The Stray Bullet

Sometimes you think that you have a very clear memory of something that happened to you as a baby, but some things you remember were really placed in your memory by the accounts of people telling you the story as you grow older. I am not alone. We all have our share of this kind of memory. I was probably a ten-month-old baby when this happened, but I grew up seeing the mark of the bullet on the doorframe. It was too real for me. It wasn’t only by the account of people that I remember this incident of G-d’s protection.

Somebody had come to get me from my crib, after I woke up crying. At the same time, across the street, a neighbor, a police chief no less, was having a party at his house and was drinking beyond a reasonable amount. He stepped outside and, pointing his gun to the sky, fired a shot. On his second shot he lost his balance, and the bullet came straight through the window of the bedroom where I had been sleeping. The person taking care of me picked me up and, without knowing, had a split second to turn me around and keep the bullet from hitting my head. Her ear was grazed by that bullet that went through the hallway and exited through a closed door in the front of the house.

As I was growing up, whenever I looked at the marks on the frame of the window and on the doorpost, I knew a miracle had happened and that the Angels of the Lord had sprung into action to protect me from what clearly was an attack from the enemy of our souls. As a child, maybe my mind could not grasp the greatness of what had taken place, or how bad things could have been. In a split second, I could have perished. A baby killed by a stray bullet. How tragic. But G-d had a different plan. As a grown woman, I know the Lord, in his faithfulness, turned the plans of the enemy upside down and spared my life, so He could be glorified and honored and exalted! I don’t take my life for granted. I thank G-d for every day I wake up to see the sunrise once again. G-d sustains me and gives me one beautiful day at a time. There are days that don’t look so beautiful; there are times when it looks like the enemy will prevail, but God has a promise for us in His word:  No weapon made will prevail against you. (Isaiah 54:17). I have decided that I will not live one single day if it is not in His presence. His way of protection is much better than humankind could ever come up with.

How has God protected you, my friend? Can you recall a moment when you can clearly see that G-d went out of His way to protect you? Or maybe you didn’t even notice. But one day, when we stand before Him, we will see the many times when his glorious angels were summoned by Him, to take us under their wings. I want to thank you, Lord! Thank you for your protection! I praise you today, Adonai! For the many ways that you show your love and care for me.  I worship you, my King and Redeemer!!

Debbie Buffone's complete story is included in Stories of Roaring Faith, Volume 3.  She is an amazing woman, who loves God and people.  She is a great Volunteer for Roaring Lambs, a facilitator for the Testimony Workshops, handles social media, and helps with data entry.  Most of all, she is a servant of our Lord.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:45 PM

Testimony That Rocked My World

Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:45 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:45 PM

It's 4:36 a.m. I’m lying in bed feeling confused and overwhelmed. How does talking about me lead others to know God? Shouldn’t I be talking about Him? Nobody cares about my uneventful life. He’s the one with the wonderful miraculous stories to tell. Not me.

I drag myself out of bed, shuffle to the kitchen, punch the button for a cup of hot coffee and plunk myself down in front of the computer. Should I start with an outline of my life? That’s what I’m good at, organizing information in a logical manner. I stare at the blank screen. Where to begin? Tick. Tick. Tick. Nothing. Tick. Tick. More nothing. Tick. Crickets. A list of main life events instead?

I’ve got a few decades to cover. The tally is long. My shoulders tense up. Should I group the stories to show trends of where God has been working? Or maybe present them in the order they happened over time? I twist my neck and stretch the muscles. This is so stressful. I want to talk about Jesus, not me.

I try putting my life events into a timeline. What a jumbled mess.

I stare at the data and begin shuffling and reshuffling my stories into buckets of similarities; poor, childhood, marriages, leadership, career, education, family, religion, notoriety, struggles, travel, and turning points. All these parts seem important. They make up who I am. I create a detailed outline.

It’s good. I make it work. I beckon my husband to my office and read it to him.

“How long do you have?” he asks.

“Twenty to thirty minutes,” I say.

He leans on the doorpost. “Too much info. Too long.”

I actually knew that but had already put in so many hours of work I just wanted to finish so I could get to other things. I’d even rehearsed the presentation.

This is taking up so much of my time. I felt like I was struggling to get to the point. What was the point?

I printed my detailed outline and took a red pen to it. Cut. Cut. And cut. It was liberating. It was right and it felt good. Ironically, when I cut so much of me out of my story, Jesus began to shine through. I prayed and honed some more. As I cleaned up my document, I could see how he’d cleaned up my life. He’d taken so much away, forgiven my mistakes and sacrificed himself for me.

The day arrived for my presentation. The threads of my years on this earth were now prominent. Jesus was prominent. My story is his story. I wept as I proclaimed him to the room of new friends.

My own testimony rocked my world. Jesus rocked my world. He can rock yours too.

“No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

Just believe. He is real. Let him rock your world too.

BIO:  Johnna Howell is an author, blogger, and speaker who has delivered keynote speeches and been of many professional awards. Her current work challenges readers to find and follow a life of Purpose, Powered by an eternal God who is Calling each of us to himself.

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