Perhaps you remember the words of the old hymn:
I love to tell the story ‘Twill be my theme in glory To tell the old, old story Of Jesus and his love
Growing up, we frequently sang those words in church. The hymn has always been a favorite of mine. But today, it has new meaning.
Back when I first surrendered to this unwanted journey of adultery and divorce, I remember falling on my knees and telling God, “I will take this journey. Please, don’t let my pain be in vain.”
Never could I have even begun to imagine what that prayer would yield in my life!
YOU are an answer to that prayer! With every email I receive, every comment on my blog, every person who reads my words and is blessed, I see that God had plans to use my pain…even before I could even begin to imagine good could come from the pain. I realize that by telling my story, my pain is not in vain. I have the joy of seeing my pain bless and encourage tens of thousands of people that I have never met…that I may never meet until we are together in glory.
Not only do I have the blessing of sharing, of seeing my pain used to help others, but telling my story has been such a healing journey for me. When I started this little blog two and a half years ago, I had no idea where it would go, if it would go anywhere. I just knew that I had a story, a story of God’s faithfulness.
And so I began to write.
I began to tell how God had worked in my life. I began to tell what God was actively doing in my life. I began to tell how he had revealed himself to me. I began to tell how I had come to understand his love in new and precious ways. I began to tell how he had become real to me. I began to tell how I had realized God’s never-ending love, forgiveness, and faithfulness.
I began to tell the story of Jesus and his love.
With every retelling of my story… With every email I send… With every speaking opportunity I have… With every blog that I write… I have the privilege of rehearsing God’s love and faithfulness to me and it builds my faith even more.
I would not have this overwhelming joy without each and every one of you, my readers. I simply want to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life, for allowing me to tell my story. I want to say thank you for being a part of my healing, of the building of my faith.
And now, God has very clearly revealed the next step to me: It is time to write my first book.
As far back as high school, I had a dream of being a writer. I wrote an essay for a scholarship my senior year of high school, and in the essay I wrote about my future…as a writer. In college, I told my advisor that my ultimate goal was to write devotional material. I wasn’t sure how I could make a living, though, so I pursued a public relations/journalism degree instead. But here I am a number of years (I’ll keep that exact number to myself) later, and God is fulfilling my dream…and he’s doing it through the most painful circumstance of my life.
I’ll be honest: It is very daunting to write a book, vastly different from writing a short 1000 word blog post. But I know God has called me to it, and I know that he will see me through.
It’s an exciting time, too! I have carried a dream for 20 years and had basically allowed that dream to die. But, I am proof that when God plants a dream in your heart, it will never die! Think about Joseph. Joseph languished in a prison and watched his dream die a slow and painful death…until God’s time was right. And then, at just the right time, God elevated Joseph and made his dream become reality.
But, here’s where things get tough. You see, as a single mom I have this thing called a job. It’s a necessary evil: necessary because I need to feed and clothe my children and evil because it limits the time I have available to write my book. And, don’t forget those three precious children who are constantly fighting for my attention. I have to say that they are 100% supportive of this writing venture, and they want me to write my book as much as I do! They have been so good about stepping up and helping out to free my time to write.
So, this is where I am: I know that I must write my book because that is what God has called me to. But, I must balance all of the priorities in my life. Honestly, I am struggling to keep up with my book, my job, my kids, and my blog.
And that is where you, my wonderful and dearly loved readers, come in.
Telling my story has been such a therapeutic venture. I know that you all have amazing stories of survival, of healing, because many of you have told me your stories!
Would you be willing to tell your story on my blog? Would you be willing to write a blog post of how God has given you strength, pulled you through a painful time in your life? Would you be willing to tell your story of God’s faithfulness, of his provisions for you?
I guarantee that if you will tell your story, God will do amazing things in you. You will be blessed as you rehearse his faithfulness. Your faith will grow as you reflect on his mercies toward you. You will see your pain is never in vain when you walk with God.
Please don’t think that I am going away! I am about six chapters into my book. I may even share small glimpses occasionally of what I am writing. I may post some of my older Crosswalk articles. I will still write as God pours out an inspiration on me. I have no doubt that God will faithfully provide material for my blog.
But I would love nothing more than to share your story, to give you the opportunity to experience the joy of telling your story of Jesus and his love toward you.
If you would like to share your story, please email me at DenasDevos@yahoo.com with a subject of I love to tell the story. I will be more than happy to edit and format if you are concerned about your writing skills! If I post your entry, I can do it anonymously or I can identify you. It’s your call, your story.
In addition to sharing your story, I ask that you keep me in your prayers. I do not want to write this book. Instead, I want God to write this book through me. I choose to surrender every day to my Savior, asking him to live through me. My goal is that my words would point a hurting world back to the One who can heal every wound, every pain. That is something only God can do.