What’s Your “But God” Story?

Sharon Jaynes Uncategorized 12 Comments

I don’t know about you, but my email box has been running over with holiday “stuff.” So I’ve been quiet lately to give you a break! But I did want to share what I’m posting over at Proverbs 31 Ministries today. I pray it will be a reminder to be thankful for your “But God” story.
Much love, Sharon

My family lived in a nice neighborhood, with white columns supporting the extended front porch and 60-foot pine trees forming a shady canopy overhead. With two kids and a dog named Lassie, we looked like the typical All-American family. While the house was a Southern picture of tranquility, inside the walls brewed an atmosphere of hostility and fear.

From the beginning, my parents had a tumultuous relationship. I don’t remember much about my first five years of life, but I do remember heated arguments, outbursts of anger, and periods of passive-aggressive silence. I’m sure there were happy times tucked in the marred pages of my childhood, but the accumulation of dark days overshadowed the bright ones and eventually snuffed out their existence in my memory.

I remember hiding in my closet, holding my hands over my ears, squeezing my eyes shut to block the visual images that accompanied the volatile voices. I remember pulling the covers up tightly under my chin, praying I would hurry up and go to sleep to shut out the noise of my parents fighting.

As a child, I always felt I was in the way. While my physical needs were cared for, my heart ached for more. I wasn’t sure what that more was, but I did know it wasn’t a fancy dress, a new toy or shiny trinket.

Strands of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy began to weave an invisible yet indelible grid system over my mind. I felt I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough to deserve love. By age 12, those feelings of “not enough” were cemented firmly in place. I was a scared and scarred little girl who kept her mouth shut by day, and her eyes closed by night.

But God didn’t leave me that way.

Don’t you just love those words, “But God?”

When I was 12, my “But God” story began. My friend Wanda’s mom took me under her wing. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson loved each other, and they loved Jesus. Mrs. Henderson did her housework while singing praise songs to God. She talked to Jesus and about Jesus as though she knew Him personally. I spent as much time as possible at the Hendersons and started going to church with them after Saturday night sleepovers. While my family went to church on Sundays, we had a religion; this family had a relationship with Jesus. And that made all the difference.

I wanted what they had, and I found every excuse possible to tag along with the Hendersons. My mind was a sponge for Scripture and my heart a well-tilled field for seed. For the first time, I caught a glimpse of a Heavenly Father who loved me — so much that He gave His one and only Son as a sacrifice for me. I soaked in the truth that Jesus willingly died on Calvary’s cross to pay the penalty for my sin, so I could live in heaven for all eternity. I marveled at the fact that God loved me, not because of how I looked or behaved, but just because I was His.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Those words melted my heart.

Mrs. Henderson loved me, shared Jesus with me, and taught me Scripture in a neighborhood Bible study. When I was 14, she invited me to accept Jesus as my Savior and Lord. With tears streaming down my face, I did just that.

Looking back at those tumultuous days, I’m not sure I would have wanted my daughter having a relationship with someone like me. I was headed for trouble, but Mrs. Henderson, without even knowing it, headed Satan off at the pass.

At first, my parents were leery of my newfound faith, but my love for the Lord was hard to resist or deny. Three years later my mother accepted Jesus as her Savior. Then three years after her decision, through a series of twists and turns only our Heavenly Father could have orchestrated, my earthly father gave his life to Christ. In a matter of six years, God worked an incredible miracle in my life and my family’s … and it all started with one woman.

That woman could be you. How will you let God write your story?

Dear Lord, help me reach the broken and share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ. Help me to minister like Mrs. Henderson, reaching little girls who’ve been scarred and scared, who’ve now grown to become big girls who are scarred and scared. Help me be part of someone else’s “But God” story. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What’s your “but God” story? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and complete the following: “I was_____________, but God_____________.”

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Comments 12

  1. Sharon,
    I was emotionally, physically and sexually abused as a child, but God opened his arms and never left my side. I just retired after thirty years of nursing. Praise the Lord!
    Thank you,
    Lisa Helms

  2. I was a bitterly depressed woman who battled with God and my mental disease, BUT GOD turned me into a poetess who has authored two books geared to helping others who are so diagnosed; and he has guided me to write my first devotional book that will be out by Easter 2019…also geared towards those with mental disease. God has turned me into a published author!

  3. I was always afraid to speak or be in front of others. I would pray the teacher wouldn’t call on me and to do an oral report was the scariest thing ever. But God gave me a love for the deaf and I ended up becoming an interpreter in our church. The first time standing in front of our entire congregation my hands shook and I felt like I would faint from fear. But God quieted my spirit and I became a channel for His Words that spoke through my head and through my hands. It was wonderful to give up self and let God use and work through me to others. In time He also gave me the courage to speak and to lead women in Bible Studies. Letting go and letting God is the most wonderful thing a person can experience.

  4. My “But God’ story isn’t about me…my brother had pancreatitis about 8 years ago – he was lying “at death’s door” in ICU for about 6 weeks. Doctors were waiting to see what would happen, and the prognosis wasn’t good. At the end of 4 weeks, the feared outcome…a “pseudo cyst” formed over his pancreas, and they took him in for emergency surgery early in the morning. A host of prayer partners stormed the heavens on his behalf throughout the ordeal, supporting him…and me…and the doctors. BUT GOD…his surgeon was a renowned expert in the area of liver transplants, the assistant surgeon, although we didn’t know this until later, was a Christian. They removed most of his pancreas…he is now a diabetic with unique health concerns…BUT GOD! he lives and works and praises God. Thanks to a trach, he was unable to sing. His Christian physical therapist prayed with him…he can sing again. I made a picture for my wall “BUT GOD…” to remind me to never forget! So many praises along the way…

  5. I was 8 and in a horrible car accident with my mom and brother. A drunk driver hit us by running a red light. He and I were air lifted to a major teaching hospital. They had worked on him for hours and had called time of death. The doctor told my parents that he was sitting at the desk filling out the death certificate when … But God stepped in and the doctor heard a noise. My brother was trying to breathe, so they went back to work. We were told the most he would ever do is be a vegetable, But God had other plans. It was a lot of work and therapy but today he has graduated high school, community college and works a 40 week job. My mom says that he is where he is because I believed in prayer even at that young age and made everyone who came in my hospital room to visit, pray for my brother. What the enemy meant to tear apart my family, God used for His glory. This is one of many But God moments in my life.

  6. Wow. Your story is so similar to mine. I read that and you were “rescued” by a loving Christ follower at an earlier age. I had some very similar family situations, and my BUT GOD day came at 17 when I accepted Christ at a Bible camp. He then took me 6 hours away to college, almost 2000 miles away from home after college and since then I’ve been married to a pastor whose family is loving and caring and the example of what I have built my family’s lives upon. With abuse, volatile outbursts of anger, and alcoholism I was like you wishing for an escape to a family that I thought was the model. It took a few years, but God has given me so much to be grateful for. My family or origin isn’t quite healed like yours has been, but I know He did give me a time to look back where His intervention changed my life. Thank you for all you do Sharon!!

  7. Hi Sharon, thank you for your post, it resonated with me and touched deep into my heart, I was sexually abused by a male family friend, it started when I was around seven years old and went on for a number of years As I grew up I harboured feelings of low self esteem, guilt, shame and suicidal issues; praise God I got saved at a mission when I was fourteen years old, God started a process of healing my heart, I had a spell in a psychiatric hospital, saw the love and faiftfullness of Jesus in it all, BUT GOD I wouldn’t be here today, love to you all, ❌❌🙏

  8. I suffered with depression most of my life. But God saved me and gave me a Christian husband and family. Depression is like a cancer on the heart, soul and mind. It affects you mentally and physically. It leads you into darkness and despair trying to find the light. The light is Jesus Christ who shines his love ❤️ over the darkness. Praise God because he saved me from the depths of despair and now I have found a life with happiness and joy! 🙏😊

  9. In 1982, at the age of 19, I fell away from the Lord. Well, it was more like an imediate turn! After growing up in the church I decided I needed to see what the world had to offer. Needless to say, my life wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, but I held on to that life, though I would cry when I remembered the Lord. I still was saved, but felt Id gone too far. I’d made my bed, so to speak!
    In 2015, I began listening to pastors and teachers that I remembered, finding them on the internet Ones who read and taught the Word. Through their teaching, The Lord began speaking to me, telling me to come back to Him.
    I rededicated my Life to Him and am so overwhelmed when I think about the great love the Lord has for us. That He never forgot about me, no matter what horrible sins I had committed. I had violated every commandment! But He persued me. I am reminded of the Good Shepherd, that leaves His flock to bring his stray lamb, home!

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