Please bear with me as this is really a journal entry. A long one but…
I feel lead to reveal some of my wounds and faults. Rest assured that it is in celebration that I write. I want to share with you all so badly that I am making a public profession, of a sort. Being real. And true. For this is how I grow deeper. Just amazing God stuff. Great and wonderful God stuff, that I am now ready to share.
April 17, 2006
"Father… my heavenly Dad… I yell from the rooftops again how grateful I am that you are always there for me. Although I have been far from you during the past year and we’ve battled that out together – the renewing of my Spirit over the last few months has been an amazing thing. You are my refuge. You save me daily. Even if and when I fail You – You are still there. Your love and mercy are too great to measure. Thank You for the incredible opportunities You have presented me with recently. I know I could not continue this kind of ministry without You firmly grounded in it so I continue to pray that You would lead me. Let my words be Yours and Yours alone. Protect me from the evil one who may be out to cause harm. I pray he is never able to do so. I pray that in some way I can help people – help them to seek You more – for this is the desire of my heart. It is in the Mighty Name of Your Son that I pray, Amen."
WOW … so I’ve sort of been living a lie over the last 18 months. Although from the outside I’ve appeared seemingly happy and semi-content with life (I hope) on the inside I’ve been a girl who has been angry at, bitter to and even resentful of people who seem to have amazing relationships with God. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t have that too. Why wasn’t I getting "Yea God" moments. Why wasn’t I hearing God’s voice? Why weren’t my spiritual gifts being used?
In a clenched-fist kind of attitude I began speaking to God about it. Not in a nice way really mind you. More of an arrogant matter – like "hello, I am awesome why aren’t You speaking to me and giving me all kinds of blessings?"
Who was I and why was I like this? I work for a church for crying out loud.
About 4 months ago a tragic event look place that basically rocked my world emotionally, mentally and most of all spiritually. That was when my best friend Megan Eastland lost her husband. Brandon Eastland was one of the most extraordinary men I will ever know. He lost his battle with cancer January 3rd, 2006. Although he lived a short 28 years… the impact he made in those years in the lives of the people he knew and didn’t even know will live on forever. I realized at that moment I was making very little impact. It was nothing but a 24/7/365 "Pity Party for Crystal" going on in my head, heart and spirit.
I wasn’t helping anyone but myself and I needed to make a change.
Well I’ve always known that "ask and you shall receive" works at times, but it has become quite apparent that by my asking God through repentance and surrender, "please use me and speak to me" … He listened and gladly obliged. In an extreme way that I never would have expected. I’ve always been the one that goes to others for help with spiritual, accountability, emotional issues. I was always the one with the problems but now I have had people come to me. ME. Crystal Renaud. An awkward 21 year old spoiled rotten girl who still lives with her parents in Kansas.
People who I thought had it all together have been coming to me. Seeking guidance, prayer and my quality time. Words spring from my mouth that I didn’t even know I knew. Scripture references that I didn’t know I knew and I am actually RECOMMENDING BOOKS!!!
This is an entirely new thing to be happening to me but do you know what?! I am so excited about it. I feel so unworthy. But so excited and grateful. I can definitely feel this as a total God-thing. The kind of "Yea God" thing I’ve been wanting to come for so long. His voice. The movement of the Spirit within me and around me. The rejuvenation of my spiritual gifts. So many things that have felt absent in me for such a long time have finally come back to me. I know they never truly left because God in all His Glory is omnipresent and was always with me. What became clear was that I was nothing more than just that silly little girl listening to the wrong voices… running too fast and far away from my predestined path.
My ability as a designer as improved. My role as a friend. I am more full of joy. I am just better. I am healing in so many extraordinary ways. I have even just recently been called "wise beyond my years" which is weird to actually hear someone say. I have felt that way for such a long time but in an arrogant way. I wasn’t allowing myself to be used. I feel so very blessed to be growing in my knowledge of my Lord and being able to live as an example – as someone people feel drawn to speak with – that is so amazing.
I still feel unworthy of this blessing but I am accepting it with open arms.
"I praise YOU for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…" Psalm 139:14
"Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer." Psalm 4:1