I have a friend who grew up in a wonderful home and went to a Christian college. Her story didn’t have a lot of drama in it, so she started to doubt that her testimony was really worth sharing.

One night, early in her freshman year of college, the girls in her dorm building all met to get to know each other. They sat in a circle and one by one shared how they came to know Jesus. My friend panicked. She didn’t think her story was good enough. So, she made something up.

“I was a pole dancer in a cage when someone came up to me and handed me a track. I got saved on the spot and have been following Jesus ever since.”

The minute the lie came out of her mouth, she wished she could take it back. A few weeks later, she gathered the same group of girls and confessed what she’d done. Jesus slowly revealed to her, her conversion didn’t have to be dramatic to be worth sharing.

She was in need of a Savior just like everyone else. She still had points of need in her life- messes that needed the touch of the Messiah.

Whether our story is dramatic or not, we are all messy people. The best way I’ve found to share Jesus with others is to look for an intersection between a point of need they’ve expressed and one I’ve walked through. A mess from my life (big or small) to which they can relate.

Kid issues. Marriage issues. Financial issues. Weight issues. Health issues. Job issues. Insecurity issues.

Remember our mess, touched and turned around by the MESSiah, becomes our greatest MESSage.

What messes have you walked through in the past?

What messes are you learning how to handle right now?

What Bible verses have helped you?

What whispers of hope have you gotten from God?

How have you applied what you’ve been learning?

How has this process helped you?

People desperately need to hear from fellow messy travelers willing to notice… pause… care… intersect… admit… share…and give the gifts this world can’t ever conjure up.

Real truth. Real Hope. Real peace.

Deep soul comfort.

“[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God,” (2 Corinthians 1:4).

God didn’t comfort me in my mess to make me comfortable. He comforted me, to make me comfort-able. Able to take the comfort I’ve received from Him and multiply it out into the world.

Who is in your sphere of influence that you feel led to notice… pause… care… intersect… admit… share… and give to? Mine is Jen. A lady who works at a local drive-thru.

Tell me who your fellow traveler is and I will personally and intentionally pray for you both today.

By Lysa TerKeurst

comments:
share:

comments (closed):

  1. 1

    I’ve been struggling with the truth of my stubbornness in engaging with a neighbor. God specifically intersected our lives and yet, I’ve allowed my own pride to come between what God wants to show me through this woman. I’ve disagreed with her lifestyle, especially because she represents Him; yet, He’s showed me that I’m no better. Pronouncing this somewhat publicly is important. And so, too, is reaching out to her, Mari. My my “I don’t want to, for her” become “I want to, for you, Father.”

    God can still move in all of us, even 30 and 40 year-olds, as “messy” as we ALL are. I appreciate your post today, Lysa. I’m incredibly humbled.

  2. 2

    Lysa,

    Thank you! This was great and at a great time in my life! I love this phrase

    “God didn’t comfort me in my mess to make me comfortable. He comforted me, to make me comfort-able. Able to take the comfort I’ve received from Him and multiply it out into the world.”

    This hits a raw nerve inside of me as I get ready to leave on my very first mission trip this Saturday! A group of 12 from my church are traveling to Joplin, Mo from Cincinnati Ohio to simply show up and serve. We do not have a specific job, we are going to be there and the host church will use us wherever there is a need each day. This is so out of comfort zone and I would never have even considered going before. But I’m listening to God on this. He told me clearly that I needed to go and so I am going, very willingly! I am excited, my anxiety has not shown up yet and I believe that it won’t! I have never gone through what these folks in Joplin have lived through but I have lived through some pretty severe emotional turmoil. I know God is still beside them, he has not forgotten them and he still LOVES them most of all! I know this because I now believe it is true in my own life. I may never understand what the people of Joplin have gone through but I can relate to the anger towards God, the fear, the anxiety, the depression, the loneliness and despair, the feeling that God has dropped a bomb on my life and I don’t know why? I also now understand he has control, I understand he will talk to me, I understand he puts people specifically in your life for a reason and he will use them to be his hands and feet!

    Please pray for our team of 12 as we get ready to travel to Joplin. A 12 hour drive on our bus!!!

    Lisa

    • 3
      Beth Williams says:

      Praying for you and your group of 12. It is fun to get out of your comfort zone and assist others.

      For a few years I did a prison ministry, Kairos – like Emmaus walk. Our varying group would go and the host/local church would allow us to “borrow” their facilities for the weekend. The women stayed behind daily at the church and cooked meals for the inmates on the walk & male team members. This was a challenge as you can’t take regular knives & forks into maximum security prisons.

      The closing ceremony, inside the prison, said it all – those prisoners were all turned around toward God. Some had tears in their eyes as they shared about their weekend and the many “small” gifts like personal birthday cakes we gave them.

      Was it a tiny bit scary at first – you bet! But seeing the smiles and receiving the hugs from prisoners made it all worth while!

      Just let God lead you where He wants you to go!

      Have fun and a blessed week!

  3. 4

    Frankie…a new member of our church who’s husband left her…she lives in our neighborhood.

    Thank you!

  4. 5

    All I can say is “AMEN!!” Excellent word for me today!

  5. 6
    Jackie Koll says:

    Great reminder. It seems too often that the church/Christian society really hold up those with “tramatic” salvation stories leaving those who quietly came to Christ to wonder if they even matter. My husband, who wasn’t saved until he was 30, has noticed this and often wonders why this is done. Isn’t it just as important for someone who, like him, was led to Christ through listening to Christian radio while working, as it is for someone who was a . . .cage dancer?

  6. 8

    There is more than one ‘nugget’ in this writing, but my favorite part; my MESS has been touched by the MESSiah to become my greatest MESSage.
    there are two fellow travelers I feel led to influence; my boyfriends sister, Angie and my 17-yr old son, Ahren. I appreciate your prayers for them and I as I lead them to the MESSiah.

  7. 9

    So thankful for this reminder this morning. Judging comes so easily.

  8. 10

    My fellow traveler Amber and I would much appreciate your prayers.

  9. 11
    Beth Williams says:

    I need to reach out to neighbors. Her husband died several years ago and she has 1 son and granddaughter living with her.

    I’ve tried on several occassions to get them to attend church with us, our church is far away from where we live. I won’t stop trying!

  10. 12

    Great post! I had to learn to appreciate my Christian heritage too. But yesterday it really hit home for me: A middle-aged couple came to me to ask me to pray for their children. They are both the first in their families to become Christians, and so they don’t have grandparents and aunts and uncles praying for their kids. I added those children to my prayer list now, and I thank God for the extensive body of believers behind me who regularly lift me and my family up in prayer.

  11. 13

    It’s interesting that many people mentioned neighbours. In my life, it’s a neighbour as well. I wrote a post about him recently entitled “When Someone Tells you They are Dying”. I keep praying for an opportunity to share more with him. Sometimes I’m afraid of missing a “kairos” moment that God has for me. I don’t believe I have much time left to share with him. His name is Bev.

    Blessings!

  12. 15

    My mom is the one in my life needing some serious prayer. I think she’s suffering from depression and nothing I do gets through to her. Clearly she needs the Lord to help her, but she’s struggling even to let Him in.

  13. 17

    I have to say that, as someone who has a fairly dramatic testimony, it’s nice to hear about those who have just always quietly walked with the Lord. It gives me hope for my own children!

  14. 18

    My father and I could really use some prayer :/

  15. 20

    I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Yes people call us mormons but Mormon was a prophet. I am a latter-day saint. Since the beginning of the year i have been teaching an adult Sunday school class from the New Testament. What greater way could there be to come to know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God then to teach about His life and His words. On Sunday i taught my last lesson from the Gospels and i said to my class that although we are leaving the life of Christ behind lets us not leave Him behind. As i finished my lesson with my testimony bearing witness of the truthfulness of the Atonement, the need for the Crucifixion and the assurety of the Resurrection and said that i knew that we would one day live with our families forever, at the very moment i said the words i knew they were true, not just believed them but felt them with my whole body, we will live together forever. 20 months ago my niece died in a car accident and ive struggled to find peace but on Sunday the peace i looked for rained down on me as dew from heaven. I thank my Heavenly Father for all those people who have prayed for me and my family, He hears, He answers.

    • 21

      Bev , I will pray for you, as you teach others from the New Testament, that you and the students will see the Truths that God Almighty would have each of you to know.
      There is a Truth in The New Testament and throughout the Entire Bible of who the Saviour of the world is. There is a dvd titled ” Unveiling Grace” that you could watch that may help you teach the New Testament. Just go to “Unveiling Grace” online and you can order it for free.
      It sounds like you desire to share the Truth.

  16. 22
    Stephanie says:

    I would like to ask for prayer for my precious friend Karin who is struggling with severe depression. We used to be really close but I think my faith “offended” her a bit and she keeps me at arms distance now. I love her so much and am really burdened by her struggle.
    Thx for prayers~ x

  17. 24

    My blog is a platform for people to share their testimonies and I totally agree with your post. The non-dramatic ones are sometimes the best! I wish my testimoney was drama free! What a story of gods protection!

  18. 25

    Lisa, I was asked for my story as well, and felt it was not any radical situation worthy of telling like a lot of others I had heard. I told the person it wasn’t any big deal like being a druggie in the gutter, etc., but still told my story. When I was driving a few days later, I caught the last few words of the pastor on CSN radio, Alistair Begg, stating(and paraphrased), “Don’t let satan tell you that you don’t have a story worth sharing! You have been brought out of the kingdom of darkness INTO THE KINGDOM OF LIGHT!” WOW! THAT is a story we all must tell when asked! That is HUGE! I will never forget that moment that the Lord used to show me the TRUTH. I couldn’t wait to tell the person who had originally asked me what my testimony really held! I love to share that with others who echo my original statement. I love seeing the Truth open their eyes and wanting to tell THAT part of their testimony! Thank you for bringing this subject up, Lisa.

  19. 26

    God I need help.

  20. 27

    God I need help.

  21. 28

    Lysa, I want my heart to desire God above all else and be willing to submit to Him. For my ex-husband, I ask that He accepts the forgiveness for the things that lead to our divorce and that Jesus is not the reason he feels the guilt; Jesus is the reason he’s forgiven!

  22. 29
    Robin L says:

    There are quite a few overweight ladies at my church and i would like to start a group to enourage them. I show them my pictures of where God brought me from but i dont have the courage to take that next step.

  23. 30

    Thank you Lisa for this excellent post. I too have a very “undramatic” background and testimony, but the mere miracle of God reaching down and reaching ME is all the drama a testimony needs to make it a great story!

    I know I’ve been placed in my job for the people I work with. The job’s door had been completely shut (by the employers) and I had put it behind me, but two weeks later they surprised me and called and offered it again…I knew that was from the Lord. I took it and have seen many ways that God wants me there!

  24. 31

    Thank you for posting this, it has really encouraged me today.

  25. 32

    I don’t know who I’m supposed to be intersecting with right now. It might be that they are supposed to be anonymous. God has been pushing me (hard, I might add) to write about things in my blog that I wouldn’t just usually throw out to the public. Funny thing is that it is a very new blog and has very few followers. Which is fine, except I keep getting this pushing. Not getting that leading with the people I actually speak to regularly. So it might be that somebody is supposed to read that and it might not be any of my business who they are. If God is going to use it, I just have to trust that without knowing all of the details. Yes, that can drive me crazy at times, but I’m learning to just go with it.

    • 33

      Hi Carolyn
      You will be in my prayers to keep listening for the voice of God pushing you past your comfort zone in your new blog. I totally get what you’re saying. I have a new blog too. Sometimes I think – why on earth am I spending so much time on this? Laundry beckons, etc. But you said something just now that really touched on an important point. That still, small voice that whispers in your ear to write. To push you on a topic – a little further from where you are fully comfortable. There’s no telling where the ripple effect of that will end. And maybe it’s not for us to know….. all the best to you. Thank you for sharing your ponderings.

      • 34

        Well, Ms. M. Louise, you have me curious now. I think I might just have to go check out your ponderings. And you are very welcome. It is nice to share the journey. :)

  26. 35

    Lysa,
    Thank you for words that speak hope into the midst of our messes. Miraculous is the only word that can describe God’s ability to transform our messes into His message of hope, comfort , and restoration. This same God is also beautiful at transforming our most painful moments into our life purpose. When we have been there, when we have walked this very road, our experience and our victory through it and in spite of it, can truly be used by God to lead someone else straight to the heart of our Heavenly Father.

    The person God has brought back into my life is a former student named Ashly. When she was in first grade, I had the honor of being her teacher. Now, as a high schooler we have re-connected via Facebook. It is very obvious she is becoming entangled in demonic music and believes there is no God. Please pray for this precious young lady. Please pray God can use me…with all my messes…to be the voice of MESSiah… and set her free.

    Thank you for your ministry. Than you for your listening heart-
    ~Stacy

  27. 36

    One ‘Mess’ I’ve walked through, and may have to deal with again, is the thought that it would be better/easier for people if I wasn’t around. Helpful Bible-verse: Isaiah 43:21. If you ever have that feeling, well, I remember that God made me to proclaim His praise. If God thought it would be better for me not to be around, He would have taken me away, but He hasn’t.

    Another one: When I’ve messed up and feel that people are losing patience with me, it can be easy to give in and think things aren’t going to be any different in the future and I’ll end up failing. Helpful Bible-verse: Philippians 1:6. If I start to wonder whether I’ll turn out a failure, there’s the promise that He who began a good work in me WILL carry it on to completion. It’ll be ok!

    Whispers of Hope: When I’ve been unsure about my future, God has promised me that even until my old age, He will sustain me. I may not know how sometimes, but I know He will.

    I could go on, but I think basically my message is, keep battling any negative thoughts with the truth of the Word of God.

  28. 37

    As a mother of adult children I have on several occasions had these adult children return home with spouses and children in tow. In all cases it has been at times a blessing and at times a struggle, but we made it through. A year ago I started a new job after 2 years of unemployment. My preceptor at this new job has become a friend and..surprise surprise is going through those same struggles now.I am blessed to be able to to support and comfort my friend as she travels this road. In fact I spent yesterday with her having some much needed time away. Please pray for Pat and I as we travel this road .

  29. 38

    Oh my goodness, you don’t even know how wonderful it was to read this post. All my life I have been surrounded by Christians, but in the last 2 years I have become best friends with a girl who is NOT a Christ follower. My husband and I have known that it is God’s plan for the two of us to make a difference in her life and her husbands life. She is having struggles and I have given her advice (and thrown God in there as often as I can). She seems receptive, but I hesitate. I want so desperately to just sit her down and tell her the real reason for my great life (even in the dark times). But I am scared….scared she will hate me, or stop speaking to me because I have made her uncomfortable, etc. I love her so much…I’ve never led anyone to the Lord…I can’t imagine anything would top that!! I need prayer for the confidence to speak to her about Christ. Please pray for me and my BFF Ashlee. I would so appreciate it!!

  30. 39

    “He comforted me, to make me comfort-able. Able to take the comfort I’ve received from Him and multiply it out into the world.”

    Thank you, Lysa, for the way you show how we can offer something valuable to others, even when we feel ordinary. You offer us the lens of faith you’re wearing and we love the new way we’re seeing through this post!

  31. 40

    I always use to envy those with a Christian heritage since i come from the opposite.
    First messy thing was getting married at 17 to a good man he was only 17 too….terrible rough years…separations….somehow we decided to stay married but it was a messy marriage. Drinking, infidelity, thank God we had no children during those years. BUT God never forgets his own and my husband had a massive heart attack at 27…and slowly we begin to clean our lives up, him the prodigal son returning and me just lost. After I got saved I took on the verse 1 Cor 2:2 I am determined to know nothing other then Christ Jesus. Forget the mess…focus on Him, God begin to clean our mess up.
    Only a Holy God that we both chose to follow could turn our messy marriage around. Tons more i could write on this one messy time but will save for another post.

    Right now the mess we are handling concerns our son getting a divorce. Our grief is so deep i worry we will not make wise choices for our future for his future hangs over us. It’s a messy situation involving our two adorable grandchildren.

    God has whispered hope into my spirit over the mess of our son. He can run from God but he cannot out run Him. Just like Jonah…God has a whale for our son out there.

    The verse I have been living on for quite some time…..Isaiah 30:18 He longs to be gracious to us..the creator longggggggggggggggggggg to be gracious to me. He wait on high to show us compassion. I hate to wait for anything but here the creator just waits to show me compassion. I love the word “long” for I long for many things but these things are usually about me..something that would benefit me. He just longs to be gracious to me because He is God.

    It does not matter our back ground His graciousness is given out in equal amounts to each of us…..Those of you who grew up in good homes…had devotions nightly, went to church, know the old old stories unless you give of yourselves to others it will be a waste….don’t waste your sweet testimony for it is really not about you but about Him.

    thank you Lysa..you have stirred my passion to help others….my passion to give out the exhortation, take courage, let God use you where ever you are, what ever you’ve done. Remember He longs to be gracious to you no matter what your testimony is.