Day 35: Lindsay Heale

Philippians 1:6 "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
2 Corinthians 5:15 "He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them."

I believed in Jesus from a young age. During my late high-school years, I began clinging to God during some really hard times in my life. However, as I began adulthood, I found myself entering a period of nine years where I really tried to do things on my own.
I barely opened the Bible and I leaned on my own understanding. When I did try to read the Bible, usually I didn't understand what I read. I learned that Jesus forgave my sins on the cross and I accepted it, but it ended there. I remember for years saying to myself, "now what?" I would hear sermons at church, but my heart was wounded and guarded, which made it difficult to receive the truth. I didn't see the power of the Holy Spirit in my life and felt hopelessly stuck in the way I thought and felt about myself and others.
It took a desperate situation for me to give my whole life to Jesus. I suffered with postpartum depression after the birth of my second daughter. I had always battled depression and anxiety, but this was the lowest point for me, with phrases like "what is the point of life" and "everything feels meaningless" buzzing around in my mind on a daily basis. I was unable to claw myself out the hopelessness I felt every morning.
In January 2022, almost 18 months into this battle, the Lord led me to confide in a nurse practitioner/sister-in-Christ about this struggle. After going over my medical history for some time, she suggested my problem could be spiritual. My heart was so far from God that I hadn't really considered this before. She talked to me about the authority we have in Christ as believers and deliverance from strongholds. This conversation led me to cry out to Jesus one evening that week, telling Him that the weight of this sadness was just too much for me to carry any longer. I told the Lord that I choose to forgive and I declared that I was no longer bound to depression and for the spirit of heaviness to leave in Jesus' name.
I went to bed that night unsure what the next day would hold, but I was hopeful for the first time in a long time. In the morning, the heaviness was gone! I knew I was different, but I couldn't explain it other than Jesus in His mercy, met me where I was, broken and surrendered before Him. It was the first time I truly came to the end of myself.
What I experienced over the next two years was a transformation in my heart that only the Holy Spirit could do. It felt as if I was asleep my whole life and the Lord woke me up! I was able to wean off of a medication, experiencing no side effects, which I wasn't able to do previously. I no longer had this dark cloud of hopelessness upon me. I felt a confident hope that was rooted in the Lord! I had been a chronic worrier, but now I received the peace of God! I had held onto resentments, disappointments, and hurt for years and I never knew how to let them go, but now I knew the One who I could give my cares to. The grace I received from Him made it possible for me to forgive. I had tried to be happy in the past and failed every time, but now I experienced the joy that comes from the Lord!
2023 brought me a deeper relationship with the Lord. I became so hungry for the Word of God and as I read the Word, so many scriptures came alive, which caused my mind and heart to change even more. This resulted in moments of profound grief and repentance, battling shame and condemnation, discovering lies I had believed, wrestling with fear, and experiencing layers of healing.
Through the many spiritual battles the past year, I've learned more about the truth of who God is and His amazing grace and who we are in Christ. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who sees our brokenness, and instead of turning His face away, He embraces us. I'm forever grateful that He continued to pursue me even when I stopped pursuing Him. He doesn't give up on us. He powerfully redeems and restores us! When I think about what Jesus has done for me at the cross, and the work He has started in me, I am in awe of Him. The gospel went from being a familiar story that I knew, about the forgiveness of sins, to becoming a real Person that transformed me from the inside out. What I couldn't do on my own - forgive, love, serve, be thankful, give grace, live for God- I could now do with Christ in me!
I had lived mostly unaware of my need for the Lord, but after I encountered Him, I became desperate for Him. He is everything to me now. There is no darkness in God. He is everything that is good and beautiful. His plans for us are good. His thoughts about us are good. He is a good, loving Father. It amazes me how God is so personal and intentional with each of us and that He is able to breathe life into the very things we thought were hopeless.
The Lord used many people on this journey, especially at Grace Chapel. I first came here in early 2019 feeling very unlovable, but the love that has been poured out to me over the years in many ways has been so touching, that it made me question what I thought I knew about God and Christians. It has been something the Lord has used to soften my heart tremendously.
I can't thank my brothers and sisters at Grace enough for your genuine faith and love that has made a huge impact on me and many others. Today, I have absolutely no doubt of the power of the Holy Spirit in my life! What the Lord has done in my heart and mind can only be a work of the Holy Spirit. I came to the Lord wanting to be healed, but He did much more than that. He gave me a relationship with Him that I treasure each day. He has given me new life!
"Heavenly Father, thank you for never giving up on me. You say that I will find You when I search for You with all of my heart and I pray Lord that You would reveal even more of Yourself to me. Thank You for taking on my sin, guilt, shame, depression, and anxiety on the cross. Forgive me for doing things my own way and in my own strength. I trade my ways for Your ways. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit that empowers me to overcome. Thank You that by the power of the Holy Spirit, I can walk in the light of Jesus. Thank You that everything I need is found in You. Reveal to me any lies I'm believing about You or my identity in You. Thank You Lord that because of the love You displayed for me on the cross, I belong to You. Thank You for the love, joy, and peace that You have freely given me and that is always available to me. In Jesus' name, Amen."

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