Life Renewal Testimony

Life Renewal Testimony

I originally came to Life Renewal to support my boyfriend (now husband) with his addictions. For the first few weeks I really didn't know why I was here personally, and didn’t think I needed help with anything. Around 4 weeks in, God opened my eyes to my struggle with anxiety - resulting from a lifelong battle with perfectionism or fear of imperfection.

Last year was a tough year for me. Through all the obstacles, I believe God lead me to take this program alongside Dan and his healing journey (even when I didn't think I needed it) in order to break me down further to my knees then I already was. Aside from various other things I was working through during this past year, the most meaningful breakthrough for me has been my closet inventory. I want to paint you a picture of who I was before attending Life Renewal. 

  • I graduated High School with over 400 volunteer hours 
  • I gave money to the church and schools faithfully
  • I was on the young peoples committee growing up
  • I served at Campfire and Streetlight many times in various ways 
  • I lead the crafts for Kingdom Seekers at my church for 4 years
  • I lead the “Secret Sisters” program at my church
  • I have been on 2 service trips
  • I attended Bible study 
  • I sang in a Christian choir
  • I serve on a committee board for Adoration School in Haiti. 
  • I was the friend you went to talk to about your faith life. 

Up until Life Renewal, I was living a life that I didn't think I needed saving from.

My boyfriend often called me perfect, and I was so disturbed by that going through this course, that I made him stop. So now he just says “You’re perfect… for me.” I would often inventory lists just like this in my head as to why I was worthy of God’s grace. I share this not to boast in any way, but to show that even what looks like a servant heart from the surface - can be tainted by the Devil’s influence.

I served as much as I could because I was trying to prove to God and His son that I was worth dying for.

I childishly thought I could find favour in God's eyes through pursuing perfection in my life, and this drove me to a maddening anxiety of such high standards for myself and others. In Matthew 22 there is a story called “The Parable Of The Wedding Feast” which I hope you are familiar with. In that story, I completely identify with the wedding guest that got into the feast dressed in his own clothes, thinking I didn't need the wedding garments handed to me. God needed me to be brought to the end of my own strength and ability to realize I couldn't earn His Grace. He needed me to turn away from a lukewarm faith and to hate my sin I was so comfortably living in - a deep, dark pit of worry and distrust that the Lord’s plan was better than mine.

On November 27, 2015 I started an Instagram account called @thebiblesketched, renamed later @athousandelsewhere (from Psalm 84:10) dedicated to hand lettering a bible verse everyday with a small devotional on the text for Dan and I. The catch was I had to post everyday no matter what. Even if I didn’t have a lot of time or made a spelling mistake or hated the look of the outcome. I couldn’t do pencil first, or rip it up and try again if I didn’t like it. That may not sound like a big deal to anyone but it was a huge step with my struggle with perfectionism. A.W. Tozer says it well,

"We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections and believing that He understands everything - and still loves us."

If it was up to me (before LR I pressured myself into thinking it was), I was a helpless, un-saveable mess. Even my good intentions were completely tainted with sin. I CAN'T DO IT ON MY OWN, I CANNOT SAVE MYSELF. No matter how hard I try. 

The devil has been working so hard to shield this all from me —whispering sweet lies into my ears that I can do it alone, that I, in my own strength, am worthy. And you know what the scariest bit is? I was actually starting to believe it. But, I've come to learn the truth through prayer, life renewal and my closet inventory. On my own, I cannot have the kind of faith that will save me. I never have and never will. In ourselves, we are sinful and unworthy, and we forfeit His love every minute of every day. But because of Christ, God considers us worthy. We are made worthy through the death and resurrection of Jesus, who has shown unlimited grace and unconditional love to us sinners. When God looks down on us, He sees His Son. And that knowledge is not only life changing but life saving. 

My giving back commitment is to be honest and transparent in my faith walk. To keep pursuing helping others fight a lukewarm faith through @athousandelsewhere, with a genuine servant heart out of thankfulness to God for bringing me to where I am today through this course.

I leave you with 2 Corinthians 12:9, a text that helped me immensely through this healing journey:

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

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