Rosemary Carlson

Biblical Discipler
Bella Vista Church
Rockford, Michigan

I grew up in a home where my father didn’t want me. He told me I was stupid and that I never should have been born. His treatment of me dealt a blow to my self-worth. To make matters worse I thought I had to have my father’s love and acceptance before I could be happy

At the age of 13, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart because I feared going to hell. My relationship with my heavenly Father sputtered from the beginning because I could not believe God could love me and accept me. I devalued any positive thing God said about me in His word as I didn’t believe it could be true about me. The result was that I lived a life of trying to earn my earthly father’s love and my heavenly Father’s love. Constantly trying to earn love and approval but never measuring up and never figuring out how to get God and my father to love me led to depression.

At the age of 35, I sat under the teaching of a professor who graciously taught me how God loved and accepted me. He taught me that it was on the basis of what Jesus did, His death and resurrection, which gave evidence of His love for me. There was nothing I could do that would earn that love. I was always acceptable to God because of Jesus!

That teaching went against what I experienced from my earthly father and what my feelings told me. One evening the professor said, “If anyone says something about you and even if you believe it is true, if God doesn’t say it then it isn’t true.”

In the next three weeks I read the Bible cover to cover looking for chapter and verse where God said I was stupid and should not have been born. When I finished, I discovered that God had never said that about me. So now I had a problem…who was I to believe? I remember saying to God, “My father believes I’m stupid and never should have been born. I believe that, but You don’t say that, and from this night forward You are going to be the authority for my life. Not my father, myself, or any other person.” That was the beginning of a transformation in my life as I began the process of getting my identity from God. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to have been taught God’s Truth.

As I learned to live out my new identity in Christ, I became wonderfully free. I wanted everyone to know God’s love and acceptance and to experience that same freedom. For the past 25 years I have had the privilege of serving on our church staff, as a lay-counselor, helping women to understand who they are in Christ and replacing error with truth. What a joy it has been!

When I came across the TrueFaced materials I was so excited. It was another tool I could use to help people see God’s truth about them. My husband and I taught a class on TrueFaced. I’ve shared the material with a women’s mentoring group as well as with individuals. People still come up to me and say, “I’m fine, just as fine as I can be,” then they smile. It is so exciting to see how God uses it to set people free from the errors they believe. Once we understand grace, it changes everything. It is no longer striving to please God, to earn His love; instead it is living a life of gratitude for all He has done.

Brittany Sawrey