– RONNE ROCK { Joel 2:25-27 } –

Ronne Rock { Joel 2:25-27 } –

While faith was part of my family’s heritage, it wasn’t welcomed in my childhood home. My parents attended church occasionally until I was maybe 5 or 6, but then found it inconvenient. There was something about Sunday mornings that was special to me, so I must have visited every church my friends at school attended. I would be at Catholic mass one Sunday and a Baptist church the next. Though I didn’t fully understand the WHY of worship, there was a sense of safety and peace within the walls of a church – something that I didn’t feel in my home. My father was an alcoholic, his relationship with my mom was contentious, and sexual abuse by a male relative had tainted my view of relationships and what it meant to be family. I had heard that Jesus was gracious and kind, but saw God as untrustworthy because he was a Father.

 

By the time I was 20, I had stopped attending church entirely. College classes, a full-time job, and free time with friends became my focus. But when a new roommate moved in – a woman who had fled a harsh marriage – things changed. She was a Christ-follower, and quickly found a church home not far from our condo. She asked if one of the roommates might join her so she wouldn’t have to attend church alone, and I benevolently said, “Sure, I’ll do it.” My 21st birthday fell on a Saturday, but that didn’t stop us from attending church the next morning.

 

That Sunday, we listened as the pastor preached a sermon on the difference between being a spectator and a participator. As we walked out of the service that morning, I looked at my friend and asked if we could return that evening. She smiled, and said, “I’d like that.” We then drove to my parents’ house, where a birthday lunch was waiting. “Mom, I appreciate all you’re doing to celebrate my day – but we have to leave early because I’m going to church tonight to get saved.”

 

I laugh about it now, and am sure the Lord was smiling at the entire experience. At the time, I knew so little about faith or relationship with Christ – I just knew I needed Him, and knew the pastor always invited people to walk down the aisle at the end of the service. That night, I couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about – but I was seated at the end of the row, ready to run as soon as the invitation was offered.  

 

A lot of life has passed since that Sunday evening. There would be a lot of good – and a lot of grief – in the years. I watched my mom fall in love with Jesus, and watched my dad continue to curse His name. I fell in love and married a man who everyone said was “God’s perfect one” for me – a man who was abusive, a man I would eventually flee as a young mom. I was a single parent for more than a decade, learning more and more about the tender and tenacious love of God. During that time, I went back to school to complete my degree program, launched my career in marketing, moved to a new city and continued to climb the corporate ladder. I met an amazing man who adores Jesus, and we’ve been married for more than 20 years. He also adopted my son, and their testimony radiates the love of Christ.

 

Ten years ago, I stepped away from the corporate world and into full-time ministry. This season, you’ll find me travelling globally with Orphan Outreach to gather stories about those who are orphaned and vulnerable. It’s a beautiful job, to be able to encourage individuals to get involved in the transformation of lives. A writer, author, and speaker, you’ll also find me sharing stories of hope and redemption. As I’ve shared with people, I can’t not see story in all things. That’s how the Lord teaches me about His love and power, and that’s how He’s equipped me in His image and likeness.

 

I have two devotionals currently available, beautifully illustrated by my best friend. The proceeds from the sale of the books helps support those who want to serve orphans and vulnerable children. This year, we provided a full scholarship to the founder of Grace’s Table, a ministry for teen moms in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She traveled to Guatemala for 10 days to work and to meet women in similar ministries in that country. Another devotional is being designed at present, and I’m writing a book about grace-filled leadership principles I’ve learned from women I’ve met around the world.

 

There are two passages that are particularly meaningful. One demonstrates the redemptive power of the Lord to take all that has been robbed, raped, and ravaged and restore it. The second is a reminder that God is a good Father, a joyous King, a kind Savior.

 

“I’ll make up for the years of the locust,

    the great locust devastation—

Locusts savage, locusts deadly,

    fierce locusts, locusts of doom,

That great locust invasion

    I sent your way.

You’ll eat your fill of good food.

    You’ll be full of praises to your God,

The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder.

    Never again will my people be despised.

You’ll know without question

    that I’m in the thick of life with Israel,

That I’m your God, yes, your God,

    the one and only real God.

Never again will my people be despised.”

Joel 2:25-27

 

The Lord your God

wins victory after victory

    and is always with you.

He celebrates and sings

    because of you,

and he will refresh your life

    with his love.”

Zephaniah 3:17

Ronne Rock

Tell stories that change stories.

writer | speaker | advocate | adventurer

Website: ronnerock.com

T/IG: @ronnerock

FB: facebook.com/RonneRockWrites

 

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