“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Well, either that or I'm just plain stupid..."

photography by Anthony

I volunteered to do it.  Later when people would call me brave... or courageous... I would joke and say, "Well, either that or I'm just plain stupid."  But they wouldn't let me get away with it.  No, to them I was brave and courageous... and they were thankful for it.

When the event was over and I had gotten off the stage... they were lined up to hug me.  To thank me.  To affirm me.  To tell me that I am loved.  Later would come notes and even today a card in the mail.

It was our women's retreat just this past weekend... and our speaker -- an amazing and dynamic communicator -- needed a volunteer.   She had warned us ahead of time that we were going to do something dangerous... and again, this is where I wonder if I was truly courageous... or tremendously naive.  But in all honesty... obedient to the prompting of the Spirit.

I had agreed to step up on stage and reveal three different times in my childhood where I felt something was wrong, or I didn't belong or I knew I was on my own.  Then we would discuss how I responded to those feelings and see if there was a consistent theme... and from that theme is there a way I respond today in my relationships that is reflective of how I responded to my past.

It is always painful for me... no matter how much healing has occurred... to delve into my past.  And sometimes I feel for that little girl who was lost... or sometimes I get engulfed by shame.  And I'm sure you'll give me grace on the fact that my thoughts are all a jumble.  But here's the deal.  I was vulnerable.  Raw.  Real.  Authentic.  In front of 90 women.  Some could relate to me.  Some could sympathize with me.  And some... now seeing past the veneer, find me safe enough to be a confidant.  And they have bestowed upon me... love, grace and encouragement.

And then on Tuesday, I was lovingly reminded that I am not my past...

"But you are not like that, 
for you have been chosen by God himself--
you are priests of the King, 
you are holy and pure, 
you are God's very own--
all this so that you may show to others 
how God called you out of the darkness 
into his wonderful light.  
Once you were less than nothing; 
now you are God's own.  
Once you knew very little of God's kindness; 
now your very lives have been changed by it." 
1 Peter 2:9-10 TLB


From the devotional called His Princess: Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd:

My Princess...
I Will Redeem The Time For You


I know that sometimes you look back on your life with anguish and regret--so much time wasted on things that did not matter.  But take heart, My love.  I am your Redeemer, and today is a new day.  So start now by seeking My plans, which are to give you hope and a future.  Just as I used hardship in Joseph's life to lead him to a position leadership, influence, and blessing, I've also called you.  I will use your past to carve into your character everything you need for the here and now.  I want you to let your past experiences teach you and not torment you.  Remember, My princess, I will always turn into good what others meant for harm.  I will redeem what was lost and place you on the narrow road that leads to an everlasting life.

Love,
Your King and your Redeemer


"For I know the plans I have for you," 
declares the LORD, 
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future."  
Jeremiah 29:11


Praying you will find strength in Your Redeemer.

7 comments:

elizabeth embracing life said...

Sheri,
TonightI was driving home late and starting praying for you. What future of hope your life might look like. Pray for Sheri. Will Sheri have confidence in how God is going to change her from the inside? Pray for Sheri Will Sheri be confident in the Word and the Truth it speaks and begin to release a little more? Pray for Sheri.

Our coffe the day before this event in your life was no accident. To sit beside you and hear your heart begin to unravel some of those strings that have tried to keep you down are broken.

After having coffee with you I started praying that God would do something HUGE in your life. My Journal entry:
"Oh Lord Jesus you know what Sheri needs this weekend. Her heart has not be ready, she has not been safe, but this weekend allow her heart to begin to break down some of those deeper issues in her life. Show her what that looks like. Thank you for our friendship"

I look forward to friending that Woman God designed in your mother's womb. I love you!!!

vintage girl at heart said...

Strong Post from an even stronger Woman!

Yolanda said...

Sheri,

Thank you, this spoke deeply to my heart. There are still times that I think of my past, especially prior to Christ, that I hang my head in shame and am so very sorry. Then I remember that God knew I would do all of that and still send His son to die for me, and I gain strength and rest in Hope.

With love,
Yolanda

PS: THANK YOU!

Amy said...

"I want to let your past experiences teach you and not torment you." Love that. Very powerful post today. Thank you, Sheri. The dangerous things in life are our "get out of the boat" moments...when we take the risk...and then walk on water. :)

rooney said...

wow. Sheri. I'm bawling. I was recalling a few days ago as I was reading chapter 7 in So Long Insecurity, what it is that i posted that day that Beth asked the question she wrote about in that chapter. Even though many years have passed and much healing and redemption has occurred, I still recall the shame. Your post today is such a reminder of who i am in Christ. Thank you. thank you.
Most of all, thank YOU, God.

just lisa said...

Jermiah 29:11 is a verse that I have read a lot lately...God is so good! I am glad to be back reading your blog...always something that speaks to me.
Take Care!

Joyce said...

See! You have done so good and already are "dropping" that old insecurity!
I am/have been a public speaker. So I know the fears that people have. Although I never really had alot of fear in that arena. I just tried to be "real" and that usually worked for me.
Plus I like to talk. HA!

ONE of these days....I'm going to finish my book you know and then I will review it. I have read two other books in the mean time but they were fiction. I can't seem to get through the "Anoym" fast. Which I think is a GOD thing.

Hang in there Sheri...every day is a NEW adventure that is forsure. Especially when we YIELD ourselves.
:~)
Be blessed, Joyce