I’m pleased to welcome Lily Mtongwiza to the #BeBoldGirl series. Her story of giving God a chance to fix her life by surrendering to him will inspire and encourage you, especially lifestyle choices have put you in a bad place. Welcome, Lily!
It’s a night I will never forget.
Laying on the bedroom floor, praying to God.
Body jewelry I had never managed to remove had been miraculously easy to pop off.
The bedding stripped from my bed now sitting in a Salvation Army donation bin.
A moment of total surrender.
Feeling totally vulnerable and completely loved at the same time.
A moment of truly belonging.
Not to my friends or a career or a lifestyle, but to God.
It was the bravest moment of my life. Stepping out in faith and giving God permission to fix my brokenness. This moment came a couple of weeks after I had come far too close to losing my own life as a result of the terrible decisions I was making and the risks I was taking all in the name of having fun. I had foolishly believed I was in control, that I knew what I was doing, that I had limits and I could stop anytime I wanted to.
Unfortunately, reality confirmed I had not only lost control but never really had it to begin with. I broke all my own rules and slid down a steep and slippery slope towards total self-destruction.
When I returned to my senses and looked at the destruction all around me I knew something had to change. It was like peeking outside the morning after a hurricane.
I was going to need help.
I fearfully went to a good and godly friend and showed them the wreckage that had become my life. I exposed my scars, wounds and weaknesses, and my friend covered them in prayer. He gave me hope, encouragement and a Bible. After that I began to pray to God, asking Him to come into my life and help. He was my last hope. I knew, that if left to my own devices I wouldn’t make it.
And in that time of confusion and seeking God, things seemed to get worse. My previous friends suddenly turned on me. The very people who had followed me to the brink of destruction turned on me when I dared to say that I couldn’t go on like this anymore.
I also got called into the office at work and was suspended for two weeks and very nearly lost my job.
All of this felt terribly confusing and the loneliness would have been too much, except that I wasn’t alone. The Holy Spirit had moved into my heart and had begun a major renovation project overnight. I was constantly getting quiet words of reassurance despite the chaos around me, and some form of order was starting to reveal itself.
During that two weeks away from work I had time to spend alone with God. I didn’t have any more friends to distract me and even the good Christian fellow who had given me that Bible had suddenly gone silent.
It was just me and God.
And I felt God telling me to begin duplicating what was happening in my heart in the world around me.
God was purging all the painful memories and toxic relationships from my life and I felt compelled to do the same.
It was an intense spring cleaning. I went through everything I owned and asked myself 3 critical questions,
- What does this remind me of?
- Who does this remind me of?
- Where did this come from?
If the answer brought any shame, pain or regret, I got rid of it. It was either thrown in the garbage, donated or sold. This left me with no bedding, a reduced wardrobe and a very spacious living arrangement. Most importantly it provided a fresh start.
Six months later, that nice Christian fellow asked me to marry him. We now have two beautiful daughters together, and we pastor a church. God has transformed my life in such a phenomenal and unexpected way, but it would never have happened if I hadn’t taken that bold step of faith.
Sometimes people ask me about the tattoo on my arm … if it’s a Bible verse or something. I tell people no, it’s from a time when I was really far from God and He called me to Himself and I found the boldness to answer.
Lily Mtongwiza shares honest answers and biblical advice on her site Proverbs 24:26. She is passionate about helping frustrated women have healthy authentic relationships with God, themselves and others. Lily is happily married to the love of her life, has two beautiful young daughter and pastors a church alongside her husband. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
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Linking up with Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart