1 Kings 18
Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”
Proverbs 12:15 “The way of a fool seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”
About six months after God told me to only date him, a friend of mine invited me to a women’s conference called Choose. It was held at a local convention center in my city. I was (and still am) incredibly excited about learning more about God. I finally understand Psalms 42:1 about needing God like a deer needs water. He is the most awesome part of my life. He never tells me I talk too much. He never has other stuff going on. He’s never in a bad mood or misunderstands anything I say. (Shout out to my Holy Ghost here because he interprets a lot of my prayers for me and tells God what my heart is trying to say.) So, my daughters and I went to this Choose conference. I didn’t know it at the time, but God used that conference to show me that not only did I have idols, but that he was done sharing me with them.
The conference started, I assume, like most others…the organizer told her story and why she felt the Choose conference was something God called her to do. I paid attention but didn’t really feel like this was a subject that God was calling me to look into. I had given him my pain, given him my unforgiveness, given him my love life, and given him my truth. Everything had started with him asking for my honesty. No matter what I felt, no matter what I was mad at him for, he asked for me to just be honest with him. I talked to him about everything. Sometimes, I didn’t even know what I was saying…or what I was asking him for. I would tell the Holy Spirit “Um yeah so I don’t even know what I am asking for, but I know I need help here.” I started to ask God about everything before I talked to people. If something made me mad during the day, I came right home and told God about it. If I loved something I came home and told God about it. If I was confused, or scared, or hurt, or lonely, or full of joy, or thankful…I came home and told God about it. It never occurred to me that I had any idols…let alone the ones he would show me.
Within the first hour of the conference, the organizer had us think of one thing that distracted us from God…that pulled us away. I didn’t need any help finding my distraction as he was texting me. During The Broken Years, I met the man that I call Twin Flame. A twin flame is something like a soul mate…but sort of the opposite. A twin flame is the version of a soul mate that burns your life down instead of builds you up. A twin flame is the sort of love that kills you instead of giving you life. A twin flame is not from God. A twin flame is the most intense kind of soul tie there is, only it looks and feels just like a soul mate, except instead of bringing you closer to God, it takes you farther away. Twin Flame and I didn’t fall in love instantly, but when we did finally fall, we fell hard. I felt like I couldn’t breathe when I knew I had to be away from him for a long time. When he broke dates it put me in a deep sadness and I couldn’t seem to find any joy in anything for days afterwards. The crazy thing was we were only together for about 18 months and only spent 6 days together. He connected to me in songs and the way he loved me was the truest thing I had ever felt. When we broke up I felt my heart die. It hurt with every beat and I would have done anything to make it stop. This love was so intense that for 2 years after we broke up I just couldn’t let myself attach to anyone else, because I knew it wasn’t fair. I couldn’t ask anyone else to come in second. I loved him. He’d text every now and then and say he missed me and still loved me and knew that we should be together, but the circumstances being what they were wouldn’t change. The morning of the conference, even though he knew I was there, was more of the same. He missed me, I was perfect for him, it was hurting him to not be with me, and nobody had ever loved him like I did. He never loved anyone like he loved me.
The organizer asked us to go over to a giant chalkboard leaned up against the wall of the convention center and write whatever it was that was distracting us. I wrote his initials and went back to my seat. Listening to the conference became harder the more he text, but I took notes and tried to hear God’s direction.
The main scripture from the conference was 1 Kings 18 (hence, why it’s the opening verse.) I’ll paraphrase it for understanding, but truthfully, it is important enough to go read on your own.
Elijah is a prophet of God and he prays that it won’t rain for 3 years so that the people will repent from their idolatry. The people of Israel had been worshipping all kinds of other gods and my God had just had enough. So Elijah finally confronts King Ahab and says “How much longer will you waver hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God then follow him.” The people hem haw around and won’t commit one way or the other so Elijah says “Let’s have a little contest shall we? You Baal guys prepare a bull sacrifice to your god and I’ll prepare one for mine. The God who answers with fire from the sky…that will be the true God.”
The prophets of Baal (all 450 of them) think this is a great idea, so they get to work and build their altar and sacrifice. They start praying and TADA!!!! Nothing happens. Elijah gets petty with it and says, “Hey maybe your god is taking a nap…or maybe he’s on a trip or something. Pray louder!” So they do, for hours and still nothing. Poor, unfortunate souls…they prayed so hard and not a spark came from heaven.
Elijah gets his altar ready with his sacrifice and then he says “Okay look I feel bad for you guys. Why don’t you pour water all over my altar and make it harder for it to catch on fire? Soak it…this altar should look like a swimming pool and then things will be more even don’t you think?” Again, the prophets think this is a great idea and they soak everything….the sacrifice, the altar, the ground under the altar. No way this thing is going up in flames. Elijah prays to God and fire falls from heaven, burns up the altar, the bull, the stones and the dirt around it and also dries up all the water around it. And then to add insult to injury, all of Baal’s prophets are put to death for going against God. Then it rains.
I love this story. I love that petty comes through when Elijah talks to the prophets of Baal (God doesn’t love petty, but I do and as we discovered in “Love Ain’t” I am not God). I love that God wanted Elijah to make it “impossible” for his altar to catch fire, even “IF” his God did show up. I love Elijah’s trust and confidence in his God.
The rest of the conference, other women got up and told stories of their Baal’s…their idols that distracted them from God. I didn’t really identify with any of their stories, which isn’t an uncommon thing. I have a weird story and as I stated in previous blogs, I don’t really fit in anywhere. My life just doesn’t look like other people’s. I prayed along with all of those women that God would take away my distractions from him. I’d given him dating and I’d let go of my romance with Twin Flame. I still answered when he text, but I didn’t reach out to him and I didn’t tell him I loved him anymore. I wanted to be with him or get over him and neither was happening.
We left the conference and I went home unchanged. A little more knowledgeable about God and a little older of a Christian, but unchanged. In the next couple of weeks during my prayer and study time God kept prodding me to talk to him about Twin Flame. Finally he said, “If you love me, then give me Twin Flame.” The longer I couldn’t, the louder and more painful my heart got. The pain in my heart grew so strong that finally I had no choice. I could not stand under the weight of this love any longer. I gave Twin Flame to God. I erased him from my life. I cried and erased, cried and erased. Every time a thought about him popped into my head I cried and gave him to God. I got rid of everything that reminded me of him. I cried. I threw out my mattress. I cried. I stood before God and cried with my heart full of holes and gave him to God. I felt like a part of me had died. I felt horrible. And I didn’t drink to numb it. I just felt it. I felt all of it. And I let go. A little less than a month later he text me and I told him I could not speak to him anymore and if he tried to contact me I wouldn’t answer. He text me Happy Birthday a couple weeks later and I responded without thinking. God tapped on the top of my head and said, “Honey, I said to give me Twin Flame. I meant all of him. Let go.” So I blocked Twin Flame. I took his number out of my phone and gave him to God. Again.
After the initial breakdown a weird peace settled into my heart. I knew I wasn’t healed but I could feel God in there ripping out the mold and worms and death from my love with Twin Flame. God was there through everything. He let me yell at him, cuss him out and cry on him all at the same time. And guess what? He didn’t fall off his throne when I showed him my honest and true emotions. He didn’t give any of it back to me. He took it. I wasn’t sure how to trust him with it. I wasn’t sure I was even letting go sometimes. I noticed that the songs that seemed to chase me around stopped playing everywhere I went. The cars that looked like his seemed to disappear off the streets. God was erasing what I thought was love and replacing it with his love for me.
I read a bunch of books on soul ties through the next couple of months. I knew that I had to understand what God wanted and the best way I knew to do that was through prayer and reading things from Christian authors. I had a couple people I trusted with my story and my “death of love” and I talked to them when I had questions about why I thought love looked the way it had with Twin Flame.
I realized in the next few months that God had to take Twin Flame. Twin Flame was none of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I didn’t love him like that either. My love was selfish and so was his. I knew that God was not confusing or self seeking, but Twin Flame was. You see, Twin Flame knew from the very beginning that he did not want a forever life with me. He said he did, but the fact was that if he’d wanted to be with me like he said, he would have. He could have, but he didn’t. True love protects instead of just taking what you need from other people. True love is putting what is best for the other person ahead of what you want. He just wanted what he wanted and what he wanted was my attention. Not my love. He didn’t understand love either because we bonded in something that was broken.
When I asked for a God experience, God was very gracious in allowing me to feel exactly what I asked for. However, that Choose conference showed me that until I gave up my idols, my Baal’s and my pride- my thinking that I knew best what love was – that he wasn’t going to be able to show me anything else. After the Twin Flame saga had come to an end I immaturely thought that I was done. I had given God everything that took place over him. A few months later, God showed me how wrong I was in that assumption and how much I still had to learn.
When God told me not to date for a year, I missed a directive that he had given. He said not to date for a year. I wasn’t sure what month that started, but I missed the part where he said “And then come back and ask me how much longer you should keep dating me.” I heard, “Don’t date anyone but me for a year” and ran with that. God wasn’t done talking, but I was done listening.
11 months after I promised God I would date only him, a decent man I knew “slid into my DM’s”. Not only did I not ask God about him, but I didn’t pay attention to literally anything EXCEPT how it seemed to be “God’s perfect timing.” My human dating exile was coming to an end and here was a good, God knowing man, who worked hard and understood my work with kids, just getting dumped into my lap. I didn’t wait to see if he was truthful or if he really had a relationship with God. I listened to his words and didn’t watch his actions. He said he wanted to learn more about God with me and go to church and watch Youtube church, only something always seemed to come up when we were supposed to do that. He did things for me that I had talked to God about, like buying me breakfast and dropping it off so that he knew I ate, and just texting to see if I had a good day. He was very tuned in to what I said…but I found out soon enough that he tuned in to see how far into a relationship he could get without actually having to DO any of the things I said I wanted. When the subject of my celibacy came up he was all for it. In words. His actions told a different story. He was constantly pushing me to change what I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, God expected from me. The more he was around the more he accused me of wanting the “perfect Christian relationship” and said that nobody could follow all the rules in the Bible. I should have cut him off. Unfortunately, I didn’t because I was trying to see how red the red flag was before I actually called it a red flag. I didn’t follow the advice that Pastor Michael Todd gave in Relationship Goals…which was RUN!!! From anyone who couldn’t respect the boundaries that you knew God placed on you. Not only did I not follow Pastor Mike’s advice, I quit talking to the people in my inner circle about what I was doing. I was a grown enough Christian on my own. I could hear God, I had discernment and I could just do this by myself thank you very much. Proverbs 11:14 and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 did not apply to me. I didn’t need spiritual guidance from people that loved me and I did not need to talk to them about my relationships. I could hear God all by myself. Until I couldn’t hear God say anything. In the middle of all this pride and deafness God pointed out my second Baal and this time it wasn’t a guy. It wasn’t a romance even though I had failed in listening to God’s direction. I got back on that wagon fairly quickly and stopped seeing him. My second Baal was bigger than all the others and the one area of my life that I had never had any questions on when it came to what love was and what God wanted from me. It was the one area I thought I didn’t need God to show me anything about. It was the one area I never thought God would ask me to give him because he gave it to me first.