christianity
Comments 22

Baring your soul.

I recently read Sarah Jakes Roberts’ memoir, Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life. In the very well written book, Sarah shares her journey from being a teenage mother at 14, a married woman at 19, and divorced at 23. The book is a nice balance between her life story, and some encouragement for those who have felt out of touch with God.

Sarah is very honest and authentic in the memoir. She is not judgemental, and she acknowledges that her privilege is both a blessing and a curse. I am very proud that she acknowledged the privilege, though. I feel like she has been able to find her way back to God, even if not completely, but partly because she had the financial and spiritual covering of her parents, which a lot of teenage mothers do not have.

She had a home to return to when all hell broke loose on her marriage. As a teenage mother, her parents did not throw her out with her child. They took care of him, while she was able to complete her high school and they even sponsored her to college, although she later dropped out and moved in with her boyfriend.

On the other hand, the immense pressure in being T.D. Jakes’ daughter pushed her even farther from the church. She grew up feeling like the other members of her church had perfect lives, while she was dying on the inside. As the preacher’s kid, she felt like a means to an end. People only wanted to get to know her because of her father. So when she met someone who wanted to know her, and not her father, she was elated and jumped into a marriage that was riddled with infidelity and dishonesty.

There’s something that I’ve been thinking about a lot since I read Sarah’s book, and it’s the burden on the christian to share their testimony with the world.

Hearing about someone’s salvation story is very exciting and encouraging. It assures us that God’s grace is always, always sufficient, no matter how far out we may have fallen. It assures us that God does not condemn us, but loves us back to the flock.

God’s grace is for all of us.

I have a friend who always gets particularly upset when people make it seem like those who have not been in “extreme” sin (adultery, fornication, murder, etc.) cannot understand grace.

I thought about this for the first time when I was reading a book where the church was being condemned. You know those things where people say “Oh, I expected to find a home in the church, but I felt judged.” Or when people say “Please don’t carry your holiness on your head and don’t wear your virginity as a placard.”

But one thing I always remind myself of is the fact that God sees purity and He rewards it. It’s simply another ploy of the devil for you to want to be cut deeply just so that you too can give a Mary Magdalene story. Not all of us will be like Paul, who had persecuted christians in his past. Not all of us will be like Matthew the Tax Collector, or like Zaccheus.

If the Lord has been with you and enabled you to live a holy and righteous life, first, I am excited for you and slightly envious lol.

The best you can do is to praise Him, and not question why you haven’t had it more difficult.

Not everyone goes through difficulty and makes it out alive. Don’t feel like you’re less than worthy to preach the gospel of Jesus if you’re perceived as having had an easier life. People may say, “oh, how can you understand the effects of trauma, or abuse, or fornication, or adultery, when you’ve never been there before?”

Always remind them (and yourself especially) that Jesus was perfect, and He is the best example of love there is!

I don’t need to have felt your pain to minister to you. It certainly does help when I have, but that’s not a prerequisite. A sincerely compassionate and empathetic heart comes from Jesus, not from experience.

I really hope I made a good point in this post. I struggled to succinctly articulate my thoughts.

This entry was posted in: christianity

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Hey, my name is Alheri and I'm obsessed with Jesus. This blog is me keeping my promise to Him for answering a prayer. Purple is my favorite color and my favorite scripture is Jeremiah 32:27 which says "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?" (KJV) You can contact me at msalheri@gmail.com

22 Comments

  1. Sometimes I wish my testimony didn’t include all the hard stuff. I love that you can still be a light without having to disclose hardship all the time to make it effective. Very wise words you wrote. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Egor F. Egbe says

    Yes. We tend to conclude that siblings and offsprings of celebrities (be it in business, music, modelling, religion, the academia, politics, you name it) should always be close to our idols in real life.
    No. Many examples abound. A Judge from Akwa State was said to have been ‘grooming’ his son to replicate him, as in his thinking, in the ‘Leraned Profession’which he thought was most noble. But his most beloved son turned out being a dancer! Not a musician that would wax records and probably be heard, but a dancer of all dances. When one day the father accosted him he said: Daddy you are an acclaimed jurist in Nigerian Bench. Yes, no doubt. But how many international audiences have you talked to, outside of the legal profession? Outside Nigeria? But Heads of governments, associations , business groups, Institutions of higher learning, many in Europe, Asia, America, Africa, have often watched me perform…daddy I am more popular than you worldwide! I am booked four to six months ahead and seldom can meet up to all that need to watch me perform. This is not only great, it is by God’s grace.

    T. D. Jakes’ daughter may have, at certain points, been a failure in the eyes of men. But only God knows why she had to pass through that path. Maybe to be an example to us.

    While i was growing up in Christianity, i was shocked to read about the background of St Paul, when indeed he wrote the most in the New Testament after his conversion from being a persecutor of Christians.

    I think the most important thing is being able to give one’s life to Christ before one’s last day, to give one’s life to Christ even when we feel we look too dirty …”Come ye unto me, all ye that are heavily ladden… and I will give you rest’.

    Do we properly interprete the parable of the Farm owner who hired many Labourers at diffent hour times of the day to work in his farm and still went ahead to pay them all the same wage at sunset?

    All we need is to ask for His Graces which are indeed in abundance and can be sufficient for us all. Alheri, this is a very relevant title. Keep writing!

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  3. This came at such a perfect time! I had been toying with the idea of letting my testimony be known to others, and I felt as though the Holy Spirit was encouraging me to do so. It was hard to come to terms with it all, but in the end it’s important for the sake of growing God’s kingdom by showing the world the miracles he works in our lives. Anyhow, thank you for this!

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  4. Well said! A few years ago I was asked to speak at a women’s retreat. I talked it over with my family and my youngest son (age 17 at the time) asked why would I not? I responded that I did not have some amazing testimony of abuse or something similar but a Christian upbringing to bring to the table. He wisely told me that not everyone out there needs that type of testimony to be impacted. He also stated that many times pointing out the faithfulness of God is what this world really needs to hear. Thank you so much for this post. And yes…….I did end up giving a talk with the title, “Leaders”……and survived it!

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    • It’s so amazing how your son said that! I think sometimes growing older just makes us deride the beauty of innocence and piety! Also- it’s the faithfulness of God that the world needs to hear! Yes and Amen!

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  5. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! We overcome by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony. We believe in Real People sharing Real Stories to bring about Real Healing. We love to feature people’s stories each month in our Restoration Stories series.

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  6. you did an amazing job! I have struggled to be quiet sometimes just not to appear too righteous because grace located me when i was still very young saving me from all the ills you can think of. But I am a little careful lest my righteousness act as a stumbling block to someone who has known the extreme of sin. lovely post

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    • Thank you for that! I love how you say “Grace located me when I was still very young saving me from all the ills…” Truth is, if we want to carry out righteousness, there’ll always be someone better (or worse) than we are! So why not just relax in the arms of Jesus! 🙂

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  7. Yes! You did an excellent job with that point. I must admit I used to think like that too. Thinking whether or not I needed experience to minister in certain situations. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have some experience now. But we haven’t experienced everything and won’t experience everything and I agree with you – our lack of experience can’t and shouldn’t hold us back from ministering.
    Thank you (as always). Stay blessed! 🙂

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    • Haha you’re now coming me with the “as always” in parenthesis! But yes, I’m glad this resonated. We cannot experience everything, and that’s why we must continually rely on the Holy Spirit even more!

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  8. Thanks Alheri for this post.
    It was really lovely to read, and you made your points really clear and well! Everybody’s testimony counts! No matter what it is about – it is to Jesus that we are giving the thanks and praise, as well as to encourage others- even if it may be one person!
    Thanks for the post sis. I am blessed.
    God bless you.
    Alethea xx

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  9. I absolutely love this! So true! So profound. it. This line ‘wowed’ me “…It’s simply another ploy of the devil for you to want to be cut deeply just so that you too can give a Mary Magdalene story.” Indeed the truth sets us free! I’m so glad you shared these truths without holding back. Now I know I don’t need to experience the extremities to be able to understand grace and minister to others. God bless you for sharing Alheri.
    PS: Alheri means grace, yeah? #famz 😀

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    • Oh wow, this is so encouraging! It’s clearly the Holy Spirit working through me, because I was so unsure when I was writing this, but I felt the Lord asking me to just publish and watch Him work! Thanks again for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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