Not matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done, you have a story & your story matters deeply to God.
Your personal testimony of what God has done in your life is one of the greatest ways to point others to Jesus. Because, God's love story is the greatest story of all. The entire Bible points to Jesus, just as our entire story points to Jesus' love & power in our lives. Jesus heals, redeems, and sets us free.
When we let God into all areas of our lives, He starts to heal us, so we can heal others.
God created us to be in community with one another. To share our stories and connect with people vulnerably, face-to-face, and authentically.
When we realize Jesus' unique love for each of us - that He took the humble position as a human slave, died a criminal's death on a cross, was resurrected from the dead to free us from sin and death, and that the creator of the universe desires to have a relationship with each of us - we want to lovingly tell everyone! God's story is all about redemption through Jesus, our story is meant for the same.
It takes boldness and courage to vulnerably share your story.
We think to ourselves: “What if they judge me for my past?” "What if I don't say the right words?" “What do I say if they don't understand?” "What if I am not ready to share my story because of shame and regret?" What if, What if, What if...
BUT, what IF we flipped the script.
What if you shared your story with someone and they accepted Christ for the first time? What if you planted a seed by sharing your story and God continues to water it? What if someone's heart starts to soften by hearing your vulnerable story? What if you shared the healing God has done in your life and it provided healing for others - in your neighborhood, workplace, family, or friends? and what if you experience freedom and healing by sharing your story?
We need a whole lotta Jesus, to fuel us with His BOLDNESS. It starts daily with Jesus. Through Him, all things are possible. Our qualification comes from God - we have everything we need. We don't need to have all the answers or understand everything. We just need to know Jesus. God uses us to plant the seeds and He does the heavy lifting. The Holy Spirit is the one who transforms lives. We are called to be obedient to share what another person may need to hear.
No matter what our past looks like, God redeems. But oftentimes, it takes time and effort on our part. Patient endurance and wholeheartedly seeking Him. When we invite Him into wherever we are or have been, He walks with us every step of the way. He hears our cries and knows our wounds. He makes all things new over time. Each passing day you are more Christ-like than before - celebrate and claim that victory that you have through Jesus on a daily basis.
What has happened in the past doesn't define us. Jesus defines us as loved unconditionally, uniquely made in His image, and filled with purpose. Oftentimes, the valleys in our stories are where we are made stronger, wiser, and more empathetic for the the pain others experience in this world.
In Jesus, we are victorious and we can claim that everyday. Sometimes God brings us through the dirt in order to grow our roots in Him, and truly heal from the past. He gently removes the weeds from our soil and tenderly nurtures us. It doesn't always feel good, takes time, and can be a bit messy, but God is always good.
Healed people, heal people and hurt people, hurt people. First, let God into the areas and allow Him to do His work (seek Him through His word, filter all thoughts through His Word, read Christian books, pray often, talk to a trusted friend or counselor, and wholeheartedly seek Jesus) and then when God taps on the corridors of your heart to share your story with others, walk in faith and expect freedom for yourself and others.
1.) The Before: Who were you before following Jesus?
What was you life like before you accepted and started following Christ? Where did you look for identity, happiness, or purpose?
2.) The Acceptance: How did you receive Christ into your life?
What was your initial reaction? When did you first hear the Gospel? What did you struggle with prior to accepting Christ? Why did you receive it?
3.) The After: Following Jesus.
What changes has Christ made in you and in your life and how is your life different?