A Teacher Finds the Truth
May 22, 2009
When I first came to RU I was in despair and felt like my life was out of control. I had been saved for 35 years, living a life that looked good on the outside, but inside was full of sin and strongholds. Throughout my life I tried to
figure out why I was so miserable and defeated. I read many self-help books, all
to no avail. I couldn't even really identify the root problem. When I went for
counseling, I couldn't find anyone who could tell me what the problem was.
Sometimes I would hear a sermon that greatly touched my heart and helped me to see an area in my life that was wrong. Then I would go to the altar and vow to be different, only to get up from the altar and have no clue as to HOW to carry out that vow! Thus my life continued to be one of despair and defeat.
Oh, to people who saw me at work and at church, I was the "model" Christian.
For years I was highly esteemed in the churches I attended, being given various
leadership positions. I served the Lord as a Christian School Teacher for 26 years, have been awarded Who's Who in Education from Cambridge University, worked on a bus route for 20 years, played the piano and keyboard in church, went soul winning faithfully every week, leading thousands of souls to the Lord, read my Bible through 33 times, prayed daily. I was a Pastor’s wife for 8 years. On and on the list goes (as I still do these things) – but I was miserable inside while looking good on the outside.
Where was peace??? Where was freedom from self??? Where was fulfillment and happiness??? Where was love??? Where was the “surrendered life” I had heard preached for 30 years??? These things eluded me. If indeed they did exist, they certainly were not part of MY life! I asked again and again where victory was. And what is the real problem anyway??? What’s wrong with me!!!
It was in one of these low points that my dear friend, Candy Woodring invited me to RU. Oh, not even Candy knew the desperation I was hiding inside or the terrible strongholds that were choking me to death! She just knew that RU helped her get closer to Jesus and she wanted the same for me.
It was quite “humiliating” to come to RU, being the ‘model” Christian everyone thought I was. On my first visit someone came up to me and said, “What are YOU doing here? You’re the perfect Christian!” I answered, “What you see is not always what you get!” At that point in my life, I really didn’t care what people thought anymore. I just desperately wanted help. RU seemed to be the last avenue I knew to try.
As soon as Brian King stood to welcome the visitors and briefly explain the program and what strongholds are, I was convicted. My heart was pounding so hard I was sure Candy could feel it! I KNEW God led me here!
Throughout the program I learned what I had been seeking for at least 30 years. I learned to identify the problems that had robbed me and nearly strangled me. Not only did I learn the problem, but I learned also HOW to fix them. I was convicted again and again by the 10 RU Principles and the study of the Fruits of the Spirit. I was shocked as I worked through the curriculum to learn that I had been living and practicing the OPPOSITE of EVERY fruit of the Spirit! How could I have been so blind! It was humbling and humiliating to learn and ADMIT that my life had been controlled by pride, self-pity, self-centeredness, fear and bitterness for as long as I could remember. I had deceived myself through the years that my problem was because of others and past circumstances. Through years of blaming, I had convinced myself that I was okay – it was everyone else and what they did to me that was the issue.
As I worked through the curriculum, God in His mercy and goodness began to
open my eyes to the truth and to change me. It was God, in His longsuffering and love, that helped me to admit my sin and strongholds. His patience and gentle prodding has led me to where I am today. I truly believe it was ALL God! May He receive all the glory for the change in my heart. His showing Himself through HisWord in new and convicting ways was sometimes so overwhelming that it took my breath away! The journal became a vital part of my life as I daily learned to meditate and listen to Him, rather than hurry through the daily reading. The"spiritual surgery" was so painful at times that I thought I couldn't face myself, but His love, His compassion, His encouragement made it possible to keep going and allow His Spirit to change me.
As I continued my study through the Uphold course, God continued to
convict and purify. He is so kind and patient, so merciful to me! Because of my
self-righteous past, the study through the Tall Law book was most helpful. The
awareness of self righteousness, and how easy it is to fall into a self righteous
lifestyle, were reminders that I needed.
Also, the continual reminders throughout the course on meditating, rather
than memorizing, were so helpful and vital. I teach elementary school. I decided that my students needed to do more than memorize scripture verses each week and be tested on them. I started making it a requirement to tell me what the verse means, not just give me a recittion. I was shocked that MOST of the students had no idea what the verse meant, in spite of the fact that it was memorized perfectly! How tragic! After that discovery, we spent time each day meditating together and discussing what the verses meant. God is so good.
I have come to believe that the strongholds of bitterness, concealed anger, self-pity, and pride are more devastating to a life than even substance abuse. I was crippled emotionally and spiritually for 30 long, hopeless years! The devil had
chained me to a life of "looking good" on the outside. What a waste! In learning the truth, and in learning to live the Fruits of the Spirit, and continuing through the Uphold Course I have finally learned to live a fulfilling life with Jesus. As Steve Currington tells us every week, "The Truth will set you free-finally!"