When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

Why Share our Storms and Sewers? (It just might save a life!)

**Below is a Devotional that I wrote for a local city website, ourcityonahill.net

Because it is so personal in nature, I wanted to share it on my blog as well!

To God Be All The Glory!

GoGod

Storm Sewers

Author~Katie Wilson

(A psalm of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.)

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”

Psalm 57:1(ESV)

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(A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had slept with Bathsheba.)

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”

Psalm 51:1-2(ESV)

Prelude to a Share:

Some may wonder, “Why SHARE the storms and sewers of life?” Let me tell you why I have chosen to do just that. First and foremost, my friend at “The Well”(The Samaritan Woman in John 4) inspired me. If she could be changed in one day, going from shameful harlot to joyful herald, proclaiming, “Come, meet a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” And the Word says that that one question from that one chick caused many to believe and many others to go check Him out for themselves; then why in the world would I ever hide how Jesus has made me new! (I’m still a work in progress!)

That should be reason enough but there is more. When someone tells you that your vulnerability has encouraged them to act on what the Lord has been telling them and that they are now going back to help others trapped in the bondage they themselves were trapped in or that they were inspired by your transparency and they have now decided to use “their ugly” to help others find freedom in Christ, or when someone tables their suicide plans, in part, due to your testimony, suddenly you do not care so much about the possibility of the enemy using your past to try and disqualify you from a Kingdom Building destiny. In fact, that is one of the enemies biggest lies that we have fallen for for centuries! That which we lay in the light, can not be used by the darkness any longer! To God Be All The Glory from every single part of my life story!

Storm Sewers

Some storms you see coming. The clouds build slowly; the wind picks up; the showers start with a drizzle. BUT some storms come completely out of nowhere. You don’t have time to take cover before the monsoon hits and when the storm has passed, there is tremendous brokenness in its wake.

It was just a regular day. I was 21 years old and just like most 21 year olds, the world revolved around me: my studies, my friends, my fun, my future, my family etc…but the last one was about to be redefined forever. The phone rings, the school asked for my boyfriend (who would ultimately be my husband) and they proceed to tell him that my dad has died and he needs to stay with me until my brother can call with the news. For the next 15 minutes he had to sit with me, knowing my world was about to be rocked forever! Tears welling up in his eyes, he keeps trying to hug me but he can’t tell me anything. Needless to say, I was asking a million questions. I was confused and had absolutely no idea the phone call was about me. You can only imagine my layers of shock when the 2nd phone call came. One phone call ushered in my “daddyless” tomorrows. One phone call dropped a “twister” that blindsided me. My faith was not alive and active when I was 21. I believed “daddyless” was my identity, thus filling that void with anything but God for years. Storms can derail us into self-pity and “why me?” Have you ever been blindsided by a storm?

Sewers are underground. They are in the dark and full of messes we have made ourselves! They are not made to be lived in. If you spend much time there, you will carry “its aroma” with you as you go. Do you remember “Pig-Pen” from the comic strip Peanuts? Everywhere he went, he had a “cloud of dirt” around him. When we believe “our sewers” are our home, we let our brokenness pave our future.

A 17 year old, with a laundry list of poor choices, scared, and faithless, I decided to “not choose life” at a cross road. What is one more bad choice when you’ve perfected the art of foolishness? One car ride, one signature, one groggy trip home ushers in “shameful” tomorrows. We are not blindsided in a sewer; we are just blinded beneath the muck and mire we buried ourselves in. Needless to say, my faith was not alive and active at 17. I believed my “scarlet letter” was my identity, thus filling that void with anything but God for years. “Sewers” can derail us into shame, self-hatred and “that’s me.” Have you ever been buried in a sewer?

I shared a storm and a sewer that left marks on my time line but because of That Jesus, they do not define me. Paul said he would not boast except in the cross of Christ which is where grace is grounded (Gal. 6:14) and in his weaknesses which show his great need for grace. (2 Cor. 12:9) Grace eliminates boasting, because it is a free gift! I am living proof that one can not only survive, but thrive, in the aftermath of storms and sewers. The joy and peace are real and more tangible than anything I can see with the human eye. The God of Hope gave me a radical heart transplant on Dec. 7, 2007. The level of my peace and joy is directly proportional to my level of trust in My Jesus! A new wine skin began to be filled with new wine from that day forward, and there was no turning back, no turning back!

In the book “The White Umbrella” By Mary Frances Bowley she writes:

“It recently struck me that Paul’s pastoral ministry would have been cheapened if his testimony glossed over his shameful past of murdering followers of Christ. Have you thought about that? What if all his writings to the New Testament churches included ONLY the most recent truths the Lord revealed to him? What if he never reminded us of the dark stains of sin marking his former life? It is precisely his violent history that made the Lord’s transformation of his life so remarkable.”

That paragraph got me! It made me crazy nuts over GRACE and crazy excited to be bold with ALL my life, if it means magnifying HIM! How selfish I have been with my freedom-BUT NOT ANY MORE!

I pray my transparency offers you hope! If God made me new, HE can and will make you new too!

**I am including a link to a lesson I was asked to teach at a local women’s study. I do this in no way to glorify myself but to glorify Christ. My session was on the “Woman at the Well” and when one of your mentors. friends, and teachers tells you that she believes you are to share your testimony in your teaching, you can’t help but say YES! (Especially when that friend is Rica McRoy!) I am also including a link to all the teachings from the Thrive Women’s Community Study, held at Cove Methodist.

Thrive Teaching Archive-Overwhelmed Week 7-Katie Wilson

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you so much for being my safe place, my refuge, my shelter in the storms of life. You said that “in this world, you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome this world.” (John 16:33) You promised your Presence, not a pain free existence, and YOU are more than enough. Thank you for the comfort and peace you have provided in past storms, and thank you for the strength to weather whatever may come “OUR” way!

Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy, when I have been responsible for the storm. You never left me in “the sewer” of self.

“I waited and waited and waited for GOD. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from the deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. You taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and More people are seeing this; they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.” (Psalm 40:1-3) (MSG)

Amen!

Reflection:

We are always in a storm, headed out, or headed back in. Where are you right now?That is the nature of our fallen world. However, Christ says, “take heart, I have overcome the world.” and He says, “Greater is HE who is in you than he who is in the world.”

If in the “sewer” that we brought upon ourselves, may we acknowledge our sin, refocus on the face of our Savior, and begin the process of making things right with those we may have hurt along the way! May we praise HIM in the sewer!

If in a storm totally out of our control, may we take refuge in the shelter of HIS wings. May we stand firm on HIS promises, of who HE IS and who HE says we are! May we praise HIM in the storm!

Treasure Hunt: (How does the Lord bring good from all these forms of storms?)

Matthew 8:23-27 (Literal Storms)

1 Peter 4:13-16 (Suffering for our Savior)

Jonah 1:11-15 (Sewer of self)

Faith In Action:

If in a “sewer of self”, I will tell one person, who loves and follows Jesus, my struggle.

If in a “storm”, I will write out Habakkuk 3:17-18, Psalm 73:25-26, Acts 16:25 every day this week, whether I feel like it or not!

“Though the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” ~ Hab 3:17-18

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” ~ Psalm 73:25-26

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other PRISONERS were listening to them.” ~ Acts 16:25

If “on the Mountain Top”, pray for the Lord to open your eyes to those hurting around you and with one person this week, share the comfort that the Lord has given you in past struggles!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~ 2 Cor 1:3-4

***I felt ,beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the Lord wanted me to include one of our local Christ centered resources here. Choose Life of North Alabama offers free, confidential, one-on-one Christ-centered counseling and support in their Healing Hands program, that embraces and walks through restoration in Christ with the post-abortive. They are a prime example “of those comforting others in any trouble with the comfort they themselves receive from God.”

You, sweet sister, are not alone! You are dearly loved and cherished by a good, Grace giving God, who showed that grace and love through the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, for you. HIS redemption is for you, no matter what lies you have believed in the past. The joy and peace on the other side of this restoration is REAL and the enemy knows it full well. He just doesn’t want you to know it! Fall into the arms of Jesus and let the healing begin.

***I am praying for each one of you out there and believing God for freedom! Please feel free to contact me personally katiewilson40@gmail.com . We share with the Lord for forgiveness but we share with others for healing. That was revolutionary for me and the enemy hates it when God’s children start to figure that out! The darkness has no power over that which is in the light! I say all of this because :

“…the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Psalm 107:2

Contributor~ Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide!
A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel
Forgiven and Free
Living a life that says:
COME AND SEE!

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