This week we are featuring the beautiful Leslie Pierce. When I was praying, asking God for names of who He wanted to share in our Brave Series, Leslie's name came to mind. Although I have never personally met Leslie, I remember Candace telling me how Leslie is an inspiration to her as a woman of God and a true worshipper. She passionately serves the Lord with her gifts and talents. Mother of three boys and wife to Todd Pierce, Leslie is such an honorable woman of God. Leslie and her family live in Shelley, Idaho. Her husband Todd travels to a lot of PBR's, bullriding schools and even prison's where he shares God's Word. His messages are so amazing because he really shows you how God is the ultimate Daddy and how His love can change your life if you let it. Leslie travels with him if she can usually leading worship at the events. she's a very talented singer and piano player. She also takes being a mom to her 3 boys very serious, so she's at home with them quite a bit too. As you read this story, I pray God opens up your heart to really see the Love that our Daddy has for each and everyone of us! Here's Leslie's story!
The Lord has given me many opportunities to grow through stepping out in faith because He is a good Father! Stepping out in faith is often times scary and painful, but He always has promises for our faithfulness, and I am so very thankful for that! Although I attended church growing up, I really didn't know what it truly looked like to walk hand in hand with Jesus, and to have His spirit living inside of me. But, through the grace of our Father, He called me to Him when I was 18. My then boyfriend, and now husband, Todd Pierce is the one who shared Jesus with me. We were high school sweethearts, who had a very worldly, and difficult relationship. It was through the transformation I witnessed in Todd that sent my heart searching! For you to appreciate what the Lord has done and is doing in my life, let me back up about 40 years.
When I was 3 days old my birth mother gave me up for adoption. I was placed into the loving arms of my adoptive mother, which is exactly where I was supposed to be! I always wondered who my birth mother was. Did I look like her? Why did she give me up? Did I have siblings? So many questions, but the Lord put a grace on my life to know that it was okay, even from a young age! As I matured I always said that if I had the opportunity, I would thank her for giving me the chance at life. She had a choice to make, and she made the unselfish choice to have an unplanned baby, out of a very horrifying experience I found out later. I had always put it in my mind that she and her high school boyfriend made a mistake and got themselves into trouble. For some reason, this helped put my mind at ease. Little did I know, this could not be farther from the truth. As I grew, I became more and more curious about her and my birth family. When I got pregnant that grew even stronger. I had so much fear about meeting her, because I didn't want to disrupt her life. I know the Lord has perfect timing for everything and He had to prepare my heart for what was to come.
About 14 years after my first son was born, I told Todd that I thought it was time to find my birth mother and six weeks later through the provison of a sister in Christ, she was located. I found out on a Sunday night and she just so happened to be from the little town we were living in and was raised just a couple of miles from our home. The next morning, we raced to the high school to scour the archived yearbooks and there before me was a picture of her, my birth mother. She looked just like me! I was flooded with emotions; excitement, fear, sadness, confusion. For the next month I cried, I couldn't tell anyone why, it was just a matter of me dealing with my own reality! During this time I was so fearful to talk with her, so I wrote her a letter to tell her about myself, to thank her, and to also let her know that I forgave her. Little did I know that she had been carrying the weight of her own guilt for 38 years, and was tormented by it. Her parents hid her away, so no one would know what had happened, and it had stayed that way all these years. During this month, I found out that I was the product of a rape.
Things came crashing down on me and this was a whole other challenge for me to walk through. The enemy is always there to whisper lies in our head, and he was relentless! I kept hearing, “you were a mistake, you were not wanted, you were the evil in this family and you ruined her life." It is in these moments when you have to rely on God's promises and know that we are not defined by our circumstances!
When I first got saved, I really stuggled with my self esteem. I was encouraged to pick a scripture that ministered to these lies, to write it on a 3x5 card and carry it with me and whenever I had a thought, to take it out and read it. I chose Psalm 138:13-14. It says, “For You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” He saw the beginning from the end and He was preparing me for what was to come, before I even knew. It was the ememie's agenda to make me believe that I was a mistake and this would have only been compounded when I learned the truth of how I came into this world, but through the grace of our Father, He rescued me from those lies!
A month went by and the Lord gave me the strength to meet her face to face. I was terrified that when she looked at me she would see him, the one who hurt her so many years ago, but when she walked in the room, I walked up to her, hugged her, and the fear just melted away. I felt so much compassion for what she had been through and my heart felt at peace. It is such a beautiful thing how our Father has such a way to give us His heart for others and their hurt! I am so thankful for His promise, that what the enemy meant for evil, He will make good out of it. This is exactly what He has done in my life. I now have a new and wonderful family, and He has expanded my heart in only the ways He can. We don't get to choose how we come into this world, but we do have a choice of how we choose to live the life He has given us. Through having a love relationship with Jesus, and trusting in the truth of His word, we can't lose, and in turn, other's lives will be touched with His truth and love. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path! If we look around and really pay attention, He is everywhere, and always has been. It just requires us to trust, and acknowledge Him.
The Bible teaches us that He will take us from glory to glory, but it requires us to have faith in who He is, and what His plan is for our life. Fear is crippling and keeps us from our destiny and that is exactly what the enemy wants! God's word tells us that He did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, strength and of a sound mind. The devil is the accuser of the brethern, and he is here to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came to give us life, and give it to us more abundandtly than we could ever hope or imagine! His love for us is unending, and He will never give up on us! He will call us out into the waves and by faith we must grab His hand, not look back, and know that He is the one who makes us brave, and no fear can hinder the promises He's made! (You Make Me Brave, Bethel Music)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Written by Leslie Pierce of Riding High Ministries, wife of Todd Pierce, chaplain of the PBR, and mother to Colton, Tanner and Holden.