IGNITE Class 12 intern, Kenadie, just finished the IGNITE Program and shares what the Lord did in her life.
Part of life, part of being human, is having problems. We all have them. Whether our problems are internal, with another person, or because of past experience the problems innate to humanity need to be fixed. If something doesn’t happen in reaction to those issues, we become stagnant and unable to move forward. This is precisely the position I was in a year ago. I was hurting and more than anything else I just wanted to not feel anything.
The Lord broke into my life this year in a way I could never have imagined. I saw His goodness in the people He put around me. His relentless love was lived out in a way I had never seen before. When His love was shone so brightly, it exposed the hurt and pain I was holding onto. I saw for the first time how much I had hardened and locked up my heart. I figured if my heart was rock hard and locked up behind a thousand walls, I didn’t have to feel hurt. My problems could go away. But, experiencing for myself His goodness despite my failures, broke me. It broke my heart to know how time and time again I had turned down the love He was offering me. I was looking for enjoyment and satisfaction in all the wrong places, and when that didn’t satisfy I blamed God for not being what I wanted Him to be, and I shut down. When un-dealt with sin began to eat away at my heart, I tried to shut down even more to ignore the fact that I was rotting from the inside out. So, I got to IGNITE hurting and in complete denial that I wasn’t able to feel any emotion.
It didn’t take God long to completely strip me of that. He didn’t let me hold onto any hurt or pain or keep any wall up. At first, it terrified me to let walls down. I realized how much I needed those walls to come down in order for the Lord to work in my heart but I still didn’t want to let anyone in just in case they hurt me. But the Lord’s love won! I don’t know how the Lord broke through those walls, but He did. Once He was in I never wanted Him to leave. This new intimacy with my Creator was everything my heart had been crying out for. In that place of surrender and vulnerability, I found freedom. The act I was trying to uphold no longer had a hold on me and in that freedom was incredible peace.
My natural tendency is still to put up walls. I still want to shut down and ignore problems so that I don’t have to feel anything. When relationships get hard, I would rather hide than take the time to humbly talk it out. But the work the Lord began in IGNITE isn’t over yet. The things He taught me during training, field time, and re-entry I’m now getting an opportunity to put into practice at home. And it’s good. It isn’t good because it’s easy and fun and how I want it to look. It’s good because the Lord is in it. It’s good because I can go to sleep every night knowing that His love for me is enough to heal all wounds. It’s good because, for the first time, His love is changing everything. Instead of scraping by, I can now live abundantly. I’m living the best life.