Monday, February 27, 2012

The Shroud Exchanged for Grace

On Saturday morning I ministered again for the first time in six years, at our church's women's meeting, Church Without Borders.  It is called such because these monthly meetings are open to women from all churches, Believers or not. I am very new to Crossover Church. Very new. So, it was to my surprise that my pastor invited me to minister this month.
I shared my message - Won't You Please Take Your Clothes Off! - but, little did I realize how God had planned to minister to me the Word I shared with my sisters of faith.

My message was about Lazarus being resurrected from the dead and coming out of his tomb still bound in his dirty, old grave clothes. Jesus called him forth from his tomb and back to life, but He didn't remove Lazarus' grave clothes. Instead, He turned to the body of Believers who witnessed this magnificent miracle and tells them to "Loose him and let him go."  My message included different hurts, habits, or hangups that can be grave clothes, and that those grave clothes still be tightly wound around us not allowing us to be free, transformed, or having an abundant life. I shared how God had been setting me free from some grave clothes within the last few weeks since committing to Crossover Church.

At the invitation to come up for prayer, I told the precious women of faith that Jesus is asking them, "Won't you exchange your shroud for My grace?"

After the message I prayed over the women who wanted to be free of their grave clothes. I went home blessed beyond measure that God had used me as His vessel to minister Life to His other daughters.

I got up yesterday and went to church. Joyfully, I listened to the message. At the conclusion of the preaching, a song was played. Upon the first few words of the song, God Divinely intervened into my soul. He knew I was still bound with a grave cloth. The Word I had ministered to God's daughters, He now ministered back unto me, which is most definitely His Way!

I went home and meditated throughout the day on all that happened during the last moments of the service. Unbeknownst to me on Saturday, the voice of my own preaching was readying me for the removal of my own grave clothes. God had a plan and He was about to unfold it. It is His desire to use me in ministry in a church once again, His desire that I should be loved in the Body of Christ at Crossover. But for me to walk in the fullness of His Perfect Will, He had to loose some things from my soul. And He used the Body of Believers, just like He did for Lazarus.

I sat early this morning and penned the following poem. I share it with you for one purpose and one purpose only: To my Father, be all the Glory!

Shroud Exchanged for Grace
By Diane Ronzino

An eruption of tears
  Hands overlaid to suppress the extruding wails
    At the hearing of a few words

Where was this down in my soul?
  What had suppressed this secret fear all these seven years?
    How did the hearing of those few words so suddenly release the floodgates?

Bowed over like an infant
  Alone, yet amongst many
    With eyes closed tight, I retreated into myself

Within moments soft, delicate touches
  Women surrounded me
    Soothing, gentle prayers

Allowing me to release the torture from my soul
    They companioned my heart
      Without judgment my head they lifted up

Encouraging words
  Love encircled me
    Through them, The Lover of My Soul comforted me

Deep breaths
  Deeper breaths yet
    The effusion ceased

Uprooted was a cancerous lie
  Embedded deep within my being
    A lie, from the enemy of my soul, I had allowed to take root

With each covered wail
  The lie dislodged from the deep within
                 Surely, God will use me once again; surely, I will be part of a church family once again

With each quiet prayer,
  The two-fold lie was vanquished
    The grave cloth unwrapped

Loosed and let go!                                      Freedom!
Abundant Life!

To those who prayed for me before Saturday, with all my heart I say thank you!  For those of you who prayed for me at church on Sunday, with all my heart I say thank you!  To my Father, Who once again has delivered and healed me, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength...thank You!  

It truly does take a community to raise a family - a family of transformed Believers!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

This post was featured on Tell Me A Story


Kim said...

Praise God!!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you for reading and comment, Kim. Yes, PRAISE GOD!!!

Roxanne said...

I am grateful to have heard the word on Saturday. Isn't it just His way for you to be ministered to by your own words? God is so Good! Love you Diane

Andrew Ronzino said...

That's awesome, Mom! I'm glad you were able to finally drop the grave cloth! Love you!

Diane Ronzino said...

Yes, Roxanne, it is just like God to do that. Thank you for reading and commenting!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks, Andrew. It was seven years of wilderness...God is so good to me.

Anonymous said...

Such a testimony, Diane - THANK YOU for sharing it with me. It speaks loudly to my own life and heart as well.

You are treasured.

Diane Ronzino said...

Anonymous, thank for commenting! God bless you.

Martha Herden said...

Beautiful and so spiritual Diane. God is so very loving to all-its amazing how we hold back, when all we need do is put our hand out for the Lord to caress!

God bless you and much love, Martha

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you, Martha! God bless you, as well.

Judi S. Coleman said...

Wow...Wish I lived wherever you do!! Would have loved to have heard you speak. I can tell we'd be friends--what a title for a teaching, girl!! And what a me much to consider.

Blessings, Judi

Joanne Mazza said...

Simply beautiful, Diane. Thank you for sharing and I thank God for your renewed resurrection. Hallelujah !!!!! Joanne M.

Betty said...

Beautiful never fails to amaze me when we minister we get minister too. Nothing goes void with our loving Father. Blessings.

Lolita said...

This, my dear Diane, is most powerful and releasing. I, too, would have loved to be sitting on that pew in front of you. It will surely strip me of my "grave clothes."

Praise God in the highest! Thank you, Lord, for being our healer of all kinds of woes. An open vessel is ready for God's ministering and only those who are broken into pieces for Him can be put together again. Love it, dear, and I love you in the love of the Lord.


please give us the outline of your message if that is possible. Thanks.

Lolita said...

One thing more,

Pray with me in this. When my Mom and my brother will come home this month, I will give them the address of your church. I don't know how close they are to you in NY but of course, I will not push them. I will just tell my brother that if he and mom will have time, to think about visiting your church. I know you are not the same with traditional conservative ones as they are still Roman Catholics. I am the only one -born-again-Christian in our family. I know too that the Catholic churches in the US are not the same here in our country. Then, I will have the truest reason why we're bound to meet on-line.

Diane Ronzino said...

Thank you for your very kind words, Judi! I live on Long Island off of New York City. How about you?

Diane Ronzino said...

Joanne, thank you for your prayers for me on Sunday...thank you for speaking that Word to me. It was God and I'm strengthened by it.

As I drove home from church I got such a sensing in my spirit that Crossover is going to become known as a healing church. There is such a strong anointing within the Body for inner healings.

I'm blessed to know you!

Diane Ronzino said...

Yes, Amen, Betty!

Diane Ronzino said...

Jesus is the Healer of Woes! Amen! The greatest work He has done in me over all these years has been deep, inner healings. And I guess because of that, I so desire to see my sisters healed as well.

I will be praying for your brother and mother. We are a good 2-2 1/2 hours from NY City (depending on traffic)
so I don't think it would be convenient for them. But, you never know how God can move them.

I can mail you a copy of my notes. But, my notes are not very detailed. I usually make just baskic notes, relying on The Holy Spirit to take over. The Holy Spirit led me to share a couple of my own personal stories right at that moment. They definitely weren't planned!

But, thank you for asking. I'll copy them and mail them off to you!

Melanie said...

Hi Di. I have that picture with the woman stretching her arms forth~ a picture worth more than a 1000 words ~ I am rejoicing with you and thanking our Father for you!!!

Pam said...

Awesome to see how God blessed your teaching time last week, Diane! God is good!

Diane Ronzino said...

Thanks, Mel!

Diane Ronzino said...

Pam, thank you for your faithful prayers for me!

A Joyful Noise said...

Thank you for sharing at Tell Me a Story, how God is unwrapping the grave clothes here a little there a little. Day by day, moment by moment he ministers to us. We might not be able to take it all in at once. He knows and has perfect timing.

Diane Ronzino said...

Yes, absolutely, Hazel! In our Lord's infinite Wisdom, He knows us best.

Thanks for taking the time to come and read!

caryjo said...

Isn't it wonderful when He will touch our hearts to help others and then use it to heal us in ways we didn't even know still existed? I love it! He is so creative and merciful and kind. You blessed others and He blessed both them and you.

Made me grin. I count on HIM to free me from the gunky junky clothes that live in and around me.

Diane Ronzino said...

It sure is wonderful, CaryJo! I wish everyone could experience His tender love and mercy.