So I said “yes” to God and embraced the Cross, letting it demolish the bridge to hell I’d built, day by day and thought by thought. My mind was my fortress and my sanctuary, and I don’t use those words to be dramatic. That’s the truth, and that’s why I had to die to it.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2 NASB
This psalm was never going to be true for me as long as I retained the right to think what I wanted to – and therefore DO what I wanted to do. What begins in my mind becomes what I say and do and, ultimately, who I am. So yeah, I had to die to my own mind. And with any repentance comes actual change. It’s not just crying and saying sorry and feeling bad. There’s always a real change. Sometimes it’s big. When I was first saved, I threw out eleven 55-gallon garbage bags of books, CDs, DVDs, pictures, posters, journals, socks – you name it. I was new, and they had to go. And sometimes the change is small, like no longer indulging hateful thoughts about myself. Regardless, a change takes place in the aftermath of repentance. I am not the same, and moving forward afterwards is like stepping off a cliff into the new and unknown.
I want to share what it was like for me to step off this particular cliff. It was joyless and empty. Usually my repentance is followed by joy. Not this time. I am grateful to the Lord, but I’m just . . . empty and lifeless. I’m unbalanced. I’ve lived with this stronghold for so long that it’s absence is disorienting. I am awkward and ungainly, like a newborn foal trying to walk on ice. I don’t know who I am anymore and I don’t know what my life looks like now.
This repentance presented before me a crucial choice, and I made it. And He’s come in and empowered my choice with His grace. Martha said I’m experiencing the actual death of the Cross. And now I’m waiting for His resurrection life to rise. I died to the dependence on my mind as my source.
Now I’m waiting for Him. That’s something I was never willing to do before. I would just start analyzing and sorting through everything, so determined to define exactly what I was experiencing. Now I’m just . . . here. Waiting. No joy, no discernible faith, no nothing. This is a strange time for me.
But just because I don’t feel Him doesn’t mean He’s not there. That might go without saying for the more spiritually mature who are reading this, but I’m a newbie and it’s phenomenal to be walking this out in real time.
My reality is not determined by what I feel and sense. My person is not defined by how I think and feel. Jesus Christ is my life and my reality, so I need for His life to rise in me. And by His grace, I am able to wait quietly until it does. This is new!