I Won The Lottery!
By Linda C Dipman

   I couldn't breath, words were not coming out of my mouth.  I silently read the numbers again, and again.  
Everything matched, I won the 3 million dollar lottery.

   Fame, fortune, the American Dream!  It all happened in the blink of an eye.  I had achieved what
everyone only dreams of.  I have everything I want.  I could finally relax for I had attained my life purpose.  
Or did I?

    As a youth I was brought up to believe in the American dream. An image of a stately house with a white
picket fence surrounding a yard with children playing gleefully under my watchful, motherly eye of
protection.

   A life that reflected a faith that shone brightly with service to the local  Baptist church. A life proving my
love for God and my choice to be an example for all those who would come to know Him through me.

   I was in the midst of an imaginary world.  This was not God's will for my life.  He had a plan to teach me
things that I would not have understood if I hadn't changed the path that I was traveling.

   The Spirit took my ignorance about God and changed it into a new light of understanding.  This
knowledge pitted me against my family, church and friends.  For now instead of loving a man I was in love
with a woman.

   The drama that proceeded from my change was startling. The house that I built with my husband
crumbled, as if its foundation was on sand.  

   And a new structure took its place, built on understanding the difference between light which stands for
truth and knowledge and darkness which stands for evil and sin.  

   God built this new house on a feeling that expressed itself in love.  He changed my thinking and helped
me to see.  The light of a new dawn braking forth and suddenly I was transformed by a teacher that was
talking inside of me.

   My new teacher was the Holy Spirit, who took me through the trials of life and gave me a new
understanding.  Jesus Christ spoke to my heart and trained me in the battleground of the world.  

   Now I could no longer attain the same kind of life I had before.  Now I had to learn lessons of rejection
and misunderstanding. I learned to lean on God for support and guidance and no longer on man.

   Matthew 10:34-39, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring
peace, but a sword.  I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers,
daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man's worst enemies will be the members of his own family.

   Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not fit to be my disciple;  whoever loves his son or
daughter more than me is not fit to be my disciple.  Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my
steps is not fit to be my disciple.  Whoever tries to gain his own life will lose it;  but whoever loses his life for
my sake will gain it."

   I ate and drank these words holding with all of my might to the Almighty God.  I held so tight that my Bible
became worn and tattered.  I prayed until a glimmer of light opened my mind to a new way of looking at life.

   In order to follow God I had to trust Him completely and I had to let go even of those who I was close to.  
When I let go of how the world sees family then I gained the knowledge that I needed to understand why
following God would lead me down paths that would bring meaning to the purpose for my life.

   These scriptures are terrifying when you live in this world the way we are taught to live.  But they are
also freeing when we don't have the constant pressure of conforming to our families standard of living.

   When we let go of what others demand are important to this life a bright light of understanding opens up
and helps us to let go of this world.  Letting go of my life and giving into God's plan changed me.

   It is important to understand that change is God's way of getting our attention away from conforming to
the standards of this world.  God desires for us to understand truth, but in order to do that we must depend
on Him to see us through the battles we will face.

   I had no idea that what brought me the most pain was the very thing that would save my life.  Before I
thought our world was a safe place to live and raise a family.  Now I understood what seemed to be good  
according to the teachings of the church leaders turns out to be completely wrong to how God wanted me
to lead my life.

   God's light of understanding awakened in me a purpose that I never had before.  A desire to teach
others that they were wrong about lifestyles and the real purpose of living life in this world.

   A rich young man came to Jesus and stated that from his youth he had obeyed all of God's
commandments.  He then asked Jesus what else did he need to do.

   Matthew 20:21-24, "Jesus said to him, 'If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the
money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.'
   When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.
   Jesus then said to his disciples, 'I assure you:  it will be very hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of
heaven.  I repeat; it is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go
through the eye of a needle.'"

   If we believe Jesus is the light of the world, then we would have to understand that these scripture
proves that the American Dream is wrong.  We are not here to have everything we want.  We are here to
live our lives for what we can get from having money.

   Now, I know you're wondering what I did with my lottery money.  The truth is, I didn't win any money, but I
did win the lottery.  I lost everything, my friends, my family, my church, even my identity.  

   Yet through the lost of things of this world I gained a Spiritual wisdom.  A knowledge that awakened in me
my life purpose.  A truth that revealed a better plan for my life through holding fast to God.  

   Through time, God has rewarded me, I have a firm foundation in Jesus Christ.  I have no contact with my
brothers or sister, but I have three children and six grandchildren that make each day of my life exciting.  

   I may not have a lot of money, but I never give up because I know that God has all the money in the
world and He is able to meet my needs. Finding God in a world that is so greedy is winning the Lottery!