August 14, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: 4 Very Powerful Statements

Brother-Aaron-236x300The eyes of many in the congregation were moistened this past Sunday night, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable as she shared her testimony.

It was easy to see and understand that her words were coming from a place of darkness and deep hurt in her life. Even after twenty plus years the pain was still very real.

And if the truth were known, most likely at that moment, she would have rather been anywhere else, doing anything else, other than revisiting her old hurts. But this was the will of God for her at that moment. And she knew it.

She was raised in church. However, as often is the case, her life didn’t go according to the script she had written. She was in her very early twenties.

It was a time when a woman being pregnant and unmarried, especially with a biracial child, was frowned upon by society far worse than it is today. (Note:  I’m not condoning pregnancy out of wedlock, I’m just telling her story.) This is the position she found herself.

Stunned and confused, she went to her Youth Pastor for advice. Unbelievably, he counseled her to have an abortion. He told her, “Nobody has to know and you can go on with your life.”

She stated that she didn’t know much – but she knew that wasn’t right! So, she refused the abortion and gave birth to her daughter.

As she continued, she made the first of four very powerful statements. First, she said, “While I love my daughter with all my heart, would give my life for her, and she is my world, the cold hard truth of the matter is, she is the consequence of my sin.”

She continued by making an even harder statement. She said, “I soon discovered that because of my situation, the very people who taught me that I was to love others – no longer loved me!” (Wow!)

She took her child and moved North. She landed a good job and went about the business of raising a biracial child as a single mother. She said that for several years she just lived her life. She just worked and raised her daughter.

Then, her daughter began to struggle academically. She knew the environment she was raising her in was causing her academic struggles.  She made the decision to move back South. She told how that she and her daughter were lovingly accepted into a local church and how that on her first Sunday back a Southern Gospel quartet was singing.

She hadn’t heard the old hymns in forever. She literally sat and wept at the sound of the old songs. Both she and her daughter became active in church.  She then made the third powerful statement. She said, “After a couple of years of being back in the Deep South, one day my daughter came to me and said, ‘Mom. You’ve changed. And you’ve changed for the better. You’re no longer the person you were when we came back.’”

By now, as I said earlier, “The eyes of many in the congregation were moistened … and the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable…”

After pausing to gather her composure, she made her fourth and most powerful statement. She said, “I have made many mistakes in my past.” She paused again. Then, looking the congregation in the face, she said, “… But I am not my past!”

She made four powerful statements that any of us could have made.

1: Each of us live with the consequences of our sin.  2: Often, because of our sin, the people who taught us to love others – will no longer love us. 3: Regardless of the sin, we can change.  4: Hallelujah, we are not our past!

Four very powerful statements!

Brother Aaron

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