Two months into the program at Through the Gate, I have learned so much about myself that the difference is staggering. My whole demeanor has changed from the way I dress and speak to others all the way down to being consciously aware of the sins that are in my every day life. I sin in areas that I wasn’t even aware were sins before I came to this program. My first finished book was titled; “Killing Sin Habits. Conquering Sin with Radical Faith” by Stuart Scott. This book alone has been monumental in helping to curb the escalation of temptation to sin into the action of the sin itself. It should be noted that I still sin…often, but the awareness of not only what is a sin, which I learned through reading the Word of God, and stopping the sin before it actually occurs, has been convicting.
We should all be radical about sin…after all, it is the very thing that kills us slowly from the inside out. Sin festers within us and boils over to affect those around us and I didn’t even become aware of this until I was about two weeks into the program. But once God opened my eyes in this area I was in for a ride…and let me tell you, it’s been an emotional roller coaster of attitude, tears, defiance, belligerence and finally acceptance. I’ve made many mistakes in this program already but the difference is that when they happen I repent for my sin, pray for forgiveness and I get back up and move forward. I try not to look back although that has been a difficult habit to break in my past. The consequences of my past sins haunt me every day but I know now that God forgives me and my relationship with my Father is like no other relationship I’ve ever had before. I talk to Him, even though a lot of it is complaining about unfairness, and however even in that I am beginning to tone down with time, but the point is I talk to Him. I share with Him, what He already knows and just saying it lets it go from my heart. I’ve learned that life isn’t fair, no one owes you a thing and not every one in this world loves you. But God does and with Him I now have an inner peace that surpasses all human understanding.
The past two months have been radical to say the least. I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime if I nurture and appreciate them as I should. I’m learning the attributes of God which are often misunderstood by both Christians and non-Christians alike. I counsel with my pastor once a week and sometimes I’m afraid I won’t have anything to discuss with him and then I’m blown away at the three hour sessions that follow and the peace I feel after pouring out my deepest fears and anxieties onto his shoulders. He is patient and kind but also stern and understanding. The thing I love the most about him is that he doesn’t condemn me for my sins. He doesn’t think I’m the most awful person in the world but he is quick to tell me the areas I need to improve upon and for that I love him dearly. The volunteers here at Through the Gate have invited me into their homes and trusted me with their children. They have taken me shopping and actually enjoyed buying me things with their hard earned money. I’ve received so many blessings from God that are not even related to earthly items such as patience, acceptance and the ability to be honest with others which is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. The friendships I’ve made here are amazing. I laugh and smile where before if you saw me with a smile it was either because I was sinning or it was fake. I don’t have to be fake here. I can be myself. The beautiful energetic funny girl that God intended me to be but with an inner peace and appreciation for all things. I thank God every day for the program here at Through the Gate and I’m quite sure that I would not be here without it. My prayer is for anyone reading this who might have doubts that you too can change, to let go and let God come into your heart. He heals the sick and broken and I am living proof. Thank you Jesus! Amen!