When I started writing a few years ago, it brought my mother a great deal of pain. To relive the murder of daddy and the dark journey that followed was more than she could bear.
“Why do you want to bring all this stuff up? It’s no one’s business,” she cried.
”And they overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12: 11
God began to reveal to me and mother that He could use my story to help others. Prior to that, the enemy whispered,
Don’t tell anyone that because they wont trust you.
I used the word that because you can fill in the blank with a host of embarrassing mistakes that left me filled with shame and guilt. I even believed,
The church wont accept you if they know the truth about your life.
That lie brought much pain because I wanted nothing more than to be accepted within the church. Being new to the faith, I didn’t understand God’s word, but He knew the desires of my heart.
I signed up for what I believed to be an organizational meeting to form small groups within the church. I felt this would surely be a safe place to serve, having no idea at the time that God had a different plan. An associate pastor and four others joined together and began to discuss the purpose of “small groups” meeting within homes.
“If a group of people share life together intimately, trust will be formed and it will be a safe place to share their struggles in life,” the pastor said.
My heart began to pound…
He turned to me. “Rhonda, I realize I don’t know much about you. What’s your story?”
The flood gates opened in that moment. I spilled the details of my life through a waterfall of tears. And then, the unexpected happened—they embraced me.
“Rhonda, would you share your story before the church on the day we launch the Small Groups Ministry?”
On a Sunday morning shortly after, I stood before a few thousand people and shared my testimony; it was the day freedom rang. Lines thirty deep formed in front of me, tears streaming as each one shared their secrets. They, too, were scared of being judged; now they felt safe, because they were sharing with someone who had walked in their shoes.
Revelation 12:11 tells us the way to overcome the power of evil. First and foremost, it’s the blood of the Lamb, but when we open our mouths and confess what God has done in our lives, the enemy loses.
After that day, God began opening doors to speak either in front of one or sometimes many, to share my story on stage or in writing. Ironically, I found it was my greatest joy, but never more so than at a church in Ohio.
I, along with two others, were asked to speak about HOPE. After a morning of worship, combined with stories of God’s redemption, we ended with feelings of gladness as people thanked us for sharing. As we began to pack up, I stood with the pastor when an older man came through the door and started to walk down the aisle. He looked in our direction and said, “Let’s do this. Today’s the day!”
The pastor grabbed me by the hand and said, “Come with me; Mr. Don is finally accepting Christ.”
With shouts of joy, the few remaining joined us beside this sweet silver-haired man. I knelt in front of him as his piercing blue eyes met mine.
He said, “Your testimony is very much like my own. I knew God was speaking to me through you. It’s time to listen.”
Mr. Don accepted Jesus into his heart that morning at the age of 82, proving it’s never to late. He, of course, was changed, but so was I. To know that God had used me and my story to bring another into the kingdom of God was more than my heart could take. The enemy lost another battle that day through the power of the blood and the word of a testimony.
Is it time for you to open up? God can use you to win another battle; the truth of our salvation is a powerful weapon against the lies that seek to constrain us.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow. You and your story give Him the Glory. Much love
Thank you Patti! I love sharing these stories, but never in a million years did I think it would be through writing. I can talk all day long 🙂
Love, love, love your Mr. Don story! What a beautiful weekend and a beautiful influence you had on Mr. Don. My heart is smiling. ❤️
My heart smiles too Sarah! It was a wonderful weekend. I hope the Lord opens another door for us to share the platform together! I love you!
Rhonda, please know that your writings are being read, even if some do not leave comments. God is smiling – even as he directs your pen. Jon
Jon, You are so sweet! God is sending people to encourage me along the way…ones just like you! Thank you so much!
These testaments are SO powerful and inspiring❣️Thank you, sweet Rhonda, for giving from ur heart💝… please don’t stop sharing on FB ( for those of us who r still a little technically challenged, and don’t “blog”, “tweet”, etc😩☺️) Love you, precious woman of God!!❤️ Dawn
Dawn, You are precious to me! You have no idea how encouraging your words are. Well, actually the blog that is coming out today will give you a better understanding! Often times, Facebook shuts down blogs etc. so this is all you do–go to Rhondamadge.com on a computer (it’s easier than your phone) and you will see a spot to sign up for prayer or to receive the blogs. After you enter your email address, you will receive a letter with some special notes on prayer, but then after that, every Tuesday, you will receive an email of the new blog post. It’s that easy! It really helps me out too. Book publishers want to know how many people are reading my posts. It gives them an idea of how many people would buy a book! May grace abound all the more over you this day! Love you!
Rhonda, Your Mr. Don story is so encouraging! It’s never too late to accept Christ, but sooner is better than later! It reminded me of my Daddy. My Daddy was an alcoholic. All my childhood our family had some horrible experiences because of his sickness. My Mother prayed out loud many times for the Lord to do something to cure him. The Lord answered her prayers one day. When I was in eighth grade Daddy had a terrible stroke. He survived but it was a month til he came home from the hospital and a year before he took his first step. One day as he lay in his hospital bed in his bedroom, we heard him sobbing uncontrollably. We rushed to see what was wrong and he told us the Lord had spoke to him and told him he was lost and that he needed to be saved. Now, my Daddy attended church almost never. He didn’t know how to make that statement up! We were all sobbing by then! Bro. Morris Lee came as soon as we called and said the Sinner’s Prayer with Daddy. With the help of others, as feeble as he was, he was baptized also. Nineteen years later when Dad passed away we knew his soul was saved. He, like Mr. Don, put off making that decision longer than they should have. However, the Lord welcomed them and forgave them regardless of their age and situation. He takes us as we are, wherever we are. Because He loves us!
Dear Annette, Thank you for sharing this story with me. I pray that the nineteen years you had with your daddy as a new creation in Christ allowed you to forget any painful memories from the past. The enemy likes to dredge up things that Jesus wipes clean as snow. What a powerful story!