The Good Shepherd Who Gives New Life: Regina Pullen Ligon
Regina Pullen Ligon
Hi. I’m Regina Pullen Ligon, a woman who knows what it’s like to be the lost sheep. But praise God! I was found by the Good Shepherd, transformed by His grace, and called to help others. I’m honored to walk beside women as a Christ-centered counselor at Choose Life where I help women who feel the regret and shame of a past abortion as well as help those who long to be godly wives and mothers.
The Good Shepherd who gives new life
“The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture…. I am the good shepherd…The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:9,11)
All of my life, I have longed to be loved. To be protected and cherished and cared-for.
You see, I was a sheep without a good shepherd. I was a sheep who was neglected, rejected, and shamefully treated. I was a sheep who was hungry and thirsty, who was ill-fed and failed to thrive. I was a sheep who did not have a safe place to lay their head. I was a sheep who was all alone, lost in the countryside. Scared, hurt, hopeless.
But Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He leaves the 99 and seeks out the one who is lost. He calls the lost sheep by name, and she hears His voice. With great tenderness and compassion, Jesus carries His little lost sheep home. He makes us to lie down in green pastures. He leads us beside still waters. He restores our soul.
On a hillside in the mountains, on a cold snowy morning, I called out, “God? Where are you?” I thought I knew Him, I thought I had followed Him, but I had gotten so lost. I cried and shouted and collapsed in the snow. “Why did you leave me? Why didn’t you protect me? Don’t you care?” Years of anger and shame from abuse boiled up in my soul. “Couldn’t you even protect one little kid?”
The Enemy thief, the one who comes to seek and destroy, taunted, “He doesn’t love you. He doesn’t care about you.” Once again, I believed those lies. I feared that He really had abandoned me, and left me at the mercy of selfish, sinful men.
“Please!” I pleaded, as I collapsed in the snow. “Please don’t leave me!”
And there He was. The Good Shepherd. It was as if Jesus himself came walking across the snowy mountainside and picked me up, tenderly, carefully, lovingly. “Little lamb, My love has found you. No one can take you from My arms. I will carry you to the flock, away from harm.”
I thought my life would magically change. I would no longer be broken and hurting. I would feel free and beautiful, safe and happy, and all the sorrow would disappear. But when I awoke the next morning and looked in the mirror, I saw the same sad eyes looking back at me. I remembered all the shame-filled moments. I felt trapped and ugly, scared and sad, and filled with sorrow. Nothing had changed!
And in walked the Liar, the Accuser, the Killer of Souls. “See? He doesn’t care. He doesn’t love you. If He loved you, you’d feel better. If He loved you, all of this would just disappear, as if it never happened. He doesn’t love you.”
“God?” I barely squeaked out. “Please?” I couldn’t even form a thought. I sat on the floor and sobbed. Alone again.
And then, with tenderness and care, I heard the voice of my Lord saying, “I am here. I am Emmanuel. You are not alone. Never shall I leave you; never will I forsake you. When you pass through the deep waters, I will be with you. When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will uphold you. I am the Good Shepherd.”
“But why do I feel so wretched?”
“I AM making all things new. You ARE a new creation. You ARE beautiful and free. You see, the rest of your life will be the process of becoming who I have already made you to be. I have set you free; now you will learn, day by day, to live free. I have placed my love upon you; now you will experience that love day by day. I have prepared a banquet for you; now you will be fed and thrive, every day growing stronger.
“Look in My mirror, little Lamb. What do you see?”
“I know what’s there,” I said glumly, with eyes cast down.
“Look,” He said gently, lifting my face with His tender, scarred hands. “Look.”
And what I saw amazed me. I saw joy. I saw peace. I no longer wore my shame-drenched clothes. I was wearing beautiful, radiant, lovely clothes instead. I saw courage and hope. I saw strength and compassion. I saw a beautiful, transformed, new creation. I saw ME!
“THAT is who you are,” my Lord declared. “Never forget! You are My beautiful, beloved child. What others intended for evil against you, I only allowed because I intended good. And I WILL cause all these things to work together for your good, to continue to grow you up to become all that I have made you to be. I am making all things new.”
“But I don’t feel very different,” I replied sheepishly.
“When you forget, when you don’t feel new, when the Enemy hurls fiery darts at you, remember! Remember WHO you are and WHOSE you are. You are My beloved.
“Do not be afraid, little Lamb. You are My precious lamb. I love you so much, I have even laid down my own life for you. I am your Good Shepherd and I have given you life. New, abundant life.