I was a newly wedded pastor’s wife, recently returned from a delightful honeymoon. I was enjoying some early morning reading time, on a hot South Texas day. While perusing 1 Timothy Chapter 1 in my Bible, suddenly verse 15 leapt off the page.
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (NIV)
The Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart, that like Paul, He was going to use my past to glorify His name, and help others. At times He chooses the “worst of sinners” to minister for Him. The impression was so very clear, I was suddenly filled with joy and anticipation. I had been so ashamed of my background. Constantly plagued by the taunting of the evil one. “How can you be a pastor’s wife?” “If people only knew….”
Yet for this brief moment the fear and shame were gone. The veil departed and I distinctly saw a purpose for my painful past. Yes, I was called to be a pastor’s wife, just like Paul was called to be an Apostle, in spite of my/his past.
I excitedly called to tell someone close to me, when she quickly shut me down. “No way.” Your past is just that, the past.” “Leave it there.” “Keep it private, or people will use it against you.”
And just like that, the euphoria was gone. The lies returned. I shut my mouth.
Friends that was 24 years ago, and God recently brought that day back to me, as clear as if it were yesterday!
I am His sheep, I did hear His voice 24 years ago, and I will follow! I have also learned a valuable lesson. When the Good Shepherd speaks to our hearts through His Spirit, that doesn’t mean it is going to happen that day, or that year.
Jesus was 30 years old before His ministry was launched.
Moses was 80.
If you’ve heard His voice, wait for His timing, then He will give you grace to obey and follow Him! But remember, His voice will never contradict His Word.
“There comes a time to stop fearing God’s plan—a flash-point where we stop thinking about ourselves and we start thinking about what we can do for others.”
Jo Ann Fore, When a Woman Finds Her Voice
I’ve found my voice. You can too. Take the pledge!
And pre-order your copy of, When a Woman Finds Her Voice, by Jo Ann Fore.