“Chosen of God”… Even as a Child!

2015 (5-11-2015) My Story

“Chosen of God” – My Childhood Story

2015 (5-5-2015) me in my Southern HatEverybody who knows me knows I’m about as southern as you can get. I give folks the freedom to smile or even gently give me a high five or hug when we meet. I suppose they may even want to offer glasses of sweet tea to everyone around and that’s okay too. It’s wonderful folks feel so at home and so welcomed. What you may not know is my encounter with the Lord as a child. This is my story…hope it makes you love me even more!

It was a warm July morning in the small Southern town where I grew up 2012 (1-20-2012) Downtown Angieras a girl. There was nothing I enjoyed more as a 10-year-old than a trip into town for a visit to my favorite store…the Dime Store or affectionately known as the “5 & 10.”  There was something so very neat about the sound of the old squeaky wooden floors in that store and the smells of so many items on the shelves. Nothing was barely over ten cents, so I had the pick of everything that caught my attention when I came skipping through the door with my long ash-blond hair blowing in the summer breeze. But in order to get into town from my home, I had to walk by the old church building where I attended Sunday school and church services with my family. Every time I passed the church, I felt a “pulling” on my heart to walk in and talk with God…even though it wasn’t Sunday. Finally, one day I decided to do just that…walk in and deal with the curiosity that had gripped at my heart. I pushed on the big 2012 (12-18-2012) Beautiful church in the snowwhite double doors and discovered they were unlocked. As I stepped through the tiny foyer into the sanctuary, I felt the presence of the Lord so strong that I didn’t want to leave. Hiding away in the quietness and the stillness of the sanctuary and stained glass windows, I discovered a new and exciting experience in my heart….I could talk with God in this place. I found myself going inside that empty church many times to see if He would speak back to me. Something was happening…something different that I couldn’t quite understand. I began to sense that even as a child I was chosen for a very special purpose.  I never really shared with my parents or siblings what I was feeling. For me it was a very private thing between God and me. In Him, I had discovered a newfound friend and a place to bring all my hurts, disappointments, desires and dreams. Little could I imagine the amazing ministry the Lord had in store for me…not only me, but also for the man I would meet and marry 15 years later.

There is no age limit for the call of God on a person’s life. To Jeremiah the Lord proclaimed, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5). To John the Baptist the angel declared, “he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). The Lord spoke to Samuel when he was just a boy and revealed His secret counsel (1 Sam. 3:1-11). Even the Apostle Paul was set apart from his mother’s womb (Gal 1:15). So it was with me. Look what happened later in life from my quiet encounters with God:   

2015 (4-30-2015) pix of me ministeringAs I stepped into the pulpit, I felt the undeniable presence of the Lord just as I had as a child nearly six decades ago. Only now it was much stronger and immensely more mature. As my eyes scanned the room filled with ladies, my heart filled with love, compassion and wondrous words from God for them. It was easy and very natural for me to stand boldly and testify of God’s grace in their lives as the spiritual gift of the Word of Knowledge flowed through me. As I looked into the faces in the room, I knew the hunger in their hearts for God. I could sense His words for them…words of restoration 2014 (10-23-2014 ) Me and Dan at CHSand hope being gently spoken to my heart. Over the years, I’ve learned to just “lean in” to God and trust Him. He would never fail me. He never had. Even 57 years after my first encounter with God, He continually writes His love upon my heart to remind me of who He is in my life. I recognize that the prophetic gift flowing through me isn’t mine at all. It is God’s gift at work for the edification of others. I’ve learned that God’s gift in me brings life, hope, encouragement, love and stability when spoken in a timely manner. As my husband and I minister together in churches, I often recall that old empty church where I would commune with God. For this purpose His Spirit began calling me even as a child. Had I not responded, I would never have been a recipient of His amazing gift for others. Being filled to overflowing with the love of Christ brings refreshment when I’m ministering to God’s people. I’ve learned that when I am overcome by His Presence, I am immersed in His love (Eph. 3:16-21).

Sheila Rhodes

About Sheila Rhodes

The greatest destiny and purpose for me is serving God with ALL my heart, soul and being! My personal relationship with the Lord brings such LIFE as He speaks to me, opens doors of ministry opportunities, and gives me insight into the hearts of others who need a word of encouragement spoken just at the right time.
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4 Responses to “Chosen of God”… Even as a Child!

  1. Phyllis Crotts says:

    Enjoyed reading your testimony of knowing that you were called even as a child. You are definitely a wonderful and powerful gift to the Body of Christ. I have known and loved you for many years, but we still have things revealed to each other as we go along. You and Pastor Dan mean the world to Mike and me and just wanted you to know that we “notice” and “appreciate” your devoted service to our Lord and King, Jesus, and to His church and Bride.

    We are proud to call you both, friends.
    Love and (((hugs))), Phyllis Crotts

    • Sheila Rhodes says:

      My Dear Friend Phyllis,
      Thank you for your lovely words to me and your heart towards both Dan and I. You and Mike have always been very dear to us and always will be. We really do have some beautiful history together that will carry us all right into eternity. Serving God has to be the most joyful experience I’ve ever had in life…so fulfilling and refreshing at all times. I’m grateful He chose me and even more grateful that I responded to the Beloved’s Pull upon my life at a very young age. Thank you for taking time to write me…it meant more than you could ever know. Much Love to you and Mike…Sheila

  2. Vicki Fisher says:

    WOW! 3 letters that mean so much! Thank you for sharing your journey (with God) with me. I am blessed to call you friend. I am blessed to co-labor and build with you. Thank you for sharing your childhood through adulthood, it is quite obvious that God certainly did call you by name!

    • Sheila Rhodes says:

      Minister Vicki,
      Thank you for taking time to stop by, read my posting and comment. It meant so much to me. I am even more blessed to call you…FRIEND! Knowing that we co-labor and build together makes our friendship even more special. Each of us have a story to tell. That personal story of how God drew us unto Himself is a powerful story that will live on with us right into eternity. Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt words here. You mean the world to me. I adore you!

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