Updated: Aug 9
When I was in college I desperately desired a close relationship with God. I never wavered in my belief in God and never questioned that Yeshua died for me, for my sins. I had been raised to believe it, but my heart and my flesh were at war with each other. Have you ever felt that way?
Fall of sophomore year, the catholic church on the edge of campus was having its annual luau - complete with a pig roasting on a spit, torches for light, and tables spread all around the parking lot. Most were there for the food, but I had a deeper pull on my heart.
Was this where God would meet me?
Would getting involved in this church curb the sins that I was sunk deep into?
Suffocation surrounded me, unable to break free. Every ounce in my body yearned for peace. The sin and dark thoughts that lived in my brain, the elephant of anxiety that sat on my chest and my stone heart unrepentantly growing harder by the day as I sought unrighteousness and prideful attention. Hurting everyone in my path, but hurting myself, my life and my soul all the more.
Yes. To say I was desperate that night is an understatement, but that fight within me caused me to do the unthinkable (for me anyway). I turned to Noeli, a student involved in the catholic ministry whom I had been chatting with, and "I want to know how to become a catholic" spilled out of my mouth before I even realized what I was saying.
Throughout the following semester, I attended RCIA (the class required for you to convert) one day per week all while clinging to my life of sin. There was the person I so desperately wanted to become and the reality of who I really was, and that struggle didn't go unnoticed by one of the staff members.
In her closet sized office, Catherine sat at her desk and I sat on the small couch, face to face. She chatted about what the fruit of a true heart change looked like and her concern over my current job (waitress at hooters), but ultimately where my heart truly was in that process. I heard what she was so lovingly telling me, but I didn't understand to its fullest meaning. I wanted so desperately to make that change happen but I had tried on my own so many times. I felt like something was wrong with me because I continued to grip onto that part of my life.
While looking back 10 years later, I realize that I was trying to change myself within my own strength, attempting to win the battle while the war had already been won.
We can''t change our hard hearts when we have not been given a new heart of flesh. We can't get our own heart of flesh without being heartbroken over our sin, feeling the full weight of sorrow over how sinful and without Christ we truly are.
A few years later, that seed that was planted deep in my heart finally took root and I broke down over the reality in the cost of my sin: Yeshua's undeserved physical punishment and death on the cross for MY sins, to make me righteous before Yah. From that moment on the Holy Spirit began his work in my heart, gradually and gently changing from the inside out.
Galatians 5:16: I say then, walk by the Ruach (spirit) and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
It didn't happen overnight, most certainly wasn't an instant change - but now a decade later it is a night and day difference. And I most certainly can't take credit for that.
The Holy Spirit gave me a new heart, the convictions and desire to change to be like our Messiah.
Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
We all have a transformation story. But they are as unique as we are and that is for Yah's perfect purpose.
My husband's story of his bearing fruit from his faith has not been as noticeable or drastic. If you would put our transformations side by side they would seem like polar opposites - more work needing to be done on my heart than his. However, when we compare our walk, our convictions and where our heart is in the process to others, we loose sight of the fact that the Father created us uniquely and for HIS OWN purpose.
What needed to be transformed in one heart was meant to lead to a differing outcome than the others because Yah sees the bigger picture. He knows how he will use us and our stories for his glory. In my husband's and I's case, his "bearing the fruit of repentance journey" and mine allowed for Yahweh to bring us together in his perfect time, when we would be what each other needed.
The point here is that the transformation of the heart and the life for Christ will be used for HIS glory. True repentance will come with some type of transformation of actions no matter how fast or slow.
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.
I may have fooled some as I was living a false repentance - actively seeking sin while professing Christ and repentance with my mouth. But I couldn't fool our Father, and eventually he humbled me with his word, broke my heart with my own sin and remolded my heart to love him and his law.
Jeremiah 24:7: I will give them a heart to know Me - for I am ADONAI- and they will be My people and I will be their God because they will return to Me with their whole heart.
He lead me to true lasting change in behavior and action, so much that I don't even know who that college student was anymore. If you are questioning whether or not he can do it for you too, He CAN and He will if you put your trust in Him and Yeshua's amazing gift.
Praise Yah for that grace and mercy - saving us from our own sinful self destruction and giving us His Shalom, we all so desperately seek.
-In Christs Love,
How has Yahweh used your transformation for His glory?
Please share the amazing examples of his perfect plans!