Ordination Training Journey

Ordination Training Journey

Ordination Training Journey

I am on an ordination training journey and here is my testimony. I’d have to be insane to NOT love, trust, and put all of my hope in Jesus, my Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, and dearest Friend. Words alone could never express my love and gratitude for the grace and mercy shown, in my life, by God my loving Father, who never let go. He knew I was His.

As I sat praying and wondering how to share with you today my ordination training journey and this story of God’s grace, a song began to play and has continued to sweetly run through my heart and mind, because its words ring true, in my life, from the very first day.

Here is the chorus of that song Mercy Said No:

Mercy said no
I’m not gonna let Melissa go
I’m not going to let her slip away
Melissa doesn’t have to be afraid
Mercy said no
Sin will never take control
Life and death stood face to face and
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
But thank you, Jesus, that mercy said NO.

Keeping those words in mind, climb on the express train of my life story with me. Let’s journey back in time and see where in my life His great mercy took hold, and how it continues even today.

As God began to knit me together in an unsure, abused, teenage girl’s womb, my life was not plucked away, Mercy said NO and I’m here today. A few months later, nameless in a crowded foster home, I fell asleep sicker than anyone knew. Lying there in a coma, Mercy said NO, I have a plan for her, and so I am here today.

Through the years that followed, it is because of God alone, His great love, mercy, and grace, that I am even alive and sharing with all of you right now. From abandonment to only God knows how I ended up with the family, receiving a name from my abuser, hearing about God in a church, placing both that first seed and spark in my heart and an unholy fear of God and Christians.

Followed by abuse of every sick kind, rejection, attempts to silence me, fear, confusion, suicide attempts, group homes, strange testing facilities, running away, homelessness, doing whatever it took for my next meal, and rape with alcohol to numb me. Then I finally turned 18 and was sold to an abusive and much older man. However, I did not care, since I thought it would be freedom for me, but then several times I almost died at his hand.

I believe through all of this, though I didn’t know Him, God definitely knew me. He was my shield and fortress and continued to stir in my heart a desire and need for HIM.

I’d like to say it ended there, but many more years followed with abuse, tremendous loss and so much more, all because I wanted God on my own terms. I just wanted Him to hand out justice to those who had hurt me, and in this thinking, I had missed something huge. What about my own sin? the punishment I deserved? Hmm, I was guilty of doing some pretty awful things too.

It was 2014 that the place of true brokenness arrived. My need for Jesus became suddenly and overwhelmingly clear, that only through His grace, believing Jesus died in my place, removed my debt, and only through this would I find life. I needed His mercy and forgiveness and realized through Him alone I would begin to heal, forgive others and myself, learn about love, and in Him find hope and my reason for living.

Is my life perfect today? No, but that doesn’t change His love for me. Have I been abused since then? Yes, quite recently actually because of this new found love for Jesus, but He’s even working that out for His glory and my good – (update) I have had real freedom from these people for a full year now and Papa God is healing in amazing ways.

Here is why my heart joyfully chooses to trust Him each day, no matter what occurs…He who began a good work in Melissa will be faithful to complete it. He is the reason I get out of bed each day with hope, the reason I have breath to share my story. Because of His love for me, I can love others no matter what they do to me. He is how I find peace when things seem impossible. I no longer need to feel ashamed, I am redeemed and I am loved! Because there is NO condemnation for Melissa who is in Christ Jesus, I can now boldly approach the throne of grace with confidence and receive grace and mercy to help in times of need.

Since God’s hand has firmly been on my life for so long, when it was mentioned to me about getting involved in ministry and become ordained, I gladly took it to prayer. Upon confirmation from several others and I did the Holy Spirit heart check, the first doors opened with classes here at Christian Leaders Institute. On my ordination training journey, the Lord has caused me to excel both in school and ministry for His glory, and now being ordained with Christian Leaders Alliance, I’m excited to see where the Lord leads next on this ordination training journey and ministry dream. I am excited to see how many more wounded women can be reached for Him.

Love in Christ,

Melissa Verna