Several months ago, a good friend of mine, a mentor, an amazing woman of God whom is one of the women in my life that I would like to emulate someday when I finally grow up, my pastor’s wife, emailed me to ask if I would be willing to share my “story”, my testimony at our church’s annual women’s dinner and service. Now, our church knows how to throw a ladies’ evening. Talk about elaboration. Women “sponsor” a dinner table and spend hours decorating it in a theme of their choice. Some of the tables end up with centerpieces that are taller than the table is long. All are amazingly and intricately created. After the catered meal is devoured, the 300 plus women enter the sanctuary for a time of worship and to hear a guest speaker. Usually we have a few women give short testimonies or perform in small skits that go with the theme for the evening. So when Sue asked me if I would be willing to share my story, I freaked out a bit. I mean, teaching in front of children in my very comfortable gym is one thing; giving a couple minute testimony in front of hundreds of women is quite another.
I read her email; I reread it. I had a slight coronary. I got up from my desk, went to my secret stash of chocolate, had a few pieces. …my heart resumed a normal rhythm…eventually. Because, chocolate, as all women know, is a cure-all for…well…EVERYTHING.
With only slight fear and trembling, I wrote Sue back and told her I would be happy and honored to share.
A few weeks later, our family was away for the weekend. We were being lazy one morning and hadn’t yet removed our slothful carcasses from our hotel beds when my phone began buzzing indicating I had a text message. Without glasses on or contacts in, I squished my eyes, held my phone at just the right distance and began reading a message from a good friend. “Amanda, I’m so excited to hear you speak at our Personally Yours dinner coming up! You will be a great speaker!”
WHAT?! Had I misread the blurry message? I had disclosed Sue’s request to a total of…ONE…person; that one was my husband. How did my friend find out??
Later that day, another message from another friend reiterated what the first one said. I finally got the courage to ask how in the world my friend knew about this. She excitedly said, “It was in the church bulletin!! And it said that you are the ‘featured’ speaker!!”
(Needless to say that more chocolate was consumed that day. My stash used to be a 5 gallon bucket. It now is down to about a quart 🙂 )
God is good. And He provides…and not just the chocolate.
As I was praying about what God would want me to share for our ladies’ evening, and as I was writing, God kept giving me more and more words to say. To fit my testimony into a few minutes, I knew I would have to edit…much! But after I realized my mistake that I actually was the featured speaker and would need more than two minutes of material, I knew that God had already prepared me for the job He wanted me to do. I’m very, very glad that He gave me the words BEFORE I knew the details of my job…or I may not have any chocolate left in my stash. 🙂
So, last Friday, God blessed me with the opportunity to share His hope, His help, His forgiveness with an amazing group of 300 women. It was a beautiful evening with amazing tables, fabulous food, moving worship, brave sentence testimonies from eight very courageous women. God is powerful. And He answered the prayers of many who asked Him to speak through me, a very broken vessel. And He replaced my fear with an excitement to share His Good News and His forgiveness.
And the following is my story.
My Ebenezers: God’s Forgiveness and Faithfulness
Good evening, Ladies! I am Amanda. I am a wife. A mom of two. A teacher. I’m not here tonight as an expert or as a professional speaker. I don’t epitomize someone who has it “altogether”. Far from it. I come broken. I come as one who daily seeks God’s guidance, His strength, His forgiveness. I come tonight as a story. The Author of my life has given me a story. He has given us all a story. And woven together, they are part of His story.
Mine, my story, involves tombstones…and sanctuaries. Death and life. Forgiveness.
I had a happy upbringing with many, many fond memories. My parents are good people whom I love very much. Both of my parents loved/love my brother and I whole-heartedly. And I was a pretty good girl. But our family didn’t know much about God, His Son Jesus, or the Bible. My dad thought that “religion” was a crutch for the weak. None of us knew the truth. And I don’t mean that disrespectfully by any means; we just didn’t know any different.
My family believed in the strength of staying close to each other, and I’m thankful that was instilled into me.
So, my family was everything to me. And through the years as I saw my friends’ parents divorcing, I distinctly remember making my dad promise that he and Mom would never divorce. The thought of that happening gave me nightmares. And though “family” is an amazing gift, I would soon learn that my foundation could crumble overnight.
And it did.
The night before Thanksgiving, when I was nearing my 17th birthday, my dad abandoned my family to explore the other relationships he had been having for years. Crushed, thrown away, deceived, desperately lost and depressed only scratched the surface of the thoughts and emotions I experienced.
I did the only thing I knew. I threw myself into a “sure thing”, the other foundation I was familiar with. I became a reclusive nerd studying in my room for hours every night. If I couldn’t control what was happening around me, I surely could control my work.
And though I didn’t know it at the time, God and I did battle. Much to the dismay of my English teacher, whom I believe was a Christian, I chose to do my junior thesis paper debating in favor of evolution. I would prove in my mind that I could rely on myself and my studies and that I could stand the test of life’s uncertainties.
During this time, a friend was taking me to his youth group. And though I thought I was going more for the purpose of spending time with him than to believe in any of the “brainwashing” teachings preached about, God had other plans. He was in the process of preparing a sanctuary of my life, a place that His love, His forgiveness, His true life could dwell.
One evening after the youth meeting, I asked to speak with the youth pastor. I was desperately depressed and I was dying a very slow, very painful death. I knew I needed help. I needed hope. I was sinking, drowning.
Ken and his wife, Teresa, asked me if I would like to accept Jesus into my life. And though I wasn’t positive what that meant, I knew I needed Someone other than me to cling to. I needed Hope. I needed a foundation and the Truth. Family, though good, wasn’t forever; and my studies and my evolution thesis certainly weren’t fulfilling, nor was the “me-centered, no-rules” lifestyle I was living.
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I trusted that He was born, died on the cross for my sins, and was raised again on the third day promising new life here on earth and everlasting life when we die. I knew that I was a sinner and needed His forgiveness.
We often have to be brought to our knees before we truly begin living. Death to my pride and to my old self had to come before God could begin creating true life within me. And He flooded me with live-giving forgiveness.
This is my first Ebenezer, a reminder of God’s help, His salvation.
Samuel and the Israelites were in battle with the Philistines in 1 Samuel 7. The Israelites’ defeat was imminent, yet Samuel called out to the Lord for protection and offered a sacrifice. God was faithful to save His people. 1 Samuel 7:12 records that Samuel took a stone and set it up as a way of remembering what the Lord had done, to remember His faithfulness. He called it Ebenezer which means, “stone of help”.
What surely would be a graveyard for the Israelites became a sanctuary where God was praised for giving life.
My story is not so different. I too have graveyards, tombstones, that have become sanctuaries. Times and places of imminent death that God has resurrected with true life and showered with forgiveness.
My husband and I annually lead our 7th grade students on their class trip to Washington, D.C. While we are there, we visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum. The displays, videos, pictures, artifacts, and stories read and seen impact each visitor significantly. On one of the walls of the museum, Isaiah 43:10 is displayed. It says, “You are my witnesses.” We are witnesses of God’s love, His ways, His truth, His faithfulness “lest we forget our God” as Deuteronomy 8:11 warns against. We remember our history so that we can give account of God’s faithfulness, His help.
Joshua 4 describes how the Israelites escaped from their pursuers when God dried a path through the Jordan River and they were able to walk across on dry ground. God told His people to set up 12 stones as a way of marking the place of God’s faithfulness to them. Joshua 4:21-24 says, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”
We are also called to witness and remember so that when our children, our friends, our family, those around us ask us about our tombstones and sanctuaries we can give account to God’s faithfulness.
My first Ebenezer is a reminder of God’s forgiveness of my sins.
My second Ebenezer represents God’s help with my calling to be a wife.
From as far back as I can remember, even before I accepted Jesus’ as my Savior, when I was a young girl, I felt a tug at my heart to someday be a wife and mom, like my own mom. Family life was important to my parents, and they helped to shape my desire to make family a priority.
But it was only after the Lord saved me that I was able to understand that God was calling me to make being a godly wife a priority.
I believe in Genesis 50:20 when Joseph tells his brothers that he knew they “intended to harm him when they left him for dead and later sold him into slavery, but that God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And I’ve heard the saying that out of our misery God can create our ministries. Though I already had a bent towards “family”, out of my brokenness, out of my own experience seeing my family dissolve and destroyed, God impassioned me with a deep desire to learn how to become a godly wife and mom and to be available for Him to use me to minister to other families.
Nearly 18 years ago, I was blessed with a husband who is a daily example of Jesus to me. My second Ebenezer has been erected through the years as I learn how, in return, to display Christ-like character back to him.
Sadly, my dad’s example of marriage to me (and of course to my brother and for my mom), wasn’t healthy. “Me-ism”, “consumerism”, and trading in the old model for a newer one are relationship philosophies that I saw. I knew these ideas weren’t from God. But it took death to old ideals for a godly sanctuary of marriage to form. I was pretty sure for quite a long time that marriage was all about me. How would my needs be met? How could my husband become more of what would benefit me?
And through the struggles of learning what God intends for a marriage to look like, my best friend, my husband stands fast by my side loving me, giving me grace, having patience for me, showing me God’s forgiveness as I die, as I continue to die, to my own selfishness. And I also have patience and forgiveness for him as he continues to become the man of God that our Savior has planned.
Pursuing godliness in marriage, as one pastor I recently listened to described, is realizing that peace is NOT being free FROM calamity and turmoil but being free IN calamity and turmoil. The first definition is the world’s offer. The second is only possible with Jesus living in us. God didn’t say that marriage would be free FROM hardship as we learn to die to ourselves and put our spouses needs before our own. But He did say in Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, He will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
God also tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
We all will/do face hardship. It surrounds us. There really is no escape from it this side of heaven. [This is where we need to stop and eat some chocolate…how depressing!] But we are not without hope. Jesus promises His peace, hope, and help as we depend on Him. And His promises to continue the work that He began in us.
We may think that the “grass is greener on the other side”. But if we venture to the other side we realize it is greener only because it is steeped in manure fertilizer. No thanks. All grasses have their pros and cons. I have fond memories of rolling in soft, feathery Hoosier grass as a young girl. Southern Florida grass just isn’t the same. It is tough and durable. It’s not exactly picnic friendly, but come January and February, there is no way I would trade its vibrant green for dead, brown Hoosier grass.
No matter to whom we are married or what our marriage is like, each marriage relationship offers its pros and cons, its blessings and its challenges.
God calls us to learn how to be more like Him where we are because His peace isn’t dependent on worldly “perfect” situations or being married to a “perfect” mate. (Obviously, this is not intended to be counsel for abusive marriages.) Pursuing a godly marriage doesn’t mean just accepting a ho-hum situation and “grinning and bearing it”. It doesn’t mean staying stuck in the doldrums of mediocrity. God always calls us to victory and abundance in Him. No, our situation may not be ideal, but our pursuit means we actively grow and seek God’s holiness. It’s not stagnant.
Gary Thomas, in Sacred Marriage, challenges couples to consider this question: “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” He goes on to say:
…if you want to become more like Jesus, I can’t imagine any better thing to do than to get married. Being married forces you to face some character issues you’d never have to face otherwise (21) Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value, and I slowly began to understand that the real purpose of marriage many not be happiness as much as it is holiness. Not that God has anything against happiness, or that happiness and holiness are by nature mutually exclusive, but looking at marriage through the lens of holiness began to put it into an entirely new perspective for me (22-23).
Slowly, through death and through God’s abundant life that He promises to those who accept His Son, my “me-ism” marital views are being transformed. And I ask God instead to make me the wife that my husband needs me to be, the wife that God wants me to be. And God creates life in me as He forgives my brokenness and turns my tombstone of selfishness into a sanctuary of a godly marriage.
My third Ebenezer reminds me to trust in the Lord as I parent. It reminds me to stop trying to frantically control my children’s futures but instead to place them in their Creator’s hands and trust His best for them. It reminds me that God forgives my parental inadequacies and, yes, even my neurotic desire to control, and uses me in spite of those deficiencies.
Being the almost crazed organizers and planners that my husband and I both are, we had the month and nearly the day down that we were going to welcome our Elizabeth Grace into the world. Because God sometimes allows us to think we are in control so as not to freak us out too much, He amusingly allowed our plan, and I had Elizabeth on the very last day of school before summer. So I was able to teach until the end of the year. Then God’s little joke began…
The joke was not our precious girl, we had prayed and prayed and prayed for her. We wanted to be parents with all our hearts. The joke was that we still thought we were somewhat in control of what parenting should look like and how children would fall right in step with our plans. The joke was that we still thought, at age 26, that the world kind of still revolved around us. Children have a way of bringing that ridiculous and deranged line of thinking to a screeching halt. And the “How-to-Get-Your-Newborn-on-YOUR-Schedule-So-She-Knows-from-the-Getgo-That-She’s-Not-the-One-Who-is-in-Control” self-help book was hurled into the dumpster only second to the initial overflowing bag of dirty diapers.
When our precious, fun, and lively son, Nathan Elijah, followed Elizabeth’s birth just 17 months later, we knew we had been blessed. We also knew that we had quite a long road ahead of learning to die to our selfish desire for control. I can be a slow learner at times, but in His patience, God is showing me that He is the One who created my children. And He has chosen and called them to be what He wants, in His timing, and in His way.
At times I just need to be still and remember His promises, His Truth. And to trust Him with the children I am blessed with.
My life is loud. Often. It comes with the territory of being a PE teacher, a mom, a dog owner, choosing to hang out with my middle school aged children’s friends.
A few weeks ago, we traveled to Tampa to go to Elizabeth’s club volleyball tournament. When we entered the convention center where she played, the epitome of penetrating, thunderous clamor, I was fairly certain none of us would exit without having developed nervous twitches and major migraines.
There were no less than 40 courts of volleyball being played simultaneously. Each court had two referees blowing ear-piercing whistles for a total of at least 80 high-pitched, sometimes deafening, instruments, plus thousands of teenage girls and screaming parent-spectators all contributing to a symphonic choir. Wow.
By the time the weekend was over and the tournament was finished, we hadn’t yet had quite enough noise, so we decided to stop by the shooting range on the way back home to give Nathan time to practice skeet shooting readying him for his upcoming quail hunt. Teeth-rattling cannon fires ensued as Nate shot down one clay pigeon after another. Hmmm. Stimulus overload.
Both were grand experiences and ones that we look forward to again when we travel for the next tournament.
This world is LOUD. And God’s Word, in John 10:10, tells us that Satan comes to kill and steal and destroy. Sometimes he uses the loudness, the chaos, the stimulus overload this world offers to do just that. He screams lies at us until we get so used to hearing them we are tempted to believe them. Often those lies come in the form of thinking we need to be in control or our children won’t develop according to our plans. The lies tell us that others may not think they (or we as parents) are worthy, that our children won’t make it, or that they are defective somehow.
The final portion of John 10:10 tells us that Jesus has come to give us LIFE and give it fully. He breathes fresh hope, grace, peace, truth into our lives. But we have to listen. His voice is often quieter than the world–not less powerful!–but quieter.
Just as Liz had to filter out 78 miscellaneous, insignificant whistles at her tournament and discern the two that were on her court, we have to filter out bombarding lies and seek God’s voice, His Truth and LISTEN.
And this is what I long for when life’s loudness and the world’s lies scream at me. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
The Truth gives us life and reminds us that it is God who is in control of our futures and that of our children. He is the one who gives us value.
Our ladies’ group at church recently studied Jennifer Rothschild’s book Me, Myself, & Lies. And in one chapter, she asked us to look up several verses and write what God’s Word, the Truth, tells us about our value and the value of all He created (Isaiah 43:1; 43:4, Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 15:7; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 1:4, 2:10; and 1 Peter 2:9). I made a list of the powerful words God uses to emphasize our importance to Him:
~He created and called us by name(!)
~We are His
~We are precious, honored, and loved
~He loves us with an everlasting and unfailing love
~He draws us to Himself
~We are accepted in Christ
~We are bought at a high price; we are valued
~We are chosen
~We are loved in Christ, made holy and without fault; we are adopted; we are family
~We are masterpieces
~We are made new in Christ
~We are chosen
~We are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s possession
~We are called
Do you ever wonder if your children “will make it”, if their strengths are seen and/or valued by anyone outside of their parents? Do you ever tire of the struggle thinking you need to be in control of their destiny? Do you believe the lie that if you “mess up” their future is doomed? Sometimes I do. My third Ebenezer reminds me, however, that it is God who is in control of my children’s future.
Listen to God’s voice; His Truth. Chosen, loved, created, called, accepted, valued, bought, chosen, made holy and acceptable, adopted, part of the family, masterpieces, made new, chosen, owned, chosen.
We are CHOSEN. Our children are CHOSEN. We, and they, are not leftovers after a schoolyard pick for teams only to go to the team that didn’t want us in the first place. We are CHOSEN. The Creator of the universe created, called, and specifically chose us for His purpose. He chose our children for a purpose. We are not junk. We are made for a purpose, a plan, a reason. Each one of us. Our children. Our spouses. Chosen. Can you see that? Can you close your eyes for a moment and envision that? God chose you. He chose your children. He calls them by name.
When God’s people were facing an army in 2 Chronicles 20, the Lord spoke to one of His prophets to give a message to His people: “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ He goes on to say, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”
We face loudness, battles, chaos in this world. We and those we love are often attacked with lies regarding worth and value. Truly, however, the battle is not ours but the Lords. And we stay strong in the strength of His Truth as He battles for us, His chosen.
And we know that our children are not ours. They belong to the One who made them. We are blessed to be used by God to disciple and guide and direct. But they are His. He loves them even more than we do. TRUST them to their Maker, their CREATOR, the One who is CALLING them, the one who has CHOSEN them. Yes, pray. Yes, parent. Yes, direct and discipline and disciple and guide and LOVE. But TRUST Him who calls them by name. They are His. And our job is to place them back at the foot of His cross in obedience and TRUST.
And my third Ebenezer reminds me to release my tombstone of control and instead to trust in the One who makes a sanctuary out of my and my children’s lives as He forgives my parental imperfections and my desire to try to control.
When my dad left when I was a teenager, his story didn’t stop there. He too has a story, which leads to my fourth Ebenezer, my fourth reminder that through God’s forgiveness, true life is found.
Though my dad was a kind man, and I loved him dearly, his heart was set against God. He believed he was “good enough” and he didn’t need the “crutch” of “religion”.
Though he tried to be a good person, in many, many ways, he lived his life contrary to God’s best for him.
Long ago, Jesus gave me the strength to forgive Dad for leaving our family (and continue to forgive him for many, many other life choices that hurt my mom, my brother and I), to love him, to have grace for him, to pray for him. Forgiving Dad didn’t mean that I became a doormat for him to treat poorly. It didn’t mean that I still didn’t stand up for the truth. And it sometimes meant that I had to put up healthy boundaries and even distance between us. But, forgiveness for Dad saved me from bitterness and resentment. Forgiving Dad reminded me of the forgiveness and love I have received from God. I didn’t always forgive Dad perfectly. And when I messed up, I too had to ask for forgiveness. But God, in His faithfulness, was able to restore our relationship because He gave me the power and ability to forgive.
For 22 years I prayed and prayed for Dad. As God would open the door, I would do my best to tell him of Jesus’ love for him. I told him that I, and more importantly God, wanted the best for him. But he politely rejected my words and God’s love over and over.
Then in July of 2013, Dad was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.
This couldn’t be happening to my family, I thought in disbelief. Not Dad. He wasn’t ready. I continued to love Dad and tell him of God’s love, but each time my words were met with resistance and rejection.
After several months of treatment and surgery, we thought Dad’s tumor had decreased and that he possibly might go into remission. But in January of last year, the cancer spread throughout his body, and there was nothing left for the doctors to do. And I didn’t know what else I could say to Dad to help him to call out to Jesus.
A close friend told me to ask him if he knew where he would go when he passed away. He told me he didn’t know. This was the first time that he seemed open to hearing the Good News.
And a few hours later that same day, on February 4, 2014, I had the privilege of praying with my dad when he accepted Jesus as His Savior. In extending forgiveness to Dad, perhaps I helped him to be open to accepting God’s forgiveness and experience freedom from guilt and remorse.
I flew to South Carolina to be with him, and just 2 weeks later, he met his Creator face-to-face, and the angels rejoiced along with me that Dad was safe in the arms of Jesus.
I miss my daddy so very much. This has been one of the most difficult trials and years I’ve been through. And as I journey through the grief process, and experience the “rivers of difficulty” that God promises will “not drown” me in Isaiah 43:2, I continue to be amazed how God is “making a pathway through the wilderness” and “creating rivers in the dry wasteland” as He says in Isaiah 43:19. And I believe God was able to use cancer to save my dad’s soul. Through Dad’s story, others have also come to Christ.
The last thing I said to Dad the night before he passed away was, “I love you, Dad. I’ll see you in the morning.” And because Dad had a testimony, because his story included Jesus as his Savior, I will indeed see him in the morning.
And my fourth Ebenezer tombstone, the one of death and grief, is turned into a sanctuary as it reminds me that God can indeed bring life out of death through his forgiveness.
Isaiah 40:3 tell us, “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” And Ezekiel 11:19 says, “[God] will give [His people] a singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. [He] will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart…”
Every life has trials, hardships, times of death. My tombstones have included my broken childhood family, my unhealthy view of marriage, destructive control over my children’s futures, and the death of my dad. Like Joseph, we can trust the Lord to use these times “for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
By accepting God’s forgiveness through Jesus, we can allow Him to turn our tombstones into sanctuaries full of abundant life. He promises in Romans 8:28 that “all things work for the good of those who love God and have been called according to His purpose.”
God is turning my tombstones into sanctuaries as I trust and obey Him. From my broken family, He brought about my salvation; from an unhealthy selfishness in marriage, He is renovating me to desire to be the wife my husband needs me to be; from trying to control my children’s purpose and futures, He is opening my hands and allowing me to release them and their futures on His alter and trusting in His plans for them; from my dad’s sickness and death, He brought salvation.
1 John 1:9 promises us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God allows us to have Ebenezers to remember His help, His faithfulness, and His provisions. He often turns our misery into our ministry.
The beginning of hope comes from knowing the answer to these questions: Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior? To forgive you of your sins? Have you confessed that you have fallen short of what God asks of you (all of us have done this–there’s not one person who is “good enough” before God; but we become righteous when we have Jesus as our Savior (Romans 6:23)? Have you asked Jesus to be the Lord of you life?
To accept His FREE gift of salvation and that He died on the cross for you–meaning that it isn’t earned by anything we can do but is only a gift that we either accept or reject? Do you believe, if only beginning with a small amount of faith, that He is Lord (John 1:12)? And that He wants to have a personal relationship with you? (Romans 6:23)
When we become believers in Jesus, it’s not as if all of our trials, hurts, difficulties go away. But slowly we realize that Jesus is with us and that His strength is what we need to face each day. He begins to reveal His plan and our life’s purpose to us…our purpose for the next hour, the next day. But we can trust Him that He does have a purpose for our lives and that He wants His best for us. We can trust Him to set us free from the bondage of unforgiveness and sin.
If you haven’t yet asked Him to save you, really all you need to do is pray and believe…
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
“Thank you, Lord, for the way you weave each of our surrendered lives into a beautiful tapestry. Use us for your glory. Turn our tombstone Ebenezers into beautiful sanctuaries full of your forgiveness, grace, and love that we can give to others. We love, Lord. Thank you for saving us. Let it be.”