I think that I’ve told this story before, but bear with me please. When I was first born again, I told Martha that she had my complete and unreserved permission and blessing to use my story in any way that she wished. I was experiencing true joy and peace and love for the first time in my life, and I couldn’t bear the thought of withholding anything from God. I knew that all I really had to give was my story, because ultimately, it was a story about Him.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Rev. 12:11 KJV
I was redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and now I had a testimony. Offering my story to Martha was the first time that I was willing to die. Maybe not a full shrugging off the mortal coil, but death to some approval of man, and certainly death to my cherished place off the grid and out of the spotlight. What would people think and say when they knew the truth about me? Would the humiliation of being so exposed be something I could live with? I don’t remember thinking much beyond those two questions though, because I was just madly in love. What did any of that matter if my story was useful to Him?
Though I have occasionally panicked at how completely He’s received my “YES” in this regard, I have no regrets. Writing for this blog has been an adventure so far, and I have been surprised by what He gives me to say—and to tell. I’ve learned that some things I want to write about are impossible to tell. And some things that I can’t bear to think about, let alone write, flow out of me with ease. With every post, I grow better acquainted with my Counselor, and with how completely He protects and guides me. It’s a true joy to meet Him so steadily where I least expected it!
That said, I will be taking a short break from writing here for the next month or so. The “Love Reigns” conference is two months away, and I was beginning to sink beneath my to-do pile. Fortunately, I have people watching for my soul, and John stepped in to throw me a life-line. The word of my testimony is LOVE. My story is about the bliss of being loved, the truth of who I am, and the exquisite joy and shocking awe of discovering who God is. A testimony is a living word, filled and guided by the Spirit. Should it become rote or a number on a list, it’s no longer a testimony but a heartless advertisement. God save me from that!
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak…
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7b KJV
A brief silence…I will keep silence for a bit, and enjoy the “living demonstrations” of John, and our other writers. It’s a gift to know them and a privilege to see them pursue an ever-deepening relationship with a God worth knowing. Hope to see you in March!
Jennifer: It’s been a wonderful experience for me to get to know you and to love you brave girl. You have been most courageous and forthright as you have opened up your life to us in ways of honesty that I for one would have lacked. I’ll miss you for sure.
Jennifer, you have helped me in ways that you cannot imagine. Ways that to me often looked FDGQW#$Q@#$%W$%?
I am glad that you have the wisdom, freedom and support to take some time to “be silent” and let the Spirit guide you. There is indeed a time and season for every purpose and His river is always flowing and taking new paths, twists and turns, through muddy waters, clear waters, broad paths and narrow ones. Thank you for your love and grace! Tina
Bless you Jennifer for being obedient to the Lord and it is falling in love with Him that will bring you to obedience. The story that Christ is telling through you has brought life to me. Your testimony has exposed dead places in my heart. I am eternal grateful for you, John, Martha, Carole and everybody at Shulamite. Praying for you all as y’all prepare for Love Reigns conference. Lord willing I will be there. I am so excited. Can’t hardly wait to see you.
Jennifer, As I read this mornings blog I am reminded of the day I learned about the “Love Reigns” conference. I knew immediately that I would be attending and at the same time had the thought “How can I help?” Just as fast as the thought appeared the debate within began…”Lord, is that You or me?”, “What is my motive Lord?”, “Do I even have a motive?”, “The thought was just there.”, “Should I offer?”, “They’ll think you’re some kind of nut case Tammy! – they don’t know you.”, “Why would I even think to offer?”, “Lord, was it You… Read more »
Tammy I had the same thought and struggle.
Will miss you but understand.
Oh… I will miss your posts AND your Person. That’s for SURE that I will miss your Person.
Enjoy your time of silence.
Another ditto! I like the way you said that, Sam. Dear Jennifer, I too will miss you in your writings. You have been an enormous blessing! See you soon! Love and joy