BY Diana Stone
“My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.” (Galatians 6:1-3)
Sometimes in Church when we listen to testimonies, we sit on the edge of our seats waiting for all the juicy details. I believe a lot of times we miss opportunities God gives us to help our brothers and sisters receive liberty from the many chains that bound us by focusing on the sin. Instead we should focus on the One who frees us from sin; testimonies are meant to bring glory and honor to God.
I have purposely not mentioned any ministries, name, or places; truly only a few know these details of my life. While writing I attempted to focus on God’s faithfulness and redemptive work in my life. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
I am 52 years old and my relationship with Christ has existed for over 30 years. So what I am about to say may shock some and even cause others to bring into question my Salvation. I am a minister of the Gospel and also I have traveled the world as a missionary. So when I tell you I love God and His Word; it is not just something I say, they are not empty words. I can truly understand the disbelief and questions some may have.
Two years ago I was right where some of you are today. Shaken and some of the same questions running through my mind; I questioned everything I believed. I thought I was on the right track; I was in full-time ministry, but Jesus was only Savior and not Lord of my life. There was also hurt in my life which I had not dealt with properly. Although the type of sin does not matter, to God sin is sin. I will reveal that it was sexual in nature and when I fell, I fell hard.
I can only remember continuing to hear God would get the glory out of this turmoil. My prayer has been through individual and group counseling, support groups, and not being able to active do ministry in my Church, “God you take this mess I have made and miraculously re-create something for righteousness-sake. I thank God for His grace and mercy and His redemptive power.”
I thank Him for placing loving people in my life and professionals, who were willing to take the time to sit with me, listen (without judgment and/or condemnation). They prayed with me as well as for me while standing by me and holding my hand to the other side.
God’s grace has saved me, His mercy has been patient until I realized I needed to also allow Jesus to be Lord of my life, and His redemptive love has shown me incomparable forgiveness.