"Happy Birthday to Me" by Heidi Avery

This month marked the 10 year anniversary of my salvation. It’s wonderful looking back over the last 10 years to see all that God has done. I love combing through the years to find God’s precious and faithful handprint throughout my life. There are blessings there that I’d surely miss if I didn’t take the time to look back. I’m convinced that this is why we truly can consider it pure joy, whenever we face trials of many kinds. (James 1:2) We can count on the blessings in the midst of our trials we just might not see them until we look back.

My trials over the last 10 years haven’t been so big really. I am blessed with a husband who loves me, 3 children, a warm home and better than anything I am a treasured child of God. My biggest issue has been understanding and dealing with the person I was before salvation in light of the person I am supposed to be in Christ. The way I think about life and people now is completely opposite of what I thought before. I’ve had to undergo some major Spiritual surgery. It’s been a slow process, but the results have been worth it and I say that confidently, even though I still have a long way to go.

Before I was saved I was dealing with insecurity and lack of self-confidence, but without any purpose. Today, my insecurity still exists, but is progressing as I find my security in God. Nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:39), that’s all the security I need. Today I still lack confidence in my self, but I am finding that there is no “self” confidence that will satisfy my need to feel significant. The only confidence I need is in Christ and I get that by trusting and believing that He goes with me (Deut. 31:6) and that He has a plan for me (Jer. 29:11). Half the battle for me was believing those promises when I felt so undeserving and so unworthy.

I used to find my worth in people and the world, though it’s a tough habit to break today I am learning to find my worth in God. Knowing and believing that He sent a Savior for me and that He continues to faithfully refine me and sanctify me. I am so grateful for the constant reminder that I was meant for more.

I’m far, far, far from perfect still and what’s wonderful about that is that I don’t have my eyes fixed on trying to be perfect anymore, at least not in the way that I did before. Today I just have my eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. (Heb. 12:2) And, I have the promise of being perfected upon His return. I’m waiting with great expectation for my Savior.

So, in celebration of my 10 years in Christ I’ve decided to share something a little personal with you. Following is a poem that I wrote just 5 years ago and it describes the mental battle I faced then and still face now, just differently. The difference now is that because of the living and active Holy Spirit and His guiding Word I am more aware of my faulty thinking and I now know that I am set free from my sin. My old self was crucified with Christ so that my body of sin might be done away with, that I should no longer be a slave to my sin. (Rom. 6:6) I believe that and the closer I get to God the more I experience it first hand.

Praying for you… that as you look back over your own life you see His Work and the many blessings waiting there just for you to discover!

My Renewal

I am wretched, impure and completely unrefined. My mind is corrupt with thoughts that I pray none will ever find.

I am selfish, so angry and full of bitter envy. Insecure and discontent, I look to the world to complete me.

Worry and anxiety find their place deep within my mind, and my condition of desperation is finely intertwined.

My pride controls my actions and twists what I perceive. I am imprisoned by it even though I am always free to leave.

The devil knows me well and is tempting me once again. I recognize him and embrace him as I knowingly step into my sin.

I ache in my pitiful misery, secretly blaming everyone around me. The painful reality of who I am and who I am not is all that I can see.

But, even though I slip into this darkness easily I know I don’t belong. My God is where I take refuge and He is where I am ultimately drawn.

I cling to the promises He gave me in the suffering of His Son. I sit undeserving, yet redeemed by the mercy of the Holy One.

I belong to Christ! He delivered me from this evil wickedness. And in His eyes and by His grace I am free of shame and called blameless.

I prayed for my heart to be renewed and the Lord has been faithful to deliver, but I must continue to give up this life in complete surrender.

Though I am hindered by my weaknesses, by them His strength is made perfect. Even when I feel powerless I do find power in the Holy Spirit.

My fight is with my flesh, the devil and the world’s wicked ways, but I am not alone, for my God is with me in every one of my days.

I will put on His armor and be prepared for the dark days to come. I will stand firm with sword in hand and will not succumb to the sinister one.

I rebuke you Satan! I say with my strength restored. Release me from your grasp in the name of my God and Lord.

I praise the Lord and rejoice in my troubles, for they are refining my heart. Glory to God as His will is taking over and mine is beginning to depart.

I see the intended purpose of Christ, which is the salvation of my soul. So, the growing and maturing of my faith is my eternal goal.

It is not in the daylight where there is no darkness and I can see so clearly, but in the light through the darkness, what is unseen, that I want to know so dearly.

Therefore I will not lose heart, even though outwardly I am wasting away. For the inward view is of my working renewal day by blessed day.

Scripture references: Romans 7:24, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 John 2:16, Romans 6:6-7, Ephesians 6:11-13, 1 Peter 1:6-9, 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

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2 Responses

01.24.10

I love that its your spiritual birthday sweet friend! I am going through a small personal trial of my own today, and that really inspired and blessed me. In his sermon today Pastor Joe referenced Ps. 139:8-10, which also touched my heart today. "If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me." Wherever we are in our walk with God (closely walking or walking so far away we can barely see him) he cares; he loves us; he supports us … through good times and bad!
Love your poem!
Kelli

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01.24.10

I can't believe it's only been 10 years, I feel like I don't know you any other way. I remember when you wrote that poem and it touched me just as much today as the first day I read it. I've followed in your foot steps for 33 years now and I hope that I can continue to in my faith. I love you sis.

Dawn

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