Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving...My Testimony

"For your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth." ~ Psalm 26:3

Heather has asked us to share out testimony. I have prayed about this. It is not easy for me. I do not have the profound Billy or Ruth Graham kind of testimony, though that is how I was raised and should have turned out I suppose. Having finished "Behind Those Eyes" and being more motivated to live in God's truth of whom I am, not the worlds impression, nor satan's view, I venture to write this with humility, brokenness, and gratitude.

I am humbled by how may times I have been able to make wrong choices and God has continued to be there, protecting me, loving me. I am secure in Him alone.

"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders." Deut. 33:12
I am broken from the choices I have made along the way but I cherish this brokenness. It has transformed me. It continues to transform me. It has connected me to the God I grew up with but never really longed for...not like I do now. I can't get enough of Him!
"He knew that even after the severest beating of my life and by far the deepest brokenness, He'd forgive me, heal me, crucify that self-destructive part of me, and stand me back on my feet through the measureless power of His Spirit." Beth Moore, Stepping Up, pp.75.
I am grateful, grateful for His grace. Grateful for the blessing and mercy He has shown despite "me".
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.~Act 20:24
My story? I grew up in a Baptist home-strict independent baptist Bschool starting with 8th grade. My parents wanted to shade me from the world and give me a foundation for living a good Christian life. I saw it as being overly protective. No jeans or pants, no movies, no dancing. When I graduated high school I experienced my first love and stayed home to be with him verses going to the Christian college they wanted me to attend. Of course that relationship didn't last. I walked away from all that I had been raised in, including God, for 10 years.

Those 10 years were all about "me". I worked to support myself, I played, I partied, I gave myself away. When I entered my first marriage, my heart started longing for some of those faith foundations again. I started attending church and eventually allowed God back into my life. I started that long journey of spiritual rebirth. I became active in ministry and thought I was spiritually sound until the divorce came around.

Though my current husband had nothing to do with my separation and divorce, he came into my life before the papers were even signed. His struggling marriage failed because we choose to sin and come together when we did. It cost us dearly. We lost our church family, our ministries, our friends. The children suffered and some continue to make them suffer still. We did give back our relationship to God and ended the sin but not the friendship. We grew together spiritually. Today I am married to him and God is blessing us, like He did David and Bathsheba. His grace and mercy is phenomenal. He has us back in ministry but most of all, He has both of us in a new way. We thought we were both too spiritual to fall into satans trap-a church deacon and a women active in ministry? Never. Never did it cross my mind that I would fall into such a trap, such a dark and lonely pit.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.

3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many people will see this and worship him. Then they will trust the Lord. ~Psalm 40 (NCV)

But the truth is, I am not that sin anymore. In my brokenness God took me into His arm and sooth the pain and transformed me into a vessel that He can now use to help others find Him, even those in the worst that life has to offer. God had me, He had us right where He needed us to get us to be usable for him. No more living a lie, no more "doing ministry". We are living in His truth, we are living in ministry because He has called us to it. For the last four-five years He has carefully been removing me to reveal His child, forgiven and redeemed. Humbled. Brokened. Grateful.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." ~Gen. 50:30
There are still a lot of layers of me to remove. I am not flawless but I do have a new vision for my life. I do have new eyes in which to look through. I also have a new heart, bruised but mended, full of so much passion to know Him more and to reflect Him more and to show Him to others.

And they [I] have defeated him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by their [my] testimony.~Rev 12:11

Be careful what you judge. Be careful of the attitude you develop towards others. Be careful because you might find yourself in their shoes. Like me.

I am thankful for His grace.

In His Graces~Pamela


Denise said...

Thank you for sharing your precious heart.

Melanie said...

Oh, Pamela... thank you so for such an open and honest post! God IS so great to meet us where we and renew and restore us.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

What a leap with this post friend. I thank you for your vulnerability in sharing this part of your story. How painful it must have been to write; let's trust God to use it as only he can. Don't be surprised how the enemy might land on this one...be prepared. I often find that my most "vulnerable" pennings are the ones he quickly leaps upon, calling into question my wisdom on the matter.

Pamela, God can redeem our pasts for his glory; he has begun the process with you and your family, and I'm praying for your heart tonight. For God's protection and love to be your guard in all directions and that when you are tempted to second guess your decision, that Romans 8 will be your portion. There is now no further condemnation for you, child. Our Father walked all the way to Calvary and back for our sins. He paid a heavy price. It was enough...more than enough.

Rest in that grace and truth and thankfulness this holiday season.

I love you, friend.


Daveda said...

Thank you for your heartfelt honesty. We all mess up in this life, and there are no degrees of wrong in God's eyes. God will continue to show you that, you are the apple of His eye! When he looks at you He sees Jesus! I enjoyed the genuine "I am a real person" quality of your post.

Amy said...

I know from sharing my own "past" that this was not an easy post for you to write, but I know God is up there smiling at you for doing so.:)

Thank you for sharing your humble heart. You have no idea how many women your honesty will be able to bless.

What a treasure you and your husband have in each other.

I want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving, Pamela. May the Lord of all Creation shower you and your family with blessings.

In Christ,

Giving Thanks said...

Momma Joe B,

Thanks for sharing your testimony with us! Your an incredible woman. I'm honored to know you.

The Lord is doing wonderful things in you and through you. I love to read your blog and see your heart all the time. Your a true blessing to us all!

I'm so grateful for what the Lord has coming in your future. I hope you'll keep sharing it here.

Much Love,
Your host of Giving Thanks

Yolanda said...

Sister, way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grace, grace and more grace; received and oh how important to pour that out onto others that perhaps find themselves where we once were. GRACE!

I love ya!

Mari said...

Pamela: You are a precious gem! Thank you so much for sharing this. I know God placed this on your heart for a reason. You are a blessing. Never let satan tell you anything otherwise. We are all a work in progress And you are a neautiful work in progress. Much love my friend.

Jill said...

I am touched by your words and honesty. God is a great God and we all have so much to be thankful for - His love, His grace, His mercy...not of it do any of us deserve, but He is giving. Thanks for reminding me of that, reading your story has me reflecting on mine. Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing so openly. What a blessing to know your testimony. Especially after going through the study together. I am so thankful that we got to know each other there, and hope that we can continue to grow together towards the Lord.
May God bless you for your openness, and your willingness to be authentic! What a great way to really round off our study... really sharing from your heart (like Lisa said) though there is a fear of rejection, can open up doors for others around you (at home or here in bloggy land) to share and be open about their mistakes, pains, and things they have learned, or even for them to ask for help and prayers.
OH, I pray Lord that You would honor Pamela's honesty, and her willingness to share her heart. Thank You so much for her Lord, and the blessing that she is to so many of us. I ask that through this post and all of her writings that You would be seen... that You would be made known... that You would be glorified. Please be her Shield and Portion, her Protector and Strong Tower. Thank You Lord for saving her, for keeping after her even when she ran away, and for working on her, and healing her when she came back. Praise be to You, Jesus, Amen.
Love you,

Lisa A. Shaw said...

Heavenly Father, we thank You for your love, goodness and mercy toward Pamela and her husband and to all of us. Thank You Father that though we all have sinned in different ways, Your love through Your Son Jesus came and touched our hearts and through that love came our repentance and a working of Your Holy Spirit in our lives. We are so thankful for the testimony that each one of us has.

I pray Father for your protection around Pamela's heart and that her heart to share would reach out to thousands of women and men who need to read, hear and know this type of love and encouragement. You have such an incredible way of showign Your never ending, ever abounding love towards us Father and we are so thankful. We honor You. We acknowledge Your holiness and righteousness and we love and adore You.

Thank You Father for Your divine presence in our lives in Jesus Name we pray with grateful hearts. Amen. Amen.

**Thank you Pamela for your heart for GOD and for reaching people with your heart. Many you will never know but GOD knows! He sees, hears, cares and is near to you and your family and to all of us.

When I came to the end of your testimony I could hear in my heart, "You are loved". I feel that was just for you so I wanted to share that with you.


I'm a new reader. I responded to your other post. Thank you.

Beth in NC said...

Hi Pamela. I just found your blogspot and enjoyed reading your testimony. Thanks for being so transparent. You aren't the only one who has stumbled while in a ministry role. I definitely came close to falling in a huge trap myself. God's grace and mercy amazes me too.

I'm so glad you are walking in His love now. He is a wonderful Father!

Love in Him,