Sister Shanice Brown
I was struggling with guilt and shame for such a long time. I’ve made some really bad decisions in my life and I have really struggled to get over them. This struggle really affected the way I felt that God saw me. I believed that He was repulsed at the thought of me. That he laughed every time I prayed to Him. I stopped praying because I felt that He wasn’t listening to me, I mean.. who would listen to someone who was so full of mess?! Church became a chore. I felt as though everyone around me could see the dirt too. I stopped singing. I stopped talking to friends, I felt as though they were all judging me. I had isolated myself.
Then one day my pastor pulled me to the side after a rare appearance at church and said she wanted to come and visit me. She had been asking to speak to me for some time, but to be honest I was avoiding her. I thought she wanted to shout at me and tell me why God wouldn’t be interested in me. The evening of her visit came and I was nervous. But I was blown away by what she came to say. Every assumption I had made was so wrong. My pastor spoke to me about some of the things I had been dealing with and said that God had specifically told her to tell me that “He loved me”. When she said this I burst into tears. ME?! Why me? She then started to remind me of one of my favourite scriptures which I had forgotten. Jer 29:11 – He has plans for me, great plans, and a positive future! He hasn’t given up on me! She also reminded me that I had to forgive myself in order to receive the forgiveness that God freely gives to those who confess their sins. An overwhelming peace came over me. A tangible sense of love I had never felt filled not only my heart but the entire room.
That very night I spoke to God for the first time in weeks. I thanked Him profusely for throwing my every act of sin into the sea of forgetfulness. I realised that when Christ died He died with every sin I would ever commit and overcame them when he rose again. Sin had no power over me whilst I lived in Him. He was willingly crucified so that I could have this moment right here. This experience of heavy and overwhelming love. This chance at a future. I haven’t looked back since. Yes, I have tripped and fallen since then, but I now believe wholeheartedly that when I approach God humbly and ask for His forgiveness with a sincere and regretful heart, He hears me and forgives me, COMPLETELY. And, He gives me the strength to leap over the things which once made me fall. He loves me too much to see me give up. He loves you too much to let you give up! Sometimes we just have to let go and let him do what He does best, LOVE. It is so worth it!
Name: Shanice Brown
Church: Farm Street Church of God of Prophecy
Profession: Support Worker
Interests: Talking, singing, shopping and making videos