By Tijuana J. Williams
Singing hymns is part of who I am. I grew up in a Methodist church and still love many of the old hymns even now. Songs like “How Great Thou Art” and “Holy, Holy, Holy”…it’s just something about them. One of my favorites is “Blessed Assurance.” I remember how I felt when the minister would say, “Turn to page 251.” I never did because I knew the words…This is my story! This is my song!
Well, I received an invitation to speak at a women’s conference. I immediately began to pray, asking God what He would have me to say. He answered, “Tell them about you.” I remember a time when I would have said, “About me? I’m not going to tell them my story.” But He knew I was ready to share my heart.
The message I shared was very simple. It dealt with identity…knowing who you are. I shared openly and honestly because I wanted to give women the strength to step “outside the box”. The “box” that almost suffocated me. My desire was for them to leave having the courage to be who God called them to be while leaving their naysayers in amazement. And the other speakers had the same desire. I marveled because each woman that spoke was transparent, unafraid to say, “This is my story.” Stories from molestation to allowing careers and money to become idol gods to having been in relationships with married men, the stories were real and gave many women in attendance the fortitude to deal with circumstances that had plagued their lives for so long.
This was a time of revelation for me. Romans 8:28 came alive. The Living Bible says it this way …” And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.” I have heard the scripture for years, but I could never see how any “good” could come from my mistakes. But having the opportunity to share with women and see them weep and nod and say “AMEN,” was all the “good” I needed.
God has given you a story, a song, just like He has given me. It may not have unfolded the way you imagined, but it is yours. Do not allow the world to cause you to be ashamed of your story. You may have been in an abusive relationship, but today you are “more than a conqueror” and someone can benefit from your story. You may have been sexually promiscuous, but today you embrace that God calls you, “Daughter,” and your story can help someone who is lost. You may have never met your biological father, but God promised you He would be a “father to the fatherless.” Someone needs to hear that. The world may have looked down on you and seen you as a mere caterpillar, but it’s time for you to empower other women so they can declare to the world, “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”
I closed one of my sessions by sharing a very familiar scripture. Proverbs 18:21 NKJV says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” I shared with the women The Message version of this scripture. It says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
I challenge each of you to honestly share your story with those God connects you to. The world’s words readily “kill.” Let’s use our words in direct contrast and give “life.” The Word says we have to make a choice. While many often disregard God’s love, presence, and mercy, let’s be the voice assuring the world that “His grace is sufficient.”
Let your story help others make the right choice.
For more about Tijuana J. Williams, visit www.sharingmyheartblog.com