The Power of a Story
I will never forget the day I gave my life to Jesus; the run down old theatre, the clothes I wore, the usher that greeted me, the smells of dated furnishings – yes, I remember it all. I was a walking hot-mess central! I wore my issues externally from the fanfare of dramatic theatre (I was studying to be a professional operatic/recital vocalist) to “eccentric” living (clothes say a lot about a person); I was in need of a supernatural intervention in my life. Five years into university, scholarships and an invitation to return to the Aspen Music Festival, I found out my boyfriend of 3 years was involved in illicit encounters with men and so I was drinking myself into despair and struggling with depression of my inner turmoil. I needed Jesus so very desperately. So, lo and behold, I went back to the place I despised and hated – my childhood home. Back to the place I wanted to flee from, where abuse haunted me, secrets loomed, and I had been trying to run away from for years.
Thank God I went back. Yes, you read that correctly. It was that year of 1996 in the month of May that I went back home. I was numb and I didn’t know where to ‘land’ my heart, feelings, and emotions and begin to rebuild my life. My mother told me about a church where I could visit and see if I could just begin attending. So, I did. But little did I know that a concert was held at this church and church was in a theatre in disrepair! I won’t describe in detail what I wore. Let’s just say it was more suited for attracting attention than for attending a service at a church! As I walked into this theatre, there was an usher greeting me at the entrance who never addressed me with judgment but with kindness, welcoming me into this place called church. I was reticent to be quite honest. But, like any good girl, I held my guard up so I couldn’t feel or look vulnerable.
Thank God for the balcony, first row, second seat! It was empty. My eyes quickly took ahold of that safe place, and I quickly took it. As I sat there I just looked around, listening to faint conversations all around me, and I didn’t know anyone. I just didn’t want people around me to see I was a “newbie” of sorts. And then, “church” started. The pastor spoke and it felt like a blur. The concert began and it seemed like time had gone by so quickly because it was the last song that held my attention. It was the song titled “Will You Come To Jesus Just Come To Jesus” that literally took my breath away. That song…ripped into my heart, my gut, and my ‘stuff’ and made me feel so exposed. Lets just say I had a good cry that moment. And that was the night I raised my hand to an unknown Savior and had a “come to Jesus” moment, where for the very first time I felt my heart, my life land home.
Nineteen years of salvation from that moment, 17 years of marriage, 4 daughters with a triple stroller, and a flourishing church plant in the city I tried running away from, look what God has done through a life that said, “Yes,” to Jesus! I’m the girl, sis, that you’re trying to reach, the girl you’re trying to inspire, the girl who, in one “come to Jesus” moment had her world rocked by a supernatural intervention. Don’t give up building the atmosphere of a home in your church. Don’t give in if you are discouraged when you don’t see results in that “theatre.” YOU are making a difference. There are stories waiting to be written right where you are planted.