by Terry Magness
Ever asked that age old question, “How in the world did I get here?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a secretary. When I put on that perfect black and white plaid dress with a red sash my aunt Jean bought me, I felt like an executive assistant. I imagined sitting behind an important looking desk, erect, shoulders back, legs crossed, and poised with pad and pencil in hand, ready to take notes for an appreciative boss who couldn’t get along without me. The thought of it warmed me inside. I felt valued. That was something I desperately needed in those days.
Sure enough, one of my first jobs when I entered the world of employment was as a secretary in a loan company branch office. Next, I worked as a typist in the secretarial typing pool of a large corporation, and finally, I served as a G2 clerk/typist for a Company Commander on a military base. I learned relatively quickly that being a secretary was not what inspired me.
aren’t they—even amazing?
There is a distinct but narrow path in our front yard that begins in a field across the road. The path divides and circles in opposite directions around our house to the concrete patio at the back door. This path was made by a badly scarred but beautiful Golden Beagle. The first day he showed up at our door I could clearly count each rib in his badly malnourished body. Extraordinarily skittish, he jumped at the slightest movement and wouldn’t allow me within five feet of him, and least of all, to touch him. Hunger urged him to forge this path to our house. We comforted him with soft words, and we fed him.
Each day for two and a half years he faithfully followed the path--often many times over--and peered through the glass, hoping to catch our attention. One day, his friend, a small black, brown, and white Beagle, joined him. She too came hoping for food and was just as nervous and afraid as he had been.
In short order their sides filled out, and then one day their eyes shined, and their tails waved high flagging their contentment. Happy, healthy, and strong, they continued learning to trust, because now they were valued and loved. Their basic needs were being met. To this day the grass does not grow in their path to our house, because it is a well-worn path.
What about my path? At the age of thirty, I too was badly undernourished in my soul, was replete with old and new hurts, and found it hard to trust. My scars were not visible, but the wounds were deep, and my heart was dry as stone. I found myself trudging alone on a hopeless, destructive path until unwittingly, I stumbled upon another path that changed the course of my life forever.
The Master of the House saw me peering through the glass, opened the door, spoke softly to me--and then He fed me with love.
If you were to come to my home today, I would be hesitant to let you see the room I call my office. At any given time, you might find stacks of unanswered, unfiled, unattended papers, various begun-yet-unfinished projects, research, teaching and counseling materials, writing assignments, and books in various stages of completion, covering almost every surface in the room. It is now I who needs a secretary!
I love neat and complete, but my interest and energy these days is spent on the path that I know has brought me healing, restoration, and is God’s path for my life. Who but He could have imagined that one day I, an unlikely minister of the Lord, would take hurting women by the hand to walk this well-worn path with me, so they too may know His loving grace to live free and whole, and discover God’s path for their lives? “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” Prov. 4:18 ESV
Now an ordained AG minister, Terry Magness was once a broken, wounded, angry, and abuse-hardened woman, until God’s redeeming love confronted, delivered, healed, and transformed her life. In 1995, Terry founded Grace Harbour Ministries, a not-for-profit, Biblically-based teaching, prayer, and discipleship ministry to women. Through Biblical counseling, coaching, and mentoring, she helps soul-wounded women come to know God in a personal way, conquer sin, overcome life challenges, and live Spirit-empowered lives. Throughout her global ministry she has witnessed God’s captive-freeing power at work. Terry has authored two books--Ever Increasing Grace and Azadiah Reynolds: God's Jamaica Man—and three booklets in her Pocket Scriptures series. She enjoys people, writing, photography, art, nature, and relaxing on the water while fishing with her quick-witted husband, Don, who keeps her laughing. Their amazing children and three priceless granddaughters remind them daily to be ever thankful for God’s wondrous blessings.
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