Into the Darkness to Find the Light

I found three interesting points Sheila Walsh speaks about in Chapter Six of her book, Beautiful Things Happen When A Woman Trusts God, which are 1) Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus, 2) Stephen's conversion and bold walk of faith and 3) God's extravagant love. I have these thoughts:

I love the way God channeled Saul's passionate behavior after his conversion. I think about how the Christians had to hear from the Lord telling them it's okay to trust Saul. His bulldog determination to destroy them beforehand switched to his determination to lead many to salvation in Jesus afterward. Think about the characteristic that God has had to refocus in your life. For me, it would be loyalty. I have a strong loyalty within me, but of course now it is focused on Jesus and not my own pursuits that do not give life.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,a we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3: 1-3

When I think of the extravagant love of Father God, I can barely contain it. I feel sorry for the world because anything in it pales in comparison to the benefits of being loved by God.

Before his conversion, Saul was a killer that no one could trust. What was I like? I was cautious, fearful and skeptical of people. I was lonely until I met a group of Christian women who shared Jesus with me and led me in the sinner's prayer. Then they took me to church with them and leaders layed their hands on me and prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Wow! All I wanted to do after that was read God's Word, pray and help people. Freedom and boldness filled me.

In Acts 6 and 7, the apostles layed their hands on Stephen. He served the Lord intensely and miraculous signs followed making the religious leaders angry. Stephen defended himself by speaking about his faith in Jesus. His life is recorded in the Bible for a reason. It was cut short, but his legacy lives on. Characters like Stephen teach us how to live.

When you have a public platform, what do you speak of? I especially like testimonies so I target difficult situations in my life where God intervened and took a mess and made a message out of it!

On a personal note, I've been in a fierce, spiritual battle this past year. The enemy is releasing every trap and evil strategy against our family. God promises to release the captives free and God will contend with those who are contending with us. That's what I'm choosing to think on, what the Word specifically says about my situation! Our prodigal is teaching me so much these days! I say in closing that what the devil meant for evil, God is turning around for good. An awesome testimony is on the horizon.

A special thank you to Kat for leading the Bible study in Sheila's book. We're praying for Kat's quick recovery from surgery. You can study this topic in more depth at Kat's blog.


  1. I am forever thankful for the LOVE OF GOD!! I continue to stand in amazement of HIS grace!
    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  2. I am so moved by your words, tonight, Mary. God bless you!

  3. This book is so awesome. Enjoyed your encouraging words from this Chapter you are on mixed with your testimony! Praying for you and for us that God will contend with those meaning evil towards us and that it will all turn out for good! Amen, Sister.

  4. I love you sweet sis, praying for your family.

  5. This books looks like a good read. I should check if our church library has a copy. (This book is not a new release, is it? Coz if it is, then we usually should check back after a few more months.)


  6. Mary, thank you so much for once again sharing a bit of yourself that God might be glorified! I will definitely be purchasing this book by Sheila Walsh.

    I especially enjoyed hearing your testimony of how you came to know the Lord Jesus. It took me back to the time of my own salvation...SO under conviction that I couldn't stand it any longer. After church one Sunday I went to the pastor's wife and told her of my need for salvation. She questioned me thoroughly (because everyone thought I was saved...only my heart knew better). Finally I told her that I was going to the altar and pray...if she wanted to come along that was fine, but my need was SO great that I was going right then. My life has never been the same since...and I would take my Bible out on our porch swing every morning and started reading the gospel of John. It was as if John was sitting right there next to me telling me how he'd walked with Jesus on this earth. SO SO personal....thank you for stirring within me, Mary dear, my conversion that I might share it with you!

    BIG hugs from me to you!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your insight on this book, "When A Woman Trusts GOD". It does make the book so appealing to see it applied in reference to your life. Thank GOD that HE has intervened on our behalf. I am praying for you and your family. GOD has you in HIS HANDS!!!
    Your sister in Christ,

  8. Mary,

    I am so blessed each time you complete one of these studies because in addition to me completing them with you I learn something you gained that I did not see. Praising God for this and that is why doing Bible Studies together makes them so much more meaningful than just doing it alone.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  9. This sounds like a great book! I will have to pick it up.
    PS Praying for your Prodigal to come to him/herself.:)

  10. I get so much hope from Paul's testimony. If God could not only forgive him, but turn his life around for good, then I might have a chance at this thing...


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