Our pastor is doing a sermon series on GRACE. We are three weeks in, and the sermons have been powerful. At the start, he told us that our ministry leaders were hoping to incorporate "grace stories" within the series. During the second week, I felt led to just write out my own grace story. I'm not sure why. THEN... I felt led to send it on to our pastor. He knows our "story", so I wasn't really worried about letting him read through my testimony.
However, the next day, Scotty got a call that they wanted me to video my story to be part of the next Sunday's service. See, my grace story deals with God's sustaining grace, and THAT was the topic of this past week's sermon. Coincidence?!?! ;)
Anyway, I DO NOT like the platform. I DO NOT like the attention. I DO NOT like being on camera... especially if I'm going to talk about deep and emotional experiences. Who wants to be THAT vulnerable for all to see.
But, I'm past doing the "comfortable" thing. We have a story. God's done AMAZING things, and we NEED to share. So, I went to the church last Thursday and recorded. I pulled out of the church SO VERY happy that it was done. Then, Thursday evening, an emotional fog covered me, and I spent 2 FULL days in complete spiritual warfare!!!
See, this is HARD, too. My video testimony that the entire church heard last week talks about the sustaining grace that has literally been POURED over my life. It's real. It wasn't a show! But, for the 2 days prior to it being shown, I was in an all out battle over my mind/thoughts. And, many of the moments in those 2 days, I was LOSING! At my lowest point, I recognized that I was in spiritual warfare, that Satan knows he can't tempt me into some kind of addiction or to turn my back on God, so he was warring against me with "Why did God..." and "How could He..." thoughts. Even then, after identifying my enemy, I became angry with God. I kept asking over and over why God was letting Satan get to me. I was in COMPLETE victim mode. And, as I've stated here before, I HATE VICTIM MODE!
It serves NO positive purpose.
It's a WASTE of time!
But, that didn't stop me. I pitied ME and wondered why God wouldn't have put a protective shield around me binding Satan from me. Those were my honest feelings. I knew God could handle it. But, I felt so guilty! So, there I was going round and round... miserable with God, miserable with me, miserable with God, miserable with me... Ugh! Exhausting.
So, it's really hard for me to be this open. You already know all of the yuck that's gone on in my life. That part is no secret. But, to share my internal struggles is new... To share that I momentarily turned on the ONE constant of my life is humiliating! But, I did. And, so that Satan can't use THAT against me in the future and call my a hypocrite for boasting of the great grace of my God while questioning that same God, I'm just going to go ahead and confess it!
Yep. That's me. I'm hypocritical. Occasionally, my outward expressions (what I TRULY believe) don't match up with the first responses popping up within. And, even still, God pours out His GREAT grace and draws me back to the TRUTH of who He is! He gently reminds me of who I am, and I'm overwhelmed that He'd spend the time demonstrating his love to me. His grace is amazing. His grace is sustaining! His grace is ENOUGH!
So, while there has been so much difficulty associated with preparing my testimony, I'm still sharing it here. Because, it's my story. And, any good in my story is a gift of grace from my God. And, I'm beyond grateful. The entire sermon (3rd of the GRACE series) was wonderful and definitely worth a listen. But, my testimony plays around 37 minutes.
You rarely know how things will turn out, but... - [image: https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS8uoyk5Jw2XILk-cR6Bf8KqzjZqfjgToMotvqsvK0P4ewgkhwQmA] Denzel Washington starred in the movie ...
5 months ago