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The Trials of Being a Godly Woman in an Ungodly Time
“I am a Christian.”
Those words can hold mixed meanings -in this day and age- for which one wants to ask, “But what kind of Christian, because your actions show differently?”
I write this not to preach, condemn, or judge, but to share that I don't fit the mold of what is assumed a Christian should be. I try to live my life for Christ, but alas, I am only human and often fail. Many times, I disagree with the mold people want to put me in.
I hesitate in writing this, because I have been surrounded by my own trials and tribulations lately that have taken the joys out of writing. Sure, I can come up with plenty of ideas, lots of humor, and fake my way through things, but those that are close to me, know the hardships I am going through and how it has rattled my faith in God.
If you are a person that has no interest in reading about another life, this is your que to quietly flip through to the next hub. If you are put off by what one Christian says to another, run, for you may not agree with what I have to post. If you can't stand lengthy articles because they are boring and a waste of your time. Flee now, for I can feel the wind lifting my sails to express what is on my mind. For those that have an inquiring mind to their surroundings and the people interacting with them, please, grab a cup of coffee and stay for a chat.
Begin the day with a prayer.
Thanks for being there
Everyday for the last couple of months, I have been on the phone to my mother (mljdgulley354); talking her through ideas for hubs, helping her to learn the ins and outs of HubPages, and recommending hubbers that have helped me along the way. In that time, I have reflected on my last year of participating in the HP community and my life in general.
I had a fellow hubber humble me with a few words that were posted to my fan mail. They said, “A Godly woman in an ungodly time.”
Wow! That was the last thing I expected from a fan to think of me. I have tried to lean on my faith in God majority of my life. Good, bad, stagnant, it didn't matter the moment, I tried to be thankful when I could, and prayed for help, when I couldn't. I have been mocked, questioned, and criticized for my beliefs. Believe me when I say that there isn't a moment when I haven't had to defend my faith to someone. My point...God has been my rock, my buckler, my shield, my friend, my father, my strength, and well... you get the idea.
Yesterday, I was editing a hub for my mother to post on her newest hub. It was about the traditional traits we used in raising children, that have been past on from my great-grandmother to myself. While chatting on the phone, we reminisced about the days when spanking your child was a requirement. If you didn't spank your child, you were deemed an unfit parent. (Now if you do, you are a horrible parent.)
Giving out chores were often a form of punishment for as long as I can remember. Bicker with a sibling, and I often found myself doing a chore right next to the offending party. Keep it up, and well, life didn't get much easier, as mom just kept piling on things to make us work out us problems. (My brother, Rooster, sure knew how to push my buttons to make me explode. I have often wondered if it was so he could get out of his chores?...)
This reminiscing continued as I included my sister, Pie, in the conversation. We had a great laugh at some of the antics we still use today. I told her I couldn't wait to see the day she was 86, and on her hands and knees under the round, oak, kitchen table; chasing her great-granddaughter, just as Grams did to her. Then we knew for sure the cycle was complete. This got me to thinking how different I was in some ways to my siblings.
22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
27. But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
31. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
36. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
37. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
45. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
If one were to ask my mom to describe me as a teenager grown up and the troubles she had; she would tell them that of the five of us, I was the most responsible one, and in her words... “the perfect teenager.” A little hard to believe, huh? I usually came back with the response that I had the fear of God put into me at an early age. If I remember right, I was eight years old.
I remember sitting next to my parents, trying to help keep my siblings quiet, when the pastor's sermon caught my attention. It was about being held accountable for our actions before God. I freaked! Until that day, I had a horrible temper. In fits of anger, I would throw stuff, hit, bite, scream, and cry hard enough to pass out. (Some of these traits still carried over into my teen years, but it would only happened under extreme duress. By the time I had my children, I had it under control to the point that my husband would often try to provoke my anger to make me express my feelings.) I still remember the scripture the pastor used to send that message home.
Those verses drove home a message for me to take a good look at myself. It was time for change. This was by no means an easy task. It took a lot of willpower to rein back my temper and not lash out to those that I was angry with. I still have my moments of lashing out, but it was more with words than action. And those words I had to weigh before speaking, so I didn't lead my children down a self-destructive path like I had followed.
I never had the desire to drink as a teen. Sure, I went to plenty of parties, but never could get the hang of drinking, smoking, or doing drugs. They didn't hold my interest or taste that great, like I have heard some say. I think the temptation was the greatest for me, when I attended my great-grandmother's funeral on my mother's side of the family.
Drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes flowed freely between my adult cousins. I never knew there were so many siblings in that one family until then either. There were three of the seventeen siblings crammed in a tiny camper passing a joint among each other. The youngest of the crew just turned nineteen. I was sixteen staring at them in disgust. They couldn't understand the words, “Nope, sorry, I'm not interested.” They kept telling me how great it was and how much I would love it. Sure, right after I can breath and get rid of this pounding headache. The stench of drugs cooking on the stove, mingled with the pot and cigarettes, turned my stomach and caused my eyes to water. Add in a little liquid courage, and soon one moron ruined the night with a fight. I was amazed after awhile their respect for my choice, once they learned I wasn't an easy egg to crack. One of the cousins later told my mother they were impressed with me and my ambition to be different.
Let God lead the way.
Flee from the devil
Satan wasn't through messing with me yet. There were moments when I felt like Job, on trial for accepting Jesus as my Savior. Two of them were in the form of hauntings. The first one was as a teen in my bedroom. I had awoke to seeing demons above my head, swooping down to torment me. My bed floated inches above the floor. I remember crying out to Jesus to save me as I felt the evil presence suffocating me with fear. He came and saved me. (I wrote about it in my hub called, “A Warrior of God”)
The second incident happened right after I had my son and we had moved into a house that held an evil presence I could feel. I tried to explain it to my husband, but he didn't believe me until a ghost one night moved the hair on my head. It was one of many incidences that happened in that house. It didn't take long after that to convince him it was time to move. (That story can be found in my hub, “Paranormal Activity: Haunted by a Real Ghost.) Again, I called to God.
So when people ask my how it is that I have such a strong faith at times, I think back to those moments that I felt his presence as I prayed for his help. That alone showed me that God was very real in my life.
The trials of this last year
While I look back over this last year in my life, I see the purpose that God had for me, even though many times I didn't agree with it. I see where he helped me overcome my daughter running away from home, my son's first love that broke his heart, my marriage that has had its ups and downs, my family that feuds as fast as the alcohol flows, and people moving in and out of our home. I see and feel deeply the favoritism among family members, as each one jockeys for top position in their popularity contest, not caring about the feelings of others being hurt. I, too, have been caught up in those moments, only to regret it later on when reflecting upon my own actions.
I had a sister point out to me the other night, how rude it was of me to mention that I had grown up in a religious household, but that not all of us had grasped our religious upbringing. In her mind, she is a Christian, but often doesn't live her life as one. I give her credit for trying, but like the bible mentions, don't yoke yourself unequally to a non-believer. It becomes time spent treading water than getting anywhere productive. I know, I have been there many times by my own choices.
All it takes is a simple prayer to find God
If you are a person seeking Jesus to be a part of your life, but you don't know where to start, begin with a simple prayer.
Dear Jesus, Please come into my life, forgiving me for my sins. I want to change and turn away from this life I now live. Please help to guide me in my walk with you. In Jesus name, Amen.
With God, nothing is impossible
Being a Godly woman has many more temptations now then in the past. I would love to see the death of Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media that allows, not only our children, but ourselves to become unemotionally attached to intermingling with people. The temptation for gossip, belittling, badgering, and hurting others is so far widespread, that there is no lesson to teach your child, if your own harmful actions are advertized. As I sit here writing this on the eve of New Year's, I watch the drama play out on Facebook with my own family, that claimed they wanted me to be a part of their fun, but lacked a phone call. Tomorrow, they will call and apologize, but the hurt had already been implanted. I look to myself to see what it is that I did to receive this treatment. Maybe it is because I am a Christian, and they feel uncomfortable around me; because it reflects poorly on those family members that claim the same status. Only God will know the answer to that.
So, my point has come to this, I feel it isn't just the non-believers that God cautions us to be unequally balanced with, it is the negative surroundings, and those that due more harm to our spirit than good. I struggle each day with wanting to stay on the right path, instead of throwing it all to the wind to join the others that are so frequently interacting in my life.
I remind myself, that I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me; for with God, nothing is impossible.