Beverlye Dodd grew up being told she was not smart enough, not good enough and not worth enough—and never would be.
Today the life of the 89-year-old Parkway Place resident tells a much different story.
Beverlye served as a foster parent for nearly 20 years. During that time, she poured her life into the foster children who came through her home and continues to love children today.
It was her own difficult upbringing, Beverlye says, that led her to become a foster parent.
“My parents didn’t give me the love I needed, but eventually I thought, ‘I bet I could make it better for some other child like me.’ I decided then that if my future husband didn’t mind, I would become a foster parent.”
While serving as a foster parent, Beverlye taught at a local preschool and often took the younger children with her to work. She used her ministry platform to provide vulnerable children with a supportive childhood and teach them about the Lord.
“They were very abused, and many wore tattered clothes when they first came to me, but I kept them close by either planting seeds or making cookies or reading stories or drawing pictures. I enjoy children, and still love serving them in any way I can.”
Many of us have broken pasts: broken relationships, broken promises, even broken hearts. At times, that brokenness even seems overwhelming, leaving us wondering if we truly can do anything that matters.
As Beverlye discovered, the notion that our past defines us is a lie from the deceiver. The Bible showcases story after story of people with broken pasts who are integral in God’s work on Earth.
- Rahab was a prostitute. She’d go on to help the Israelites capture Jericho, would be honored for her willingness to live by faith and is the lineage of Jesus.
- Even King David made mistakes, including adultery and murder. Yet he is held high as a man after God’s heart. He also is in the lineage of Jesus.
- Saul was known as the harshest persecutor of Christians. After he became Paul through a powerful encounter with Christ, he is the model missionary.
Our pasts may inform who are today, but they do not define us. As Christ-followers, Christ does that. He is molding us daily into what he wants us to be. As we strive to act under his guidance, let the words of Paul shape us:
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13-14
- What parts of your past continue to haunt you?
- What does the Bible say about your past?
- If you’re struggling with your past, pray about overcoming those struggles.
- As you connect with God, begin looking for where he guides you. He may lead you to a mentor. He may lead you to a place of service. Let his healing hand move you.