Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Testimony: How Great Thou Art

***What I am about to share is a story that is hard for me to share. It is a story I have told very few people.
One of my all time favorite hymns is the hymn, How Great Thou Art. I think it is such a beautiful anthem to God. Such a thanks to God. As of lately I have listened to this song on repeat. I started to think about the words of this song and think about how it related to my life. I then began to question myself whether I was spending more time complaining to God or thanking God. Sadly, I believe many of us can say we do not thank God as often as we should. We especially do not thank God when things are rough or when things are not going our way. I then began to think about all of the blessings in my life. All the times that God was carrying me when I could not even stand up. The times he stood by me offering me his hand when I decided to do it my way. How he was there even after I failed when trying to do it my way. The times that he rescued me, and saved my life when I DID NOT deserve the saving.
I have not always been the Christian I should be. For a long time I was a person Proclaiming to be a Christian but not acting as one. I am  a preacher’s kid as many of you know. I am blessed to have grown up in a Christian house with amazing Christian parents. My parents did a very good job at never making me feel pressured into being a Christian, of course they wanted me to be, but they also knew it was my choice. With that being said I lived under a microscope from everyone else around, constantly hearing the two most common catch phrases for a preacher's’ kid. The, “Oh, you are a preacher's kid… Those preachers’ kids are always the wild ones” or the other side of the spectrum, “ Oh you are a preacher's kid… Guess you are a goody-two-shoes.” Growing up with everyone around me watching my every action pushed me to hide how I was truly feeling inside. Made me feel like I had to act perfect every time I was around these people.
With all the pressure put on me from others I began to become rebellious, like many others do, when I got into High School. I began to proclaim my faith on Sundays and Wednesdays, while living a very different life when I felt like no one was watching. I got into the party scene, and everything that came with that. I began to drift, truly drift. I still believed in God but I did not follow God. I was good at putting on a show for others so that no one would know about my “behind-the-scenes” life. I made tons of mistakes, and plenty of stupid decisions. Through all of this negativity and evil I had let into my life, God was still there. He had his hand extended to me, waiting for me to just take his hand so he could lift me up and out of darkness. I continued to choose to live a double life of fake “holiness” and recklessness. The drinking, cussing, partying and abusive boyfriend was causing me to break inside. I finally broke up with my abusive boyfriend. I was truly breaking and hurting and instead of taking Gods extended hand I decided to do it my way. I was free of my boyfriend and I decided to cope from the abuse by drinking more and finding “love” in the wrong ways. Which lead to a very dark place in my life. Once again I was smiling on the outside while I was breaking on the inside.
I let this go on for a while, I was living this very extreme double life. Time went by and I started to break to the point of giving up but something in me would not let me give up. I now know it was God but at that time I had no clue. One night I remember being so upset and finally taking Gods hand. Did I change overnight? Of course not. I messed up but I was doing better and better everyday. Until, the night my world was flipped upside down. I had went to a friends house and I did not know she had invited a couple guys over. When I saw the guys I told her I was going to leave, she begged me to stay. So I did, little did I know that, that was going to be an awful decision. The night went by and one of the guys kept trying to pursue me, I was not interested. My “friend” by this time had left the living room and was with the other guy. I was left alone with this guy I had become very uncomfortable with. That night was the night that a man forced himself upon me. After it happened he left in a hurry. Shaken-up I went to tell my “friend” what happened. Her only response was, “blank happens.” So I grabbed my things, ran out, and left her house. I was again broken, hurting, and felt like there was no where to go from there. I cried out to God, “Why me? Why?” That night was a very dark night for me. After the response that my “friend” had said I felt like I could not tell anyone. I felt like I was guilty. I deserved it, I might have led him on. I blamed myself for a long time.
Time went on and I began to heal, I began to grow closer to God. He healed me from the pain I had endured in my past. I began to see what it truly was and that it was not my fault. I finally took God's hand and began to truly get closer and closer to him. Many will read this and feel bad for me, but I tell you this story because it is a testimony. Whatever you are going through God Can and Will help you get through it. God saved me in a car wreck, he held me and gave me hope when I was ready to give up, he healed me from a hurt that was so deep. With my everything I give him thanks. Even the worst of situations he can turn into something beautiful if you let him.
Look at what he is doing in my life now, I a missionary working with children and youth that are being rescued from sex trafficking. I do not believe God let me be abused or raped but I believe God saw an evil situation and turned it into something beautiful. He gave me a passion to help those who have went through the same things I have went through and worse, He has sent me to school to become a counselor to one day be able to truly help others. So I sing How Great Thou Art, Then Sings my Soul. How Great our God is to help us out of the darkest spots of our life. Look unto him for all of your needs. Just remember God can and will use our ugliest times and turn them into something beautiful if we let him. Give Thanks for all he has done in your life. Praise him during the Good and bad!
Psalm 34:1-3 “I will praise the Lord at all times.    I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord;  let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.”
How Great Thou Art
by Lauren Daigle
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder  
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,  
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,  
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.  
And when I think that God,his son not sparing
Sent him to die,I scarce can take it in
That on the cross,my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin
Then sings my soul,my savior God to thee
How great thou art! how great thou art!
Then sings my soul,my savior God to thee
How great thou art! how great you art!
When Christ shall come,with shouts of acclamation
And take me home,what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration
And there proclaim,my God,how great thou are!
Then sings my soul,my savior God to thee
How great thou art! how great thou art!
Then sings my soul,my savior God to thee
How great thou art! how great you art!
https://youtu.be/8BL06fxHPVo?list=RD8BL06fxHPVo

2 comments:

  1. James Jackson (Mr. Jim)August 1, 2017 at 10:34 PM

    LOVE YOU SHELBY - YOU ARE NOT ONLY LOVED BY JESUS, BUT BY MANY - IT IS HARD TO SHARE , BUT YOU SURELY ARE BLESSED AND I THANK YOU FOR YOUR TESTIMONY.

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  2. Oh Shelby! I am so sorry you had to go through such things... but I praise God you have learned the Romans 8:28 life! And I praise God for giving you the strength to share your story so that others may find their own healing in God. I love you, young lady....although I still tend to picture you in my minds eye as the little 5 year old I met so many years ago. I'm proud of the woman you have become.

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