God blessed me with a love for writing and enough encouragement in that direction that I am just going to write and hope someone reads. Life provides lots of experiences that give me plenty to write about. My goal with this blog is to share how God works through them.
My grandmother passed away many years ago, but she left me with a story I treasure. She was driving us somewhere back before seatbelt laws. I was a young child standing next to her with my arm around her shoulder when I spontaneously leaned over her and waved out her driver’s side window. She asked who I was waving to and I replied, “To God, he’s everywhere.” I can picture this memory so vividly, even though I think it was planted there from her story rather than an actual recollection of it. But either way, I know that God has been real to me for as long as I remember.
That doesn’t mean that I have always lived a God-honoring life, far from it. And, like many people, at times my sin and regrets have kept me from growing and experiencing all God has for me. That binding tool of Satan’s still tries to creep into my life now and then, though I am better equipped with the Word of truth, which leads me to repentance and joy, knowing in my soul that my sins were nailed to the cross of Jesus.
I was asked to share my testimony at a women’s breakfast for our church. I was honored to be asked, but this was very scary. I had attended this church a couple years, taught Sunday school, attended Bible study, went to the women’s retreat, and tithed regularly. On the surface I looked like I had it all together and always had. Was I going to perpetuate that image or come clean?
It had been two years since my husband had passed away, and that long since I had taken a vacation from work. I decided to prepare for sharing with the women at church by venturing away on my own for the first time. A former worship pastor who was very special to my family was serving at a church on the coast. Two years earlier he had traveled 100 miles to visit my husband in the hospital, and then led our family in late night worship the very night an ambulance brought him home to die. I booked a hotel on the beach with plans to attend his church while I was there.
I spent my days at the beach confessing, journaling, praying, and accepting forgiveness from our loving God. The idea of revealing to the women at church left me feeling vulnerable – they only knew the whitewashed version of me and would undoubtedly view me differently if I shared openly. God gave me the courage to trust him and share anyway. I found that doing so was a relief of sorts and led to more authentic relationships. I believe it also encouraged others who were letting shame and regret keep them from accepting forgiveness and growing into who God has called them to be.
My goal with this blog is to share my experiences as I become, step by tiny step, the woman God created me to be. I am a long way from that person right now, but I am resolved to work at it day by day, sharing along the way. I hope you find encouragement as you join me.