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{Redemption} “Your Testimony May Have Saved a Life!”

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 17 Comments

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“Your testimony may have saved a life!” wrote Anthony––the man who murdered my dad––from his prison cell. Holding the letter, I stood in stunned silence, tears rolling down my face.

Oh Lord, I thought, as I closed my eyes and dropped my head back, in awe. There really were no words. Thank you, Lord, thank you, was all that I could say in worship to our mighty God.

I was called to forgive. To love my enemy. To allow Jesus unhindered access to the pain, the bitterness, and the wounds of my past which took residence in the deepest recess of my soul.

I knew that He wanted to take me to a new, better place. A place of healing, peace, and forgiveness. So, I followed. By the grace of God alone, I followed Jesus as He led me down the messy, war-torn path toward wholeness. It was a trial like no other, yet upon reading this letter, it was all worth it, as I witnessed the fruit of following Jesus.

Anthony wrote:

I read your testimony at our church service yesterday and today, I told them what an amazing God we serve that could bring two people at opposite ends of the spectrum together in forgiveness. That this story has particular meaning to me cuz I’m who it was written about, I’m the one who killed her dad. I then I said not only had you forgiven me but you’d encouraged me. Then I read the last paragraph of your last letter! I told them nothing is unforgivable, Christ was crucified for every sin. I told them to place God in the center of their most broken relationship and pray. They may not find that kind of forgiveness but they would find forgiveness in them and then they’d know the peace that surpasses all understanding.

There were men crying, one guy stood up and said he’d lost his wife to another man (I didn’t tell them why I had done what I’d done). He said for the last few months he had decided when he got out he was going to kill the man. Now He’d decided to pray and forgive. Your testimony may have saved a life! How awesome is our God! God has used you and me and this horrible crime to heal, not only us, but others. Now your forgiveness has truly settled into my heart. I won’t let your dad’s life nor mine be in vain, I promise. Thank you for making it possible to share this amazing testimony. I believe God is not finished with either of us, tomorrow is a good day.

This is something only Jesus can do. No human could have even begun to orchiestrate what He has done through my journey to forgiveness.

Anthony, who was once sorrowful, but not repentant, came to repent before the Lord and went on to live to the glory of God within the confines of his prison. In fact, I received a letter from him a couple weeks ago telling me about a revival service that he helped with where over 20 inmates came forward to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the alter call (which was more than they’ve ever seen).

And I, who was once burdened by the anger and bitterness that weigh many victims down, was freed from the prison of anger/bitterness and was set on a new path proclaiming the glory of our Lord, and what He can do through our obedience to His call.

This is what God does. He takes our messes and brings redemption and beauty.

And my question to you today is this: How might Jesus want to use your testimony to the benefit of others?

We each have a story to tell. Each Christ follower has experienced God’s redemption, and for those who have yet to come to faith in Jesus, the moment you submit your life to Christ, you will experience it.

So, what’s holding you back from sharing your testimony?

 

What’s your story of redemption? What areas in your life would you like to see Jesus redeem? A broken relationship? A sin pattern that you just can’t seem to kick? Share in the comments.

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  • Thank you for sharing this, Laurie! I’ve seen my testimony help others as well. It is not easy for me to share, and I often fight God on it because it’s not easy. However, He usually makes it so obvious to as to when and where He wants me to be completely transparent with how far He has brought me. I’m so thankful for His grace! I’m praying for you, girl! Stay strong in the Lord!

    • Suzanne, transparency is a beautiful thing, but hard, and I commend you for allowing God to use you and your testimony!! Be encouraged that the more we allow Him to use us through our testimonies the more glory is shone upon Jesus, which ultimately is the main point of our existence second to being in intimate relationship with our Lord. Blessings to you!!

  • Amazing!! yet I should not be surprised because as we know all things become clear and we see how the father God has worked all things for the good. Such an affirmation that good can come from bad things if we are open to God’s teaching and leading. Laurie I can’t find the words but God bless you.

    • Yes! I just love Romans 8:28 and the truth behind it. Nothing is unredeemable!

  • This post just about did me in. Goose bumps and tears as I sit here completely amazed at what God can do with two willing souls. What a beautiful story of grace, Laurie. It is evidence that we cannot even imagine the wonderful ways that God will use us if we will open our hearts and minds to His healing power. I am so happy for you, for Anthony, for your families, and for everyone you and he share your story with!!

    • This letter about did me in! Rachel, we serve a God of the impossible, who is worthy of our praise and adoration! Blessings to you!

  • Tricia

    What an amazing testimony! Gave me chills & has shown me once again that I can forgive. I just have to make the choice, allow God in to those deep dark places & follow him through them. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Tricia, forgiving those who have hurt us is hard (boy, that’s an understatement)!! But the fruit that comes out of it is well worth the difficult process that it takes to get there. I pray for you to make this decision (empowered by the Holy Spirit), and that you will allow Jesus to take you wherever you need to go to get there…. Blessings!

  • We serve such an amazing God!! I am so thankful that God can use you and Anthony in such a profound way, and I pray that He will do the same in my own life. Love you!!

    • Jen, Jesus has already begun using your story for the good of others! I pray that we both continue to offer ourselves with transparency to the Lord to be used for His glory… Love you, too!

  • Oh Laurie I have chills and tears running down my face!!! I am so thankful that I got to hear your story in person. It’s amazing what God can do when we allow Him to work in and through us. I am still working on forgiving my dad’s wife – and yes since we all met for lunch in July I realized it wasn’t my dad I needed to forgive – God placed us together at that lunch table in July for a reason.

    Thank you for sharing your testimony and God’s redemption with the world but mostly with me. Love you friend!!!!

    • Oh, I knew the moment that we met that Jesus put us together! I am so happy to hear that you’ve been working toward forgiveness. It’s a process, sometimes a messy one, but it is so worth it! You continue to be a blessing, Veronica. Thank you…

      • Ya I kinda figured you “knew” a little bit more than I did that day. I focused on my dad yet you were the one who said “what about forgiving her?”