What if they knew?
Have you ever had a secret that you didn’t want anyone to know? Maybe you were convinced that if people knew, then you wouldn’t be understood or accepted. Perhaps while trying to hide it, you found yourself holding up a façade that was too heavy to carry.
In today’s episode, you will meet Anne, who shares her secret with us, and then about the day when she confessed her secret to God and was met with love and mercy. We hope this episode is an encouragement to you.
Stay connected with Anne through her blog www.GloryInTheGrind.com
Or on IG: @gloryinthegrindblog or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gloryinthegrind
Book mention: TrueFaced by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, and John S Lynch
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Ep 66 When Confession Meets Mercy ~ Anne Imboden - FINAL
felt, sin, god, knew, confession, reclaimed, parents, husband, life, college, met, carrying, wrote, ashamed, story, friends, confess, paid, home, court
Anne Imboden, Denisha Workizer
Denisha Workizer 00:00
What if they knew? Have you ever had a secret that you didn't want anyone to know? Maybe you are convinced that if people knew that you wouldn't be understood or accepted, and you find yourself holding up a facade that is too heavy to carry. Well, in today's episode you're going to meet and who shares with us her secret. And then about the day when she confessed her secret to God, and how she was met with love and mercy. We hope this episode is an encouragement for you today. Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Tanisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. Welcome to this episode of living the reclaimed life. And I am so excited to introduce you to my new friend and today. And Anne Imboden is a pastor's wife and adoptive mother of two and a writer. She has called many places home over the years, but currently resides on the Gulf coast of Mississippi. She is passionate about her family and home and encourages women to find their worth and calling in Christ. Her blog glory in the grind has been her primary ministry where she writes to put God on display in her daily grind of life. And we are so excited to have you today.
Anne Imboden 01:28
Thank you Denisha. It's a pleasure to be here.
Denisha Workizer 01:31
Yeah, I've read a bunch of your blogs, and you are a fantastic writer. One of the things that comes through so clearly in your writing is your authenticity. So I really encourage our listeners to check out Gloria and the grind it I found myself as I was reading just like, I felt like we were sitting over a table having a cup of coffee together versus me like reading something on the internet. And so I just I really appreciate that. It's a beautiful gift to have. That's for sure.
Anne Imboden 01:59
Thank you. Thank you. That's very humbling and, and flattering at the same time. So thank you. And I do I strive to do that with my blog, and just in life to just to be authentic. And the whole really the whole intention of the blog was to do exactly what you said to make women or anyone, any reader feel that they're just sitting across the table from me sharing a cup of coffee, and they're listening to my story. I'm hearing their story and hopefully encouraging them and showing them where to see God and just the day to day of life.
Denisha Workizer 02:31
We're going to talk about how confession meets mercy today in your story. So why don't you? Let's get to know you a little bit and yeah, just you can pick up wherever you'd like to. Okay.
Anne Imboden 02:45
Well, I think my story we're, you know, we're talking about Confession meeting mercy. Where that really picked up with in my life was shortly after I got married. I had well I had been in college. And when I met my now husband, we met in a youth ministry class together. I had been battling some very severe depression and anxiety. Throughout college, I kind of bounced around to different schools, I'd moved back home I moved out, I'd taken a year off, like, my mental health was really just kind of taking its toll on on my college career. And I was not not doing very well. And I finally I thought I had it together enough I'd gotten on medication, and I felt ready to get back in there and try to finish my degree. And after, you know, after a very hectic, chaotic, sporadic college experience. And so anyway, I met my husband there at school. And, you know, the medication just wasn't doing the trick. I wasn't I still wasn't thriving. But I met him and we fell in love when I wanted to get married. And so I I wasn't forthcoming about how much I was struggling mentally. I was very ashamed. My mental health was keeping me from attending class from doing well on my grades. It was keeping me from being honest with professors, letting them know how difficult it was for me to give oral presentations for me to do group projects. The anxiety was really crippling. But I didn't know how to explain it that was sort of at a time we're talking about this was you know, almost 20 years ago. So mental health was there was a big stigma that went with it. And thankfully, I feel our culture has come a long way since then. But at the time, I didn't feel like it would be understood or accepted. If I said, Hey, like, I can't even get out of bed to get to class. You know, I don't know how I'm gonna pass this class. I knew the expectation for my family and for my husband and hid from his family was that I would graduate before we got married. So I kept up this facade. I knew that I was doing fine in class, I was going to class and I kept up with the facade that I had graduated even before we got married, and that I had done a mid semester graduation. And so that explained why I didn't have to have a ceremony or need to walk across the stage or anything. And I kept everybody in the dark about it. My only explanation for that it's just I was so ashamed that I had failed that I wasn't able to fix it, I wasn't able to pull myself out. I was a smart girl, like, I got A's in high school, I went to, you know, went to my college of choice, I had a softball scholarship, you know, and all of it went down the drain when I struggled with my mental health. And I was just so ashamed. I felt like I had blown it. I blown all my opportunities, I blown the trust with my parents, you know. And so I kept it, I kept it secret. When we got married. Everyone thought I graduated, I got a full time job. And about a year into our marriage, I had told nobody, I hadn't even talked to God about it. I had not confessed it to the Lord. I had not even written it down in a journal. Nobody knew. And it was just my little secret, because I didn't know. I mean, the longer it went on, the longer I kept it, the harder it got, for me to just come out and say, I never finished college. I never finished college. And my husband gave me a book to read. It was one he was reading with the Bible study group of his church. And it was called True faced. And so I was sort of reading it on the side. And during my quiet time, I was still had a quiet time, I was still praying, I was still reading my Bible. And I was talking to God about everything. But that one thing, that was one thing, I was not ready to hand over to him. And my marriage was doing well, I thought, you know, everything I was spinning all the plates, except for that one thing that nobody knew about. And I was at work one day, and I was working as a retail manager. And I brought my journal and my Bible with me on my lunch break. And I sat in the food court and I had the true face book. And just kind of went through my emotions with the Lord and prayed and you know, didn't talk to him about that. We're going to talk about everything else. And I read, I don't remember what it was. But I read something in the true face book that just got that I say I say it all the time, like God met me in the food court, like the Holy Spirit, just convicted me, and literally put me on my knees in the middle of a busy food court with my Hallmark uniform on, you know, eating a soft pretzel, like the most unexpected place to meet God.
Anne Imboden 07:42
And I just started sobbing and I took my pen and I got out my journal. And I wrote it down for the first time, like as a confession. And I wrote, I never graduated from college. And it was the first time I put it in writing, it was the first time I just put it out there. And I just looked at it and just even even that small act of confession just between me and God between me and that blank page was so freeing, and I just felt that heavy weight, just just start to lift, it wasn't gone. But just the very beginning of like, okay, it's, you know, like, that's the first step. That's the first step. And from there I went, I knew Okay, writing in my journal is I need to do more than that. Like, that's, that's step one. But if I'm able to do that, what else can I do? What else can I do with this? And so I called up a dear friend of mine, she was the women's pastor at our church at the time, and asked if I could come by her house after work, because I thought I wasn't ready to say it to my husband, I was convinced that well, that's going to end my marriage, like and I gotta, I gotta say this to a friend for some practices, and just try it out on somebody that I trust. And so I went to her house just hurt my hands and said, I gotta I gotta unload this, like, I've been carrying this around it. I mean, gosh, I've been holding on to that for two years by then. And I sat on her couch and she gave me a hot cup of coffee. And she said, Well, what's going on? And I just, I put it out there and I just spilled it and I never made eye contact with her the whole time. I was looking down so ashamed. And so convinced that she was going to say, oh, and like, you've like you, you have ruined your life. You have ruined your marriage, you have ruined your relationship with your family who have ruined your you know, any opportunity you had for you know, for graduation or for success in your career or anything. Like I was just ready to hear all the things that I had been hearing. For the last two years everything the enemy had been telling me all my reasons for not saying anything. I was ready for her to just affirm that and go I never said this. And instead, she just looked at me and she said this must had been so hard for you to be carrying this around all by yourself. Like, what a weight. This must have been, like how heavy, you must have felt all this time carrying this all alone. And it was not the response I expected at all. And it was just so validating, like, yes, yes. Instead of meeting me with judgment, she met me with empathy, you know, and said, I can't believe that you walked this road alone, that you've never told anybody, like, how hard is that for you. And I was just so grateful that she met me with that, and she just listened. And she encouraged me, you know, when I was ready to tell my husband, and you know, just to trust that he would meet me with mercy and forgiveness. And if you didn't, then that's the consequences of sin. You know, but nothing is beyond God's redemption. And, you know, to trust that God was going to use use it, and that I would have a lot of work to do, to rebuild with my husband, with my parents who had paid for college. And you know, all of I mean, gosh, I was, I hadn't spent a dime. My parents had covered me financially for all of that. And to know that I didn't even finish. I knew there were going to be some hard, hard conversations in my future. But my friend, Julie, she empowered me to have those conversations. And she spoke such God's honest truth to me that it was I don't think I could have done it. Without her without that encouragement, and that affirmation from her. Yeah, so from there, I went home, told my husband, it was the hardest conversation we've ever had to this day, we've been married 15 years. And that's still probably the hardest thing I've ever had to confess to him.
Anne Imboden 11:53
And I was just ready, I was ready for him to pack bags and go this, like, you entered our marriage on a lie. You know, like you had me fooled and, and I think what he was most hurt up by was the fact that he had no idea all this time, he had no idea I've been keeping anything from him. And so that scared him. Like how easy it was, for me to lie for me to omit that truth from him for me to keep something so big from him, and yet, everything appeared fine. And I was acting fine. I wasn't acting weird, or, you know, paranoid, nothing like that internally. Always. I was worried he was going to find out, I was worried someone was going to find out. And it was constant panic all the time. I wasn't sleeping. I wasn't I mean, I was not doing well. But on the surface, he had no idea. And so it just it took a lot of work for me to rebuild, rebuild that trust and two years, years, and a lot of him checking in and, you know, finances that are tied into finances. For me, I was trying to, you know, cope with my guilt through retail therapy. And so I was dealing with financial indiscretions as well, all of it was linked to, you know, me not finishing college and the shame I felt there. But I was coping with it in ways that also became secrets. And it just sort of bloat snowballed, you know, into this started with one thing, and now actually, it led to all these other things. So, but man, God, God was in it, he was in it, and he's restored us and I rebuilt that trust. And Zach, my husband came with me to sit with my parents and tell them the truth. I mean, I wasn't like, went to a therapist from that point on for a long time and worked through all of that with her. And, you know, tying it back to my childhood and why I lied as a child and how I used it to cover up things that I was ashamed of. I mean, there was, it wasn't just a singular event, it was such a spiderweb of things that I had to unpack. And I decided that my penance with my parents needed to be to repay them every dime. For every every dollar they spent on me for college that I had wasted. I needed to pay them back. That was not a stipulation for them was for me, though, and God bless my husband, it was our money. And we wrote my parents checks every month for years until it was all paid back. Just so that I felt like okay, like, I need to do this, I need to own it. You know, I can't just get away with this. You know, I need to have that tough love, even if I have to enforce it on myself. I need to remember, you know what I've done every time I write that check, and I need that, in order to keep me from doing it again. You know, to remember that this sin was not just mine. It was something that impacted my husband. It impacted my parents and impacted my extended family who were all told I graduated. I mean, there are a lot of people had been victim to this lie. And it was important for me to recognize that my son is not just I own, it affects everybody around me. And it's something I try to teach my kids now to when they mess up, like your sin is not yours. You know, it's it affects me and dad and your sister and your classmates like, you can't, you can't contain it once it happens it, you know. So, yeah, so paid it all back. And I mean, that was a long time ago. But gosh, God has brought us so far. And
Anne Imboden 15:26
it's so amazing to me when I think about it, because it seems so far in my past, and I look at where I am now I'm going back to school and finishing my bachelor's degree. So I'm now 39 years old. And finally finishing, I started school in January, all those credits that I had acquired least the ones that I passed, transfer. And so now I only have 14 classes to graduate and I'm four classes in so a year from now, I will finally have my bachelor's degree. And it was something I waited to do. I knew I always wanted to go back. And finish is a way of redeeming myself in the eyes of my parents and my husband and everyone that I had deceived. But I didn't want to do it. I knew that wasn't the right reason, I knew I had to do it for me and for God, and not just to make everybody else proud, you know, and to feel like I had to prove myself, you know, and that was part of me just accepting forgiveness, like, I don't have to, like I've been forgiven and made clean from this, I don't have to keep paying for it. I don't have to keep beating myself up over it. I don't have to feel guilt or shame when I'm around my husband around my parents anymore. They have set me free from that. And so I needed to wait to like completely forgiven myself and released it. And once I did that, I knew it was time, Okay, I'm ready to go back to school, I'm ready to do this. I'm ready to do it for me. On my terms, I'm paying for this time, not my parents, you know, you know, and I'm doing it for me. And it's it's like my own redemption project me and God we're doing this together, we're finishing school together. And this time I'm he's part of it. I didn't let him in on it last time. And this time, he's walking with me and doing it. And all the financial stuff, you know, God has redeemed and brought me so far from that, too. We're completely debt free. And you know, that's, that's a huge, huge thing. Financial stuff has always been an Achilles heel for me all tied into the line and the shame and an area of deceit for me. And that is something God is completely redeemed me from too. And so it's it's really miraculous. When I think of you know, that was 13 years ago, and how far I've come how far God has brought me a sense of that. So
Denisha Workizer 17:42
is your describe that moment in the food court, like I can tears to my eyes because I could feel that weight, as you're sitting there with this book that didn't probably end up in your hands by coincidence. Right? Have this book, you have your journal, you're sitting there, you're carrying all this at that point. And the food court that day, were you married for two years, then a year and a half? A year and a half? So you're a year and a half into your marriage? Wow. So husband, everything on the outside looks like it's going beautifully. I know that we have a college degree you know, we're you know, married, everything looks as it should be that you're carrying the weight, knowing that not only had you, you know, said that you graduated when you hadn't you were carrying through that weight. I mean, I know what anxiety and depression feels like or can feel like for me at least. And that is its own weight it on its own that's walking through concrete without carrying a backpack full of weights, also, right. And so I just picture you sitting in that food court carrying all of this heaped on you. How before you wrote those words down before you confess that to God? What did you think now? I know it wasn't it was an accurate, right? Because we know that that that shame distort so much of what we think that sitting in that food court before you had that moment of confessing to the Lord what was happening, and really owning it yourself in that moment. What did How was your view of God? If somebody were to say, and what does God think of you right now? Before? Right, right, walking into sitting down at that food court? What would you have said?
Anne Imboden 19:28
Yeah, I'm disappointed. I think. I think I felt like I knew I was disappointing him. I knew he knew I there was a piece of me that I was not coming clean about that I was not willing to give him and I knew that was just breaking his heart. I was blessed with a loving, wonderful Christian father who represented unconditional love to me here on Earth and my dad always tell me you can always come home you can always come home no matter what decisions you're making, no matter what you Do home as a safe place. And I, you know, I mean, I tested that a lot, as an adolescent. And even as an elementary aged kid, you know, I tested that a lot. And my dad, God bless him was always so quick to forgive. And while there's nothing wrong with that, my personality for me, it just made me feel worse, you know, knowing that I was so undeserving of that kind of love, I need, I deserve to be yelled at, I deserve to be grounded, I deserve to be kicked out, I deserve to have to pay rent, because I bailed out of college and came home, you know, I should have done all these other things, you know, these things that would give me consequences, you know, that's what I thought he should do. And so when I wasn't given those things, and instead, I was just offered love, free of charge. I didn't know what to do with it. It made me feel worse. And that's not obviously that's not an issue with my dad, that was an issue with me. And I think that's a big reason why I kept it from God for so long. Because I knew I knew as soon as I gave it up, he'd say, It's okay. I'm wiping your slate clean, it's all good. But I knew I didn't deserve that. And I, I felt like I should be treated like my sins deserve. And the Bible actually says the opposite. He does not treat us as our sins deserve. And I didn't know what to do with that kind of mercy. You know? And it seems so twisted now that I mean, gosh, my relationship with the Lord has changed and matured so much that I look at that now and go, Well, that was ridiculous. Like, I knew, I knew I'd be met with forgiveness. And yet I didn't. I didn't give it over. But at the time, that's how I felt.
Denisha Workizer 21:47
So you I love everything that you said there because I think so many times we believe that lie, right? The enemy hides in the darkness. Yeah. And so when we tuck things away, he just his voice can get louder and louder than even the truth of what we know. Yeah, that is that. That's such a great picture of where I think a lot of women find themselves in, whatever their secret is, you know, whatever that secret is, whether it's a secret addiction, whether it's adultery, whether it's past abuse, that we just think, if anyone knew, here's what I would be faced with. And I love what your friend Julie said to you, because that is that's so the heart of God. I mean, I your example of this story. And it's such a beautiful picture how your dad treated you how Julie, you know, held your story was such tenderness, and really just met you in it. She didn't do that you should have you could have now you need to, she held it. And I love that you even said, when I was ready to go tell my husband like, that is such a beautiful picture. And I know that not all of us have been met with such mercy and grace and love, when we have confess something, but what you experienced from your friends and your father was really the heart of God. I mean, that's the prodigal coming home and the father running to him to greet him. I mean, that is just such a beautiful picture. And I just want to encourage our listeners that if you're listening right now, and you're thinking, Oh, but they don't know about my secret. They don't know what I'm holding back. That would not be the case. Like, it's it's worse. Right? I just want to say that that is exactly what the enemy wants us to think. Right? Right. And although there are safe people in our lives, and there are not safe people, right, like you chose Julie for a reason she was your weapons pastor, you know, we have safe friends. And then we have friends that we probably don't want to share an intimate detail, right? That but like you say one more time for ladies that are listening, if they have a secret if they are suffering with anxiety, or depression or something they have kept hidden from their past in their past. And they are holding that weight of shame right now. Can you repeat to them? What Julie's words were to you?
Anne Imboden 24:15
Yes. When I Yeah. When I first confessed to Julie, her her immediate reaction was, I can't believe you've held that for so long. That must have been that must have felt so heavy for you. How difficult it must have been for you to be carrying this weight for so long by yourself. And she met me with that empathy. And it was in that that I just kind of felt the shackles start to release you know, because that's what our sin is. It's slavery. You know, and that's what we need to remember when the enemy is so loud in our in our head and telling us no one will understand you'll never be free of this. You can be free of this. Whatever it is Whether it's your addiction or a lie you've been holding on to whatever it is, you can be free. It made me think of the woman at the well and how Jesus convicted her, he called her out on her sin. But we can't be known unless we're convicted. The only way to truly be known by God or truly be known by our spouse, by a close friend, is for them to know every part of us. Even the yucky stuff, even the sin, even the things that we're ashamed of conviction comes from being known being truly known. And once we're known, that is so freeing, because then you can just be who you are, you can be, you know, you can just be all you all out there, your whole mess of life, your whole mess of your heart can be there, and you can be honest with the people that genuinely know you. And for me, there was just that the confession was such a key part. Yes, confessing to the Lord was a big, big step. And it could have stopped there. But like I said, our sin doesn't affect just us. addiction doesn't affect just you, it's impacted the people around you. Adultery doesn't affect just you, it impacts your spouse, your children, your family. It's our sin, if we let it becomes very selfish, and we can say, Oh, God, I have dealt with this for good, okay, but you've also sinned against the people around you, intentionally or not. And so confession needs to happen there too, in order to make it right. And it is scary. It's so scary, because it might like you said, it might not be met with forgiveness and mercy, we hope it is. But if it's not still the freedom that comes from the confession, you can't control how other people react to your confession, you can't. To release that before you go into it, you have to just be okay with whatever is going to come of this. But your spirit will be unloaded. You can't control what their spirits doing. But you can control yours. And you can offload it and you can be free of the guilt and the shame by putting it out there. And it's also you know, sin has consequences. And so if we're not met with forgiveness, or you know, I had to rebuild trust in my marriage, grateful My husband didn't leave me over it. But it still took me years to get to a point where when I said I was going to work, he trusted I was going to work when I said, you know, no, we didn't overdraft this month, he took my word for it took me a long time to get there. And I still feel almost like I have to show him. I feel like I have to constantly prove myself. And that's me, you know, just feeling guilty still. But it takes work, you have to rebuild the bridges, you've burned. And that's just the consequence of sin, we have to own it, we have to humbly say like, I screwed up, I screwed up, and I need to fix this. But the great thing is you don't have to fix it by yourself. You have a God who is there, you know, and that was my mistake and keeping it I was trying to make it better and hide it and cover all my tracks alone. And not believing that God was going to be there in the confession and that he was going
Denisha Workizer 28:10
to have sounds exhausting. Yes. That sounds exhausting. Trying to hold all of that yourself. Yes,
Anne Imboden 28:17
yes. So there's freedom. There's freedom and in confession, for sure. James 516 is one of my favorite verses about that says confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. And I love that healing, not just the freedom but the healing that comes from confession.
Denisha Workizer 28:38
Amen. Amen. That's such a story. You know, we love the word reclaimed around here. Yes, but it means to rescue and restore. And that's what I see in your story. Even when you mentioned that even as a little girl, you would tell fibs or why. And then fast forward. And here's this incredibly strong, brave woman who has walked with the Lord through the valley and on the mountaintops. And you have, he's completely rescued and restored. Even that, that tendency that might have tried, you know, to come in when you were little, I mean, what a healing process what did it so that is kind of what it looked like with you and your husband was just time just sort of rebuild that trust, rebuild that assurance for him. And the fact you paid your parents back and now you're going to school. That is that is reclamation, right that
Anne Imboden 29:32
Denisha Workizer 29:36
That is God just rescuing and restoring your story and it's really just a beautiful, a beautiful process. I know it took a while like to go through that from the food court moment from the moment it started to the food court. What a what a milestone though. Yeah, I mean to just to picture you sitting in that food court writing it down to yourself. It was almost like admitting it to yourself was that first step of pulling Get out of the darkness into the light and letting God tend to that part of your story.
Anne Imboden 30:04
Yes, I still have I have the same Bible I had that that day, 15 years ago. It's a journaling Bible and the verse that I underlined on that day, and I have the date written next to it, with Psalm 4012, through 13, for troubles without numbers around me, my sins have overtaken me and I cannot see, they're more than the hairs of my head and my heart fails within me, please be be pleased to save me, Lord, come quickly, Lord, to help me. And the note I wrote in the margin was Lord saved me from myself. And I mean, I still like that's I turned to that all the time. And it's such a wonderful reminder of how broken I was and how lost I was. And you mentioned, the prodigal son actually just wrote a blog about that maybe a month ago about that story of the prodigal son, and how so many people relate to the older brother, you know, and being so annoyed that the little brother got this big party, I always relate to the prodigal son, because that was me. And, you know, being being met with such mercy and with such grace, and almost my empathy for that protocol said, Now, like, he wasn't just a defiant, running off, I'm gonna go and blow all my money. That was I don't think that was his intent. That was never my intent was to betray my parents and to, you know, blow through all their money and to fail out of college. Like, it's not that I didn't care about that. It's not that I didn't want responsibility. Like, it wasn't a rebellious teenager, making those decisions. I was lost, I was genuinely lost the depression. I was in a cloud, the anxiety was, you know, throwing me into confusion. I was not who I normally was, I was not healthy. And I was very, very lost. And in that confusion, and that maze of depression and anxiety, I made some horrible choices, some life altering choices. And when I read the product, the story of the prodigal son, that's what I relate to him like, I don't think I don't think he was just a bullheaded, you know, teenager, I think he was lost. I think he thought he knew what he was doing. And then once he got out in the world, and temptation started getting thrown at him, and peer pressure and all these things, all these drawers and the enemy was saying things to him, and he got lost real fast. And it wasn't until he had that for him. It was, you know, in the pigsty, right and eating the pig slop. For me, it was the food court. But that was his moment of like, what am I doing? You know, like, what have I become? What do I, I need to write this, I need to write this wrong. And that's what led him to come back home.
Denisha Workizer 32:43
So what a beautiful picture of Christ's redemption. Yes. So, as we end today, were you raised in a Christian home? It sounds like your dad was amazing. What you were raised in a Christian family. Yes. Okay. Yes, that's really beautiful. What when was the first time that you truly felt Christ's forgiveness and Christ's redemption? Like, can you remember a time maybe when you were a little girl or sometime when you went wow, that is all because of Jesus?
Anne Imboden 33:15
Hmm, that's a great question. Goodness. I mean, I remember when I I mean, I'd always been in church, I'd always heard the name of Jesus. I knew all the Bible stories. We did Bible drills after dinner every night. You know, I was in a wantagh's I knew all the verses. Excuse me. Wasn't until maybe Middle School, where you know, middle school is just rough. i You couldn't pay me to revisit Middle School. Ghetto did my awkward season lasted unusually long. It was a struggle. But I remember going to youth group one night and, and hearing I don't remember what the sermon was about, but it was, you know, the conviction of like, I am not a Christian, just because my parents are like, my parents are not my free pass into heaven. And I never really that never clicked with me until that moment. And I remember talking to a youth leader, a volunteer, a woman there and I remember her sitting down with me and I felt very emotional. I didn't really know why, you know, and she's what's going on is that I didn't realize that this was something I had to do for myself. I didn't know that I needed, you know, God to be in my heart and forgive me, like I thought being in a family that attended church was enough, you know, and I know all I know everything I'm supposed to know. And it wasn't until that moment that I realized I needed to own my relationship with the Lord. But it got tested. I mean, got it got tested, and maybe in high school when I started to deal with peer pressure and you know, a boyfriend who didn't go to church and you know, the temptations that came with that. And I remember feeling very double life, and I was a youth group kid and go on mission trips. But then I had my secular friends, I call them, you know, at school, my non church friends, and they were partying and doing all these things that I knew were wrong. And I was kind of had one foot on both sides. And I think that really, that that's probably was my moment where I had to really decide, was my faith going to be what defined me? Or was it just going to be like a hobby, like something I did, but wasn't who I was, you know. And that's hard. Because in church I didn't want to be I mean, at school, I didn't want to be known as like, the Bible carrying church girl, you know, that was kind of nerdy. I didn't really want that reputation. And I wanted my friends to like me, but I also knew where my where my heart was. And I had to walk that line. So yeah, maybe high school and sixth graders where I came to Jesus, but maybe high school is when I really got tested. And I had to, you know, own my faith. So, so beautiful.
Denisha Workizer 36:03
I think many of us can relate to the moment that I met Jesus day that I accepted him into my heart. And then the day that I, I understood it kind of made my faith, my own. And then the day that I walked in the grace and mercy that Jesus died to give us, and that is living the reclaimed life. That day in the food court girl, you turned a corner to not only know about Jesus, but to truly live the life that he died to give you and freedom and without shackles. I love that you said that. Yes. And thank you so much for being here today. You definitely want to check out our blog this month, and is doing her story of transformation, a little more even of what she shared today about this season in her life. And she's written about that she's incredible, captivating writer. And she's also going to be on the podcast again next week with her husband, Zach. I'm sharing a little bit more about their life and ministry. And so we're just so thankful to have you here this week. So check out the blog if you haven't, and we thank you for being on and we'll see you same time, same place next week.
Anne Imboden 37:15
Denisha Workizer 37:16
Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at reclaimed story. Want to learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community ever claimers? Check out our website at reclaimed story.com. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast Be sure to subscribe rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help and helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.