I don’t normally do this, but a sweet friend and sister in Christ was moved by my last post to share a testimony of God at work in her life. I found her story deeply moving and was humbled by her transparency.
I especially wanted to share it now as we can clearly see our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, waiting for someone to devour as 1 Peter 5:8 tells us. With her permission, I am sharing it here with you, edited slightly to protect her privacy:
“Scripture says, ‘Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins’ (James 5:20).
In the spirit of 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, I wanted to share a piece of my story with you to give you some hope that Jesus can and will transform the hearts and minds of those you see behaving inappropriately—if they let him do so.
In the summer of 2018, my family and I left Station Hill (and church altogether) for about a year. I was still deeply wounded from a Life Group experience gone wrong several months prior. I’d struggled with them since the beginning, a chunk of which was my own fault. I’d gotten into a couple of disagreements on social media about politics with a group member. My natural political inclinations are center-left; the other’s are solidly right. (Looking back, soooo embarrassing and immature. I was willing to sacrifice the unity of the church and my and their Christian witness for my rights and rightness.)
The final straw came, though, when the pastor referenced the Supreme Court and abortion amidst the nasty Kavanaugh confirmation saga. I’d had it. I walked out of that church, didn’t talk to the pastor or anyone else, and was determined never to return.
To my dismay, however, God wouldn’t leave me alone about Station Hill or break my emotional ties entirely with the people of the church. (They’d already walked with my husband and me through an intense season of infertility, but that’s another long story. In addition, there’s gonna be using a lot of “I” pronouns since this is my story; my husband has his own perspective.)
I eventually returned once the church scheduled a meeting about how to support families at the border, a pro-life cause that I felt was being ignored by both the local church and the global white American evangelical one. I kept coming periodically. The pastor didn’t throw stones at me from the pulpit, and the two close friends there I had remaining generously welcomed me back.
The political sermon in the “True North” series was particularly healing for me. I finally let the Spirit convict me enough to email the pastor to repent of treating the church like a country club instead of a family and for any hurt I’d caused by leaving the way I did. He was gracious, extended the forgiveness to me I didn’t deserve, and invited me to ask any questions I had remaining. Of course, those questions involved politics and revealed my heart of idolatry–which the pastor could see but I couldn’t at that point.
In a sermon a couple of weeks later, the pastor used a quote from Hudson Taylor that I hope I never forget–‘Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all.’
You know how sometimes it seems that the pastor is looking straight at you? That was one of those times for me. I felt like I’d been stabbed in the heart; I very nearly burst into tears. Jesus is my Savior, and I’d really thought He was my Lord. It hurt me that the pastor didn’t think that Jesus was my Lord–‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend’ (Proverbs 27:6), though, because I obviously hadn’t surrendered to His Lordship when it came to politics.
That statement, combined with a Coffee House Theology podcast on Galatians 4 that I just “happened” to tune into–about not letting the Judaizers (or their modern equivalent) lure you back into bondage—sparked some immense spiritual growth and love and healing. I feel like I was “born again” again.
While I haven’t been politically perfect since that time, God has been so gracious and patient and slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love to keep forgiving, teaching, and redirecting me.
I was obedient to let God remove me from a state government job that at that point was reinforcing my ungodly tendencies. With the pastor’s sermons, I was able to finally see that I was trying to uphold government as the instrument of redemption, trying fruitlessly to force society to skip from brokenness to restoration without going through Jesus.
I surprised myself that when President Trump got Covid, my genuine desire was to pray for him instead of to gloat. I opted to attend the Women’s Night at church rather than to watch another fruitless, divisive presidential debate.
Other followers of Jesus, not some political party that will rise and fall, are my true tribe now and forever will be. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rDeiy9-t2GE ” – L. P.