Gracefully Truthful

God,Hope,Love,Mercy,Seeking,Sketched

Read His Words Before Ours!

Matthew 13:10-17
Psalm 8
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

“Do you seek to please Me or man?”

Those were the exact words I heard as God and I were dialoguing.
Yes, talking.
And yes, I do hear Him speak to me, as clear as day.

I was walking through the lobby of our church on the way to Bible study, and we were having a discussion about me sharing my testimony. I, again, was saying, “No, not me, why me?”

This was not the first time I had run away from sharing my testimony. The first time was a few years back. Same church, different location.  I was listening to our pastor, and the message was one I had never heard before in church.

I had been christened and confirmed as a child; I was in the choir and a youth leader in the Anglican church. After meeting my husband, I moved to a Baptist church, and still, this was the first time I had heard this message. I was in my early thirties.

The message was about abortion. I was post-abortive, a truth that had been buried deep within me, and not one I believed I could ever bring to the light of day.

I was shocked and stunned. I felt trapped as if someone were shooting me with an AK47.  I realize more now it was definitely a stun gun. It was not meant to harm me, but to bring me to a realization.

And what a realization: God, in all His mercy, loved me fully. And accepted me fully. There were no unforgivable sins. His death covered even my sins!

My testimony, the things God had forgiven me for, did not need to be shared, I believed.
I had shared about being molested by my stepbrother and a priest; about countless other sins, but others also had similar stories.
Weren’t there certain sins that would get you blackballed, ridiculed, looked at, shunned? These words, I realized that day, were from the enemy of my soul.

I was in a place where things seemed to be good . . . finally.
I was a table leader in the biggest Bible study in my town at the time.  It seemed as if everyone was saved since childhood and never sinned badly. Not only that, I was one of the few black women.

“Why me, Lord?” I said.

“Do you seek to please Me or them?” He asked.

It really was a no-brainer. Jesus died for me. His death paid the price for my sin. I remembered the woman at the wellDavid, the woman with the alabaster boxPaul . . . those were my heroes. But I had never seen or heard anyone share my type of story.

Thank God for the Bible. I thank God constantly for placing messed-up, flawed people whom He loved and called His own in the Bible because, if I had to go on what I saw, I would have never found complete freedom and help.

That Tuesday, at Bible study, I shared how I had fallen and sinned against God in many ways, but ultimately with abortion. I told them how I felt that my life was worthless, but after reading God’s words about the woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well, I realized there was also hope for me.

I shared how I was not ashamed of the gospel because it had the power to save, like Paul said. I shed many true tears that morning.

My sisters in Christ received me and shared about a Crisis Pregnancy Center in the area. I didn’t think I needed a place like that. But God knew. I spoke with the Center director who was also post-abortive. I was amazed she was being used by God in such a way to minister to others.

She spoke about a Forgiven and Free Bible study. Again, I thought I didn’t need this either. Boy, was I wrong! I attended that recovery Bible study along with other women and, by the end of those lessons, I truly experienced freedom in Christ!

I went on to volunteer at the Center and came face to face with men and women, seeking abortion, or simply lost in choices they’d made and needing direction.
I finally felt truly alive serving in this capacity.
I also realized God has a way of using things meant to destroy us for His good and His glory.

Today, I serve as a full-time missionary in my country, where my husband and I began the first ProLife ministry and pregnancy center. As I sit across from a man or woman considering abortion, I can share truth about that “choice” and the truth of God’s word. I marvel at the goodness of God: that He could take a life like mine and use it for His glory.

He is using me to bring life in the midst of death, light to the darkness, hope to the hopeless, freedom to those in bondage. Incredible!

In the words of David, “What is man that You are mindful of him. . . ?” (Psalm 8:4)
I will be forever grateful and blessed because of His compassion on us as He throws our sin into the depths of the sea.

My life–your life–is a living testimony, needing to be shared!

Two truths as I close my story.
To whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

A Note About Sketched

In Sketched themes, we imaginatively step into the shoes of various characters throughout history. Some are biblical, some are well-known in modern day times, and some are people our writers know personally.

We do our best to research the culture and times surrounding these individuals to give an accurate representation of their first-person perspectives on life and the world, but we can’t be 100% accurate. “Sketched” is our best interpretation of how these characters viewed God, themselves, and the world around them.

Perhaps we will find parts of our story reflected in theirs!

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Mandy Farmer
Mandy Farmer
6 months ago

Beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Marietta Taylor
Editor
4 years ago

Rhonda thank you for sharing your story! I just left a conference here hundreds of women confessed the sins or burdens that had them bound. What freedom when the Light is shone upon what we keep in the dark. And when you share it, it helps set others free from condemnation. Bless you my sister!

Merry Ohler
Admin
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your testimony with us, Rhonda! God bless you for your boldness and vulnerability. Proud to call you my sister in faith!

Pat Larimore
Pat Larimore
4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. Your message will uplift others with the truth of redemption, the truth of God’s Forgiveness and Mercy and Love.

Jo Bigelow
Jo Bigelow
4 years ago

I know Rhonda from a visit to the Bahamas. She is an incredible woman who loves her LORD AND SAVIOR. HE is using her in a mighty way. She is a living testimony of the LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST. Thank you Rhonda for sharing!

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Sketched VI, Day 2
Digging Deeper

God will give us strength only He can provide. He will place other believers in our lives to walk with us, encourage us, and love us through our struggles, and we always have the hope found only in Jesus.

That is the comfort promised to us in our suffering. How have you been comforted lately?

Can We Pray With You?

Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!

This Week's Lock Screen
Sep 30 - Oct 18, 2019 - Journey Theme #59

Authentically living out a life of worship to the God who rescued us from darkness requires accountability and intentionality. Join a GT POD and take the next step in your faith journey!

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