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What does sanctification look like?

For nearly 4 years now, with all I've gone through, I've heard many say, you're being sanctified, or people who say "I've been saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost".  But that's about as far as it gets.  So you ask, what does sanctify mean?  And they will say, it means God's changing you.  Still clueless?  So was I.  But it goes something like this....

Four years ago, if I had a bad hair day, I got mad.  I literally would throw my brush across the room, scream or cry.  I'd get out the door to work and had this road rage.  I would ride on the bumpers of cars in front of me trying to push them out of the way.  If that didn't work, I'd speed up to 90 and pass them.  I had several speeding tickets.  I would complain under my breath at work never happy and always mad at someone for acting like they were perfect.  I wouldn't get up to help anyone but would studiously ignore that they were unloading groceries or whatever.

So I accepted Christ when my life turned upside down and things got worse.  I went into crying spells and depression.  I had all kinds of medical ailments, mysterious car troubles, etc.  When I hit a pothole and did $500 worth of damage, I sat and cried.  My son might ask what was wrong as I would sit on the side of the road with my head on the steering wheel crying.  I could cried for days over that.  I would also feel as if God hated me and start blaming Him for all that was going on.  Truth be told, while satan does the doing, God DOES allow it to happen.  But why?

Fast forward to last summer (over 3 years after coming to Christ) and I got caught in a mud bog on my back country road on the way home from Wednesday night service, and 2 tires of my new leased vehicle slid into the drainage ditch.  Years before, I'd have fumed at my landlord for having dug the ditch on that narrow road, I'd have put my head on the steering wheel and cried for perhaps half an hour or so.  This time, I got out, tucked my skirt up in the waste band and walked around the car in my dress shoes in the mud to see how badly I was stuck.  Then I called the landlord who came up in her pickup to pull me out.  We couldn't find anywhere to hook a chain so I'm there with a flashlight digging in the glove box for the manual to see what to do.  She pulled me out and I got home late and got my son in bed late and washed the mud from my shoes and finally got to bed.  I never cried, I never got mad at God.  Truth is....I kinda laughed.  After everything, here I was stuck in a ditch.  Like is this the best satan can do now?  I'd have thought he'd have come up with something more after two busted rims, a shot A/C unit and other car troubles I'd had. 

I've noticed that I've had quite a few bad hair days without brush throwing.  Instead, I clip my hair up and go like it is, or put in a headband and look as if I just crawled from bed but oh well.  I don't drive like a maniac now.  Another thing I've noticed is that before I would be angry and muttering about whomever it was wasn't watching what they were doing and caused the accident that was tying up traffic.  Now, I wonder what is tying it up but then use that time to pray and sing.  And when I pass the accident, I actually feel compassion for whomever may have been hurt and pray they're ok.  If I'm late, I call and let them know...no big deal.

So what's the latest?  Well yesterday the doctor told me I have a tumor in my foot and I need surgery, at least 3 days completely OFF my foot, and then 2 to 3 weeks on crutches.  I'm a single mother with a child with ADHD and aspergers.  How do I stay off my feet?  I have no vacation days left at work, how do I miss without pay?  And on January 26th an evangelist visiting our church prayed over me and the pain in my foot completely vanished.  I stood before the church and let them know I'd been healed.  I bounced on my foot and was elated and thanking God.  Several days later and the pain returned.  Rather than get mad at God, I was mad at the devil and saying God doesn't do things halfway so I know that He healed my foot.  Well, as the pain persisted, I finally decided it was time to see the podiatrist.  Even though I felt God healed the foot, I was still feeling the pain nonetheless. 

I can tell you that I sat in the doctor's office and cried, needing consoling.  I thought the worst and went into a pit of depression and thought God really hated me.  I can tell you that.  But that isn't what happened.  Instead I called the family to let them know and made arrangements so that they can help me when this is done.  I spoke with my boss and I may ultimately set it for the Friday before Memorial Day so I can have 3 full days to recuperate.  I will go to church tonight and request prayer that this goes away and that surgery isn't needed, but if it ultimately comes down to requiring the surgery, so be it. 

So does God hate me?  NO!  He wants me to heal from all the anger I had inside from years of trauma in childhood.  All the crying was cleansing me, strengthening me, teaching me that it's not the end of the world when bad things happen. 

Now people can say God wants us healed, or that God doesn't want these things happening to us, or that maybe there's some sin in our life....people say what feels right to them and sounds good to their ears, what they "think" is needed.  But people are fallible fleshly beings.  What does God say?

Romans 5:3-4  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

We know what Job went through that God allowed and many will say the O.T. was done away with through Christ.  Yet we know that in 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul said:  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness".  This includes the O.T. 

We may hear these verses yet still have a hard time coming to grips with them thinking we're cursed or God hates us.  It is during these times we either backslide into rebellion or we decide to follow Ephesians 6:30 "and having done all, to stand".  God will bring you to the point where you do see what He's doing and realize He does not hate you.  Paul learned to be content in all things and God wants you to be content too.  But contentment is not something that just happens, it is something you learn.  Let God teach you!

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Comment by Richard L. Broch, Sr. on March 26, 2014 at 8:16pm

Char,

Excellent post.

Please accept a big old fashioned Christian cyber spaced hug from someone who understands............

Grace and Peace.

Comment by journeyman on March 26, 2014 at 8:01am

As a friend who has been a part of your growth process I am so delighted to hear these words of yours in my head as I read them. Our journeys while different are still filled with the blessings that come from God through the greatness of his word! How great is our God! We can sing his praises in the storms! Nothing will stop us from sharing the wonderful work he is doing in our lives. God is with us always and in all things. You are a witness to the power of God in our lives. Thank you for making my day!

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