As we wrap up Redeemed today, we want to thank you for stepping out in faith on this journey with us — we cannot wait to hear how God will continue to move in and through you as your share your story.
Today, Jamie Ivey is telling us about her experience with sharing her story.
How have you seen God use your story?
I think it’s so beautiful how God uses some of our biggest weaknesses to do some of His greatest work in us. I lived a pretty crazy life when I was young, and didn’t start following Jesus until I was twenty-one. And then I married a pastor and brought a lot of baggage to the table. I walked in shame for so many years—an inward shame. I wasn’t vulnerable with my story. God really just wrecked me and really showed me how much He loved me. I feel like sometimes when I get to share that with women, all of a sudden they’ll say, “Wow, I feel the same way.” Or, “I’ve never told anyone about this in my life. And if you can say these things—and you’re married to a pastor—then I think I have the freedom to do that as well.” I’ve seen God use my mess to bring Him so much glory, to free so many other people.
In what ways do you see the gospel reflected in your personal story?
God’s pursuit of me in my early twenties was an overwhelming picture to me of the depths He will go to for His children. When I was so consumed with myself and my own agenda, God kept drawing me toward Himself. His love for me wasn’t determined by how good I was, or how cleaned up I got my life, but it was determined only by the way He loved me. I did nothing to deserve the love He poured out on me, and yet He continued to lather me with His love, grace, and mercy.
What challenges did you overcome in learning to share your story?
I had to truly believe that my identity was found in Jesus and in Jesus alone. Sharing your story of redemption sometimes means sharing the stories of how grand your need was to be redeemed. Although we are all in grand need of redemption, in our world some sins are scarier to say out loud than others. I had to be confident in the saving grace of Jesus every single time I opened up my mouth to share my story. In my early days of sharing my story I found myself sometimes worried that I might be “too much” for those around me. Learning to rest in the grace of Jesus and nothing else has helped me share my story in order that God might be glorified through me.
Why do you believe it's important to share the stories of how God has worked in our lives?
Stories change the world. The Word of God is full of stories of people just like you and me, who were separated from God and in need of a Savior. They were then rescued by a God who loved them so much He would send His Son for them. This is your story and my story as well. When we share our stories of God rescuing us, we offer hope to those around us that they too have this opportunity to be rescued. Our stories showcase a God who will go to great lengths to bring His people back to Him. Our stories are really His stories. Redemption is always worth sharing.