From Darkness to Light

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From Darkness to Light

This group is for those with a dark past. Walking in redemption can be difficult; especially when our past tries to rise up and bite us. Let's use this forum to share those struggles and offer encouragement and resources to one another.

Members: 16
Latest Activity: Oct 19

 Surrender

Over the past week, I have been praying for the ability to give everything I am and have to God. I sing in church and in the car that I surrender all, but the truth is; I don’t know how to surrender. I was the kid on the street who had to fight to survive. I was the only one I could rely on. I only ever learned how to fight; where I come from, surrender means death.

 

During my prayer, God revealed two things to me. One, the first step to surrender is obedience. I examined my life to determine where I have been disobedient (something that is sometimes difficult to see). I spent the next few days praying over my daily activities, seeking God’s direction in what I needed to change. I found my answer in the book of Daniel. “Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice foods or with the wine which he drank.” (1:8) Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah not only grow stronger in body and physical strength, but also “God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.” (1:17) I decided a good place to start was to bring my body into obedience. How can I expect to see manifestations of the Spirit in my life, if I am unwilling to do what the Spirit requires? So, I have begun a 2 week Daniel’s fast.

The second thing God revealed to me is that we, as a body, have forgotten how to worship. I am still a fairly new Christian, so I don’t have anything to compare worship to. I know John 4:23-24 says that the Father seeks those who worship Him in spirit and in truth, but I thought that’s what I’ve been doing. I needed to consult some spiritual mothers; and I learned that there was a time when worship meant falling on our knees or prostrating ourselves before the Lord. Today, we stand, we dance, we shout, and we raise our hands; we honor Him with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. (Matthew 15:8) But on our knees is a place of humility and surrender. “The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way.” (Psalms 25:9) I realize that if I want to learn to surrender, I must assume a stance of humility physically and mentally. In Revelation 4:10 the 24 elders fall down before Jesus and worship Him forever. To truly honor Him, I can do no less.

 

The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel–Isaiah 29:19

Discussion Forum

Let it Glow! :)

Started by Daniel Frei Aug 29, 2012. 0 Replies

Matthew 5:14-16 14You are the light of the world--like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see.  15Don't hide your light under a basket!  Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine…Continue

Sometimes We are Waiting on God When God is waiting on Us

Started by Tara Deihm Sep 8, 2011. 0 Replies

Sometimes we ask God to give us abilities that are already within in us; to give us things in which  we already have the necessary tools to obtain; and to provide us with growth that we already are…Continue

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Comment by Tara Deihm on July 30, 2012 at 3:49pm

Sarah,

Thank you for sharing your struggles. I think it helps to know that I am not alone in my thinking and emotions. The following is a post I placed on Facebook this morning. Maybe it will help.

 

      "I know that believing that a person’s life has truly changed is sometimes difficult, especially if that person’s actions hurt you in the past. Therefore, when my past tries to creep up on me and tell me that I am not worthy of goodness and life, I will tell it: “I know, but Jesus redeemed me anyway.”"

 

      I understand now that I am NOT worthy. But God's love is not contingent on my worthiness. He loves because he loves me. Simple, with no complications.

Comment by Sarah Salazar on July 29, 2012 at 11:52pm
I am a single mom of two kids and I pray everyday that they dont make the same mistakes I did. Growing up I did a lot of things just to feel like someone cared and loved me I'm not proud of the things I did. So when I started going back to church and I would hear how much Jesus loves me I couldn't believe it becomes of the sins I committed. But one sunday someone at my church prayed for me and she helped me realize that Jesus does love yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I still have my days where I don't believe it and I stumble but then I pray for God to give me the strength not to give up and for me to feel his love.
Comment by Tara Deihm on November 21, 2011 at 9:18pm

April,

My experience is that those who have struggled the most carry the greatest amount of love. Jesus said, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." (Luke 7:47) I have a history of committing some seemingly heinous sins, but inside I was just a little, hurting girl crying for help. When God comes in and takes over, a person is never the same. I am so grateful for second chances, and third . . . and fourth . . . and fifth . . .

Comment by April S. on November 20, 2011 at 6:53pm

I have come a long way from where I was before. Struggling with anxiety, fear, and lonliness at a young age and feeling like no one understood me. Begging for God or at least someone to stop the pain I was dealing with. He finally answered with the diagnosis of an Anxiety Disorder and medication/treatment that saved my life. I have a much stronger faith in God because of it. I still struggle from time to time and wish I didn't have this illness and being ashamed of all the pain it caused those around me but I know I was given this for a reason.

Comment by Tara Deihm on July 7, 2011 at 10:23am

Claiming The Lost

“These were his instructions to them: ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.’” -Luke 10:2 (NLT)

Last Saturday Don came home very upset over a young woman he met who showed such desperation. She was ravenous with hunger, so he gave her two meals and prayed for her. As he turned to leave the woman asked for a hug and clung to him with all of her strength. When he told me about her, I felt compelled to go out with him to find this young lady. What we found was that she is not homeless, she is bound. Men control what this woman does; they would not allow us to talk to her. We are forced to pray for God’s intervention in her life until He gives us other instructions concerning her.


If we do not claim the lost souls on the streets, the pimp will, the drug dealer will. The enemy builds his empire from the broken and hopeless; yet we know that our God is a God of redemption, healing, and hope. The harvest is in the inner-city just as much as it’s in Africa, India, and China. We past the harvest on our way to church to hear about how our missionaries in South America are adding to Christ’s church; yet we cannot see the ripe field that are before us each day. Pray to the Lord to send more workers into His fields, and if He is calling you as a worker; it’s time to answer the call.

Blessings,
Tara Deihm

Comment by Tara Deihm on June 9, 2011 at 12:18pm

When God Speaks

 

When God speaks to me, not only do I experience a deep sense of peace; but I also usually receive answers to life's conflicts. I am a giver. I am often at my best when serving and I usually serve joyfully. However, lately service has become a tiresome burden. I prayed and prayed, asking God for more strength, but only found myself more and more tired. I started to believe that I am failing as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend . . .Christian. But through the fear, God spoke. He showed me that my heart is in th right place because I have sought to serve Him through serving others, but I had things turned around. Serving God is not a bi-product of serving others, serving others is a bi-product of serving God. Operating under my own will draws my strength and leaves me tired. When I am in His will I do not grow weak or weary. He told me to let Him direct my path, and show me who, how, and when to serve. Only through seeking His will in my life will I ever experience the manifestation of everything He has for me. Only in His will can I be a good wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend . . .Christian. I realize that although I am not justified by works, I still attempt to make up for my past through hard work and sacrifice. A well meaning, but empty gesture.

 

My heart has always been for the hurting women; especially those who were abused and ended up trapped in the sex trade. As I spent time in prayer and meditation, I expressed my heart to Him. I know that He already knows my heart, but somehow speaking my thoughts and feeling aloud draws me closer to Him. So as I wait on Him, I receive a phone call from a sister in Christ who received a word from God to open in women's shelter in the city. She felt God directing her to call and ask for my help in ministering to the women. And once again I feel that deep sense of peace that comes when God speaks.

Comment by Andrea Schuler on May 2, 2011 at 4:12pm

Tara,

About abiding in Christ, I have been trying to figure that out for the longest time. For some reason, I will read about how someone does it and yet another person, how they discovered how to do it, but I can't seem to get myself into any pattern of doing it.

 

I am one of the most inconsistent people I know. One day I'm up early, praying, reading my bible, journaling, worshipping with a song. The next couple of days I don't get up in time and then time goes on and I totally get out of the pattern.

 

On Facebook there is even this free 30 day course that you can take about Abiding in Christ by this group called "BeliefChangers" and I took the course. While there is some really fresh wisdom there, but it seems lacking in something. Much of it is biblical, but it's kind of too simplistic, maybe.

 

I get really frustrated, because I am not a consistent person, and I so want to be consistent.  And I'm a thinker and not much of a doer. I want so much for God to use me, but I don't think He's been speaking to me lately. I have heard Him to speak to me in the past, but I think maybe He doesn't have much to say to me lately. I don't know. Ugh, pray for me!

 

And Tara, what you shared sounds like a really good method - seems to me! Thanks for bringing it up. I'd be interested in what other people have to share as well.

Comment by Andrea Schuler on May 2, 2011 at 3:59pm

Hey, I created a new group called Testimonies! Check out my testimony there - I too have a dark past! Maybe not as dark as some others, but to me, dark!

 

Comment by Tara Deihm on May 2, 2011 at 3:42pm

I am learning that the key to daily peace in in my daily routine. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me and My words in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." (John 15:7)

 

My biggest desire is peace. My life was one crazy, dangerous adventure after another for so long that I value a steady, peaceful life. When events and people from my past threaten to interrupt my peace, I usually am thrown into a state of stress and fear. However, over the past month I have been concentrating on abiding in Christ daily.

 

I do this by seeking out His will and direction through prayer and Bible reading. I pray and sit quietly, waiting for revelation of His knowledge. I acknowledge Jesus as Lord daily, even if no one is around to hear me say it; but I remain faithful to the Gospel by telling others when I can. Jesus also said in John 15 that when I obey His commandments, I remain in His love. Jesus commands that I love God with everything in me, and love my nieghbor as myself. Doing these things daily fills me with an underlying sense of peace instead of fear. This is how I abide in Christ and how I know that I am in His love.

 

Does anyone else have something they do regularly to abide in Christ; or have suggestions of ways we can maintain daily peace?

Comment by Tara Deihm on April 29, 2011 at 11:28am

Shazelle, walking in redemption is not always easy. God forgets our sin, removes it as far as the east is from the west; but we (and often, others) struggle with old memories and old behaviors. Andrea is right, when we accept Christ and chose to follow Him; we are new creatures. However, that newness of spirit sometimes takes time to manifest in our thoughts and actions. Trusting that God will lead us in spiritual growth can take some of the stress out of it. Joyce Meyer always says, "I'm not who I want to be, but thank God I'm not who I was." I have learned not to compare myself or my growth to others. Thier walk is thier walk, mine is between me and God. People judge me, yes. It is a factor of life, everyone experiences rejection; Christ was rejected by the ones He came to save. I consider it my cross to bear. Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

 

I don't know if knowing my testimony will help, but since I started this group I would like the members to know why. Here is a link to my testimony on UStream: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14126514. The video snags halfway through, but the audio continues until the end. Chldren were prresent, so I had to water down some things, but you will understand the meaning.

 

Another thing I keep in mind in that when Jesus resurrected, the first person He appeared to was a former prostitute. As a former prostitute, these means alot to me. It demonstrates that there is no sin that is unforgiveable, and no life that is irredeemable.

 

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