If you had known me then, my final year of high school and my first year of college, you'd see how much of a different person I am today. In 1999, I was pretentious, snobby even. I was anxious, high strung, and extremely judgmental. I claimed to be a child of God, but very rarely acted as such. I was a liar, a thief, and completely oblivious to the deception that Satan was waving in front of my face on a daily basis.
Looking back to my freshman year in college, I'm aware of how lost I was. How insanely desperate I was for attention, for approval, and for love. I made choices that still impact me today and that I often regret, but I know that in the end God has used them for His glory.
Upon arrival at Washington State University in the Fall of '99, I chose to join a sorority. In theory, it was a good decision, seeing as I was in a new state & knew absolutely no one! In reality, it turned out to be a wormhole into an extremely sinful life.
For the record, I don't regret joining a sorority. My years at Kappa Alpha Theta were wonderfully exciting and I cultivated some of the best relationships a girl could hope for. My friends & sisters from Theta are still some of the closest I have. They have seen me at my worst and love me nonetheless.
However, being in a sorority also opened up a world that I may not have been a part of otherwise. A world of binge drinking, of unhealthy obsessions, of sexual immorality, and of excessiveness. Who knows if I'd have been exposed to that by just living in the dorms, but the years at Wazzu were some of my darkest years, simply because I was so distant from God and indulging in so much sin.
Following my departure from WSU in 2003, my spiritual life has been very much like a roller coaster. Amazing highs and devastating lows have been experienced, but through it all I have grown immensely and have learned so much.
Which brings me to this evening. While in college, I used to be able to consume about 2 pitchers of beer by myself before feeling the full effects of the alcohol. That alcohol and my own sinful nature caused me to compromise myself in unimaginable ways. Tonight I had a glass & a half of wine and felt the full effects of the alcohol almost right away. It was one of the first times that I truly made the comparison of today versus my Wazzu years. 1.5 glasses vs. 2 pitchers. Wow.
This comparison caused me to look deeper into the past 12 years and allowed me to appreciate the change, the growth, the transformation that has occurred. Not only in my habits in regards to consuming alcohol, but in so many other things as well. The transformation of living in sin versus living in the Spirit is acute. Through the Spirit I have received the strength to strive for goodness, for godliness, for earning the grace that has been so selflessly given. I know that I can never earn it or be worthy of it, but I seek to just the same. Through His grace I have been saved. He has transformed me and will continue to work in me as long as I live in Him.
2011 is sure to be a transforming year, I can already tell that by what God has done in these first 9 days... But looking at the symbolism and the biblical meaning of the number 11, I know that it will also be a year of disintegration. To disintegrate is to separate, to decay, to lose solidity or intactness. It is my prayer, that this year, God continues to disintegrate sin and it's hold on my life. It is my prayer that God breaks down any barriers that keep me from glorifying Him and from knowing Him more. It is also a desire of my heart that the past mistakes and the wounds of my heart and soul would decay completely so that room is made to be filled more and more by the Spirit.
I don't presume to understand what God thinks or even try to understand His plan, but what I do understand (and am so thankful for) is that one of the clearest proofs of God's power is the evidence of a transformed life...