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Day 3 – Starting Over After Being Found

lost and found

31 Days of Starting OverToday, on October 3, 2013, the first thing I want to share with you is a post from a fellow blogger here in the state of Alabama.  It is such a sweet testimony from The Lettered Cottage.

Now, I’ll describe for you my feelings of being in the lost and found. At the age of 14 there was a lot going on in my life. I was an adolescent so everything that happened to me seemed worse than it was – no matter how bad it was.  My pediatrician prescribed “nerve pills,” to help me learn to deal with life’s problems and calm my nervous stomach. All the pills did was dull the pain and help me sleep.

Photo Credit: Clark Atlanta University
Photo Credit: Clark Atlanta University

Now, my family had gone to church every Sunday for as long as I can remember, but at 15 a friend invited us to a different church than the one we grew up in. It scared me.

I knew this place was different when I walked in the door. People were standing up and singing, raising their hands as if they were cheering for a football team and the preacher was different.  While he had on a suit, stood behind a podium and held the Bible in his hands, he was was not like other preachers. He started teaching me the WORD.

He didn’t seem to be yelling at me, he seemed to love me and care about me.  He has long since passed away, but I will never forget him.  His name was Dan Ronsisvalle and if you are interested, you can hear his last sermon, here.

Pastor Dan Ronsisvalle
Pastor Dan Ronsisvalle
Cathedral of the Cross
Cathedral of the Cross 2010

My life was different from the day I heard his first sermon. I no longer needed the pills, but I was still in the lost and found.  In my thirties, things began to change.  Believe me or not; I was sitting in a Wendy’s during a Mother’s-Day-Out eating a burger, thinking about my list of errands, when in my heart, I heard the words, “I never knew you.” This scared me more than Brother Ronsisvalle’s church.  The words I heard were part of Matthew 7: 21-23.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Well, in true Kim-fashion, I began to argue with the Lord.  “You do too know me.  You saved me in a pasture during a rap-session with the youth group in 1975! Don’t you remember, Lord?”  Again, “I never knew you.”  At that point, I surrendered and said to Him, “well if that’s true, then by-golly You will know me.”  I called our church that afternoon and asked if there were any Bible studies being offered.  It was after that call that I began to KNOW HIM.  It makes a big difference, you know. I registered for a Precept Ministries course on the book of Philippians, called “How to Have Joy No Matter What.”

Precept courses teach you the Bible in its original languages.  We learned the Old Testament by studying key words in Hebrew and the New Testament by key words in Greek. I was found in one word.  It was/is a strange word to be found by, but it is because of the fact that He really did know me that I was found in my truest state of being by the great I AM. Philippians 1: 9-10 includes a prayer by the apostle Paul,

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ..

Because of my earlier statements, it would be reasonable to think the word was knowledge, discern or blameless.  But, I was found with the word “pure”.  In the Greek, the word means “unmixed.”   I had become mixed up.  I was truly lost without the pure knowledge of HIM.  People have all sorts of ideas of who HE is, but if they are like I was, they really have NO idea.  I began to pray that HE would teach me and reveal HIMSELF to me so that I would KNOW HIM.  I have to confess here that it has been the biggest and best adventure of my life.  HE has been nothing like I thought. HE is better and HE is worse.  HE is Love and HE is Judge, but all in a loving way… a way that non-believers will never understand.

It may sound trite or even cliche` to talk about being lost vs. being found, but, since starting over with HIM in my 30’s, I’m no longer scared.  I don’t fear death.  I don’t fear HIS judgment and I am immune to man’s, except of course, where our laws are concerned. Why? Because in the purest sense of the word, I am unmixed, because I am found.  HE knows my name. I no longer sweat the small stuff.

Continue reading this 31 day writing challenge with Day 4: Starting Over After the Nest Empties

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