Since we have so many new members here I thought I would take a minute to let them get to know me a bit. My name is Shelle and I have been a Christian since I was 15. That's...let me do the math...26 years now that I have been walking with the Lord. Or, should I say, He's been walking with me.
After becoming a Christian I had no clue what to do next. I was raised in an abusive home and had no real foundation in the principles of Godly living, so I was really a sheep accounted for the slaughter early in my Christian walk. As a result, I did everything a Christian should'nt. I got into alcohol, drugs, sex, you name the sin and I committed it. I rivaled Paul for the chief of all sinners role, I assure you. I kept drifting and drifting from the things of God, but always believed in Jesus, and even in the depths of my sin would share Jesus with others. I felt like I was just holding on by a fingernail all of those years until...
About ten years ago I had begun to believe Jesus wasn't real. My marriage was suffering, I was in a dark depression that I couldn't get out of. We were having terrible financial difficulties. Our families hated us. You name the trial and we were in it or had already suffered through it. So, one night I had just had enough. It was late at night and I was lying in bed literally screaming at God in my head. Cursing at Him, actually, in the most vile ways I could think of. Telling Him I didn't think He was real and that the Bible was all a lie.
My head was spinning so fast and the vile, disgusting thoughts coming so quickly that I couldn't even keep up with them all. Then, in one instant, everything stopped, all of the thoughts in my head were gone and my mind was completely silent. I sat quietly, not moving, when I heard as clear as a bell a male voice in my head say, "Shelle, you do NOT speak to me in that manner." I was in awe. Complete and total awe. There was no fear or condemnation. All I felt was peace. And then came the repentance...for months after that I was drawn to learn everything I could about Jesus and the Bible. He led me to the right websites and the right people. To the right books, radio and television programs. I was behind and I knew it. I felt it. I also felt a tugging at my heart to repent of all of the sins I had been keeping secret all of these years, including the night I was the most ashamed of~that night I screamed and cursed at Him.
So, I determined one night that this was the night for my, (for a lack of a better term) COME TO JESUS MEETING. I stayed up all night, crying, pouring my heart out to Him, begging His forgiveness for all of the vile horrible things I had done and said in my rebellion and unbelief. I asked Him to bring to mind every single thing I needed to repent of, and He did. It was the most gut-wrenching, painful, humiliating, humbling prayer I have ever prayed in my life. I finally knew what He had done for me and what I had been doing to Him all of those years that he had never left me nor forsaken me. He saw my beginning from my end and knew this day would come. He knew it would be painful and that I would come to the realization that I had brought every bit of the pain on myself by my choices and behavior. I had no excuse to doubt or blame Him anymore.
Although it was the most painful night of my life, it was also the most beautiful. In my most horrible confessions of the most vile things, as I was begging His forgiveness, I felt the most overwhelming peace and comfort that I have ever known. It is absolutely indescribable. I had been forgiven and cleansed in a way I had never known before. I had a full knowledge of His love and grace in my life~where He had carried me, placed me, guided me, and led me to THIS room at THIS time to pray THIS prayer and to be filled with THIS forgiveness, redemption and release. The burden had been lifted. It was gone. Delt with. Put as far east as far west. Never to be remembered against me again.
Since that time I have prayed one, and only one prayer consistently: "Jesus, I want less of me and more of You." And, everyday He has been providing it, answering it. Drawing me closer to Him, His word, His truth. Helping me to overcome, to conquer, to finish the race strong and reach the prize. So, for what it's worth, that's my story. Not my complete story, of course, but enough that you can glimpse a small piece of my heart and what it took for Jesus to get me here.
*Tears streaming* In all of my of kicking and screaming He loved me anyway; and for that, I will be eternally grateful. I love you, Jesus. Thank you for saving a wretch like me. Thank you that I am bought and paid for by Jesus...