As I tried to think of a good question to ask a group of women for a sharing time, an idea popped into my brain: "Looking back over your life, share one or two things God did that defied human logic--whether it seemed 'good' or 'bad' from a human standpoint."
I immediately recalled several incidences of my own. The major one was the first time I was asked to speak. It was 1979 and I had just received the acceptance of my very first magazine article which shared my testimony of how God delivered me from being a child abuser.
I was still so ashamed of my sinful behavior that I requested the magazine publish the article anonymously and they agreed. I'd always wanted to be a writer since childhood and when they accepted my article and actually sent me a check for it, I was thrilled. So thrilled that it was easy for me to tell a friend, "A magazine accepted my first article!" But so thrilled that I didn't realize my friend would then reply, "Wonderful! What is the article about?"
Gulp. I didn't know it at the time but God was beginning to bring me out of my shell of shame and teach me how to tell others the work He had done.
With trepidation, I would reply, "How God delivered me from being a child abuser." In the next second, I mentally cringed and emotionally turned my heart away expecting the onslaught of shock and condemnation. If that had happened, I would have shelved my enthusiasm and never told anyone else.
But God graciously made sure the responses were positive and I continued to have the courage to share.
Soon after, I had an opportunity to get to know a woman from church. We introduced ourselves and I mentioned about my article. Gulp. What will come this time? I fearfully thought, still not sure what reaction I would receive.
I was the one shocked when she said, "You should share your story at our mom's group here at church. I'm going to tell my friend about you. She is in charge of that group."
Gulp! What? Speak? What? No way! I have only told a few people about this. Speak to a group of strangers? No way!
And that's what I told her. "Oh, I couldn't do that. There's no need to tell her because I won't do it." That may sound rude--and it was--but that's what I thought the possibility was of me doing such a stupid and revealing thing.
When my new friend said, "Oh yes, I'm going to tell her anyway," I again tried to convince her it wouldn't do any good.
She just smiled.
Over the next few days as I thought of and prayed about what had happened, I realized God was changing my heart. I decided that if God opened that door, I would say yes.
And that's exactly what happened. She called me and asked and I said yes. For that first speaking opportunity in 1980, 120 women heard me share my story (as my knees knocked and I was terrified). It was the largest attendance the group had that year. None of my fears happened. Not one woman criticized me but several told me how it ministered to them.
As I look back now, I'm even more in awe of God's work that the woman in charge of that group asked me.
- She didn't know me.
- She knew I'd never spoken before.
- It was a controversial subject.
- It was a topic that people believed shouldn't be addressed in church because as people would tell me over the years, "A true Christian can't be abusive to their children."
- My "deliverance" had only taken place a year before so there was as yet no guarantee of the results.
As a result, God birthed my ministry that day. A woman in that audience who was from another church asked me to speak at her church and the "word of mouth" began.
Four years later, my first book with my story was published.
Truly, what happened defied human logic. That woman in charge risked her own reputation having an unknown and unproven "speaker" share.
Yet God knew His plan and as always, He fulfills it beyond what we can possibly imagine.
Would you be willing to share something God has done in your life that defies human logic? Please do so in the comment section. May God be glorified through it!
(Photos courtesy of Pixomar and nun-skyman from www.freedigitalphotos.net).