I grew up in the church and for the longest time that's where my testimony ended. I was raised loving Jesus and I still do. I'd always repeat the salvation prayers in Sunday school and I always meant it, I'd sing all the songs, and I'd tell my friends about Jesus. I was serving a lot on worship teams and assistant teaching, but eventually I realized I wasn't getting spiritually fed myself. I'd try to stick with my commitments, especially since the praise I received from it felt wonderful. I was a little girl who had a deep passion, but a hurting heart.
Slowly, I quit my commitments and began to seek out that fulfillment I craved. Looking back, I know that I should have been studying on my own and letting the Holy Spirit teach me and lead me to someone to disciple me. But I didn't do that, I let my hurting heart grow hard and pushed the church away. I still loved Jesus, but I was drifting and lost. I was on a road of self destruction where I was constantly sabotaging myself and my relationships.
I didn't recognize that I'd become a toxic person. After years of loneliness and fruitlessly searching for fellowship I just didn't have a lot of love left in me. I remember calling out to Him during this time, begging to hear his voice like I did when I was younger, but I made no steps of repentance; I was too busy blaming everyone around me for my problems.
During those couple years it was like I had fallen in the mud and just didn't see the point in getting out of it, but that's what the world does, they wallow in their self pity and let the mud dry in layers over their skin, like a pig. As a Christian, we make the choice to get out of the mud. Like a lamb, we'll bleat to the Shepard until He pulls us out and let Him wash us off.
Speaking of mud, there was a time as a kid that my brothers were playing in a big mud pit. They wouldn't let me play too so I waited until they left to step in and watched my black, sparkly boots sink in. Once the mud was nearly over my toes I tried to pull myself out. But I couldn't. The more I tried to wiggle my feet and legs to get free the deeper I sunk. It got to the point where the mud was nearing the top of my boots, soon it would spill over and ruin the fluffy lining and my socks. So I finally yelled for help. A minute later my dad had me standing barefoot (my socks came off when he pulled me out) on a near by plank while he dug out my boots. If I had listened to my brothers, who said I would be too weak to pull myself out, or called for help the second I realized I was stuck then I probably could have spared my favorite boots.
I don't like coming to terms with my own weakness and I don't like asking for help, but those are fundamental parts of living life as a Christian and receiving forgiveness. We are not strong enough to face sin on our own and if we try we'll fail. All we can do the next time we see a mud puddle is to avoid it, step out of it a soon as we realize we're in it, or to call for help if it's already trapped us.
Psalm 40:2, "He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps."