This past week, I had an opportunity to share my testimony and a few songs with some beautiful women at the Shalom Center in Belton, SC. It was literally the first time I stood in front of a pulpit to share the love and wonder of Christ. My pastor, Mark Gasque, encouraged me to just tell my story from the heart. I spent some time that day writing out my story; the story in which God gave me to tell, and it was such a freeing thing. I was able to remember times in my life where it was totally dark, but Jesus caused there to be a great light. He caused me to push forward and keep on going. He taught me to be strong.
So I wrote this all out, not with the expectation that I would actually say all of it; just that I would remember again what it was that He did for me. As the women filed into the chapel, I looked into their eyes. You could see that some had already been crying. What was God already doing in them, and how could I say something that would maybe flip the switch for some of them? I wanted them to see something real; to see how we can literally CRY OUT to God, and He will answer.
As I began to speak, I was no longer Beth Ehlert, the worship pastor at Hope Fellowship. I was just me. I was a daughter to the most amazing and loving King. The story I shared was not my own, but a story of how Jesus took me at the lowliest of lows and made me His child. It is a story of adoption in its purest forms. God’s voice emerged. He was there to tell them how much he loved them; to remind them that He’d been there all along. He was there. As my friend and bandmate, Kris Kilgore says, “There is no such thing as a casual encounter with God.”
After I spoke, Nick Pratt (also a friend and bandmate) and I played the song, Captivated, by Vicky Beeching. This song was instrumental in turning my heart towards Christ. I encourage you to listen to this song, and hear it from the standpoint of God singing this over you. Then we played our first ever Hope original song, I Breathe, which was amazing. I am not at all biased, though. 😉 We ended our time singing How He Loves. His presence was most certainly there, and it was so sweet.
After my time was over, I had an opportunity to just love on several of the women there. They touched me with their realness and sincerity. And then I thought to myself that so many of us are blessed to have a story of God’s redemption, yet we fail to share it. Perhaps we should ask ourselves why we don’t share. Are we afraid of reliving the pain and shame of our sin? Are we afraid of what others will think of us if they know who we were? Romans 8:1- states:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Do you understand what this is saying? If not, read it again and again until you do. There is no condemnation for us who are walking in the Spirit. Who cares what man says about us? They may not understand the transformation, but God is deliriously happy about it. So get out there and tell your stories. You’ve been given a gift, so use this gift to bring glory and honor to Jesus!!