Sarah - Colorado
Never question how God orchestrates friendships/relationships behind the scenes. When you hear people say “Trust Him, He has a purpose, He is always at work”, believe them. His blanket of protection, love, and endless grace are upon you - no matter the situation you are facing, and even if you don’t understand the “why” in the middle of the trial.
I came to Jon at a time when my brokenness seemed un-repairable. At a time when I wasn’t ready to talk, let someone new in, and I wasn’t even close to the point where I was ready to forgive those who had severely hurt me. Mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually I felt empty. I felt unexplainably numb, and I selfishly wanted to fight my battle alone.. But, after hearing Jon’s testimony, my understanding and perspective on forgiveness, myself, and the gospel reached a whole new level.
After several meetings with Jon, he was challenging me to tear down walls that’s I built up from a young age. With his help, I was able to reach a place where I experienced the unshakable amount of peace that is reached when we practice and understand true (authentic) forgiveness. There is so much freedom in “letting go” of the past, and I can attest that when you start to let go of each memory one by one, you will feel the weight lifted. When you’re able to look deeply at yourself (and the situation in front of or behind you), you will recognize that your enemies are also suffering too.. and when you realize that, it’s a game changer. This is when you’ll have the capacity to accept them as they are, demonstrate compassion towards them, and love them even if they don’t deserve it, and even if you never receive the apology or truth you are owed. Because, after all, that’s what Christ did for me — and if He can do that for me, I can also rise above and do the same. There will be people around you who won’t understand, but let God use you in those moments to share the gospel.
Jon was a huge answer to prayer, and I don’t say that lightly. He stepped in with grace, love, and gentleness, knowing that my situation was complex and needed to be handled with delicacy. Jon helped me reach a place of thankfulness in the middle of my pain.. and that is where the additional healing flooded in. Because at the end of the day, my circumstance brought me closer to Christ, and if these are the hills and valleys that I have to walk through in order to become more like Christ, it makes every step worth it. As long as He gets the Glory, I wouldn’t change one thing!.. I am eternally thankful and blessed to call Jon a brother in Christ.