My dad tells a story about me when I was a very stubborn little girl that didn’t want to go to bed and I defied him on every stair leading up to my room. I was only about two or three, but I had enough rebellion in me to cross my arms and decidedly respond, “NO!” when my dad told me to go up to bed. The process continued on each stair, so I got a swat on each stair. My parents knew early that they had a first class stinker with an independent spirit.
I grew up in the church, since my dad has been a minister since before I was born, but I carried my rebellious nature with me. It was veiled to most, hidden behind my holier-than-thou demeanor. I deceived myself because I was basically good, yet not yielded to God. I justified my belief that I was saved because I quietly asked Jesus into my heart all over again each Sunday from my seat after uncomfortably squirming through my father’s sermon. There were many times that I experienced God moving in my heart, and His calling, but He couldn’t do what He really wanted in and through me with my sordid attitude in the way.
Early in life I had asked God to hand-pick my husband for me and make it very clear who I was to marry. The Lord brought Justin into my life when I was 14, and when I was 18 confirmed seven times that he was the one He had chosen for me. Our relationship over the next three years was one argument after another. I had gotten to know all his good qualities after a few years, but was focusing on his faults instead of my own and had decided that I didn’t want to marry him. In short, I ditched him to wait for my ideal man: perfect with no faults. (Yes, I was dumb, but didn’t know it.) Everyone said that it felt like we were getting a divorce because we had been an item for so many years, even though we weren’t married.
I had just thrown away part of God’s confirmed destiny for my life. Now what?
I was 21 and still following the Lord in my own way, but I wasn’t headed for my destiny in God. I was continually tormented by the enemy who deceived me into thinking my parents had rejected me. I felt trapped by God. My dad woke me up in the middle of the night once because I had been crying woefully in my sleep and didn’t know it. I didn’t know how to cope so I lashed back at my parents with disobedience. Have you ever heard the phrase, Looking for love in all the wrong places? Yeah, that was me.
I fed my hurting soul by trying to hook yet another guy’s heart. They were usually younger than me because I wanted to be in control. I would play the game long enough to know they liked me, but soon after I would end the relationship unfulfilled. Sometimes I played the game long enough to get the guy talking about marriage. There were times when my heart got involved, too, because I was looking for Mr. Ideal. If you were ever a victim entangled in my own bondage…I just want to say that I am very, very sorry. I had to be delivered of being a first-class flirt. God healed all the regretful aches of my heart and I pray that He has healed yours, too.
There came a day when the alarm in my mother’s heart sounded one too many times and she knew that something needed to be done. Mom came to me and said, “God will bless you with whatever you do with marriage or ministry because you are one of His, but I see that you are still dangerously hindered by your rebellious and independent nature. I don’t want to see you miss God’s will for your life so I am going to go on a 40 day fast and prayer time for you. I may not always fast food, but I will regularly set aside time to pray intently for you for 40 days.”
I was terrified. God was going to tell my mom everything about my heart I didn’t want her to know and they were going to team up and make me do something I didn’t want to do. Like marry Justin.