Have you ever been in a church setting where members shared their personal testimonies? Becomes very difficult to argue what God miraculously has done, doesn’t it? Nothing thrills me more than to hear another’s “Glory Story”, as I call it. Usually the circumstances they faced and the deliverance that came can only be explained by a divine intervention.

After I repented from straying away I felt an overpowering desire to return to a church family again. I was careful, though, to keep relationships at arm’s length until I felt I could trust God’s people again. Even though I went back to church…I still had it all wrong. Attendance was not the issue.

At the age of 26, I noticed on the church bulletin that we would soon have a Lay Renewal Team coming for a weekend of revival. Just the name of the team was intriguing and somewhat intimidating too.

However, for the first time in my life I heard authentic testimonies of Christians who share not only their victories, but struggles to get where they were. Masks were removed as the enemy was exposed. Renewal led them to revival.

One young lady stands out to me as I recall her powerful testimony. It grabbed me, tugged at my heart, and turned my spirit inside out. With knees trembling, she stood, walked up to the front of our choir room full of woman, took to the microphone, and shared about God’s healing with her decision to abort her baby. I had never heard anyone be so transparent. The year was 1981 and no one—I mean…no one—talked about abortion in the church and then to admit she did this despicable act and have the audacity to claim God could forgive her of it all? Was she for real? You bet she was. She meant every word she shared.

Isaiah 61:1b prophesies Jesus’ mission in this way, “…He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” And Paul writes in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.”

The team was just a group of captives that had been set free and I wanted what they had. More next week…