He’s a ‘Hold On To You’ Kind of God – Repost

(Author’s Note: August means school is right around the corner, and the kids start 4th grade and kindergarten in a few days.  Plus, I start a new job after Labor Day – will blog about that soon since I addressed it in an earlier post.  So, I am taking a short break from writing new posts this month so I can focus on time with the kids and getting ready for the new job.  In the meantime, I am reposting pieces of my testimony that were published when I started the blog in October 2017). 

Once you belong to God, He keeps you, even if you don’t want to be kept. I’m thankful He doesn’t let His children go. (I know somebody just said ‘amen’ to that)!

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

I’m sure there were many ways God held on to me when I decided to walk out on my own, but one way was by keeping me in church. The whole time this mess was going on, I never stopped going to church. Weird, right? I really don’t even believe in Jesus at this point, but I am sitting in church!? I know. I know.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

On the surface, the thing that kept me in church was my parents. I knew they expected me to go, so I went. From the time I was 18 and moved out of my parents’ house, I found a church to attend in the difference places I lived. That was God keeping me. That wasn’t me. Now, I’m not saying that I went every Sunday, and I certainly wasn’t involved in the activities at the church like I was when I was young, but I still went. That’s one of the major things that kept me from totally going into oblivion. That, and God had a Christian husband in store for me, but I didn’t know that yet.

I’d known who Bill was since high school although we’d never spoken to each other that we can remember. But, we were in a group of friends who were hanging out while some of us were home on break over the Christmas holiday in 2000. Over those weeks of break, he and I met and started dating. That was 18 years ago, but God had Bill planned for me when He separated the dry land from the water and said it was good.

Bill grew up in a close-knit, Southern family just like I did. He was raised in church (the same church where his mom went as a girl with her family). He spent summer days running through the woods with his cousins, and he spent many a meal with his feet under the table at his grandmother’s house. It’s a little eerie how many similarities there are between his childhood and mine.

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Memmie’s house (Bill’s grandmother)

But all those similarities don’t negate the most important reason: Bill believes in Jesus. God knew that I would need a Christian husband to hold my hand and help lead me back to Him, so He sent me Bill.

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Bill and me – 2014

Bill and I met in December 2000. We got engaged in July 2003 and were married in June 2004. During the 3 years of our courtship, I don’t recall telling him a lot about my worldview although we did talk about it a few times before and after we got married. More recently, he told me those conversations scared him and that he prayed that I’d go back to my faith for the sake of our family.

Thankfully, God was working in my life to reconcile me to Himself.

It took a while.

He let me walk out on my own for a long time.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

In Psalm 81:11-12, God says, “But My people did not listen to My voice: and Israel did not obey Me. So, I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices.”

This verse makes me shiver; it is as if God were speaking specifically about me here because this is exactly what He let me do. He gave me over because that was what I wanted. He knew His child well enough to know that I had to learn the hard way, so to speak.

I was going to have to walk away to get back to Him.

In a recent Bible study, I heard Elizabeth Poplin explain why God gives His children over to their own devices. She said, “That’s what God does. We think we’ll get freedom out there, so we leave and taste it, but it doesn’t free us. He does. So we go back. We have some of the world in us when we come back. He will clean us up”.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest

And He’s kept us the whole time. He’s just waiting for us to get our fill of whatever it was we thought we wanted more than Him. He’s been watching. He’s been working. He’s been waiting – like the father in the famous parable of the prodigal son. God waited for me to look His way, and as soon as I did, He came running!

Hallelujah!

Please share your stories of how God held you!

6 thoughts on “He’s a ‘Hold On To You’ Kind of God – Repost

    • Hi Melissa, thank you for reading and commenting. I’m so thankful this post spoke to you :-). What you said reminds me of something I read in ESV commentary on Esther “even when God is most hidden, he is still present and working to protect and deliver his chosen people.” Hallelujah!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow!! So glad that I stumbled across this tonight! Great read, Heather! So God’s plans are so fascinating to me. When I look back over my life and those around me and how they intertwine and come together. Its amazing!

    So I’m the prodigal child right?! Yet, many times before I actually thought I was on my way back, but wasn’t. I just wanted the ring, the coat, the fatted calf. And that’s what I got, however that’s about all I got as well.

    I stayed out there a long-long time. And today I still don’t know why he chose me. To survive the things I’ve survived isn’t very common today. I have to believe God has a calling on my life in order not to get caught up in survivors guilt. He kept me out of harms way on many, many occasions, he kept my heart beating when I was trying to stop it, and kept it from busting when I was trying to get it to. I could go on and on, but how I feel about my life over the past 6 years is of one who walked through dark and wicked times with friends and others who continuously died right beside me and before me, yet somehow I managed to step over their bodies and keep it moving. Sorry if that’s too graphic, but its honest. It doesn’t make any sense for me to still be here, I’m extremely grateful that I am. Gods will not mine. His unmerited favor, that’s how he kept me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Time God Told Me to Leave My Full-Time Job (Repost) | Servant Girl Stories

  3. Pingback: I was the Prodigal (Repost) | Servant Girl Stories

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