Join Meetup: GET CHRISTIAN FRIENDS!!!

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

best friends

I have been sharing with you the story of my restoration.

What Satan tore down, GOD is now RESTORING piece by piece!!!!

As I stated in my last post I NEEDED GOD’S HELP!!!!  I FINALLY realized that I WAS BROKEN and that NO HUMAN man could MAKE ME WHOLE!!!!!  I became OBSESSED with Christian books. I began reading EVERY relationship and self-help book that I could get my hands on!  This book obsession brought me to a VERY IMPORTANT season of my life…. The SEASON OF FINDING CHRISTIAN FRIENDS!

I don’t know about you, but when I read I LOVE to discuss what I am reading with others!  I REALLY enjoy hearing other people’s thoughts on the different points and sharing my own with them.  I LEARN SO MUCH FROM THIS!!!!

Here was the issue- I DIDN’T have ANY Christian friends nearby to meet and read with!  I needed to fix this!  With God’s direction, I started joining church groups.  The first group I joined was through 12 Stone.  I didn’t know  anyone who was in a group there, so I simply showed up for an “open group” event.  There I found a few other ladies who lived in my area and joined together with them.  That first group was AWESOME- it was MY CATALYST!!!

At the conclusion of that first group, I STILL NEEDED MORE!!!  I NEEDED to keep reading and growing.  I wasn’t ready to take a break……. SO,  I decided I would START my own group!!!   The major issue was this….  I didn’t know who to invite!!! This was a  problem in my mind, BUT NOT A PROBLEM for GOD!!!

Somehow  I found the Meetup Site on-line …. (God led me here, I am SURE).   Meetup is a social networking site designed for people who want to START or JOIN a new social group.

info from Meetup.com…….

About Meetup

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.

Meetup’s mission is to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

This  was PERFECT because I DID want to start a NEW group- a Christian book study group!!!! I actually launched 2 groups through Meetup:  A Women’s Devotion/ Book Study Group and then later a Christian Co-ed Group. Both were INCREDIBLE!!!  Both helped me GROW so much healthier and SO MUCH CLOSER to God!!!

Some of my best friends to this day are friends I made in those groups!!!  I went from having no good Christian friends to being SURROUNDED by GREAT Christian friends!!!!  GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!  IF you seek….  YOU SHALL FIND!!!!

****  Side note  :

when I launched the Christian Co-ed Group I KNEW I was NOT leading it to look for a “man”- I made a CONSCIENCE decision to NOT date within the group…..

Here is something VERY important to understand…… God brings different people into our lives, both male and female, for DIFFERENT REASONS. Most of the time HE brings these people to us to HELP us GROW-  NOT for us to get romantically involved with.  I think many people make the MISTAKE of putting people into a ROMANTIC category when that is NOT their purpose.

More of my restoration coming soon 🙂

YOU- yes YOU …… NEED some SERIOUS HELP!!!!!

help

In my last post ( STOP DATING, Girl!!) ….I shared with you the beginning of MY RESTORATION.

I began telling you how God was “coaxing” me OUT of the dating world by surrounding me with “emotionally unavailable” people.

He needed to get me to STEP ONE:  HUMBLE YOURSELF!

I am a little bit hard-headed or I would have KNOWN to NOT DATE  AFTER my divorce anyway!  MANY people had told me to wait and give myself TIME to heal, BUT I felt that I was the EXCEPTION…  I was ALREADY HEALED!!!  I was away from an unhappy marriage and I was READY to find LOVE….. Uuuuggggggg- was I WRONG!!!!!  I NEEDED SERIOUS HELP and God KNEW IT!!!!

We have all heard that God CAN USE ALL things for HIS GOOD and THAT is EXACTLY what HE DID!!!!  God used these “emotionally unavailable” dates to  ACTUALLY help me!

This is how He did it…  the Lord GUIDED our conversations!  It is a fact that wounded people usually talk QUITE A BIT about their feelings, and they tend to BLAME other’s for their sadness.   My “scarred” dates did this on a REGULAR basis.  As you can imagine, these dinner conversations ended up to be the opposite of LIGHT HEARTED and FUN,  BUT they LED me closer to MY RESTORATION- which was God’s ULTIMATE GOAL!!!!

By listening to these wounded souls I realized that I, “Leslie the healed”,  just may be a little “wounded” myself …..  AND that I needed to OWN up to MY  FAULTS!!!

Afterall, I WAS at LEAST HALF of the reason that my last marriage was so bad in the FIRST PLACE!

These individuals and our conversations led me to LOOK at myself in a DEEPER way and realize that  I  NEEDED GOD MORE THAN EVER!!!

I began paying attention to some of the sermons and books that my “dates” were mentioning.  I decided to check them out.

I became borderline OBSESSED with learning and growing!!!!  I read and listened to EVERY Christian author and pastor that dealt with love and relationships.   I had FAILED at my previous relationship, AND I DID NOT WANT TO EVER FAIL AGAIN!!!!

One of the first sermons I listened to came from the series , “Love, Sex, and Dating” by Andy Stanley at North Point Church. It WAS AMAZING!!!!  It REALLY HIT HOME WITH ME!!!  iI realized that I NEEDED to BECOME the PERSON that I WAS LOOKING FOR!!!!  Doing this was going to take TIME, EFFORT, and PRAYER.

Here is the link:

http://northpoint.org/messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating

At this same time I also began purchasing CHRISTIAN relationship  books…..

Some really powerful books that I read were, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

There are MANY other INCREDIBLE books out there by Christian authors, I suggest you read the ones that SPEAK to you!!!  🙂

These books led me FURTHER down God’s path…..  My next post will be about how GOD SURROUNDED me with Christian friends-  which I DESPERATELY NEEDED….

_________________________________________________________________

I hope you are noticing the different  “STEPS” in my RESTORATION PROCESS…..

I am intentionally posting details about EACH one ….. in the hopes that YOU

WILL  SEE and find COMFORT IN God’s ULTIMATE LOVE FOR EACH ONE OF US!!!

More coming soon……  🙂

STOP DATING SILLY GIRL!!!!

I promised after I wrote about MY FALL, that I would also share the story of MY RESTORATION.  In “The Devil’s Dominoes” you read about how I stupidly TURNED to Satan  for my ultimate happiness and fulfillment. I was in a bad marriage, I had drifted away from God, and I was DESPERATE for LOVE.  Instead of turning to MY HEAVENLY FATHER for comfort, I turned to SIN.  As you can imagine, my Sin DID NOT comfort me….  it SHATTERED ME!!!! …. I was left BROKEN and TOTALLY ASHAMED!!!

_________________________________________________________________________________________

My RESTORATION……..

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

If you read the scripture closely, you see that being RESTORED requires 4 steps.  My RESTORATION was NO DIFFERENT.  At the time I didn’t realize that God was leading me though this exact process, but looking back on it I can CLEARLY see HIM guiding ME EACH STEP OF THE WAY.

Step 1: HUMBLE YOURSELF…..

It took me a while to reach Step 1.  I was not IMMEDIATELY HUMBLE after my game with the devil. At first I did not ADMIT that I NEEDED to change, and I did NOT ask GOD for help. I continued trying to FIX my life ALL by MYSELF!  I joined on-line dating sites and went out with many different men: some Christian and others NOT Christian. I did this all with the HOPE of finding the ONE who would FULFILL ME!

I had not STOPPED long enough to realize that what I NEEDED THE MOST was to HUMBLE myself and SEEK GOD’S LOVE!   At this point,  I was no longer listening to the devil, but I wasn’t LISTENING to God either.  LUCKILY, God chose to step in HELP ME anyway!

GOD STEPPED IN…….….. and I reached the FIRST stage: HUMBLING MYSELF  

It is funny how God sometimes LEADS us where He wants us to go by OPENING and CLOSING doors along our path. He did this with my dating life. He opened every WRONG door you could imagine.   I think God had every “emotionally unavailable” man in the greater Atlanta area ask me out.  I laugh looking back on it, but I now realize that He did this for a MUCH GREATER PURPOSE! He DID this so that I would FINALLY give up and TURN to HIM!

I had been so busy dating that I had not REALIZED that the MAJOR problem in my life was ME-  I WAS NOT WHOLE!!!!  I could NOT do this ALONE!!!  I was NOT OK!!!!  I NEEDED MY LORD AND SAVIOR to HEAL and RESTORE ME!!! I was NOT ready to date!!  I NEEDED TO WORK ON MY FAULTS and FAILURES!!!  I NEEDED TIME WITH MY SAVIOR!!!  I was NOT HEALTHY… I was STILL BROKEN  and I  NEEDED GOD’S HELP!!!!

AND SO……………  I ENTER STAGE ONE: HUMBLE YOURSELF 

Stay tuned for Stage 2:  PRAY……  coming soon 🙂