My Testimony (by Judi Beth Francy–May 2022)

1 John 5:9 (NKJV–Bible Gateway)

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for [it] is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

(Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God, and God has testified about His Son.)

* * * * * * * * * * * *

I grew up in church. Mom was the church secretary, worship leader, or whatever was needed. I’ve always known God was with me. I’ve always known He heard my prayers. However, I was born into the same world as everyone else. We all know there are things we shouldn’t do. I’ve done some of those things, but never stopped talking to God. He stayed with me. So…what exactly is my testimony?

What is my ministry? I have been told more than once, while in group prayer, that God has said to me through others, “Your children are your ministry.” When given the same word through different random people, I trusted the word. I just didn’t understand it. I knew what the easy interpretation might be: “Pay more attention to them,” “Stay home with them,” or, “Tend to their every need.” I was already doing those things, though. I’ve always intended on raising my children as the Spirit led. So why this word? “I hear you, God, but what are you saying?!”

About four years ago, I asked for a clear answer, and I heard, “Who are your children?” For me, the answer was, “My children are your children.” The response was, “Who are my children?” I got it. I understood. My children are my ministry. His children are my ministry. Mine…His…yours…you. Wow! That’s awesome!

So…now what? Well…

Two years ago, I was putting my  youngest to sleep and singing to him. He often screamed for hours at night. I would end up singing half lullabies/half prayers for guidance and peace. On this particular night, as I was singing and he’d settled, it hit me. My children. My children are my ministry. What are their names?

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ETHAN GRAHAM…

Ethan: Hebrew in origin, and most often means “strong,” “safe,” “solid,” and “firm.” These are characteristics seen in “Ethan, the Ezrahite,” from the Bible. He is also viewed as being wise.

Graham: According to some sources, it comes from an Old English word meaning or referring to a “grey home,” or a “gravel homestead.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

HARRY EDWARD…

Harry: A medieval form of Henry, which is from the Germanic name Heimerich, from “heim” (meaning “home“) and “ric” (meaning “power” or “ruler“).

Edward: An English given name that is derived from Old English words meaning “wealth,” “fortune,” or “prosperous,” and “guardian” or “protector.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ISAIAH ALEXANDER…

Isaiah: Comes from the Hebrew phrase “yesha’yahu,” meaning “God saves.”

Alexander: The Latin variant of the Greek name “Alexandros,” meaning “defender of men.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

MICHAEL SEBASTIAN…

Michael: Of Hebrew origin. It means, “Who is like God?

Sebastian: A Greek name derived from “sebastos,” meaning, “venerable” or “honorable.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ELIZABETH NADINE…

Elizabeth: Of Hebrew origin, and means “God is my oath.” It can also mean, “God’s promise,” “God’s satisfaction,” or “God’s perfection.”

Nadine: A girl’s name, of French origin, meaning, “hope.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

WESLEY LEONARD…

Wesley: Of Old English origin, meaning, “west meadow” or “west field.”

Leonard: A name which has come to mean “lion strength,” “lion-strong,” or “lion-hearted.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ABIGAIL DOROTHY-JUNE…

Abigail: Means “cause of joy” or “father’s joy,” in Hebrew.

Dorothy: A female given name which comes from the Greek “Δωροθέα,” meaning “God’s gift.”

June: Of Latin origin, meaning “young” or “youth

* * * * * * * * * * * *

ELIEL JUDAH…

Eliel: A Hebrew name, which can be translated to English as “My God is God.”

Judah: Derived from the Hebrew name “Yehuda,” which means, “praise” or “praised.” The Hebrew letters י-ד-ה (Y-D-H) mean, “to praise.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Before I get to what happened, I’d like to pause on Wesley’s name. It wasn’t until preparing to give a Mothers’ Day testimony, that I understood his name and its direction. I had planned to speak on a different topic, and was reading in Ezekiel 47…

Ezekiel 47:1-9 (NKJV–Bible Gateway).

(1) Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.

(2) He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

(3) And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.

(4) Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.

(5) Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.

(6) He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

(7) When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.

(8) Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.

(9) And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The water flowed eastward. Water must come out of the west, to flow eastward. Wesley.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

As I sat that night, praying, the meanings of their names flowed poetically through my head. This is what I wrote:

Out of the gray place will come a strong and firm one, a ruler, full of wealth. He will be the savior and protector of man, and will show us the image of God. Good and honorable, he will bring the promise of hope. Out of the west, he will rise up like a sun. Joy shall be upon his face, and his heart shall beat as a lion’s. Eternal youth is his gift to man. Praise Him! For He is Lord! He is God. My God.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Out of the grey place, comes a strong and firm one.
A powerful ruler of the house.
The savior and defender of man.
One who is like God, honorable, worthy of being lifted up,
He brings the promise of Hope.
Out of the west meadow, comes the lion-hearted,
God’s gift, rising up like a fountain of youthful joy.
He is God, my God, and I will praise Him.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

My testimony? His testimony.

My ministry? His ministry.

My children? His children.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

That water flowing eastward…? That’s the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

John 4:14 (NKJV–Bible Gateway)

“…but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.
* * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.