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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Paths (05/17/04)

By Antje Hill



Regardless of when it started, at some point in my life, I took the path of Self. Why does a person stay on this path of destruction? Why not change directions? When a person is absorbed with self, they are not looking for another path. Self is the captain of their life. They wouldn’t have it any other way.

This path of self took me through grammar school and on through high school, all the while developing me into a young woman with low self-esteem and tremendous feelings of inferiority. These are two poor ingredients to take into marriage, but that is what I did.

Many years and three sons later, I continued on my unhappy path. I loved the Lord, I taught Sunday School and presented myself as a person who had it all together. Only those closest to me knew how unhappy I was. It took very little to upset me. My husband and I threatened leaving our marriage from time to time. I had been a Christian since I was 9 years old. I had asked Christ to be my Savior. That established where I would go when I died. But I never made him Lord of life here on earth. I cried a lot, asked forgiveness from my husband a lot, and then read my bible a lot. How miserable I was!

Somehow, through all my torment and confusion, God heard my cry for help. I had come to the end of me.

Dr. M. R. Dehaan, in his book, Broken Things, speaks of all the broken things we have to deal with in life. As infants, we have broken toys, as teens broken hearts, then as adults broken homes or broken dreams. He then states, “We cast the broken things aside and call them junk, but our God casts the unbroken things aside as useless.” Until we’re willing to be broken, until we give up self, we continue to search for the abundant life promised us as God’s children.

God forgave me of my life of self. Christ-centered wives and moms make a difference in the home. Our home changed for the better. God gave me 5 wonderful years with my husband before he called him home suddenly. We had learned to laugh and love together. I will always be thankful God didn’t take him during my rebellious years.

I have never regretted changing paths in my life. Once you’ve tasted joy and peace, self looses its flavor.It is not an easy path, it takes daily yielding. But the fruit is delicious along the way.

In God’s good mercy, he has now sent me a friend from many years ago as my husband. He has been on the good path for many years and is showing me, by example, the blessings of putting
(J)esus first, (O)thers second,(Y)ourself last.

“If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himSELF, and take up his cross and follow me.
Matthew 16:24(NKJV)

Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Elder-Criss05/24/04
Leaving "self" behind is often a hard thing to do. Funny isn't it, though, when we really give ourself up, how much he increases our joy? More of Him, less of me. Thanks for this word. Blessings~Mary
Naomi Deutekom05/24/04
Keep sharing God's work in your life. There are others who need the message too. It amazes me how we can be brought up in the church and still not "get" the most important things to living in Jesus. You are not alone!
Nicely told.
L.M. Lee05/24/04
yeap, we all have to walk this path to learn to do it right.
Lynne Gaunt05/24/04
Good theme - path of self. I liked your statement: "Once you've tasted joy and peace, self looses its flavor."
Leticia Caroccio05/25/04
What you have here is wonderful testimony that speaks of the loving patience of the Lord. Your interpretation on the subject of paths is unique and on target. We could all learn from your experience; I know that I have.

I particularly enjoyed the line: "Once you've tasted joy and peace, self looses its flavor". That line was awesome. Beautiful job.
B Price05/25/04
I felt as if I was reading a story about myself with some things being different.
I too carried that into a marriage which didn't last for me either.
I really liked the title, as it spoke in volume for it so true and could stand alone.
I like the word Joy and how you had a meaning for it.
So often we put ourselves first or others before Jesus.
Enjoyed it and thank you for sharing this with us.
B Price05/25/04
just wanted to say, thanks for the title of a book that I know someone needs to read beside myself.
Marcell Billinghurst05/26/04
I appreciated the journey you shared and how God brought you through it. I too have suffered from low self esteem and feelings of inferiority over the years. A Search For Life Course, last year taught me that it is not wrong to seek love,acceptance, self worth etc, but these needs are primarily to be found in God. When we realise how fully loved accepted and worthwhile we are in God,we are set free of the need to demand it from others.
Deborah Porter 05/26/04
Antje, I have a feeling a few people will relate to the opening paragraphs of your story. Very good point made and definitely a very good contribution to the challenge. Well done. With love, Deb
Patrick Whalen05/27/04
So many truths in this one and many I have struggled with myself. I see this as a great testimony and one many of us have probably experienced (or are likely to if we do not heed the warning signs of this piece).

4 of 5
* - I didn’t catch any spelling errors but you missed the spaces after “self looses its flavor.It”
* - On topic
X - The format was good but the layout could use some more preparation. I feel the first few sentences are too short and give a “choppy” feel to what could be a great opening.
* - Decent length
* - I felt myself in this article although the ending of my story is different because I took a little longer to recognize the “self” in me
Dan Blankenship 05/29/04
Very good. I can't think of anything I would change.