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