Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Black History Month: Black history didn’t change me

Today’s guest post is by my friend, Phoebe Dawson. She and her adopted daughter live in Harris County, Georgia. She has worked professionally and personally with adoptive families for many years and is involved in a new Adoption/Foster Care ministry called JEEAH’s Hope.


I must first thank Rachel Holbrook for leading the Believing God Bible Study and Beth Moore for writing it. Both helped me as an African-American to reframe my picture of Black history.

Rachel is the oldest of four children I placed in the same adoptive family. Her three siblings all have issues with their adoption. Rachel is resolved and fulfilling her God-given destiny.

When Rachel was asked what was the difference, she acknowledged that there was pain in her adoption history, but that she had made peace. She chose not to react in the same way as her siblings.

In the Believing God Bible Study, an important factor for victory over past hurts is discovering God in the circumstances. God is sovereign. Knowing this doesn’t change the past, but it changes the person.

As I look back at Black history in this country, my picture looks quite different in its new frame. No longer do I view slavery as the most awful thing that could happen to a people. My very existence as a free black woman in America was a result of  it. For this I am grateful.

I am not saying that slavery was good. Because God is who He is, He causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him. The greater good for the believer is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29). It is for this reason, I have no problem being in slavery to Him. For I have been bought with a price, the precious blood of Christ  (1 Corinthians 7:23).

When I recall the freedom marches and the fight for civil rights, I am no longer puzzled by my lack of participation in these events. I am not saying that these activities should not have happened, but I understand now that God wanted me to direct my attention to One who gave up his right, and he would have me follow in his footsteps (Philippians 2:5-8), For this I am grateful.

By God’s grace, I can move forward in the call He has on my life (Philippians 3:12-14).

I look back at the racism, discrimination, prejudice, betrayals by those trusted, rejection, mental and emotional abuse during a time when America couldn’t decide whether to love me or kill me. I look up and I see Christ.

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him. Luke 23:33

I was a lost sinner during those turbulent years of America’s Black history. I could have died, lost forever to spend eternity in hell. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). For this, I am truly grateful.

Black history didn’t change me. God changed me.

  • Leave a Comment (8)  

8 Responses to “Black History Month: Black history didn’t change me”

  1. This post is the most helpful one this month! Thank you!

  2. Wonderful Phoebe! Thank you – for all of us, this is the most precious part of our history – “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

  3. Noel, How are you finding all these jewels? This is so good. I’m printing it out for my adopted children – and for me! It’s such a good example of a God-soaked, God-honoring response. Thanks, Phoebe.

  4. This is wonderful, Phoebe. What an honor to Christ. And it shows, too, in your countenance, your lovely, beaming face. Thank you. This is a blessing!

  5. And this is how we all are to embrace all of life’s circumstances. Thank you, Phoebe, you taught me, exhorted me and encouraged me in sharing the lessons you have been taught by the Lord. The Lord’s richest blessings on you.

  6. Oh, Phoebe, your blog touched me so. God is merciful beyond description to allow me in any way to serve you, dear priceless servant. I still say those 5 statements from Believing God. That entire journey marked the way I practice faith. Like you, only Jesus could have changed me. His grace is immeasurable. March on, Sister! The Lord is with you.

  7. Phoebe, you are such a blessing. I love you, dear sister, and I am so glad I came across this “by accident.” You are Liz are very special to me, and I am proud to be your friend.

  8. We are all slaves to something or to someone…… we are shaped by our past to live in the present, preparing for the future.
    I praise Jesus Christ that I am His slave – chained by love – never to be let go.
    Thank you, Phoebe, my precious friend.

Leave a Reply