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Selah CJW

Dear @cassie-hartfinh,

I am so sorry I have not gotten back with you yet!! Ever since I read your post recently, I  have been thinking about/praying for you, until now I can put my thoughts into words. I certainly admire you for sharing so transparently with us- I know I could not have done the same thing! And you are absolutely right, I do NOT have all the answers, but I will share what the Lord used in my life when I was in a similar place.

I can definitely identify with what you’re saying- at one point in my life a few years ago, I felt as if I were in a deep, dark hole where I was alone and (what was worse) like I was suddenly missing a link somewhere in my relationship with God. I believed I was doing all the Christian things I was supposed to do as laid out in Scripture, and yet something had begun to crumble at the heart level, disrupting a clear relationship with the Lord. I believed I had been walking with the Lord for a few years, and yet all of a sudden I felt empty, alone, and lost, and I couldn’t understand or figure out why. It was when I finally became desperate enough to ask the Lord to do anything and everything to me to please show me what to do to change it, that He revealed to me my blindness and unfaithfulness to Him. Romans 8:18-39 was a passage that really galled me when I was struggling with this so much, because it described  what I knew I should be, and tremendously desired to be, and yet was not!

Also, I must mention that I had been raised in a very strong Christian home, and also a home where nearly all I can remember is being in the midst of hardships in one way or another, causing me to have to cling to the truth as life support! That being said, I knew the truth, I knew that it applied to me, and that no matter how tough circumstances were, Christ was the one solid Rock. A  few years ago, however, I was at the point of desperation as my spiritual life felt so dry. When I finally was at the end of my rope, so to speak, I gave up trying to figure it out and gave the whole issue to God, crying out to Him to show me what had gone wrong and how to fix it! The Lord, in His great mercy, then opened my eyes to the fact that I was not obeying Him, honoring Him, reflecting Him, and living solely for Him 24/7. Little increments at a time, my priorities, thoughts, time, etc… were not being expended in ways that most honored and glorified Him, even if the things I did were not outright evil. He had been gently convicting me of this, and yet without even really realizing it, I had been ignoring the soft promptings, and He who is Truth could not dwell and work through me when I was living in hypocrisy. At the deepest heart level, I had not been utterly and entirely dedicated to Him alone, and pride was reigning since I looked pretty good to everyone else who could not see the sin in my heart! Layer by layer, He exposed to my view what He had been seeing, and broke me over my sin until I was completely dependent on Him to do anything everyday, as I did not want to do anythingof my own will anymore, even by accident!! And oh, I cannot possibly describe the joy and peace that came with abiding in Him in such a way! Such fulfillment! Even now the world around me continues to change and be molded more to His viewpoint, and my heart is broken over sin and over the souls of humanity around me more and more. To surrender, to die to myself at the heart level in this this broken surrender, was the hardest thing I have ever done, and yet it has reaped fruit that I could not have even fathomed. PTL!

So in a nutshell, at least for me, it was this: that I must be soaked in, and abiding in, His Word, and also that I live in complete obedience to whatever He convicts me of through that. Writing it down here almost makes it seem legalistic somehow, yet that is the exact opposite of the truth- it is a heart level issue!! And only through the grace of God were my eyes opened to see what I was blind to… I know I would be a completely different person if it were not for that!

I cannot say that I changed overnight to any outward observer (anyone but God), and yet I had been renewed inwardly, and my whole approach to life thrown upside-down into an only-and-all-for-Christ, who-cares-about-anything-else mindset, totally. My heart, soul, spirit, everything, were at complete peace with God, and I can truly say today that the extreme health struggles and other trials of all sorts that we have experienced have been the single best thing that has ever happened in my life, molding me into the image of Christ to reflect and glorify Him alone (which is the sole purpose for life, anyway!). No, I am not perfect, I do not know anything compared to what I should, and I fail continually, yet through the grace of God I have the motivation to get up again, praising Him and confessing my sin, changing, and praising Him yet more! God`s ways are so far indescribably higher than ours, and I am a certainly a living testament to that. I marvel at His tremendous grace towards me when I was so hypocritical, same as the Pharisees. It is as 1st John says, “….God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Sin cleanses us from all sin.”

This all being said, Cassie, and little as I know you or your situation, I would encourage you to this: -Read the book of 1st John, and any other passages that the Lord lays on your heart, praying as you do that He will open your heart to hear and your eyes to see. -Consider if you truly know the Lord. Read passages in His word such as Colossians 3 and Philipians 5 where it describes what the Christian looks like. If you do indeed know Him and manifest the fruits of belonging to Him, pray that He will show you where the problem lies! If you are truly His child, then He will never forsake you, though you lose the sweet fellowship and constant communion with Him when something comes between you. Love and obedience to Him are synonymous, and without complete dedication and surrender to His Lordship, He cannot use you as a vessel for His glory as He would have. I feel for you and will continue to pray for you, and thank you again for being so honest, Cassie, you are a good example to me in that way! “Now may the God of peace sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” (1st Thes. 5:23-24)

“…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,.. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted… And have you forgotten the exhortation addresses to you as sons? ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by Him. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives.’ It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons… If you are left without discipline, in which we all participate, then you are illegitimate children and not sons… All discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God: that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled: that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau… when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.” (from Heb. 12:1-17)

Praying you have a blessed day, and that you continue to seek for truth as for hidden treasure until you have resolved the single most important relationship in your life! Soli Deo Gloria! ~S.

P. S.- If you want to talk further, I would have more time by phone…. email me at I will email you back with my phone number. 🙂

Assistant Guildmaster of the Phantom Awesome Meraki
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