I would like to read something to you because I see your heart, I understand your struggle, and because I have stood where you now stand. I struggled so much in coming back to Jacob”s Well because I knew I had done something wrong to have ended up walking back across that threshold as a resident. I knew that in the physical I had really jacked it up, but in the spiritual I had missed something. I felt like I had a point to prove, that I WAS who God says I was and I was going to be sure everyone knew about it. I became addicted to my story and I spent countless hours attempting to show everyone that I “got it this time”. God really had to do a mighty work on me in order for me to get to the place where the ONLY approval I sought was His. It broke chains, it was so simple, and it kept me humble before men and God. Here is what I wrote, about 3 months into my second stay at the well, as I looked through my journal notes of my last stay at Jacob’s Well:
“I am at a point in reading my journal notes and other notes from last year that was a bit of a dark time for me. It was a time when Jesus had to really step in and deal with me in a mighty way regarding certain aspects of my life. It took me a long time to realize that drugs and alcohol were not my problem. I had a relationship problem. With everyone. I was deep in “approval addiction” and didn’t even recognize it. I did whatever I needed to do to get on everyone’s nice list (whether it be the junkie on the street, the drug dealer, friends on the outside, friends on the inside, or women at Jacob’s Well) and all it got me was a ton of grief. I ended up pushing everyone away, even after the drugs were no longer a problem. I was desperate for love, the kind of love that couldn’t come from any human being, yet I was seeking worldly love anyway. I just wanted friendship. I wanted to be friends with the people that were talking about me behind my back right in front of my face. I wanted to befriend those whose hearts were set on their own agendas. I wanted to be friends with those who would gladly stab me in the back, throw me under the bus, and then speak kindness to my face. It was a futile attempt!! Many a tear were cried and for what?!?! So that I could be distracted by the lies of the enemy and not focus on the truth. Days upon days of journal notes prove that I was drowning in my self-pity and clawing for some sort of surface where I felt I could stand up again and reclaim my “friends” and in all reality I was reaching for people that I had no right to reach out to. There in lies the error of my ways. Jesus is my only friend for life.”
1 Thessalonians 2:2-6 (NIV) – We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.
It’s so simple, to the point, and the biggest game changer of my life. JESUS IS MY ONLY FRIEND FOR LIFE. You have the approval of the Creator of the universe. Your strong opposition came when you walked out the door of Jacob’s Well and faced the world. You being here is not a mistake but a glorious reason for celebration. I want to encourage you to seek His face only in these next 90 days, because you are entrusted with the gospel of Truth. You may have been mistreated and abused, out there and in here, but you are still a daughter of the King, and HIS approval is the only approval you need. Don’t ever stop being an encourager, just don’t ever forget to not only encourage yourself, but also quiet your mind long enough to allow God to encourage YOU.