He can keep you

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!

Anika Jones

About the Author

Anika Jones

Hello there! I am Anika and I am definitely one of those. Passion oozes from every fiber of my being. I love to love. Sounds cheesy, I know, but I already told you that I am one of those kinds of people. Read on to find out some more interesting facts about me… 1. I love me some Jesus. I love to testify and if you hang around me long enough you may hear me bragging on the awesomeness of God, like how • He gave me a house I couldn't afford • Healed two of my children • Gave me a yes when I wanted to say no 2. I married a younger man…OK, not really. I was 23 while he was 22. My birthday is in April and his in August, but it’s our running joke. Nevertheless, after 13 years of marriage, I happen to love him deeply, and it still makes for a great story. 3. I have experienced the pain of two miscarriages and the joy of delivering 6 children (3 boys and 3 girls). I have both a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Early Childhood Education, which I put to good use staying home with the kiddos. 4. I attend an awesome church where my husband is the Assistant Pastor. I am also a part of a not for profit organization that encourages women to walk in their God given purpose. 5. I am addicted to prayer. 6. I am considered nice by most, definitely extreme by design. I am politically incorrect. 7. I take the scenic route when telling a story, but I promise if you hang on long enough, I eventually get to the punch line. 8. I have great ideas but I sometimes procrastinate. Jesus and I are working on that one. 9. I am guilty of overthinking things (refer to number 8). 10. I am originally from Jamaica. Surprise…sunshine and coconuts are two of my favorite things. 11. I subscribe to the Paleo Diet and actually did a round of Whole 30. 12. I love to experiment in the kitchen. 13. I make an absolute mess when I cook. I try to clean as I go but get distracted with cooking. Go figure. (My family doesn't always enjoy my cooking but I make them eat it anyway.) 14. I love people and enjoy talking to them—even the weird ones. I tried being otherwise but found it doesn't suit me well, so I'm learning to be okay with being me. 15. I have traction alopecia and wear wigs and am crazy enough to believe God for restoring my hair follicles even though the doctors have said otherwise. 16. A movie is considered good only if it makes me cry...more than once. Sound of Music happens to be my all time favorite. 17. I really wish I sang well. I really don't. 18. Telling people about Jesus is my favorite past time. And if I'm not talking about Him, I'm talking about my family or some random health fact I learned on Google. 19. I love redemption stories and happy endings, that’s why I said yes to Jesus. Feel like you know me a little more? Well good! Please continue to stop by my little corner of cyber world. And do leave a comment. Remember I love to talk to people!

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