I have a long list of bad choices - and I'm pretty sure you could name a few as well. How do we disqualify ourselves from meaningful service because of such choices? Read on as Emily Foreman shares God's surprising response of redemption in her days.
Could God Really Use Me in My Brokenness?
By Emily Foreman
I grew up a preacher's daughter in a small town in the south where no act, good or bad, went unnoticed. I was a well-behaved child who aimed to please. I loved God, memorized verses, and tried to bring all of my lost friends to church to learn about Jesus.
In my early teens I learned about missions and felt God call me to a life of service overseas. I was on track until my tumultuous high school years.
I had committed my heart and body to purity early on, but that commitment was challenged when I became emotionally involved with a handsome young man who seemed to share my convictions. But by my first year in college we became sexually intimate.
Almost immediately it seemed our relationship took a nosedive. This guy to whom I had just given my intimate trust became more and more interested in other things and other girls. I realized this relationship was going nowhere. I was devastated. This experience set me into a soul-searching time with God. I was broken. I prayed for God to make me whole again. Then, the bombshell hit. I was pregnant!
After realizing my boyfriend was uninterested in commitment and indifferent to my personal revival, I broke off our relationship. But still, was it too late? I had believed God might redeem my situation and allow me to continue in my calling to missions, but surely my pregnancy changed everything.
As I agonized, I felt like the woman caught in adultery in John 8. My pregnancy made my sexual relationship so obvious! I imagined what people would think in my southern small town. Even if my church forgave me, no missions sending agency would send a single mom to the mission field. Surely I was disqualified from my calling.
Then the Lord reminded me of the rest of the story. What mattered most was not the response of other people; it was the reaction of my Savior. Just as he began to write in the dirt at the feet of the offenders in the story, it was as if he was writing a new story of redemption on my heart.
He has redeemed my life. It turned out that God did use me on the mission field. God's mission has always been to redeem broken lives, and he delights in using broken vessels to bring healing and redemption to a broken world.
Emily Foreman* met and married Stephen, who was also broken, redeemed and called to missions. They served together with YWAM in the Muslim world where Emily had a ministry to women in prison. Read her dramatic memoir about their lives on the mission field and her husband's murder in We Died Before We Came Here.
*Emily and Stephen Foreman are pseudonyms.