Sunday, October 5

Under and back up again [2/3]

This is part 2 of Lisa's testimony. If you missed it: part 1.


It’s difficult to discuss, but I went through times of depression as a teenager. One friend in particular urged me to get help repeatedly which I’m very grateful for now. I never saw a professional counselor, but a wise youth leader gave me a revitalizing exercise. She had me make a list of all my negative thoughts. Then we went through the list together in light of the truth of God’s word. With a red pen, we crossed out words and phrases and wrote “Lie”. We studied 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Many of my thoughts were not obedient to Christ because at their root they were lies. Examining every thought can be exhausting, but it’s amazing how effective it is when the Bible is involved.

I was a counselor at a Christian camp the summer before college. The silly fun and fresh air was entirely to my taste. But mostly, teaching young women about the Bible was so rewarding. It was incredibly refreshing to ask direct questions about the camper’s relationship with God, to listen to their problems and joys and point them to the truths that would save them, that could make all the difference if the Holy Spirit would illuminate their hearts, and so often I watched as he did.

Since then, I’ve taught Bible studies off and on for various women’s groups. The boost to my personal study is a blessing, and the truth of God’s word to change lives has been demonstrated to me. I do get sidetracked from the type of important information that will really change people’s lives, but I’m so glad God has let me be involved in his plan in this way.

In college, I realized what a large percentage of my spiritual life came from the traditions and community of my church. Taken away from that, it was me and God in the wide world. I quickly realized, where else could I turn but to Him? There were many small choices to make and I celebrated my freedom but tried to honor God too. The sophomore and junior years of college were spent in a Christian sorority, where I acquired many stories. The fun was some of the best I’ve ever had. The community was sometimes a challenge, but to my surprise some of the women I never would have picked for friends I came to love as a valuable part of our body.

Some of the times I have most heavily depended on God was when there were important choices to be made. As a teenager I had thought dating was pointless unless one wished to consider marriage. So it happened that at age 20, Ben Morrell was the first man I seriously considered. The choice was difficult, since I was enjoying my life as a single woman and was seriously frightened by all the unknowns in a romantic relationship. But I prayed and journal-ed and God said “Go.”

He has re-affirmed this choice and the choice to marry Ben in so many ways since then. He was shown me that although being single has its benefits in service to Him, his plan for Ben and I was to refine each other by making our selfish ways very apparent, by teaching us daily forgiveness and giving us mundane and very real ways to serve each other. Our love and happiness with each other has grown. God also knew that we would need to depend on each other in the years ahead.

To be continued...



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