Here is Elijah in the emergency room with a broken arm. See the look on his face? That is how I felt when I first got saved and returned to campus. I was struggling.
It has been a long week to say the least. Our four year old broke his arm while we were out of town. NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN MY LIFE…NEVER! The first emergency room we visited recommended us to Carle hospital in Urbana. I love me some Urbana-Champaign. Why? I left with a great education and a wonderful husband. Not a bad deal. So of course being in Urbana caused me to reflect on my years at the good old UofI.
I began my college career as a very nice sinner. I knew the truth but certainly was not living it. I got saved during winter break of my Junior year in college. My conversion was real but I STRUGGLED when I returned to campus. Why? I was trying to blend my old life with my new. I knew what God was requiring of me but I failed to put up the proper hedges. Whenever I returned to old habits, there was a strong sense of conviction. I was miserable. I had not fully embraced my new life in Christ and the old Anika desperately desired to be resurrected.
God was not requiring me to live saved in my own strength but He was asking me to cooperate with the process of sanctification. This meant that I had to cut off some relationships, keep my feet out of certain places, be mindful of what I watched and listened to. I had to get extreme. This was a very lonely time for me, it was painful but necessary. I could not put any confidence in my flesh. The Lord showed me how to maintain proper boundaries. It was then that this scripture became my reality. Yes God was able to keep me from falling but I had to want to be kept. The young me still had moments of struggle but as time went on I found myself getting stronger. I hungered for holiness. At times zeal got the best of me and wisdom was absent but God was so patient with me. He still is. I am thankful. Here I am over sixteen years later, still a work in progress but I am basking in God’s ability to redeem.
To those who have just begun the journey of faith, I applaud and encourage you for making the best decision. EVER. You will not regret it. If you are struggling know that whatever temptation you are facing, God is able to provide a way of escape so you wont have to give in to the temptation. TAKE THE WAY OF ESCAPE! Don’t play with the devil because his plans are to destroy you. COMPLETELY! If you have fallen, truly repent, don’t look back, and do not receive any condemnation the devil freely offers. I am here if you need prayer and encouragement. Keep pressing!