In this article, Aubrey Graham shares her testimony following her participation in the Forerunner experience. She says, "I have been challenged to open my heart and eyes to this world in a different way than before."
When I started this program in the spring of 2022, I was trying to figure out “what” God was doing and “why” He had me on this current mission. I was in a place of frustration. I was discouraged, and I was becoming bitter about the season I was in. I let the voice of the enemy get louder than God’s still, calm voice. I found myself in a depressed, quiet, cowardly mindset just letting the enemy beat me down. I listened to things like: “You’re a nobody,” “You don’t have the power of God,” “You’ve lost it,” and “Your pastor and church people don’t see anything in you.” I found myself walking into the church with my head down, and I intentionally avoided making eye contact with people. And even though I was leading worship, I had to lean into the strength of God just to make it through. When I walked off stage, I felt like the weight of the world fell on me because I knew I was serving with the wrong mindset and heart. I remember week after week just begging God to release me from this place. I was literally having it out with God one day—finally letting it out all the pent up tension—and it just so happened my Forerunner coach would call later on that afternoon for our first one-on-one session. Little did I know, that would kickstart a journey that answered all my prayers.
During the 12-week experience, the Forerunner course was truly a blessing. It was like an anonymous accountability partner that pushed me to grow more in the Word and in God, showing me that we all have a calling—and that calling is first and foremost to God, not man! We are called “by Him, to Him, and for Him.” I was reminded that “it’s not what I’m doing, but it’s why I’m doing it, how I’m doing it, and who I’m doing it for.” That took so much pressure off of me. I was no longer worried about impressing the pastor or the people. Instead I knew I was called to do work for God alone and that pleasing him is the only thing I have to worry about. I was reminded of the importance of His presence and that He will meet with us if we are willing. God is speaking to us through people, circumstances, by His Spirit, and in His Word!
We all have a mission to go into the entire world to share Jesus.
I have been challenged to open my heart and eyes to this world in a different way than before.
I’ve been praying, “God, break my heart for what breaks yours, and open my eyes to the things unseen.” I now look differently at those people who stand at an intersection asking for help, and I have compassion for them. I look compassionately at people in my neighborhood, at those in our church congregation who are “different,” at those who aren’t like me, and at those who are loud and obnoxious. Truly, I feel something for them in my heart, and though it’s hard to describe, I just want to wrap my arms around them and pray that they feel the love of Jesus through that hug. Suddenly, I look for opportunities to be a light in a dark world, and I have a desire to help people. Only God can change a person’s heart like that!
Being raised in church and as a pastor’s kid, I knew a lot of the concepts presented in the Forerunner Experience already, but I guess somewhere along the way I got so caught up in the difficulties of this season of life that I lost sight of what truly mattered. Participating in this experience when I did was absolutely perfect, Godly timing. In fact, about halfway through the course, God was dealing with my heart so heavily that I repented for allowing myself to listen to the devil and for questioning God’s call. I surrendered my life to God again, saying, “Whatever your will is, God, I will do it with a joyful heart. I’ll go where you want me to go, and I’ll do what you want me to do.” I’m now allowing God to correct me, mold me, and stretch me. I’ve had to humble myself. I went to my husband and apologized, I went to our pastor and apologized, I went to those who are closest to me and those I had pushed away and explained everything. They all graciously forgave me and understood, and now there is stronger unity among us. I figured out that the root of all the negative emotions I was feeling was a heart issue, not a people issue. It’s amazing how God works.
I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in the Forerunner Experience. I pray it blesses people for years to come and grows the Kingdom.
Since completing the Forerunner Experience, Aubrey has gone on to earn Exhorter Credentials with the Pentecostal Church of God through the Oklahoma District.
For more information about the Forerunner Experience, visit pcg.org/forerunner.
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