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Monday, September 15, 2008

A bit about Emily-2-years-ago.

It's crazy, sometimes, to look back and realize just how far you've come. Many of you didn't know me two years ago, but if you did, you can attest to just how different I've become. It was only two years ago that I came to know Jesus. I was a 21 year old just living the day-to-day, not really sure why I was put on this out of control planet. I had been in a series of unsuccessful and semi-abusive relationships, lived with a number of discouraging and bitter roommates, and lived a rather self-destructive lifestyle. That all changed the day I went to my first Life Group. I still remember so many details... it was a Tuesday night, and I had just gotten out of my math class out at the college. Kristena Hayes literally dragged me to Meghan Edwardson's women's group, where I encountered God for the first time in my entire life. That night, I revealed secrets to complete strangers that I had never even admitted to my closest friends. I was blown away by the amount of love and support these women gave me, especially because I had JUST MET THEM! That night I struggled to forgive myself for the all of the bad decisions I had made, and began to find freedom from the bondage that had once tied me down. The Tuesday nights to follow were full of tears, laughter, some more tears, forgiveness, even MORE tears, and lots of love. The change wasn't overnight, but it wasn't until last night at the Stirring that I really saw for the first time just how far I've come. We talked about loving each other, and about how important forgiveness really is. Being able to love your enemies, and pray for the ones who have hurt you the most. Now, you see, the Emily-2-years-ago would have been weeping through the entire service. That Emily would have been struggling to forgive herself still, trying to come face-to-face with the consequences of her various poor decisions. The Emily-2-years-ago would have been finally stepping out of a very dark place, into the light... she would have been totally rocked by the idea of forgiveness. But last night, I realized that I've finally forgiven myself. God has always forgiven me, but I have finally forgiven MYSELF. There is really no better feeling in the world. I was able to pray for other women last night, who were dealing with the same things Emily-2-years-ago was dealing with. I was able to speak words of truth into them, and encourage them to break free of those lies. Last night, I was able to look back, and really appreciate how for God's taken me in the last two years. Some days I still struggle with the lies I once whole heatedly believed, but Emily-2-years-ago is gone. In her place stands a confident, loving, encouraging, free Emily. I don't even recognize that old Emily... she really has no place in this New life.

9 comments:

rev rock said...

great blog! are you sharing about life groups next week?

Anna said...

That's awesome Emily! I love hearing stuff like that, it's so encouraging!!! The awesome thing is that God is still working in you and there are so many more awesome changes to come. :)

Erica said...

It was so awesome to hear your story Emily. What a cool testimony. I love getting to know you.

Emily Faulknor Photography said...

Thanks for sharing that Emily. You are such a beautiful being that the Stirring community is extremely blessed to have. What a testimony you are!

Becky Moseley said...

What a great story of your refinement through fire! God used the tough stuff to shape you into who you are today, and I love who you are today!

Hugs to my twinsie.

nathan said...

one word ... fantastic ... I amazed by everything God is doing in your life ... I'm so grateful to know you and be on this journey with you ... this is only the beginning ...

sarah said...

You totally just blessed me...I'll have to tell you in person... :)

Meghan said...

you opened up a door in that life group that allowed God to move-whether you knew it then or not. you are an incredible, loving friend and I'm so blessed that you are a part of my life!
oh, you invented openness and vulnerability in life groups. ( : hehe.

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