I am continuing with guest posts from bloggers who have not only a passion for photography, but a love for Jesus. I am honored to have Rosie from Leavesnbloom Photography posting. After reading her post be sure to click over and visit her.
Hi there it’s Rosie here today from Leavesnbloom Photography in Scotland and I have to thank Amber so much for giving me the opportunity to share my testimony with you all. I love nature, gardening, fresh air and being wild and free in the countryside. I'm not the tidiest of people and I’m a great expert at producing burnt offerings from the kitchen. I'm not really into designer label things unless you're talking about canon gear but happiest in my wellington boots, diggin' in the dirt with plenty of it under the nails. I've been married for nearly 25 years and have been blessed with 3 sons and just recently a beautiful daughter-in-law. Anyway here's a little of my background to help you relate to me and my Christian life.
me, myself and I
All of my childhood revolved around the church we attended but I didn’t have what you would call a normal childhood. Sometimes I didn't count sheep going to sleep but counted bullets being fired, listening to sirens, helicopters and bomb explosions. Going into town with my parents sometimes meant being evacuated from shops, and sometimes smelling the smoke and seeing streets in ruins after bomb explosions. Tragedy eventually came to our close family circle just like so many families in Northern Ireland. Death was snatching people away nearly every day and all you needed was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and you could have been facing eternity. As I looked at my life I saw that I had broken every single one of God’s laws and I was going to be in big trouble if I died as I deserved to go to hell. I remembered from Sunday school the stories about Jesus being whipped and beaten, nailed to a cross and shedding His blood. He took the punishment I deserved, He died in my place and I needed Him and His salvation so much. One night when I had just turned 13 I tearfully prayed to God, turned away from my sin and asked God to forgive me and I placed my trust in Jesus Christ. He started to change me from the inside out and I became a new person in Christ.
Our greatest freedom is freedom from sin.
Not so long after that I started dating a much older guy at school and my parents only allowed me to date him so young as he was a minister's son! Romance blossomed and we married as soon as he finished university. I was a young bride (and today a young mother-in-law!) and 15 months later our first little boy was born. Many things happened in our first few years of married life that made us totally rely on the Lord. We were so young, quite naive, headstrong and we had a lot of sharp edges to get knocked off us. As I look back on those times and I can see how much the Lord was teaching us to rely on Him and how He was preparing us for the work He had planned for us in the future.
As a teenager the Lord gave me a heavy heart for the persecuted church. I was used to having lots of bibles in our home while most of these people didn't even have a bible. I wore a barbed wire pin badge in support of them and prayed for them. I read books on how people like Corrie Ten Boom and others were safely led by God through border checkpoints in China and the USSR with their precious cargo of bibles. I also read gripping stories from Open Doors and how their vans with secret compartments fooled the security authorities. Little did I realise that that's what the Lord would be preparing us as a family to do as volunteers during our various annual leave breaks though He never opened the door for us to become 'tentmakers'. We too would have to pray as we went through security checkpoints and we would eventually find ourselves in a van like the ones I had read about years earlier only our precious cargo wasn't written in Russian or Chinese but in Arabic.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven...." Matthew 5:10-12
|Many share my faith but not my freedom.|
Sometimes life hurts and being a Christian doesn't mean that it's an easy ride - quite frankly it's the opposite at times. I look at the those Christians in places like North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the Middle East to name just a few and what trials they have to face daily and it really puts my life into perspective and I’m humbled.
So now that you know a little more about my background - where am I now? ............. well I'm now living in Scotland and it's really like being on the mission field as there is so much unbelief in this country. There are good solid bible believing churches here but they are few and far between. As the years have gone by I have learned to firmly believe and depend on the promises of God and to pray those promises back to Him depending on the situation. I've had plenty of storms of life especially with bringing up our 3rd son in his early years and Jesus has just been like an anchor. He has held me steady, He's given me peace of mind, and He's given me hope.
Just look at the title of this post - those are not my words but words that were were spoken one night to my husband. Those words woke him up - someone had spoken to him in our bedroom in the middle of the night! What was about to happen in our life that required an such an angelic reassurance like this? Well the next day he discovered why as his career had just been put in jeopardy and he had to employ a specialist medical lawyer in London to defend his case. For 5 long years the Lord gave my husband some opportunities to witness to his Jewish lawyer about Yeshua/Jesus until the case was finally resolved and his name was cleared. If my husband had not been a Christian I think I would have been a widow by now - the Lord held us together through it all - for such a time as this He was with us, He was faithful …..Hallelujah!
My tears made a rainbow but He gave me hope!
As a parent I'm giving my boys roots so that they can grow their wings. I’m training our 2 teenagers so that they can witness and defend their faith amongst their peers and preparing them for life away from home and going to university. Our eldest has already finished his degree at university, going into his 2nd year at bible college and has just got married.
On my personal journey each day I'm assured that the Lord is going to bring the best out of me and that He’s in control despite giving me freewill. I want to draw even closer to Him and learn more from His word. As I look back on my life I can see that I've gained some wisdom over the years though asking the Lord to give you wisdom is something never to take on lightly - how He gives you that wisdom is another matter! I'm more confident at speaking and defending my faith these days in work though I'm a work in progress - fear and pride can sometimes be my biggest stumbling blocks. There can be some big spiritual battles and I struggle at times and forget to put on my spiritual armour. Sometimes I get distracted, I let my life get overcrowded and I put other things before Him. Despite my faults and failures God has never failed me – it certainly is amazing grace! As a horticulturalist I can so relate to this verse in John 15.
God’s correction is our hope for a better life.
He’s still cutting away those bad bits and encouraging new growth in my life so I can be fruitful for Him. Sometimes that pruning really hurts but I trust Him as I know that the best is yet to come and that He doesn't disappoint.
Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philemon 1:6
and He’s coming back soon……………. Maranatha!
You can read other guest posts in this series
- Press On by Casey from One Day At A Time
- Putting Together The Pieces by Ashley from Ramblings and Photos
- Touched By His Grace by Jill from Jill Samter Photography
- You Need Only Be Still by Katie from Beautiful Within Life
- Right Now by Branson from My Reflection of Something
- From Broken to Whole by Katie from Katie Lloyd Photography
- My Mind and Heart Are Set by Elizabeth from Just Following Jesus
- The Greatest Mistake by Jhen from From Here to Eternity