Journey to Redemption #SocalityStories

by: Rachel Hicks

follow Rachel on Instagram @rachel.meagan

#socalitystories

photo by @jamesdhicks

This is the story of my journey to redemption. My journey to healing and renewed trust in God's faithfulness. It all starts in 2011 when my Dad started a downward spiraling health journey in which he has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, Stage 2 Kidney Failure, and extremely high blood pressure which led to him having 7 mini-strokes in beginning months of 2013.

The years from 2011 to the end of 2013 are really a blur for me. All I really remember is being so scared. Scared that I was going to lose my daddy, scared that my family wouldn't survive something like this. I remember being so angry with God and with the world. I was so angry with the people around me who kept telling me to pray for healing. The people who told me that I wasn't praying hard enough or didn’t have enough faith because he wasn't healed yet. I was so confused as to why God would allow this to happen to my family when we had literally given up everything to serve him.

I remember standing next to my dad, laying there helpless in that hospital room as a scared 16 year old. Trying to prepare myself to receive the life-changing news about my dad's kidney failure and strokes. My dad was hardly coherent and had lost most of his mental capabilities. He was like a 12 year old in a 47 year old's body. My heart was crumbling into a million pieces. I was so confused and had no idea what to do, or who to run to. So I curled up in the corner of that cold hallway and started crying out for was seemed like days. I was so angry with God. I had developed such a deep bitterness towards Him that took me years to let go of. It was truly one of the darkest moments of my life.

This moment describes the last 4 years of my pain in a nutshell.

I remember being at a 3-day healing conference in August of 2014 continuing to walk in this anger and bitterness I had developed. I shut God out of my life and had no desire to have any kind of relationship with Him. But I still continued to play the part of the "perfect" Christian by going to church and doing all the "Christian" things you're supposed to do. But I didn't want any of the personal part of it. Throughout this time of anger and bitterness, my sweet Jesus was so patient with me. He was such a gentlemen. So tender and so sweet. I was at this conference at a place where I had felt so alone because I had no friends to lean back on. I felt so much anger and bitterness, along with feeling like my life had no purpose. But in that moment during a worship session of that conference, God spoke to me in the loudest, most audible voice I had ever heard and asked me a question.

He asked, "Rachel, if I took away your family, will you still love me. If I took away your finances, your friends, your dad, will you still serve me. If I quite literally stripped everything away from you, will you trust me with your everything?"

This was my come-to-Jesus moment. He was calling me back into relationship with Him. And I had to make my decision of whether or not I was going to make the conscious choice to give up everything in my life to serve Him, to love Him unconditionally and walk blindly with Him into the unknown of life. So I said yes to being along for the ride. To walking day by day in complete faith in my Jesus, knowing that He was going to take care of me no matter the situation or season. I was in a place where I gave my complete trust to my Jesus. And let me tell you, that moment was so so sweet I can still taste it.

I'm not going to say that my life changed after that moment. But I can most definitely say that my heart changed. It was radically changed. I opened up the deepest darkest parts of my heart ready to allow His beautiful sweet love to come and flood those places and make me new. I began to live my life differently after He took away my anger and bitterness. I started living a life of surrender, and He has honored that decision by giving me so much to live for!! Through this surrender He gave me a different perspective on my situation and my purpose. As well as the purpose for what we were and are currently walking.

Even though it's been the most trying and terrible seasons I've ever walked, and still am very much walking. I've been able to take a step back and see the fruit that has come and is coming from this season. He has walked me through so much, healed my heart, and given me SO much hope and so much joy. Even though we're still very much walking into an unknown future with my dad's health issues as he's still very sick. I live my day-to-day life knowing that my Jesus has has shown so faithful, continuing to remind me daily that He loves me deeply, and isn't done with me. He isn't done writing my story. He isn't done writing YOUR story. We can do it, friends. It's going to be okay.