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by Deb Raab (Nelson)
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It was a day just like any other day, except it was really hot and humid. I came home from work, laid underneath my ceiling fan and put in a movie. It wasnít too long and I got a call from the Pastor of my old church. He and I had been really close, I was the church secretary and we would spend a lot of time talking. He was there for me the first few years of my Christian life and got me going on the right path.

He called wanting to know if he could refer someone to me that is going through a time in their life like what I went through in my past. He wanted me to share and minister to this person. I felt honored, that God wanted to use me in this personís life. All the pain, heartache and struggles that I went through were not in vain. God is going to use those to help others in need! I love to minister to others, to see someone who is hurting and struggling find hope and healing. There is no greater joy than to watch that transformation happen.

As we were talking, we were catching up on each otherís lives. I updated him on a few things and he asked me questions that no one has asked me lately. Things like: How do you feel about that? Where are you in your walk with God? How is your soul? After I got off the phone I got thinking about his questions.

I am the kind of person that needs a sounding board, someone just to listen to me as I talk about my feelings, emotions and thoughts. It helps me to figure out what's really going on. If it's ok, I'd like to use this forum as my "sounding board".

I realize that I am at a place in my life that Iím making excuses to God for my sins. Iím not being accountable or responsible for the way that Iím living. I am blaming my past experiences for my current behavior and choices. I really love God and want to be obedient, but, I am afraid to do what I know is right. I donít trust my discernment and my ability to make right choices.so I am currently living with my boyfriend and I know that I should marry him, we talk about it, but yet due to a previous marriage/divorce I am afraid to make that step. We both love God and have given our lives to Him. My boyfriend has a history of DWIís and addiction, I have a history of addictions as well. Iíve been straight for almost 5 years and never have slipped. Heís had a slip just recently (although he's been clean for 3 years) and is in the workhouse serving time for a DWI. I know that God has gotten his attention and is working on him.

I got delivered from my addictions by God in a supernatural way, and have a hard time remembering that some people have to be healed step by step. I know that we are transformed from glory to glory, and I need to have the grace, mercy and patience to allow God to know the timin that is needed for each individual. This is a learning experience for me because my deliverance was immediate. It was a miracle in my life. I know that God is using my boyfriend (and maybe this other person that my Pastor is referring to me) to teach me the various ways that God works.

The Bible says "Not that I have now attained (this ideal), or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me his own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own (yet); but one thing I do (it is my one aspiration): forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the (supreme and heavenly) prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward." Philippians 3:12-14 (AMP). Also, "Therefore, if any person is in Christ he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old (previous moral and spiritual condition) has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!" II Corinthians 5:17 (AMP). Both of these verses tell me that I am not to look at the past to get a picture of the future. The past is exactly that, the past. Joyce Meyer (spiritual teacher and conference leader) often says that the way you start is not as important as the way that you finish and the start does not make or break you at the finish when it comes to spiritual matters. God can and does transform everyone and anyone.

The Bible also tells me "Now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom) And all of us, as with unveiled face, (because we) continued to behold (in the Word of God) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; (for this comes) from the Lord (Who is) the Spirit." II Corinthians 3:17-18.(AMP) Also, ""Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." Romans 12:2. These verses tell me that we are changed from "glory to glory" and by the renewing of our minds. I know that this is true, my anniversary for being straight is in August and it will be 5 years. I think of how far I've come and I'm amazed. God is truly an Awesome God.

Thank you for allowing me to use this as a sounding board, I pray that this article has given you something to think about in your own life. If you are like me and using excuses for your sin or using your past to judge the future, join me in trusting the future to God, trusting our and other's transformations to God, (nothing is too big for Him!), confessing and repenting our sins, knowing that God will be and always has been faithful. He is there for us, He loves us and we CAN trust Him.

Bless you.

(C) Deb Nelson 2000



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