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A Story of Regeneration: Sherry's Story

Wow… the great God of the universe knows my name and cares about the details of my life. He doesn't want me to go it alone, though so many times I have tried. He pursues me, that He might capture my heart and use me for His good purpose.

That is what I have learned on my Ultimate Journey at GFC. This truth is why I have camped out in re:generation for the last few years and why I am passionate about mentoring other women in Christ using the foundational principles of recovery, or “regeneration.”

To be quite honest, I am amazed at how God pursued me in the midst of me "doing it my way!” I cannot remember ever doubting that God exists but to believe that He loves me and cares for the details… for a long time, that was a different story. My childhood sent me many mixed messages, and out of it came confusion, low self-esteem, no self-worth, and despair. I felt like I was not seen or heard and that my life was pretty unimportant.

As a child, my home life forced me to make grown-up decisions before I was ready or prepared to do so. Looking to the Lord for guidance was not something I had been taught nor understood how to do. I spent much of my early adulthood chasing after the things of this world, but then God began pursuing me, and I was caught. At the age of 30, I truly committed my life to Him. Though I trusted in Christ as my Savior at the age of 11, I now knew He had not forgotten me!

It was at this time that God plunged me into a season of "Intensive Care" in the body of Christ. I was surrounded by a group of godly men and women who bathed me in His word, taught me by example how to follow God, and helped me begin to heal the wounds of my past. They prayed over me, spoke words of healing and wisdom into my life, and helped me understand the unconditional love of God.

My Christian walk took another turn when after many years of walking in Him, I found myself attending a recovery program with a friend… it was for my friend, of course. Or so I thought. God began to tug on my heart, and I knew He had brought me to that place for ME! Though my healing had already begun, I still had baggage He did not intend for me to carry.

I learned that one of my greatest struggles was that I spent a lot of time trying to control outcomes and fix people. I honestly believed it was the right, loving, Christian thing to do. What a relief it was to find out that it was not my job to fix people! I knew that God alone is sovereign, but I had never seen how I was trying to fulfill that role in others’ lives. It was a sobering lesson, and one I was only able to learn by being in authentic, transparent community with other believers who shared similar struggles.

I began to dig more into the foundations and principles of recovery found in the truth of God's word, and I learned that to depend on God in all areas of my life rather than depending on myself is not weak - not a crutch - but what He calls us to do. I also learned that we each have a personal responsibility to bring these unreconciled issues to Him in a sincere process of self-examination.

For ten years, I have worked at developing new behaviors that have helped me own what is mine and allow others to do the same. I am learning to “let go and let God” because He truly does know best. One of my dear friends puts it this way: "I still have problems, but the quality of my problems is much improved!”

Many Christians share my story. They believe in God but are not walking in the abundant life He wants us to experience. My passion is for those people. He wants us to know the abundance found in Him on a personal level. In my life, He used the principles of recovery to disciple and lead me to the truth that sets me free.

I am excited to facilitate a women’s study called Life's Healing Choices this fall as it looks at the choices we make and how they affect our journey. The first choice is "admitting need": Do I depend on God, or am I busy trying to prove I can do it by myself? If you need to be "changed by Christ, so that you might be used by Christ,” come join us on Tuesday mornings beginning September 13th. As Tom has said… anything can happen!

“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose…” Romans 8:28

Sherry Watford

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