It was Saturday, September 24th, 2016. My friend Joe had an afternoon birthday party at Seasons 52 in Dunwoody, GA. There I met his then-girlfriend Sheila.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
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They invited me to Harvest, a free Christian conference at the Infinite Energy Arena in Gwinnett County, GA that evening.
HARVEST BY GREG LAURIE
I had no idea what Harvest by Greg Laurie was about but I did want to spend time with Sheila and Joe. So, I went to that Christian conference.
It was hosted by pastor Greg Laurie: 24,466 attendees and 1,052 people came to Christ that night right before my eyes.
It was a night of biblical teachings, my favorite worship music, unexpected Gospel miracles, and my personal transformation of which I had no idea whatsoever at the time.
DIVORCE AFTER 4 MONTGS OF MARRIAGE
You see, September 24th, 2016 was only 4 months after my wedding with Michel.
But I didn’t wake up at home in Cumming, GA with my husband Michel that Saturday morning. Instead, I woke up with my friend Tanya in her bed in Dunwoody, GA.
Because Michel and I were separated. He stopped talking to me and was giving me a silent treatment. I was completely confused after he told me that his bicycle was his wife, and I needed some time to put my head back together. So, I was with Tanya who only had 1 bed. And that’s why I woke up with her that Saturday morning.
That night, at Harvest, Joe, Sheila, and I worshipped together along with thousands of people. I felt uplifted and inspired.
Pastor Greg Laurie gave away free orange Bibles. I got one. It was beautiful, big, and thick. I held it in my hands the entire time because of its large size.
And there was one more book Greg Laurie gave away. It was a little book, very thin, and it was unnoticeably grey. It had a weird name “Tell Someone.”
I grabbed one to share it with Michel.
It was a long time before I found the book in my purse. To be exact, I gave it to Michel in February of 2017… Where was the book till then?
Lost in my purse.
HEARING FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT
Frankly, everyone needs to attend Harvest by pastor Greg Laurie because of how vulnerable and straight-forward his preaching is and also because there the Holy Spirit spoke to me for the first time ever.
I remember thousands of people shouting in joy. It’s dark. It’s loud. Pastor Greg Laurie announces that he will now pray and the Holy Spirit will talk to me. Then, he prayed. And the Holy Spirit said: “You will redeem your husband”
Again, the Holy Spirit said: “You will redeem your husband.”
I was puzzled… How would I do that? I had no idea.
I shared with Sheila and Joe that night that the Holy Spirit talked to me and what I heard. They invited me to come back the next day.
Come to find out, Harvest was a 3-day Christian conference. Yes, my plan was to come back.
BEING SERVED BY A PROCESS SERVER
Next day, on Sunday, September 25th, 2016 I came back to the Harvest conference.
Right there, a process server Jerry served me with Michel’s divorce summons.
I was shocked. I was puzzled. I was in disbelief. I was devastated.
And what about hearing from the Holy Spirit? How was I supposed to move forward?
And so I lost my mind.
I fell into a severe suicidal depression. And while I was going through that, the Holy Spirit began to speak with me more and more.
In November of 2016, Michel asked to reconcile and I said yes. In December, his divorce was dismissed.
In January of 2017, five weeks later, I was served with Michel’s second divorce summons. He filed for his second divorce in our first year of marriage.
A HIDDEN GIFT
Then, a few weeks later, Michel got very sick with the flu. And that’s when I discovered the little grey book by pastor Greg Laurie in my purse.
“Tell Someone” is a strange name for a book. I wasn’t interested in reading it anyway. I got it for Michel. Remember?
So, I grabbed the little book and shared it with Michel. Well, I placed the book in the bedroom where Michel lived. And I hoped he’d read it.
Days went by, the book was covered in dust. Michel never opened it.
I took it back into the bedroom where I lived. And just out of curiosity, I began to read it. I couldn’t stop and finished it within an hour.
The little grey book had a big and bright message: it is our responsibility, calling, and anointing to share the Gospel with the world.
Romans 10:14 says this:
“How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them, if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them?”
“Tells them”? Telling them… Tell someone…
How did I find out about Jesus? Someone told me. And have I told someone about Jesus? Not really…
That was my honest dialogue with myself.
I thought that only people like Michel were qualified to “tell someone.” A seminary graduate, Michel knew the Bible back and forth and quoted it any chance he had. He always boasted to people about what he did for God. And he worked at North Point Church for years. Michel also officiated weddings and did pre-marital counseling teaching people the word of God.
I had no such background. I certainly didn’t work at a church. And I was never capable of quoting the Bible in everyday life situations. I simply didn’t feel qualified.
“Tell Someone” by Greg Laurie was a hidden gift. I mean literally: it was a huge gift hidden in my purse for many months. And I had no idea grabbing the book for Michel that actually it was a gift for me.
Greg Laurie’s writing style was so simple!
His personal story of coming to Jesus was so relatable. His behaviors and lifestyle before meeting Christ reminded me my lifestyle of alcoholism, anger, and sexual addiction.
He gave me a clear understanding and example of how God can take a wretch and make a prophet to the nations out of him.
The book made me think a lot.
And out of that pondering was born my decision to live at peace with Michel and everyone, no natter the divorces and betrayal.
I found a deep desire in my heart to simply follow God’s plan, regardless of what the world was bringing my way.
I found peace within myself. And I found a new dwelling in my heart, a calling to “tell someone.”
I realized that there is nothing more important for me to do than to share the Gospel with people so they, too, can follow Jesus.
My breakthrough was that I could only share the word of God if I found peace in the midst of a crazy worldly drama in our marital residence in Cumming, GA.
A few days later, God gave me the gift of living waters. That resulted a new book I authored and 200 biblical poems I created.
The little grey book was indeed a hidden gift!
LIVING IN PEACE
Living in peace was a huge undertaking: Michel was pursuing his second divorce, he was exhausting me financially, I was fighting a severe suicidal depression and was physically ill, and I was overall disoriented and desperate for answers.
My standard response was anger.
Matthew 5:9 says this:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
How could I be a peacemaker in such dramatic circumstances? What could I do to have peace in the midst of such a huge storm in my life?
Romans 12:18 says this:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
As far as it depends on me, normally, anger is my response to betrayal, cheating, and abandonment.
In my own power, I can’t be a peacemaker. But with Christ, all things are possible.
Colossians 3:15 says this:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
The peace of Christ! Not my own peace. Ok. That I can do. So, I started a gratitude practice.
At first, it was hard to find things to be grateful for in such a sad situation. But the more I practiced the skill of gratitude, the more things I found to be grateful for.
Philippians 4:6-7 says this:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I was anxious to restore my marriage and to love my husband. My petition to God was to save my marriage. But when I began practicing gratitude, even though my marriage was still broken and Michel traded me in for an IronMan bicycle, I did learn to have God’s peace.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 says:
Live in peace with each other.
I continued to live in peace with Michel until I moved out of our marital residence after the divorce mediation. Finding peace in the midst of that crazy adversity was the biggest gift. I took it into my future as I moved on with my life.
Numbers 25:12 says this:
Now tell him that I am making my special covenant of peace with him.
God’s peace is a covenant. It’s His promise to us. We can be peace-makers because we have God’s peace.
And from that place of peace and contentment, I was able to learn how to share the Gospel.
In that same state of peace, I launched this ministry and wrote my first book to “tell someone” about Jesus.
Even though sharing the good news was not a part of my educational training or work experience and I was scared, I took a risk every time there was a message swirling within me.
To share the message, I built a Christian YouTube channel. I launched a Christian podcast. I produced dozens of Christian meditations. And it was a risk every time because I am in no way qualified. But through Christ, all things are possible.
What is God doing in your heart to transform you into a peace-maker?
If He is calling you to discover His peace that passes all understanding and share the Gospel with the nations, memorize the Biblical affirmation below.
I am a peacemaker
God called me to be a peacemaker.
My goal is to live at peace with everyone.
With humility and gentleness, I’m a risk-taker
Who pursues passionately God’s command to “tell someone.”
What action will you take next to “tell someone”? Let me know in the comments below. I want to encourage you and cheer you on.
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Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.
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