Excerpt from Chapter 9 - Living the Impossible
In 2000, within just several months’ time, I’d gone through a divorce, the death of my dad following his prolonged battle with cancer, and the collapse of my company. Every area of my life that I’d spent years building lay around me in rubble. My marriage, ministry, business, and my network of relationships were in rubble. I was spiritually, mentally, and emotionally devastated.
Following that, I’d entered a time of deep brokenness and depression, regularly engaged in a struggle with thoughts of suicide. During that time, I found it increasingly difficult to maintain relationships and began to fear connection with anyone except my children.
Living in fear and pain with a fierce desire for self-preservation made having healthy relationships a virtual impossibility. As the relational wreckage began to pile up, I cried out to the Lord to do whatever He had to do in me to set me free from what was destroying my life.
The Lord heard me and began bringing me through an extended season of confronting those areas of my heart and mind that were holding on to a lie—then replacing that lie with the truth.
One of the first lies He exposed was the idea that I needed to be good in order to come to Him.
My heart was swirling with hate and anger, which I knew was wrong. I fought and struggled to forgive and get my anger under control, but it was like trying to hold a beach ball under water. You can hold it for a while, even until the surface of the water is calm, but there is always a pressure. It continues to build until you slip—and it gushes out all over the place, over anyone that’s close to you.
I tried and tried to overcome the rage until one day the Lord encouraged me to invite the Holy Spirit into my hate and unforgiveness. What? Invite Him into that disgusting place? That made no sense to my self-righteous mind at all.
Up to that point, I had believed the lie that my failure made me unworthy of God’s love and deserving of His punishment. I had believed that God only accepted those who were behaving in a manner consistent with His will.
At that moment, I was confronted with the truth that my right standing with Him—accomplished by the death of His Son—had nothing to do with what I deserved. It was His blood that removed my sin and made me righteous.
Of course, all believers know that to be true. So this truth wasn’t new to me— I had readily accepted it as truth many years earlier. The difference was that now I saw the conflict. I was made aware that even though I had acknowledged God’s payment for my sin, there was an area in my heart that was holding on to something that was in-congruent with that truth.
That is where I had to make a choice. Who would I believe? Would I continue holding to the lie that I had to be clean before the Lord would inhabit an area of my life? Or would I believe His Word and invite Him into the dark, twisted mess of my heart?