Every once in a while, I have the opportunity to share my testimony. Nowadays, I don't spend much time thinking about everything we went through. Yet, as I retold our story, I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness of all God did in our lives and what is available because of the cross.
It started as I began telling the story of the night my Mom answered an altar call at a small Pentecostal church down the road from our home. When we were adults, she told us that she had been thinking about suicide at that point in her life. After growing up in an abusive household, she thought she married Prince Charming and would have a different life. When her marriage started following the same patterns, she saw no hope to go on. Still, she kept going because she didn't know what would happen to my brother and me.
Then one day, our neighbor invited her to church. When the pastor picked her out of the crowd and asked, "Do you want to be a Christian?" she said she felt loved for the first time in her life. From that night on, her life, and ultimately our lives, were dramatically changed.
She was transformed that night. Almost immediately, the Holy Spirit started working in her heart, healing her from her past and making her into the woman God created her to be. Starting at salvation, she changed, and our lives changed. As I retold the story and remembered how her salvation experience changed our family, I was once again overwhelmed by the power that salvation has to change a person's life.
As I continued sharing our story of overcoming abuse, control, lies, secrets, and so many other issues, I was overwhelmed by the incredible gift of healing offered to each of us through the blood shed on the cross.
Because the cross didn't just give us salvation. As Isaiah 53:5 says:
"But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed." (ESV)
This healing isn't just for our physical bodies (although that's great); it's also healing for our minds, hearts, and emotions.
Because Jesus willingly laid down His life on the cross, we are given so much: salvation, healing, deliverance, freedom from the sins that want to control us, and eternal life in Heaven.
Because of the cross, we don't have to carry the heartache and pain of our past throughout our lives—we can experience healing.
Because of the cross, we can experience deliverance from generational iniquities and the sins passed down from our ancestors.
We don't have to follow the same patterns as grandma, grandpa, and all who have gone. We can experience freedom and follow Jesus down a completely different path.
The incredible thing is that these things aren't just "doctrines" or "spiritual teachings"—they change actual people's lives.
As I told our story last week, I was reminded of the incredible impact Christ's work on the cross has had on my and our family's lives. Without the cross, we were destined to repeat the same destructive patterns as those who lived before. As often goes, we probably would have delved deeper into sin, addiction, and heartache than our ancestors.
Yet, because of Jesus and what He did at the cross…. because of salvation and its transforming power…I have a testimony of changed lives, healed hearts, and a purpose for living.
That is what we celebrate this weekend, and every day of our lives...because the cross, we have life.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."