Receive the Salvation You Need for Today

I sat in front of my two counselors, after spending three full days walking back through all of the traumatic events of the last four years, which largely involved a deception at church that caused immeasurable pain and loss for us in every direction. (This is why I haven’t written very much in the last couple of years. Mostly I have been sitting in ashes, weeping.) I found myself in a place of leaving a church I had been in for 29 years, as the Lord has guided my husband and I to a beautiful new ministry to a smaller church here in Kalispell.

But I had a heart full of hurt and bitterness. (Is it okay for me to say that out loud?) Despite my decades of following Christ, my knowledge of the Bible, and my daily prayers and seeking God’s help, I just couldn’t shake the sludge that had built up in my heart. That’s when I turned to Matt and said, “I need help.” He set me up with Emmaus Encounter which is a debriefing for people in ministry. In a condensed version of what they do, they spent three days walking me through a process of pulling everything out of my heart, laying it out on the table, and helping me put it all back again except in health and order. It was one of the most exhausting things I’ve ever done. When it was over, I spent the next day in bed. But it profoundly changed my life.

On the last day of my debriefing, May 10, I sat in a sunbeam talking over Scriptures, which I had been given to meditate on the afternoon before. One of those was Isaiah 61:1-3. As I talked about Jesus binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming freedom for the captives, and releasing prisoners from darkness, I looked at Andy and Janet in amazement and said, “Jesus has saved me.”

I was brokenhearted. I was a captive to resentment. I was in a dark hole of rumination on hurtful events.

In three days of debriefing, Jesus saved me from it all. He took it all away. All of it. My heart stopped bleeding. The resentment was gone. The hurtful events were part of my history but weren’t hurting me anymore.

“You know,” I told them, “when I was that 8-year-old girl in bell bottoms, stepping into the frigid waters of the Popo Agie River in Wyoming to be baptized, I had no idea what I truly would need Jesus to save me from as a 55-year-old woman.” Then I gasped and tears flooded my eyes. It was May 10. I was sitting there on May 10 talking about how Jesus had saved me, which was the very day I was baptized in 1977.

Buried in Christ. Raised to walk in newness of life.  

Back in the day, my understanding was that a person got saved by Jesus for the sins she did. Did, in the past tense. But oh my goodness, now I know that salvation keeps going. It’s for the yuck of today. It’s for the darkness of today. Jesus keeps being there. Keeps seeing you. Keeps listening to you. Keeps saving you.

It’s been a month since my debriefing, and I still feel giddy. I’ve never felt more like a brand-new Christian. All that pain gone! All my yucky internal thoughts gone! I can’t stop thinking about the miracle Jesus performed in me. Can’t stop talking about it.

Listen to me.

Keep seeking Jesus to help you with your internal sludge. He is there to help you, and he can truly rescue you from all of it. Keep praying. Keep opening your Bible. Keep asking him for help. Seek godly counselors if you need to. Saving people is what Jesus does.

19 Comments

  1. Christy,
    Thank you for sharing so vulnerably. What a beautiful testimony of God’s power and grace! I rejoice with you at the healing and joy He has brought you!

  2. Annie Westphal says:

    Christy, your words have always arrived as the exact right message at the exact right time for me. What a blessing you are in my life! Thank you. May God continue to bless you with the giddy joy of His love, grace, mercy, hope and peace.

  3. Your story gives me hope, Christy. Thanks so much for sharing it. Praying fresh life into your heart, your eyes, your days. God bless you!

  4. Dede Eller says:

    (I so appreciate you sharing this part of your journey. I’ve had a similar path in the last 5 years. Here’s what I journaled after I read your post.)

    I’d read this passage many times Isaiah as a call to do/be this for others. I know it’s what Jesus said in the synagogue quoting Isaiah about Himself. But I don’t think I’ve applied it very well/correctly to myself.

    Preaching the Word to myself today.

    I am the poor, brokenhearted, captive, bound, the mourner, the faint of spirit.

    Jesus has done and is doing all this to me: binding up my broken heart, setting me free, comforting me, bringing me good news (and much, much more)!

    I’m so thankful.

  5. Elizabeth Colucci says:

    Dear Christy, Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you, Elizabeth

  6. Uncle Tom says:

    I am so happy to hear this! My own trek through despair and broken heart has resulted in the same rescue! Bless you my favorite niece!

  7. Christy, I always smile when I see your name pop into my email box. You’ve been missed. You have a beautiful heart and gift with words to express, encourage, be authentic and point us to The One who solves, cares and grows us closer to Him in everything. Thank you for sharing as it gives me courage to trust and be vulnerable with someone as I experience those hard life circumstances.

    I’m so very sorry for the deep hurt you have experienced, and praise God with you for His goodness and faithfulness in delivering you to the side of healing. I will continue to pray for you and Matt for God’s blessings and joy to overwhelm your hearts.

  8. Betty Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. After 40 years of marriage, my husband died, leaving a major hole in my life. We, too were in ministry. And I know its hardships… May the LORD fill you with more insights to share. You have a great gift. Bless you!

    1. Oh, my heart aches for your loss. I can’t imagine that grief. May the Lord surprise you with his comfort at every turn. And thank you for the kind words!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I am going through a hard season right now with our son. Your words gave me encouragement and comfort that God has got me. I am seeing a Christian Counselor which is helping. Blessings to you

    1. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. I pray he will continue to give you the wisdom and encouragement you need for this hard stretch of parenting.

  10. Diane Nickerson says:

    I am rejoicing with you at the healing of your heart and mind. The enemy sure knows how to create all that sludge; what a wonderful thing to know Jesus can save us from it all! And isn’t is so wonderful to know that we are constantly being saved and it’s not just a one-time thing! The struggles of ministry and the Christian life are real, but we serve a God who is bigger and is able to heal us of all the hurt. I so appreciate your willingness to be real about the good AND bad that happen and to share how to get free of the bad and focus on the good! You are an encouragement!

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