Don’t you love that feeling when you discover a song that expresses what you can’t find words for? Looking back over my life, I recently found a beautiful song that echoes my heart.
“No one ever cared for me like Jesus. His faithful hand has held me all this way. Let it be known, in You alone, my joy was found.”
When I first heard the song, “No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus” by Stephanie Gretzinger, I couldn’t stop listening, tears running down my face in gratitude for the faithfulness of my God.
I gave my heart to the Lord at an early age, with a youthful understanding of what that commitment meant. As I grew up, I found myself yearning for more of Him. As a young wife, like Hannah, I pleaded with the Lord for years for a child and after loss and heartbreak, my daughter was born. Now I needed Him more than ever as I learned to be a mother to this precious treasure that had been entrusted to me.
The next years were hard. I’ll be honest. There was not much stability, and there was more loss; another miscarriage, finances and my beloved dad. But God. Reading that phrase in the Bible always sparks my attention – just watch, God is about to turn things around!
Jesus has been my Comforter, my Provider, my Protector, Giver of Wisdom, Illuminator of His Word, and so much more. He’s turned every situation around.
Years later, when I found myself abandoned and a single mom to a teenager, it seemed there was not much of a prosperous future for me. But God. He surprised me again. When hope was hard to find, God brought a wonderful man into my life and grounded me in a loving, supportive church. With Greg came his two amazing children who have become children of my heart, helping fill the empty place of the two I had lost.
There were years of healing, of blending and becoming one. Then God brought dry bones to life for my husband, resurrecting his calling to shepherd God’s people. This was miles out of my comfort zone, but I embraced it as my passion and began to sing, teach and encourage alongside him.
During this time, I also held tightly to the Hand of Jesus on an adventure of weight loss and regaining health and confidence, shedding over 160 pounds and finding so much more of the me that God created as His own. God is now leading me to minister to women through His words and my experience to help them embark on a wellness journey of their own.
When I look back to who I was inside and out 20 years ago, a decade ago, or even two years ago, I am unrecognizable to myself. God has done a transforming work. Here I am in my 50’s embracing a new ministry and calling, becoming an ordained minister, and managing a healthcare career that I love. Because of Jesus.
By the world’s standards I don’t have a lot (except in my craft room). We live with open hands – one hand open to God to receive, and the other hand open to others, to give our time, money and attention. Our children likely won’t be left trust funds and huge estates, but I pray that I am building a rich legacy for them.
“Let my children tell their children. Let this be their memory. That all my treasure was in heaven. And You were everything to me.”
God is still all I want, and as the seasons go by, He is still enough for me.
As I was asked to share a bit of my testimony with you and my heart sings the words of this song,
“If I have a testimony, if I have anything at all…..No one ever cared for me like Jesus. His faithful hand has led me all the way. When I’m old and grey and all my days are numbered on the earth, let it be known, in You alone my joy was found.”
Grace is a woman of faith who found her voice and confidence after losing over 150 pounds. She is an ordained minister, pastoring a church planted during a pandemic with her husband and biggest fan, Greg. She is an empty-nester mom of three amazing adults who live from one end of Canada to the other.
Grace is a speaker, author, and medical clinical secretary. God is leading her through a rich adventure of marriage, motherhood, ministry, and medicine. Grace is passionate about encouraging and empowering women over 40 to cultivate new thought patterns, and implement effective strategies to develop confidence, that will help them achieve their weight loss, ministry, and relationship goals. You can connect with Grace: Blog: http://www.seasonswithgrace.ca FB:https://www.facebook.com/GraceGardinerSpeaks and IG: https://www.instagram.com/authorgracegardiner/
We thank you, Grace, for your transparency and sharing your heart on this Testimony Thursday.
You are loved to Heaven and Back, Grace ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary