Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me (Psalm 66:16 NLT).
Friend to Friend
I was 16 years old and about 100 pounds soaking wet.
My friend’s dad, Mr. Evans, gathered up a few of us teenagers and drove us to a church just outside my hometown. We were going to give our testimonies at a Saturday night gathering of strangers. I’d never stood behind a podium, spoken into a mic, or stared at a sea of faces thinking I had something to say.
When my name was called, I walked up the stage steps, took a deep breath, and told all those staring eyes about how Jesus plucked me out of a home filled with alcohol abuse and violence. I also told them about the woman who introduced me to Jesus and how I accepted Him as my Savior when I was fourteen. I told them how Jesus was making me not so afraid anymore, and how I was praying for my parents to know Jesus too.
Was I eloquent? No. Did I quote Scripture? No. Were there tears? Yes.
There wasn’t much room left at the front of the sanctuary when Mr. Evans gave the altar call that night.
And so it began…me learning just how important stories are.
I didn’t know this verse then, but I know it now: “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me” (Psalm 66:16 NLT).
Every redemptive story, like a raw seed, cannot realize its potential until it is planted in the heart of another human being. And a plant born of a seed will become a plant that bears more seeds. Make no mistake about it. Your story matters.
But the devil doesn’t want you to tell your story of what God has done in your life. He wants you to keep it bottled up and hidden away in the back of the pantry where no one can find it. He doesn’t want you to tell how you traded in your anger and resentment for God’s grace and forgiveness. How you traded in your feelings of condemnation and self-loathing for freedom and a new beginning. How you traded in your broken pieces for a beautiful masterpiece.
Don’t do it, he whispers. They won’t like you. They’ll think badly of you. They’ll reject you. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. As long as nobody knows, you’ll be accepted.
But here’s the truth: If you listen to the wrong voice, you will make the wrong choice. The devil will do everything he can to keep you silent. He knows that your willingness to place your story in God’s holy hands will lead to full redemption, where, in the words of Beth Moore, “the pain is treated and turned around so thoroughly that it not only loses its power to do you harm but also gains the power to do some good.”
When I first felt God calling me to share with others how He had redeemed my past, I argued just a bit. “But God,” I cried, “There are some things about my life I don’t want to tell.” And then I sensed Him saying, Would you rather people think well of you, or of Me?
At that point, I had a decision to make, and I’ve never regretted the transparency He’s called me to. It could very well be that my mess could be the message that ushers in the miracle in someone else’s life. If I refuse to speak up, God will choose someone else who will, and I will miss the blessing.
So, don’t hide your story. Own it! Tell it! Rejoice in it! Realize that no matter what has happened in your life, your lows, your disappointments, and your struggles can be the most compelling parts of your story. People will rally around you, and you will find love and connection in the process. If you are willing, your wounds can become the source of your greatest strengths.
God may not be calling you to tell your story in an auditorium full of strangers, but He is calling you to tell your story to someone. Look for that person you can trust with your heart—someone with whom you can feel totally exposed and completely loved at the same time. Then take the first step and tell your story.
Father, thank You for giving me a new ending to my story. I pray You will give me opportunities to tell others what You’ve done for me, and that I won’t hold anything back.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you know someone who needs to hear your story? God does. Ask Him to show you who that person is.
Have you ever told your story? Start by telling three statements: This is who I was. This is what Jesus did for me. This is who I am now. Click on comment and share your three statements.
More from the Girlfriends
Your story matters, and someone needs to hear it. But are you ready? Has the healing happened? If you know you have a story to tell but not sure where to begin, this book is for you. When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories.
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Who I was- a sad, hopeless alcoholic
What God did for me- took away the relentless need for alcohol and gave me a peace that only He can give
Who I am now- loving my sober life and sharing my story to other addicts the hope that is in Jesus
I love…who I am now…!
I was abused and broken and lost. I became an alcoholic.
God saved me from addiction and filled me with forgiveness, mercy and grace.
Today I am 10 years and 9 moths sobe, I am a mom, a Mimi to 4 amazing grandchildren, I stayed sober through the death of my husband, I have a host of amazing friends. I live in peace.
Thank You God for my new life 🙌🏻
My mother physically and emotionally abused me and my older brother when we were kids. Through the grace of God, I forgave her, however, my older brother have not..he’s 60 and I still feel the resentment and bitterness… it breaks my heart because he’s unable to have a healthy and loving “brotherly” relationship with me. I will continue to pray that someday his heart will heal and be filled with love and forgiveness and we can have a somewhat decent relationship. In Jesus Name I pray.
I was, the “woman at the well”…
Jesus, met me, when I felt I wasn’t forgivable (my parents couldn’t forgive me); but Jesus gave me His forgiveness!
I am now, a disciple and a daughter of the King!
“Thank you, Lord… for going out of your way, to “my Samaria” to find me…Amen.”
First off, I read your book and truly enjoyed it. My childhood was much like yours with parents that drank and fought all the time. But it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that my life was a mess. I was a single mom with four children and life was hard, very hard. Thank the Lord for a friend who was praying for me. She introduced me to a Christian TV Show that interviewed folks that gave their testimony of how Jesus changed their lives. I wanted what they had. It wasn’t long after I received Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
What a glorious day when I received God’s love and forgiveness. He turned my life around and I couldn’t help but tell everyone about what God did for me. I ended up a year later moving to Pineville, N.C. to work for that ministry. Life has been an adventure for me ever since I gave my life to Christ.
There is a new song out today that shares ,“ Let me tell you about my Jesus”, that I love to sing. I’m in my seventies now and I can’t help telling others of how Jesus Christ turned my life around. I believe that it is so important to tell our testimony to others. For it is only God Almighty who can change a life. Like the woman at the well in John 4:39, “ Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony”.
Thanks to all the beautiful woman at GIRLFRIENDS IN GOD who share their lives and testimonies. Keep up the good work. May the good Lord continue to bless your wonderful ministry.
Thank you. We love doing life with you!
I was abused with words and hit as a child. My father could not control his anger. Being an only child, I had no one to turn to. My dad restricted me to just home and school. My neighbors invited the family to church, my father didn’t want to go and didn’t allow mom to go, but sent me to stop the “pestering” neighbors and to get me out of his sight. It was there that I heard about a God who cares for me. It was at the church that I met and accepted Jesus as my Savior.
Who I was before Christ was a very self-focused worldly loving verbally abusive to my family person.
What God did for me was beyond what I deserve and through many different people he called me back to him and when I made the choice to be fully run to Him and fully emerge in his baptism my whole life changed and how I handled things. And who I am now is a lover of Jesus who wants to serve others all the days of my life here on earth and to help them see how much Jesus loves them.
I’m not showing off. I never had it as hard as you ladies. I am forever humbled that The Lord allowed me to be in the presence of women and men who have allowed the Lord to deliver them from the desert storms of Satan the Roach! I salute you soldiers of Christ
It is very humbling, isn’t. Some great overcomers here!
I’ve been abused from the age of three to the age of fourteen sexually but with gods grace I survived and was made very strong because of it and very determined I became a achoholic because of it or so I thought at the age of 39 I had undergo 10 surgeries due to injuries of work I had a breakdown the company retired me when they discovered I was bi polar which was another blessing from god I’ve learned a lot about my bi polar disorder and am able to help my daughter because of it this is a disorder that is passed among family genes she is doing well because I’ve been able to guide her with god by my side I still undergo my storms but god is always there with me pulling g me through I’m now in my sixties and to this day I’ve undergone 26 surgeries survived one heart attack two major strokes and nine TIAS from the heart attack and strokes I have no disability that can be noticed you see me I don’t look sixty one strong as a ox 6 ft tall 215 lbs god built me like a tank friends say I shouldn’t be alive but god has a purpose in me to show others he does give blessings on a daily bases everyday I wake I thank him for the life he has given me and ask him to use me in any way he can I have shocked more doctors with gods help of belief and prayer and straight he has given me so again thank you god for all you’ve done
Who I was — depressed, insecure, and asleep
What Jesus did for me — woke me up, surfaced wounds and lies, drove them out, and replaced them with the Truth (and continues to)
Who I am now — increasingly hope-filled, secure, and alive in Christ
Love…”I was”…”I am now.”
I was abused, hurt and abandoned. God saved me from physical, verbal and emotional abuse of my ex-husband. i was divorced, single mom, lost my home and job, i was lonely and depressed.
what Jesus did for me- He healed my wounds, He gave me life and future. He sent me a great husband and i live a dream that came true.
who i am now- Alive in Christ, praying for opportunities to tell others what God have done for me.
I love “I was”…”I am now…”
Who I was-a woman who had broken her pelvis in a car wreck and spent a month in the hospital.
What Jesus did for me…well, I’m here, aren’t I? 🙂
Seriously, I don’t remember the wreck but I was pulling out of my subdivision in a Saturn and was hit T-Bone style on the driver’s side by an F-150. I don’t remember the first two weeks in the hospital but pretty much everyone who saw the car and my injuries-my dad and sister, insurance adjusters, doctors etc-say it’s a miracle I’m alive at all. But I can walk and work and didn’t suffer any disfigurement or cognitive issues as a result of the trauma. This was in 2005. I was 28. I got a hip replacement seven years later because some extra bone grew in the hip socket. I also had Medicare to pay for it-the main reason we had to wait so long was because, aside from the fact that they don’t like doing these operations in 30s-year-olds, we couldn’t afford it. The doctor got most of it out so even though there’s still some there the arthritis is *much* better.
Who I am-a work in progress, I guess. Not sure what else to say.
Yes you are!
Who I was- a fornicator. I thought I was sex and I thought that was all men wanted from me. I got married thinking the struggle would have been over. I got divorced. After my divorce I tired to engage with other men sexually but for some reason I just could not bring myself to go all the way.
What Jesus did for me – he delivered me from all my insecurities. He held my hand through it all.
This is who I am now – a daughter of Christ. I have not engaged in sexually activey for the last 12 years. I did not remarry and I made a commitment to God to remain celibate until I am married again.
Amen! That’s who you are!
the lies of the enemy began before I was even out of grade school. I didn’t realized back then that they were a cunning plan by the enemy of my soul to destroy me and anyone else he could use me to help him destroy. I was beyond angry, resentful and broken to the point of suicide at 16. I had been using drugs or alcohol since I was 13 to try and escape the pain. Looking for love anyplace it could be found, found me pregnant at 15 and a forced abortion by my dad left me even more broken then before.The boy who would have been the father of my child at 16 took his own life and then I took mine. I was DOA. AT 22 my first husband was murdered and by age 33 one of my closest friends and my boyfriend were killed by the people who basically controlled my life and I had no earthly way to get free from. My relationship with my family was destructive to say the leas. I was determined to destroy myself because I was listening to the lies of the world and the enemy. I had no idea they wee lies. After the death of my boyfriend in 1995 I got down on my knees and cried out to God. “God, if you are real I need You to help me. I can’t live like this anymore, I have no way out of this life or away from these people and I don’t want to die like this!”
The Lord set in motion a plan to not only separate me from those people and that life but He also set in motion the step by step plan He had for the healing and restoration of my soul, my mind my will, my emotions my life and my relationships. Especially my family relationships. He has used the things He has done in my life to also help to heal others.
Thanks be to God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit I now know that the devil is a lier and that he has gone out of his way to set up strongholds in my mind through lies about me and any and every event he could use to deceive me. Because of the truth reviewed in Gods Word I now know that I am a child of the Most High King. An heir to the throne of grace and all the promises of God in Christ. I am whole and dearly loved and nothing in all creation can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. I am forgiven, redeemed and set free and this freedom and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is like nothing I could have ever imagined.
There is so much in between in the story of what God has done and how He has ALWAYS been with me in Christ since the day I gave my life to Him as a small child He has watched over me. The events that were set in motion immediately after that day that I got on my knees and cried out for Him to change my life by all right should have made me afraid because the didn’t look like what you might expect God to do but I had such a peace about what was happening I just went with it and let it happen and God used it all, all the past, the time in prison and everything that has come since to bring me to a place where I trust Him no matter what it looks like. I am going through things with my son right now that I believe are the answer to dangerous prayer. I trust God. No matter what it looks like in the natural I trust Him. Thank You Lord that I trust You!
Will you please help me tell the story of God in my life?
Word fails to describe how happy I am to find your missionary- “to encourage, equip and empower women”.
Your missionary is my dream. I dream to see women feeling happy being a woman, empowered and stand firm to be a CEO to run her household.
A Godly woman is highly demanded in today’s society.
I learn about you from a client of mine who introduces me to a book club “Pray for Your Husband from Head to Toe”
My marriage has been a struggle from day one we met. But I felt God used him to teach me how to “LOVE”. The problem has been (even though I read the Bible) I didn’t know what to say/pray in my marriage.
Your book “Pray for Your Husband from Head to Toe” equips me with scriptures to apply in my prayers.
Thank you, Sharon.
I’m so happy God calls you to equip, encourage and empower women.
Finally, someone is doing something for women.
Thank you so much!