The Power of ‘Been There, Done That’

You were so right, Lord.  It’s amazing how You empower us to be Your witnesses!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

Maybe that’s why I love to hear (and/or read) people’s testimonies, Lord!  Each one is so personal!  So priceless!  So one-of-a-kind inspiring and impactful!

So full of Your Transforming Love and Amazing Grace!!!

Like the testimony I am reading now, written by a tenured professor at a major university.  Her primary field was Critical Theory (a.k.a., postmodernism).  She says her specialty was “Queer Theory (a postmodern form of gay and lesbian studies).”  She was a lesbian activist who was very involved in her gay community… and a nationally sought-after guest speaker and advocate.

Until she had a radical encounter with You, Lord.  And You turned her whole world upside-down.  Or rather, put it rightside-up… for the very first time.

She published her testimony in a two-hundred page book.  I have only just begun to dive into the depths of its beauty.  But she said something so poignant, so powerful, I just have to quote it:

“During this time of struggle… a Methodist pastor and Dean… believed… I did not have to give up everything to honor God… he told me, since God made me a lesbian, I gave God honor by living an honorable lesbian life.  He told me that I could have Jesus and my lesbian lover.  This was a very appealing prospect.  But I had been reading and rereading Scripture, and there are no such marks of postmodern “both/and” in the Bible.”  (Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Crown & Covenant Publications, 2014, p.16)

She was writing a book about the Religious Right and the hatred she saw it using against people like her. She wanted to learn what made them tick. So she read the Bible.  From cover-to-cover, multiple times. Five hours a day, day-after-day.  In every translation she could find.

“My Word that goes out from My mouth… will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:10)

This pastor in her academic world offered her what would have been an easier way.  A “socially-acceptable” way.  A way of compromise.

But then You spoke, Lord

“I am The Way and The Truth and The Life.”  (Jon 14:6)

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  (John 8:36)

She is now married.  She and her husband have four children. Wow, Lord… I can’t wait to hear the rest of her story!

How powerful our words are, Lord, when we’ve “been there” and “done that”!  When we’ve walked the hard roads ourselves and can minister to others with the understanding and compassion that come only by personal experience.

Help us each embrace where we can speak with such power, Lord!

Abba’s Girl

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