I prayed that I could get her into church–and get her around people who were victorious in Christ–people who were going the right direction. After many attempts to get her to go with me–and many excuses being made–I decided to stop forcing the issue for awhile. After this happened–Cassie has made a valiant effort to text me almost daily, for us to spend time together, for us to rebuild our relationship. It was so good for my heart and soul to have her in my life again. My relationship with Michael pretty much remained as minimal as phone calls on birthdays and holidays–but plans for more than that were in the works in my heart and mind.

So about 3 weeks ago, Cassie calls me and says she is at a nearby park and wanted me to join her. I went and hung out with her for a few minutes just chatting and laughing. I could tell there was something going on–I just didn’t know what it was. After leaving her–later that night she called me to tell me she was pregnant again. I know she wanted me to be happy for her and excited for her–but I couldn’t be. I was disappointed and I was angry. I did my best not to say anything hurtful–but my heart was broken.

Then, about two weeks ago, my ex-husband called me and told me they had just put my son Michael in a 90-day drug rehab for addiction to prescription drugs. He had been crushing them and snorting them and he got caught stealing a check from his parents to buy drugs. His choice was jail or drug rehab. This pulled the rug out from underneath me. Apparently this had been going on for 1.5 years and I was oblivious to it all. This was my ‘good boy’–my straight A, never in trouble, excellent athlete–my sweethearted, honest, wouldn’t hurt a fly–Michael. Needless to say, I was heartbroken.

So here I was again–asking God, “WHY?” and also asking him, “Okay, God, what now?” So a few days after this I get a text from Cassie and we have a short discussion about Michael and his situation. I find out through this conversation that Cassie had previously been wrapped up in this whole drug thing as well. I was shocked and baffled how all this could be going on and I hadn’t even had the tiniest intuitive moment or feeling in my spirit that something was wrong with my kids. During this conversation–Cassie also sent me a picture text of her first ultrasound–a picture of my grandbaby to be. Something stirred in my heart at that moment–and the anger and disappointment left–and I decided I was going to be there for Cassie–be a mother to her again–and I was going to be this baby’s grandmother.

So Cassie called me and told me she had a doctor’s appointment and asked me to go with her. She and the father of this baby are no longer together and this wasn’t a surprise for me, but of course it made me sad for her. I wanted so much more for her. A marriage. A solid relationship. A planned family. I go and pick her up and we talked and talked on the way to the doctor’s office. We talked in between her visits with the doctor and all the way out to the car. We got some coffee and sat down and talked some more. We went to lunch and continued to talk. Then I drove her home and we sat in the driveway and talked for about 4 more hours. YEARS of things that should have been shared with one another came out one at a time. I was floored–at what she had been going through–and what her brother had been going through–but it became clear to me what my role was in this new situation with my kids. God put me here with them at this time in their lives because they need me.

So to get back to this phenomenal connection with God. Week before last, Bex and I were leading our LifeGroup–and in choosing a song to play–we said how we hadn’t heard “Desert Song” by Hillsong in a long time. We played it and sang and worshiped to the song and in the process of doing that–I told Bex that I missed hearing a female voice at church. It had probably been six or more months since our last female singer left. I had also, earlier in the week, read in Romans some verses with the heading, “More Than Conquerers”. I was so touched by them that I made a note on Facebook to share them with my friends. This is what scripture said:

More Than Conquerors

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:28-39) NIV

These verses confirmed for me that no matter what we go through in our lives–we are God’s children and conquerers and co-heirs with Christ and I found such conviction and power in these words. The power to perservere.

So Beckie and I go to church that Saturday and worship begins we notice there is a FEMALE singer on the stage. We look at each other and say, “There it is!” The music starts and what song is she singing? “Desert Song” by Hillsong. We look at each other again. As most of you know, during worship at LC.tv–the lyrics are posted on the screens so you can sing along. As we are singing I notice a particular lyric on the screen-“I am a conquerer and co-heir with Christ so firm on His promise I’ll stand.” This just knocked my socks off. Seriously.

So this alone was enough to again be evidence that we have God working in our hearts and in our lives, but there is more.

All day yesterday–Cassie kept telling me that there was this song that she had heard when she was forced to go to church with her grandmother. She kept trying to get the words to come to mind but she couldn’t. As she was trying to remember-she told me that she had been sitting there in church wondering why she was even there. She was feeling out of sorts and confused and basically asking God, “Why?” Why had she gone through what she had gone through in her life–why had she made some not so great decisions–what was going to happen from here?

So as she’s telling me this and still trying to remember the song–I told her the story about the female singer and the Hillsong song and explained to her what an awesome feeling it was to know that we are so in tune with God. How awesome it felt when you could actually FEEL him there and know that He has your back no matter what. I decide to play the song for her and hook up my iPod and put on “Desert Song”. I look over at her and she has this odd look on her face–she holds out her arms to show me and starts to cry. She had goosebumps and the hair on her arms was standing straight up. She proceeds to tell me that THIS is the song she had been trying to tell me about all day. She goes on to say that the part that really hit her heart was where it said, “I am a conquerer and co-heir with Christ” and that at that moment she remembered why she did “have a reason to sing–I have a reason to worship”. She also told me that a feeling of peace and calm just physically washed over her and she just knew that everything was going to be okay.

THIS BLEW MY MIND. The same weekend–the same song–the same line of scripture through the lyric of the song. What an incredible display and knowing that God had answered my prayers and the Holy Spirt entered my daughter’s body, heart, and life. The things that seemed so devastating to me at the time–are the path that is leading me back into my children’s lives.

It was a great day of healing for both of us. We talked and cried and talked and cried and talked and cried. I know this is just the beginning of many more experiences like this. After I left her I just felt as though a HUGE burden had been lifted off of my shoulders because I know without a doubt what God wants me to do in regard to my children.

After I got home–Cassie sent me a text message asking if she could go to church with us tomorrow. Just wait until she experiences God at LifeChurch.tv!

For those of you who hung in there to the end of this–I hope it is a testimony of how God works in our lives even when we don’t know it’s happening–and when He decides to shine a light on something–the clarity and peace you acquire along with it–is nothing more than miraculous. Thanks for sharing your lives with me and for the difference you are making in this world. It’s worth whatever we have to go through to shine Christ’s love to this hurting and broken world.”


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