John 8:11 Jesus Doesn’t Condemn Me So I Need To Stop Condemning Myself

download-1I stopped praying to conceive.  I removed my name from my own prayer list (which is pretty pathetic). The sense of urgency left as soon as I gave away all of my baby items. With the exception of maternity clothes, crib (which has been broken down and out of sight for a two years now), and a few homemade blankets and crib set, every baby item I had is gone.

It wasn’t that I stopped believing that God would do but I stopped hanging my daydreams on it because the longing distracted me from the present.

There is something else also.  I mentioned in a blog post some time ago that I struggled with a particular sin. At one point towards the end of last year I became what is termed “sin sick”.  I was willingly and actively sinning and it was destroying me. I felt horrible but didn’t think stopping would help since I have stopped before only to end up right back at it again. The time between my boughts with this particular sin has increased which is a good thing but it only makes the fall into it again that much worse; like a dog returning to his vomit  (Proverbs 26:11).

The shame and condemtation that I felt was so great, I didn’t know how to fully come out from under it.  I repented and turned away from it (again) but the nagging thought that I would only end up back where I started from again ate away at any strength I gained when I turned away from that sin and back to Christ.

All of this was happening when I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t conceiving. Then, I remembered something from Beth Moore’s book Believing God.  She spoke of sanctifying yourself. A group of ladies she did the study with wore something blue on their wrists as a reminder to obstain from whatever their particular struggle was in order to sanctify themselves. I attached myself to that hoping that as I obstained from this sin and became sanctified that I would conceive. I did well for the first 30 days. I was so determined to conceive that I kept that in the forefront of my mind and turning away from sin wasn’t difficult but it did not result in a baby.  The second month was harder and I fell. I just knew my punishment was that I would not conceive that month because I fell to that same sin again. I did not conceive. The same cycle happened again the following month.

I dispared.

I repented again.

I felt so hopeless. I cried out to God in my spirit and asked Him for help.  He said, clear as day, to read John 8. The first part of this chapter is the story of the woman caught in adultery. I read up to verse 11.  Verse 11 stopped me in my tracks.

10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her,[i] “Woman, where are those accusers of yours?[j] Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and[k] sin no more.”

Jesus doesn’t condemn me?  Jesus doesn’t condemn me?!? Jesus doesn’t condemn me! Jesus doesn’t condemn me!!!

God’s word got ahold of me and as I let it sink in into the marrow of my bones, I felt the weight of sin being removed from me. Jesus doesn’t condemn me and He has given me the freedom not to sin. Jesus doesn’t condemn me so I need to stop condemning myself.

(Originally penned 2013)

 

Advertisements

Always Learning

10957751_646183332192119_6568075905372841491_n

Me, ready to teach Zumba

God is amazing!

Previously, I had expressed my concerns over my personality. I shared how, for most of my life, I have been chided on my flaws. This past week, oh this past week, God has freed me from a bondage I deemed righteous.

God does not condemn me. He gave me this dust I am an and, as long as I cooperate, will use it for His glory! I don’t need to be all smiles. I don’t need to try to worm myself into meaningful relationships. I don’t have to strive for what once was. God sees me and knows me where I am and loves me where I am. That is so FREEING!

I used to teach an online Zumba class.  It was hard finding a job once I got certified so, teaching online became a way I could express myself and keep building my skill set. Eventually, I landed two substitute instructor positions. I was more than happy to sub for someone. Within seven months of this whole process, I became pregnant with Baby Grace.  I had always seen myself as a fit mom and I decided I was going to be a fit pregnant woman too just like other woman I had seen. Welp, Baby Grace decided differently. Shortly thereafter, and after many cancelled or shortened classes, I stopped my online class and the paying gig I landed because I just couldn’t do it.  I felt like a failure.  Ever since then, I was looking for ways to claw my way back to my previous fitness level.

Once Baby Grace was 11 months, I decided enough was enough. I was going to get back in shape and teach again. I did just that. I began taking classes again, spending time on the elliptical, and putting fitness back into my every day.  I started subbing again and landed a summer long position. All of that came to a grinding halt in July. The gym where I was teaching no longer offered child care. I could not continue working there because it no longer fit my family.  I continued to sub at another location but needed to stop.  My available time to hone my craft (learn new choreography or come up with my own) changed. I did not have the time to devote to Zumba like I used to.  I couldn’t even take the same amount of classes that I used to.

Despite all of this, I felt I had to get back to where I was.  Finally, I submitted to the Lord my thoughts and feelings about this and asked Him what I was to do.  There are times when, once you are headed in a particular direction, we tend to mark out where we are going and expect no changes to that plan.  That is what I did with Zumba.  I expected that once I was an instructor, I would always be an instructor. That wasn’t God’s plan. Just last week, I quite my ZIN membership (Zumba Instructor Network) and, by the time this blog post is published, I will no longer be a licensed Zumba instructor.  I thought I would feel some kind of way but all I feel is relived. That season, regardless of how much I enjoyed it, is over. I trust God to usher me into a new season. I could not go into a new season if I stayed stuck in the former.