God really began working in my life....
Well, actually, a better way to say that is that I was finally becoming aware of God's working in my life, because He's been working in my life since before I had a life! He was moving me in new directions: giving me a passion for His Word and quiet moments with Him, speaking His direction for me in books that I could have been quoted as saying "I hate reading these books because if I really think about what they're saying, I'll have to change."
He also began asking me, "Do you love me?" and I answered "Yes, Lord, I love You." Yet, I always knew that my answer was only partly true. He also began asking me, "Do you love me more than yourself? Do you really trust me? Are you willing to take up your cross and follow me?" And I would answer, "Yes, Lord. I want to follow You. Of course I trust You."
Do we see a pattern here? I want to do these things, I want to follow Him, I want to love Him, but I didn't want to die to myself and give up things. I never had before. Why should I start now? And that's when all of what I had been absorbing and learning came to bear. I must die to myself (I had never really understood what that meant before) in order to even be able to truly love Him, to follow Him. I had to say 'no' to me before I could say 'yes' to Him.
And He is ever faithful!
I began to say 'no' to me and 'yes' to Him, and Joy would come flooding in! Yet, I kept 'forgetting' and would go back to selfishness, and would feel so distant from the Lord.
This yo-yoing back and forth happened all through the Fall and Winter until 11 days ago. That's when I finally really gave it ALL to God.
But I'm getting a bit ahead of my story, so I'll go back and fill in a few of the changes that were happening in our life during that time frame in the next installment!