This isn’t the post I’d planned to write today, but after watching this video, I couldn’t not share this story—Pastor AJ Hamilton’s powerful testimony.
Watch the video above or read the transcript that follows:
I’m AJ Hamilton, I’ve been a pastor here for about three years. And whenever I’m asked what my testimony is, I find I have to tell it in the context of my parents’ testimony. And so I’ll tell you about my mom. I didn’t make it through the first one very well, so I doubt I’ll do it on this one too.
My mom in her early twenties did not know the Lord, and was running with a bad crowd. And one day, she was hanging out with a guy who gave her a joint that was laced with a date rape drug, and he-he proceeded to rape her.
She knew immediately that she had conceived. So when she went home to her family and she told them she was pregnant by rape, many of them demanded she have an abortion—and this would have been her second.
But Jesus, seeing this messed up situation, reached down into my mom’s life and gave her a tonne of grace, saved her and showed her that this child was a blessing.
And she kept the child.
That child is me.
A really cool thing happened about two years later. A really godly man came into our lives and looked at a woman with a child out-of-wedlock by rape and married her and adopted me. I grew up in a Christian home, so I knew very early that Jesus had saved me and could see a lot of grace—His grace—in my life.
In 1999, I was still a teenager, I got married to my lovely wife and my Dad was my best man. Last month, we celebrated ten years of marriage. We have for kids–My oldest is named Sinai Grace. Then there’s Adia Jo; Hudson Duke—Duke is my dad’s Nickname; and Ethne Ruth. Ruth is my mom’s middle name.
And she gave me the middle name of Joseph, after the man in the Bible who’s brothers did a heinous thing to him and sold him into slavery. But God did an amazing thing and built him up into the second most powerful man in all of Egypt at a time when there was a considerable famine ravaging the land. And when he revealed himself to his brothers, he explained to them that what they “intended for evil, God intended for good so that many would be kept alive as they were in that day.” And the man who raped my mom, what he intended for evil, God intended for good.
I’m going to Albuquerque to be the executive pastor with the new campus down there. And on our way down, we’re driving down through California, and I get to visit with my folks. They’re going to see me, they’re going to see their daughter who I married, and they’re going to play with their four grandkids.
I tell you that because, if you are feeling—like, if you’re pregnant and thinking of aborting that child, or if you’ve already and you need to talk to somebody… I will be here, many other pastors and leaders will be down at this stage. I’d just encourage you to come and talk to us.
‘[Y]ou meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…” Joseph tells his brothers in Gen 50:20.
After hearing a story like AJ’s, it’s hard not to stand in awe of the power of God, who doesn’t just use the evil acts of men for good, but actually intends them for His glory. Who, using the shameful, evil actions of one man, built a legacy honoring Christ.
God is good.
God is glorious.
Remember that whatever trials you face today have a purpose—that there is nothing is accidental in His plan.
And give thanks to Him for it.