Diving into the Deep End

Diving into the Deep End

Life lessons by Thelma Dade

God is nothing if not consistent, at least in my life. When I was young he gave me some very interesting key verses that have followed me my entire life. These verses came with lessons, and the lessons often resulted in scars, because the young often do things the hard way.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].”
Matthew 16:24 (AMPC)

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my housewe will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

Lesson one: Who will you choose?

I was 19, and already at the end of my rope – alone, lonely, and very far away from home. The enemy of my soul was having a grand old time tormenting me. I had stepped on a sewing needle that had fallen into the carpet and it broke off in the joint of my second toe. Did I mention I was alone? I waited until morning, drove myself to the hospital, and went to work. My car was a stick shift, and I could only use one foot…that was fun! When I got to the military hospital where I worked, I filled out the paperwork for a surgical prep, called admissions to have myself admitted, sent a request for an x-ray and then went into the surgical room and prepped my foot, where I then waited for the orthopedic surgeon I worked with to arrive.

I heard him come in, so called out, “Your first patient is in here, Doc!” I gave him the run down. And, it all went as I had expected, except, I didn’t have a plan for going home. I had no plan for needing to drive myself to the hospital every day for hydrotherapy, for getting groceries, making meals, or any of the basic things people do on a daily basis.

I was doing what kids now days call “adulting.” It was hard, and depression soon set in. So far, being an adult was just really hard, and I thought it would be easier to just call it quits, take some pills, and be done with the whole thing. I looked at my life and saw a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, and a lot of “alone.” I made it to Saturday night, and then the enemy hit me relentlessly. He threw all the lies he could think at me – all night long, one right after another. I was no good, always going to be broke, never going to amount to anything, never going to be loved, would never have a husband and children, and on and on.

Then I heard, “… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” I stopped crying. I had heard someone say something. “God?” I asked.

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…”

I knew God was speaking to me. I began to cry again, telling Him I couldn’t go on, that it was just too hard, and I didn’t know what to do!

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…”

“But I can’t. It’s too hard,” I cried. Then God said something I will never forget. He very clearly told me that I could do whatever I chose to do. I could stay where I was and keep doing what I was doing, and I would always get the results I was getting. I was shocked! Some God He was! Then, He very clearly showed me the road I was walking; it was not an easy road, but what He did next was even more frightening to me. He showed me the road He wanted me to walk!

I nearly gave up at that point. Then God reached down, lifted me up out of the dirt and muck, and held me. He just held me. He loved me, and I knew that I was going to be okay. And yes, it was going to be difficult, but first I had to choose. How could I not choose Him?

I got up, dressed, and went to a church some co-workers had been inviting me to for about 6 months. I looked like death warmed over, and I felt horrible, but the first person I met at the door was a big burly man with a huge smile and an even bigger heart. He took one look at me and said, “Sweetheart, come and sit down over here by my wife. She will take good care of you,” and she did. Shirley and Mike Lowery began my spiritual training that very day. I had no idea the words I had heard were from the Bible. I also wasn’t aware that God didn’t just have audible conversations with people, but I had no idea that the visions He had shown me were things I could expect to happen frequently. So many lessons, so little time…

I wish I could say I got to stop walking around the same mountain that day, and that the lesson of “choose you this day…” was one I wholeheartedly embraced when I was 19, but that would be a lie. I didn’t get it. Which brings me to life lesson two.

Lesson two: That’s going to cost you; Trust me.

… I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that which costs me nothing …”
2 Samuel 24:24 (AMPC)

God loves us so much more that we can comprehend or know, and yet, He lets us choose. We often choose things that break his heart, but He is so faithful to keep pruning us – to keep picking us up out of the muck and cleaning us off. I am still alone. Still far from home. Still walking that road, but I am no longer afraid, or lonely, or in despair. I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what God showed me I would be doing when I was 19. Oh, the detours I took along the way!

Come back next week and we will dive back into the deep end!

How do you respond when God gives you a choice? When your soul is empty or in despair, who or what do you turn to? Who do you trust? How many times will He need to let you walk around the same mountain before you actually choose Him?

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