Stories Of Transformation

Mardell Neufeld

Jesus first got my attention at a very young age after an evening family time together. It was later that night that I realized, through a song that we had sang together, that I didn’t have the assurance of him being part of my life.  With the help of my parents, I received that assurance through God’s Word and began my journey with him.

My transformation journey has been a gradual one where I have seen God continually doing a work of renewal in my life as he chisels away, bit by bit, removing the things that interfere with being a disciple and follower of Christ.

A transformation experience that was a key moment for me took place a number of years ago when I was part of a midnight inner city prayer walk in Toronto with others from the Canadian MB gathering that summer. I felt God’s peaceful presence there, seeing Jesus through the eyes of the people we met living on the streets, and it gave me a renewed passion for the lost, the hopeless and those in need of a Saviour.

In the last few months, God has continually been revealing things to me that have strengthened my relationship with him. These days, as my thoughts and conversations with others often focus on our situation with COVID, I am often asking myself, “How can I make a difference in a world of confusion, fear, criticism, helplessness and negativity?  What can I do to help others get through this difficult time?”

I am beginning to realize that perhaps it’s not so much about my “doing” but rather in my “being”. I can’t control or change other people’s behaviors, activities or attitudes, but I can start with myself and ask the question, “Who will I choose to “BE” in order to make a difference particularly in my neighborhood and in my city during this season?”

In answer to my question, with God’s help, I am choosing to be thankful and grateful for all that I have been given.  I choose to be generous with my time and financial resources.  I choose to be prayerful for the needs around me.  I choose to be kind. I choose to be the encouragement to someone.  I choose to be the joy that spreads to others despite my circumstances.  I also choose be aware of the negativity that I am filling my mind with and rather, “fix my thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely, and admirable, things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”  Philippians 4:8

Most importantly, I am choosing to be the hope and light of Christ in a dark and broken world.  A favorite verse of mine as we anticipate celebrating the birth of Christ is, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” Isaiah 9:2

As my transformation journey continues and will only be completed when I see Jesus face to face, I am often being reminded that we as the body of Christ continually need each other for support, prayer and encouragement. I am grateful and blessed that I have been a recipient of these gifts from the people within this body of believers. Perhaps in some way, we can all make a difference to those around us by building up one another with the gifts that God has given us.