28 April 2011

a membership

I haven't been able to figure out how to express my excitement and all the other feelings involved over these pictures. So I'll just tell you what happen. 

What you see in those pictures is our church from this past Sunday, April 24th, Easter and our first year anniversary. And you see me giving my testimony and becoming a member of the church. A surprise to many that were there that morning, since they thought I was already a member. 

You see a year ago when everyone officially changed their membership to the new church "Cristo Rey" (Christ the King)... I didn't join because I hadn't been a member of the church everyone was changing from. And since then, any opportunity I ever had to speak up and say that I wasn't a member... I didn't take. Because my social anxiety, which has hindered me in various ways for years, made me too self conscious to speak up and get the attention of going before the church and confessing Christ as my Savior and establishing my membership.

What changed?

God reorganized and prioritized the things in my life. Without going on forever about the details, this past year has been rough for me. I thought that in Peru I could hide from my anxiety. And I did, for nearly two years. But it caught up with me. And it spun me into such a self focused whirlwind of fear. The past few months God has really been working on my heart about this fear, and how it had become so big to me making me think God smaller and smaller. And when I didn't feel like I could see God in my life, he showed me how he was ministering to me (and had been) through my husband. Quite clearly. I am so thankful for Julton, I don't know how I ever would have gotten through this past year without having been married to him.

And I am very grateful to Pastor Wes Baker who listened to me and helped me to have the opportunity to share with the church my story, and have them receive me as a member. My story of depression and self mutilation as a teenager that turned into social anxiety at a later age that grew into panic attacks... that all later made me too self conscious and fearful of telling anyone. Sometimes it is still difficult for me to admit it, especially the first part. Because it is painful. Painful to remember and realize that it really happen. But that's the thing, it really did, and God has forgiven me and loves me despite my scars. And letting all of those things out into the open is such a relief. Having people in my life that understand my struggles and can pray for me and help me, is irreplaceable. 

I am so thankful to God for this past year. Difficult as it may have been in the midst of it, I can understand more how God has a purpose that's not necessarily our purpose, for everything.

PS: all of those photos I 'borrowed' from our churches facebook page where others from our church that had put up pictures.



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