When I was asked to share my testimony, I thought where do I begin? What testimony do I share? Because life has its seasons, each season has its own individual testimonies. However, one thing becomes clear as we examine where we are or where we have been, regardless of the place or time in which we find ourselves, God is there.
From early in my childhood, whether kneeling beside my father for morning devotions or at eleven years of age when I gave my heart to Jesus listening to an ex-gang member (turned preacher) sharing his testimony, God was there. I had nothing in common with the preacher, Tom Skinner. I was a child living in a Christian home. He was an ex-gang member having experienced things that I could not even fathom. Yet the Lord's presence was so heavy that I found my shaking little self moving forward to the altar. HE was there.
Then somewhere along the timeline of my life I forgot that He is there. There was a lot to accomplish; make-up to try, clothes to love, friends to be made, boys to date, dances to learn, parties to attend. There are words from a song I love that says, "Time measured out my days. Life carried me along." That's exactly what was happening, life was just carrying me along, with me consumed with me.
Nonetheless, He who is called "faithful and true" waited patiently until as a young wife alone in my home. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I sat watching pastor Rex Humbard on the TV and suddenly without warning He is there. My cheeks are wet, my heart is broken, He misses me and I didn't even know how much I missed Him. That very day alone in my home I recommitted myself, my life. my all to Jesus. I would soon learn it would cost me something to walk the walk.
My marriage came under attack and I was not wise enough to know how to fight the enemy. One thing I did know, my heart was on the Lord's side. He was there with me, but pain prevented my hearing him and his reassurance. I was a child in a battle, feeling ashamed, crying, begging God, feeling sorry for myself and occasionally standing up.
Later as a single mother I made mistakes, but soon realized I was most comfortable, secure and strong when I stayed close to the Lord. And He was my greatest comforter, priest, provider, and protector. I leaned hard on HIM and He never failed me. I remember once when I was almost abducted by two men on a lonely street. As I made and effort to escape to the other side of the street a car almost hit me. It was my friend. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I have no idea, I just got turned around” she said. No she didn’t, He was there.
One day at church I was singing the old song, “Remember me when You come into Your Kingdom. Remember me Master!” The next thing I knew I was trying to get up off the floor many rows from where I was originally standing. My young son David standing over me asking “Are you okay mommy?” “Yes”, I answered, “What happened?” He said, “You were singing, looked up and started to dance fifteen rows back and collapsed”. No, I didn’t collapse. No one touched me. No one prayed for me. My precious Lord and Savior came and touched me. He was there!!!
I got jobs and promotions that were far above my education. The Lord gave wisdom and direction and a boldness to accomplish all that I had to do. He opened doors and gave me houses. He taught me His Word and allowed me to share it with others.Then He gave me the gift of a husband that was an earthly representation of Christ, the priest of the home, the provider and protector. Together we did ministry and enjoyed marriage the way God intended for it to be enjoyed.
On October 20, 2008 my husband suddenly died. After a few moments of losing my mind in the hospital HE showed up, “A very present help in trouble”. I could literally feel the Lord holding me. I was fully experiencing the devastation of the moment and yet at the very same time the supernatural peace of His presence. I remember holding my weeping son Erik and praying at my husband’s bedside; thank you God for the husband and father that he was. Thank you God for his integrity. Thank you God for the years you gave us. Thank you for the provider and protector that he was. Thank you for the love he had for us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. HE was very much there!
A few weeks later screaming into my pillow in the wee hours of the night hoping to relieve the pain, HE came and spoke. “I know it is difficult and I know you are hurting, but he was not your God.” His words were both comfort and correction. No, he was not my God. You are my God. The God that was there before him, during my time with him and now without him. YOU are here and YOU have always been here and YOU will always be here.
I pray this will encourage those who sometimes forget that our Lord is with us always.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Veda, thank you for sharing your walk!
Veda Barrett, author of The Foolish Christian Woman.
This book takes a direct and frank look at the foolish behavior of women, and even worse the Christian woman. Whether you are already a wife, a soon to be wife, or just wishing and hoping to be someone’s wife someday you may be guilty of practicing some of these negative behaviors. We’ve all done foolish things. Actions that are often downright stupid! But good news ladies, stupid can be fixed. Proverbs 9:6 says, it like this, “Forsake foolishness and live. Go the way of understanding.”
Christina is an
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