Differentiating between condemnation and conviction was enlightening for me. Unfortunately, my feelings are generally much more those of condemnation. I had mentioned that I was in an inappropriate relationship, desperately searching for love and doing just about anything to receive it. The relationship I was in was beyond wrong, and it was not at all love but in fact lust. I was living with someone who was going through a divorce. At first he said all the right things to get me right where he wanted me and in a momentary lapse of judgment I gave myself away. Once I did, I felt like I had fallen so far away from God’s grace that I was damaged goods, unworthy to be loved. I had done the very thing I promised myself I wouldn’t do until marriage, and I continued to give myself away and each time feeling further from God and more dirty and unloved. I had these misconstrued thoughts that by not having sex and note living the way the world was I was ‘missing out’. I kept telling myself ‘everyone is doing it’, and that right there is what I think Satan uses to lure us in and trap us. I had this feeling God was holding me back from enjoying myself, and that could not have been further from the truth. So, for almost two years I lived under this immense guilt and shame of condemnation, rarely going to church, trying to desperately convince myself that “I wasn’t that bad” and continuing to live in sin and be verbally abused and degraded. I was told repeatedly that “no one would ever want me now and I would never be happy without him” the strange thing is, the guilt was so heaving and my heart so hurt and battered that I began to believe the lies and condemnation.
If only I had processed things through the conviction of the Holy Spirit instead of condemnation I could have bypassed a lot of pain and been brought closer to God and perhaps even brought the person I was in the relationship with to God. The Holy Spirit had revealed to me how wrong my actions were on a daily basis and I knew I needed to make changes and did not listen to the God. I deliberately went my own way. I see now that I was trying to distance myself from God during this period by not going to church and not praying as I should and I was not keeping in touch with my Christian friends because I was so ashamed. The shame kept me from turning around and going back towards the Light, shame and guilt held its tight grip on me, pushing me deeper into darkness and a state of depression. I believed the lies in my head and was not paying attention to the Holy Spirits’ guidance and direction back toward God. If I had used the conviction of the Holy Spirit and just believed the truths of Gods Word the condemnation could have been replaced with God’s love and grace. I now will ALWAYS remember how loved I am by God, and that is the only love that matters. His love is priceless, precious, unfailing and unconditional and nothing can ever separate me from His love (Romans 8:31). I know I failed, I messed up big time (and I will again…daily), but I know that God is restoring these broken pieces into something beautiful. I just have to keep leaning on Him and trusting that He can use this experience for His good, to help and encourage others and to develop a Christ-like character in me. If I remember these truths restoration can and will begin, now and in future trials.