Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Who Led You to the Lord?
Michon Franks Henegar
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your steps.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It was a cold October day, and the day I had dreaded had come, I sat in the cemetery and watched them lower my Mom’s body into the ground after an 8 year battle with cancer. I was silent as my mind rehearsed how she would not be there when I graduated, or my wedding, or when my first baby was born, or just to go shopping, or simply to share life’s moments.
I was 14, my Dad was a Pastor, and I was angry, broken, and alone. How could God do this to me? That was the thought that flipped in my mind over and over again!
At 16, my Dad re-married and life became worse instead of better. My step-mom had many struggles of her own, and her problems became ours. More rejection, more disappointment, and more hurt.
At 18, I got married to a youth pastor. I knew how to be religious, but I had no relationship with Christ. My husband realized this about one week into our marriage, as I shared my unbelief that if God loved me, then why would all of this keep happening? I had an eating disorder on top of everything else, infertility issues, and lots of bitterness and brokenness.
I was brokenhearted filled with doubt and running from God, the Source of my help, and I stayed like this for 10 years into my marriage.
God never quits pursuing us, and one day on a walk, a dear friend said to me, “How many times will you tell God no?” Those eight words hit me at the core. She did not say anything else, we simply walked. It was quiet, and I can still hear the gravel under our feet. I laid in bed that night with tears pouring.
The next day, I made a decision to serve God. God began the work in me, and He continues the work to this day.
I have realized that our test can become our testimony. I can see God’s Grace in each moment, even the brokenness!.
My story is simply about a little girl at age 6 who did not know how to separate pain from Jesus. When loss occurred or people hurt me, I would correlate it to Jesus. I so longed to simply be loved and feel like I belonged, so if people did not love me then God must not love me either. I know this is not true, but that is how I lived for years.
The grace God extends is like no other, but the enemy is also still at work even after we find Christ, and he wants to take people out.
What could I leave you with from my story?
Just because someone is from a Christian home does not mean they are a Christian. I was a Pastor’s daughter, went to Sunday School and at least 3 church services every week, but attendance doesn’t change the heart. The important thing is relationship not religion.
Simple words from a friend or mentor can change the trajectory of someone’s life. My moment of change was from a friend speaking 8 words.
The enemy studies us, so our past triggers are the place he will try to attack us again! .....and yes, the devil can use Christian’s to do his work. Be careful that you are not hurting your sisters in Christ, but helping them. We don’t know someone’s complete story, and no one is perfect! We can help lead people to Jesus or push them away. We can love them or leave them. We can comfort them or create more chaos. It’s a daily and intentional choice to reflect the heart of the Father to others.
My biggest quest has been to know the heart of the Father, and as I have pursued that more and more, I can now see a pure, gentle, loving, kind, caring, faithful, gracious, merciful, God who deeply loves me. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what great live the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! and that is what we are! The reason the world did not know us is that it did not know him.”
My goal now is to love others the way He has loved me. We are created with a divine purpose, and we are blessed to be a blessing. I pray for opportunities to share Jesus with others, to care for them, and to ask questions like my friend did. I write in my planner each week, “Use me God, use me!”
If you don’t know Jesus, simply ask Him to be the Lord of your life. I promise you that it is the best decision you will ever make. My friend helped me find the truth, and loved me along the way, and my prayer is that I will do that for others.
Future Readings: John 8:32, John 3:16, Jeremiah 29:11, and Psalm 138:8
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me so much that you continued to pursue me. Help me to continue to keep my heart pure before you. Help my story to be used for Your glory, for in the trauma lies the treasure of redemption, healing grace, purpose, and a bright future. Help us to all to see our sisters with the same love you have for us and to encourage each other to grow in the grace and the knowledge of You. When we see hurt, may we bring help. Lord always check my heart first, and then help me to love others deeply from the heart, forgive quickly, restore what has been broken, and reflect You to my fellow believers and the world that desperately needs you. In Jesus name, and for the Father’s Glory! AMEN - So Be It! ❤️
Isaiah 61:3, “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.”