When I first came to RU, I was in despair and felt like my life was out of control. I had been saved for 35 years, living a life that looked good on the outside, but inside was full of sin and strongholds. Throughout my life I tried to figure out why I was miserable and defeated. I read many self- help books, all to no avail. I couldn’t even really identify the root problem. When I went to counseling, I couldn’t find anyone who could tell me what the problem was. Sometimes I would hear a sermon that would greatly touch my heart and help me to see an area in my life that was wrong. Then I would go to that alter and vow to be different, only to get up and have no clue as to HOW to carry out that vow! Thus my life continued to be one of despair and defeat.
Oh, to people who saw me at work and church, I was the “model” Christian. For years I was highly esteemed in the churches I attended, being given various leadership positions. I served that Lord as a Christian school teacher for 26 years have been awarded Who’s Who in Education, worked on bus routes for over 20 years, played the piano and keyboard in church, went soul winning faithfully every week, leading thousands of souls to the Lord, read my Bible through 33 times, and prayed daily. I was even a Pastor’s wife for 8 years. On and on the list goes (as I still do these things) – but I was miserable inside while looking good on the outside.
Where was peace? Where was freedom from self? Where was fulfillment and happiness? Where was love? Where was the “surrendered life” I had heard preached for 30 years?
These things eluded me. If indeed they did exist, they certainly were not part of MY life! I asked again and again where victory was. And what is the real problem anyway?? What is wrong with me??
It was in one of these low points that a dear friend invited me to RU. No one knew the desperation I was hiding inside or the terrible strongholds that were choking me to death! This friend just knew that RU helped her get closer to Jesus and she wanted the same for me.
It was quite “humiliating” to come to RU, being the “model” Christian everyone thought I was. On my first visit someone came up to me and said, “What are YOU doing here? You’re the perfect Christian!” I answered, “What you see is not always what you get!” At that point in my life, I really didn’t care what people thought anymore. I just desperately wanted help. RU seemed to be the last avenue I knew to try.
Through this program I learned what I had been seeking for at least 30 years. I learned to identify the problems that had robbed me and nearly strangled me. Not only did I learn the problem, but also learned HOW to fix them. I was convicted again and again by the 10 RU principles and the study of the Fruits of the Spirit vs. the Works of the Flesh. I was shocked as I worked through the curriculum to learn that I had been living and practicing the OPPOSITE of EVERY fruit of the Spirit! How could I have been so blind! It was humbling and humiliating to learn and ADMIT that my life had been controlled by pride, self-pity, self-centeredness, fear, anger, and bitterness for as long as I could remember. I had deceived myself through the years that my problem was because of others and past circumstances. Through years of blaming, I had convicted myself that I was okay- it was everyone else and what they did to me that was the issue.
The continual reminders throughout the program on meditating on God’s Word, rather than only memorizing, were so helpful and vital to my freedom! I teach elementary school and I decided that my students needed to do more than memorize scripture verses each week and be tested on them. I started making it a requirement to tell me what the verse means, not just give me a recitation. I was shocked that MOST of the students had no idea what the verse meant, in spite of the fact that it was memorized perfectly! How tragic! After that discovery, we spent time each day meditating together and discussing what the verse meant.
I have come to believe that the strongholds of bitterness, concealed anger, self-pity, and pride are more devastating to a life than even substance abuse. I was crippled emotionally and spiritually for 30 long, helpless years! The devil had chained me to a life of “looking good” on the outside. What a waste! I am here to tell you that the Truth can make you free – finally! Please don’t let the stronghold of pride keep you from attending RU…it helped me and it can help you!