"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