I Was … But God … And Now …

Yesterday, my doctor friend casually asked how old Ron and I were. I’m sure that number was on my chart somewhere, but I could tell by his tone that this was an introductory question; he had something else on his mind. Without hesitation, I told him I was about to turn 64 and that Ron wouldn’t reach that number until January. I went on to say that Ron uses every “older woman” joke in his arsenal to taunt me yearly from November to January. This doctor knows both of us well, so he had a good laugh just imagining us bantering back and forth.

Then, he thoughtfully asked, “Have there been any big changes for you from 54 to 64?” I couldn’t help but laugh and say, “Uh, yeah, just a few!”  

“What kind of changes?” He explained that he was merely interested in how people age. I confessed that most of my changes had been in my mind, but my mind greatly affected my body. He added, “That can work both ways. Unhealthy bodies can also affect our minds.” I openly admitted that I had let depression get the best of me for a while. Intrigued, he questioned, “So, how did you come out of it?” (Please know that I understand that medication is often needed to correct chemical imbalances leading to depression.) I smiled and quickly responded, “With a lot of prayer and good counseling.” He was delighted with that answer because he knows the power of prayer firsthand – and my counselor.  

As I drove home from the doctor’s office, I couldn’t help but think how that conversation about change fit with my Thursday night small group discussion. As our group of ladies discussed the topic of transformation, three phrases were suggested to help everyone tell their own story of change:

I was …

But God …

And now …

If you’ve not already done so, this may be a helpful tool in crafting your own testimony. I don’t mind sharing my responses because I want you to know that if He can change me, He can change you too. So, here goes: 

I was … a rule following, finger-pointing, depressed woman who loved God but thought she could earn her way to heaven.

But God … came to my rescue. His pruning humbled me, His Word freed me, and His joy defeated my depression.

And now … I have the power and willingness to become who He intended me to be. I am free to live without condemnation. When I make a mistake, I know He will point it out, forgive me, and help me learn from it. I’ve exchanged my own clogged, man-made religious filter for one created by the love of God and washed clean by the gracious hand of Jesus. It continually allows the fresh air of the Holy Spirit to blow through it. 

And, THAT is why I love God so very much! 

Take some time and ponder all that God’s done for you. Your faith will be refreshed, your thankfulness will soar, and your love will grow. When you realize how much you are loved and wanted by Him, you will WANT to do what He says. Your light shines brightest when you serve others out of the overflow.

“Let everyone give all their praise and thanks to the Lord!
Here’s why—he’s better than anyone could ever imagine.
Yes, he’s always loving and kind, and his faithful love never ends.
So, go ahead—let everyone know it!
Tell the world how he broke through
and delivered you from the power of darkness and
has gathered us together from all over the world.
He has set us free to be his very own!”

Psalm 107:1-3, TPT

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Donna Jackson

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