God is the GATE

T0day I did something that I never thought I would do, and it turned out to be a really positive thing.  I woke up this morning with every intention to skip going to a (for me) very early church service with one of my good friends.  This person is a very godly woman and I so aspire to have her heart and her love and her dedication to the Lord someday.  I am really blessed to have her in my life.

Anyway, I was torn between the decision of either going to church or staying at home.  For one, I was very worried and upset that I would be missing my normal breakfast time.  I feared that I would feel very uncomfortable and sick during the service.  I was also worried over the fact that if I did end up going my breakfast would have to pushed back to a much later time than I was used to.  I hate messing up my meals for the day.

At first I was determined to go, so I jumped into the shower, thinking, “what the hell I’ll just give it a shot and see if I can get ready on time.”  But then after I got out and started to get ready, doubt crept in and I quickly found myself changing my mind.  I’ll admit I was nervous about going.  So often I fret and worry over going social events because I hate changing my schedule that I just skip out on them altogether.  Within minutes I had backed out of my decision to go and  flopped in front of the computer overcome with depression at my failure.

But then I stumbled upon an email on my computer in which this godly woman told me how excited she was that I was going.  I felt so guilty at reading her enthusiasm that I knew I couldn’t skip out.  And so I hauled my butt back into the bathroom to dry my hair, finished getting ready and was out the door just 8 minutes late.

I AM REALLY GLAD I WENT.

Though it was a different church with a different pastor and different members I really felt God speaking to me.  Today’s sermon was about how GOD IS THE GATE.

It focused on how important it is that we stay with God no matter what trials we face, or how long or difficult the road before us may seem.

I really felt God pressing into my heart these important matters:

1.  I need to first enter into the Gate.

In terms of my recovery and in just living my life, I cannot do this alone.  I cannot do this without Him.  If I would just surrender all of my fears over to Him and allow Him to have control over my life, I WILL BE PROTECTED.

I am a sheep–stupid, stubborn, ill-willed, vulnerable and so terribly confused–and He is my shepherd.  He promises to protect me and be with me wherever I go.  He promises to protect me from the enemy if I will only just STAY WITH HIM.

2.  I have a choice.  Ironically, this is the SECOND time I felt him speaking these words to me in the past week.

Maybe my anorexia won’t kill me.  Maybe I’ll still live and grow up.  But I know I won’t be happy.  Ultimately, I have a choice–to live or to die.

I can choose whether I want to live my life with Him or to live my life without Him.   But I know that without Him, my life will be hell.  I will never fully recover and heal from my eating disorder.  My body will forever be ravaged, damaged, and destroyed.  My happiness will cease to exist. 

I HAVE A CHOICE TO LIVE WITH HIM.

In the end the overall message was crystal clear.  No matter what trials we face in this life, we need to endeavor with Him in our comings and goings.  God is the GATE.  He will stand guard and watch over us, protecting us and leading us where He wants us to go.  We only need to stay with Him. 

The sermon painted a very powerful picture of this.  It showed a sheepfold with a flock of sheep grazing on the inside.  However, instead of a wooden gate securing the entrance to the pen, a shepherd sat in front of the doorway, guarding the entrance.

God is our Gate.  He will protect us.  He will protect me.  I only need to enter into His loving arms and let Him lead me onward.

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