Hope you had a great weekend?
So it’s been a great month and half on the blog…
A month of receiving mails with people’s stories…
A month of praying for every person who sent me their stories and everyone who read the stories on the blog…
And now it’s time to wrap it all up.
The series isn’t really ending the way I want to to, what with people who promised to write in leaving my emails unanswered (this isn’t cool by the way), and other persons just kind of not being ready to release the past (who I still pray for…).
But I believe that the four stories shared here are enough to effect changes in the lives of people and for that, I am grateful.
The “Share Your Story Series” ends today and I just thought to end it by sharing some lessons I got from it.
So here goes:
(1) Obey God. No matter how deeply it rips your heart apart, obey God.
When God first told me to share my story about the abortions I committed in the past, I cried.
I wet my journal with tears, basically asking God why He wanted to “destroy my reputation”.
He didn’t force me to come to the point where I chose to obey Him, He let my love for Him make the choice.
If there’s anything God has wrought in me this year through His instructions to me, it’s bringing me to the point where I don’t just love Him with words, I love Him with my actions too.
Jesus said “He who obeys my commandments is the one who loves me” and I am glad to say that my love for God is getting deeper by the day.
I know this not because I say it with my lips, I know it because by His Spirit in me, I obey even the things He asks of me – things that my flesh rebel at.
Daddy’s working on my heart for Him, and I am glad that He is.
(2) When God asks you to share your story, it’s basically because He wants to set you free from them.
Oh, I was broken when He told me to share my story. Say what Lord?
But He made me see that my hiding the past basically means that I am not free from them.
Yes, I think that I am free, but what is that sound I hear in my head when anyone mentions abortions?
Oh yes, it’s my heart running races because it’s still bound by the past.
But today, I can say it anywhere out loud to encourage people and feel nothing but overwhelming thankfulness for God’s mercy.
I’m sorry dear, but if you are still hiding your story, holding onto it tightly, afraid to let go, it’s basically because somehow, your heart still bleeds at the thought of the past.
Sharing it (if God has tugged on your heart to do so) can set you free from them.
I know this to be true because I have experienced the freedom that comes from releasing it all.
(3) Sharing your story sets you free to walk in the now and the future that God has planned for you.
I was shocked when God told me “this is the last one to functioning fully in me”.
But when I look at how this year has been, I can trace the train of that word God placed in my heart.
I was led to share my story on sexual addictions this year.
I was led to share my story on abortions this year…
Everything that happened in my life before I came to Christ has been laid bare this year.
It was almost like God peeling away the past, laying me bare and giving me new wings to fly in what He has for me in the now and the future to come.
I knew this year is my year of #WalkingInPurpose and it’s amazing how God has just been setting the background and foundation for it.
It’s amazing really.
(4) The past you are trying to hide just maybe your line of ministry that Christ has called you into.
Rick Warren’s – a Purpose driven life talks about our experiences leading us to our purpose in life.
Who better can console a woman who lost her husband than one who has lost hers before?
Juanita Bynum in her book “No more sheets” talked about how you have a greater anointing to help people who are going through stuff you have passed through and conquered before.
Yes, everyone can preach on everything by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit but God never wastes a hurt.
The way a Christian who killed someone before He came to Christ will counsel someone who is in that same situation will be different from the way someone who has never gone through that path will see/do things.
It’s almost like your passion, your love, your desire to reach souls who are currently wrapped in what you were wrapped in before is at an all time everyday high (if you let it).
And that passion God can use to help other souls who need your experience/testimony for them to see God’s light.
Hiding your story could basically also mean your stopping your ministry to come to light.
We keep crying “Lord use me”, but what if He wants to use your past to help someone else?
Will you let Him?
(5) We all have a story.
Some are deeper than the next but ultimately, we all have stories that can help other souls if we let it all come to light.
I think it’s amazing really.
There are diversities of ministries. And it’s so amazing that one way or the other, God has someone He has raised from the dregs of one dark past or the other and now, He can use that person to meet a need in that same area He pulled Him out of.
So many people.
So many people.
All leading to Christ Jesus.
All leading to salvation of souls.
(6) I must not just write, I must pray.
I remember getting the mail on “Once a lesbian, now I am straight and never going back”.
I remember getting Bolaji’s “I almost committed suicide”.
I broke into thanksgiving and prayers.
See my fellow Christian writers and bloggers, what we are doing here isn’t just words, it’s Spirit and truth.
What causes the changes isn’t our words, it’s the Spirit that accompanies the words.
Please, if you do not yet pray when you write on your blog for the hearts that do, start doing so now.
God hears our prayers and sees our hearts.
The aim is still to draw men and women deeper into Jesus.
And when you get mails, stories of people just sharing with you, pray for them.
Pray that God perfects all He has started in their lives.
Pray that they get deeper in Jesus.
And pray that the words will also cause changes in lives and hearts.
And finally, the last lesson from the “Share Your Story Series”, on a lighter note:
When you run a series on your blog, don’t always put your hope on one of your guest writers that they will write in like they promised to do.
They may (very well may) disappoint you.
Uhm, they may even leave your mails unanswered for weeks and you go to their facebook wall and find out that they are very active online!
E can pain!
But still, move ahead.
Trust that those who need to be a part of the series will write in and share and bug no one to send in their articles (I almost did this till I got tugged on to let go).
Let them decide whether they want to do so or not, and if they don’t do so even after they promised to send in, fine, forgive them. It’s not their fault.
So I forgive all you guys who didn’t write in even after all the “sure, I will send in soonest”. Hehe.
And that’s it people.
But before we go, please take a moment to pray for everyone who wrote in on this series.
Bolaji on “I Almost Committed Suicide”
Anonymous on “Once A Lesbian, now I am straight and never going back”.
Ene on “Being a Lesbian and now set free from the shackles of lesbianism and masturbation”.
Efe on “Being given a second chance after loosing my virginity”
And me, Frances on “From taking a life to having abundant life”.
God has been amazing in our lives.
Pray that we will continually live for Him and love Him with all our hearts.
We will never be drawn into the darkness ever again and our lights in Christ will continually shine.
Pray that for everyone who followed this series, the lessons and good seeds that were sown in their hears will continually grow and flourish.
Pray for those who are still held beneath condemnation, guilt and fear about sharing their past… that they will find strength in God to let go, heal and also perhaps let others heal through their stories too.
Finally, if you want to send in your story, my mail’s still open.
If perhaps your heart was worked on in the course of this series and you want to share and let the past go, I will still put up your story on the blog.
You can reach me at email@example.com
Finally finally, if you missed the video I shared on my youtube channel on me sharing my story at a conference I was opportune to be a part of, you can watch it below:
And that’s a wrap on the “Share Your Story” series on the blog.
Now, we can move onto sharing details about my upcoming book – 10Steps to walking in purpose”.
Yep, I’ve been silent about it for a while but God willing, we be going all out soonest.
Stay wrapped in God’s love,
YouÂ can read all posts in this series here
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MobolajiSeptember 28, 2015 at 2:48 pm
God bless you Frances. Thanks for letting me share. I pray for all those who read and shared theirs as well, that God will continue to break the hold of the devil on us all. That because God’s word says we are free, then we are free indeed! We are ambassadors of Christ and we carry Him in us, that the world may see and come to the light of Him.
Every lesson learned is true,especially the one where you said that when you’ve gone through something; you’re in a better position to help someone going through the same thing. I mean, if I’m going through something and my friend says “I understand”, when I know very well she’s never been through what it is I’m going through; I’d just say “no dear, you don’t understand!” No hurt is wasted really.(Though the devil does not want us to be free and use our hurt to help others.) But we are set free!
Thanks for using this blog as a platform to reach people! God bless you Baby! Muah!
Frances OkoroOctober 13, 2015 at 12:05 pm
We are set free!
We are set free!
Chains of the past, all dropped!
Light and truth from the word streaming in! Amen!
God bless you Bolaji for allowing yourself to be used as a channel in this series too..i know lives who needed your story got the truth and light you walk in now.
I love you sis.
Grace EsedekeSeptember 28, 2015 at 5:28 pm
I didn’t want to comment on this post when I read it in the morning. I felt guilty and sort of convicted. This something the Holy Spirit as been nudging me to do from the first day I began blogging. ‘Share your story’ I have been struggling with it for a very long time. Actually I had written the whole thing out and for the starts could sell for a 20page ebook. I keep wondering how on earth I’m going to let it out like that. That is something I’ll have to decide very soon, maybe I’ll take a lift from you.
Thank you Frances. Very insightful lessons you share here. I love them all, and they are lessons I’ve had to learn over time.
It’s always an experience to read from you.
On the email you sent me, sorry I couldn’t reply much earlier as that’s not the email I use very often.
Oron is in Akwa Ibom state dearie. But I stay in Uyo, only that my business is located in Oron.
Hope you are cleared?
Frances OkoroOctober 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm
Oh yes I am cleared Grace 🙂
I’m getting more friends in Akwa Ibom now..
I pray you take a leap of faith and obey…trust that He knows what He is doing by asking you to share and obey. Daddy’s waiting 🙂
UgochiApril 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm
I share my story, the good, bad and ugly. But the terribly, horrifically, unbelievably bad is still cooking.
So far, the many I have shared have been a blessing to many and relief to me…
God is a good God and He does not consult our past to give us His promised, bliss full future.
God bless you Frances!
Frances OkoroApril 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm
I’m so grateful for that truth too ma. He wipes it all and makes anew.
Thank you Aunty Ugochi! Soo great to see your words on here 🙂