What if you heard someone’s raw story which helped you continue your own journey? What if you embraced an authentic testimony which inspired you to tell your own story regardless of what others think?
Listen to Ruth Graham. She spoke at her father’s (Billy Graham) funeral service on March 2, 2018:
“After twenty-one years my marriage ended in divorce. I was devastated. I floundered. I did a lot wrong. The rug was pulled out from under me. My family thought it would be a good idea for me to move away, to get a fresh start somewhere else. And so I decided to live near my older sister and her family and near a good church. The pastor of that church introduced me to a handsome widower, and we began to date fast and furiously. My children didn’t like him, but I thought, you know, they were almost grown. They didn’t know…they couldn’t tell me what to do. I knew what was best for my life. My mother called me from Seattle. My father called me from Tokyo. They said, “Honey, why don’t you slow down. Let us wait to get to know this man.” They had never been a single parent. They had never been divorced. What did they know?
So, being stubborn, willful, and sinful I married a man…this man on New Year’s Eve, and within twenty-four hours I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. After five weeks I fled. I was afraid of him. What was I going to do? I wanted to go talk to my mother and father. It was a two-day drive. Questions swirled in my mind. What was I going to say to daddy? What was I going to say to mother? What was I going to say to my children? I’d been such a failure. What were they going to say to me? “We’re tired of fooling with you.” “We told you not to do it.” “You’ve embarrassed us.” Let me tell you. You women will understand. You don’t want to embarrass your father. You really don’t want to embarrass Billy Graham.
And many of you know that we live on the side of a mountain, and as I wound myself up the mountain I rounded the last bend in my father’s driveway, and my father was standing there waiting for me. As I got out of the car he wrapped his arms around me, and he said, “Welcome home.” There was no shame. There was no blame. There was no condemnation, just unconditional love, and you know, my father was not God, but he showed me what God was like that day. When we come to God with our sin, our brokenness, our failure, our pain and our hurt God says, “Welcome home,” and that invitation is open for you.” (transcript from memorial.billygraham.org)
If you don’t really know Jesus Christ will you respond to His invitation? If you already know Him…what is keeping you from telling your story?
Pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”