A while back I asked if some of you would share a story of one of your Significant Encounters.
The following is the story of a Significant Encounter written by dear my dear friend Joy.
I’ve known Joy a long time. I’ve seen her at her best and I’ve seen her at her worst.
Here is one account where she met God, and that Significant Encounter, changed everything.
My Significant Encounter
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important”—these words crashing through my mind on the way to church on a Sunday morning. Anyone who has seen the movie The Help recognizes them. They were spoken by a woman whose faith was strong and believed in the power of building up the soul of a little one taken for granted by her mom.
Then my loving father brought to mind my favorite book written by Karen Kingsbury. It is a modern day version of the life of Mary Magdalene. I was thinking about the fictional Mary Madison who is given a precious gift from her grandma, the one person in her life who truly loved her. Before her life falls into turmoil and horror, her grandma gives her a little beaded purse with a card containing the words of Jeremiah 29:11. A verse filled with hope and promise.
“I know the plans I have for you says the lord, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
All of a sudden I found myself crying for a fictional character, for the historical Mary that was rescued by Jesus from a shady past and a tormented life, for the many young people who suffer from discouragement and abuse by people in their lives. Maybe there is no one speaking words of affirmation into your life or maybe someone who is supposed to take care of you and protect you is abusing you. I just want you to know that makes my heart break. But my sympathetic feelings are miniscule compared to the deep and abiding love placed in your heart by your creator father. He has loved you with an everlasting love. In his love letter to you, the Bible, he says,
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.”
Maybe you can’t hear his voice yet but the good news is that no one has to stay in lies and captivity. There is one who wants to set us free. He is always listening, always caring, always wanting to release the chains and set us on the path of life.
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1,2,4-6
I was one who struggled with shame, regret, and deep debilitating depression for a time in my life. Today I am free from those chains and I know in my heart that his love can set you free. He is the one who continues to be my refuge and whose everlasting arms are underneath me embracing and supporting me every day.