It wasn't enough that we began to read more books, pray more, and spend time with our church family.
It wasn't even enough that we spent 21 days fasting in January; abandoning all social media and distractions.
God wanted more.
God had a plan to do more.
My year began with the motto "Change", and I wholeheartedly believed there would be...
But, EXTREME CHANGE is what (I'm now learning), He set out to do.
It took being in a dark place.
Under cold and dry / hot and humid conditions.
Away from the comfort of my own home.
Away from familiar pots & pans, familiar coffee maker, customary craft time.
For me to understand that He wanted a DEEPER relationship.
Romans 8:15 - "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba Father!'"
Psalms 145:18-19 - "The LORD is near to all who call upon Him. To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desires of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and save them."
God purposely removed the noise of everyday life, and brought me to a place of having NO OTHER CHOICE but to pray and study my bible more. Because there was just NOTHING else for me to do. I don't really watch tv. The tv I did/do watch is usually shows on Netflix or Hulu. I can't craft if all my stuff is in boxes. I can't shop because I have no where to put all the bags. I can't share that many photos on Instagram, because I'm really not doing much of anything. He created an environment for Him & I to bond. It took ridding myself of these things (for more than 21 days), for the Holy Spirit to begin showing me things within my soul that I didn't know existed. Hurt that I encountered as a teen, that was affecting my confidence now as an adult. Lingering offenses and insecurities.
I'll share more later on, but let me just make a point...
The time I generally used in living my life has been dedicated to worship.
Spent learning about myself.
And I had to be told the truth about myself,
as difficult as it was to realize and accept,
for there to be any REAL CHANGE.
Because, after all, I declared "CHANGE" was going to be an integral part of my life this year.
Not just the change of address, or hair length or even wardrobe.
But inner change.
Understanding the need to become a better person.
And equipped to share my story.
And although "my cave experience" is possibly coming to an end, [Praise The Lord!];
the experience (change) itself, within the cave, must be continual and uninterrupted.
2 Corinthians 3:18 - "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."
Romans 12:2 - "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."