I really love Hope Harris’ heart. She is a former gay rights activist who became a Christian in 2009. She is serves as the Coordinator of the Lifesource Food Assistance and Summer Feeding programs for LifeBridge Christian Center. Hope blogs her journey of resolving her faith and sexuality at www.hopespassage.wordpress.com.
I know her story will inspire you.
I recently heard Mary DeMuth Keynote and her follow-up workshop at the Exodus International Freedom Conference. Mary’s story is both raw and authentic; she shares her story of growing up in a chaotic family and was deeply wounded by neighborhood boys who sexually abused her. Mary encountered Jesus during her sophomore year of high school and has allowed God to heal her wounded heart. It is evident that her desire is that others will meet the same Jesus who can take our deepest wounds and darkest trails and turn them into stunning triumphs.
During Mary’s workshop based on the following quote from Oswald Chambers: “Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.” She challenged us to let go of what once defined us. She had us identify I was statements about ourselves. Here are mine I was rejected, I was abandoned, and I was abused.
Admittedly I have spent a great deal of my life with the label victim tattooed across my heart and in many ways those statements were driving forces in my own life.
In order to let go we need a positive that will motivate us to move forward. For those who follow Jesus our motivator knowing the Great I Am and experiencing His healing in our lives. The past can weigh us down, but when we surrender how and why we have identified ourselves; God can take the inner turmoil and burden we bear.
She then encouraged us rework our I was statements to define our life purpose by writing out our I am statements. Mary shared her own I was and I am statements; “I was molested”, “I am used by God to bring healing to others who have been molested”.
Here is mine
- I was gay identified and I am learning what my true identity is and will help others discover their true identity in Jesus.
In that moment something solidified within me. I saw purpose behind my own pain and found motivation to resolve my childhood wounds and move forward in life to give myself away to others who feel lost and confused about who they are. To lead them to the one who created them in His image.
Hand in hand with this new and personal revelation Mary made this very profound statement. “As Christians we go from insignificant, to significant, to making others significant.” I know I have some work to do before I can effectively do that, but I am moving forward into “the irresistible future with Him.”
What about you? What are your “I was” statements? What is your I am statement?