There are only two things that qualify me to have worked as a Social Worker for the past 10 years; a college degree and a heart for service. I love helping people. I love serving people. I love to see their lives transformed when they are given much needed love and attention.
No matter what struggles I’ve endured though, fighting the temptation to eat a pint of ice cream isn’t the same as struggling through fighting the urges to use heroin. The emotional abuse I’ve endured in past relationships doesn’t compare to the physical and sexual abuse the clients I’ve worked with have suffered. The only time I’ve been inside a jail was worked related and I’ll never know what it feels like to be abandoned and not have anyone to call family. My experiences just aren’t the same.
One approach to case management however attempts to close this gap with the utilization of a “Peer.” Also known as a Peer Specialist, a “Peer” is someone who has endured similar life challenges. Maybe they have been through addiction and are now sober. Sometimes they have been institutionalized for mental illness but now understand the balance between medication management and support. Because of their testimony, the Peer is able to relate to the client through the power of life experiences. They understand what it’s like to travel the road to recovery. They know what it’s like to carry the emotional scars of the trauma life deals. They know what it’s like to spend time isolated in a cold cell enclosed by the walls of a prison. They get it.
There is power in the peer approach because of the relatability and connection that bonds two people who have traveled a similar path in life.
While I may never have been to jail or be able to understand the stronghold of addiction, I have another testimony — the testimony of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The last five days have been amazing. The Lord has revealed strongholds, broken the chains of bondage and freed me from myself. He has filled the places of my spirit once inhabited by lies from the evil one with security of the Holy One and he has healed me from physical wounds. I’ve been overwhelmed by the intense emotion and closeness I’ve felt with the Lord and I can’t stop sharing about it.
As I’ve shared, I’ve realized there is incredible value for the Kingdom when we speak about the things the Lord is doing in our lives.
We live in a dark and broken world. A world filled with hate, murder and war. A world filled with pain, brokenness and retaliation. A world filled with desperation, suffering and longing. A world filled with emptiness, confusion and void. A world that needs the testimony of a Christian. A world that needs comfort, good news and hope.
So, I’m writing this today to encourage you to share. Share how Jesus has freed you. Share how Jesus has healed you. Share how Jesus has redeemed your story.
Just as Jesus instructed the Demon-Possessed man He healed in Mark chapter 5, I would like to challenge you to, “Tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how He had compassion on you.”
Your testimony is far reaching, our world needs hope, the story of miracles are powerful, and light kills darkness.
Will you be courageous today and share the goodness of the Lord? Will you be vulnerable, transparent and raw and let the Lord use you to reach the broken, hurting and hopeless?
Remember, “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)
He put your story in the same sentence as the blood of the Lamb. There is power in your story when you share.