Donna's Faith Journey

Lamp Unto My Feet: A Verse-A-Day Devotional
365 Christian Leaders Share the Scriptures That Have Guided Their Lives

By Art Toalston, Harper Collins, 1997
Excerpt on pages 137-138

"Donna Rice Hughes, director of communications and marketing, “Enough Is Enough!” campaign to reduce sexual violence and prevent children, women, men, and families from becoming victims by combating child pornography and hard-core pornography; featured in “Donna Rice: My Faith Gave Me Strength,” a three-page article in People magazine’s twentieth-anniversary issue, recounting God’s healing after national publicity derailing the presidential campaign of Gary Hart in 1987.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29, KJV)

I was brought up in a Christian family and gave my life to the Lord in the ninth grade and was blessed in all areas of my life. I had always heard the first part of this passage, verse 28, and in my mind it meant that everything would work to the good the way I interpreted “good.” Later, in my twenties, I strayed from my faith and eventually hit rock bottom and lost everything. I rededicated my life to the Lord, and I came to realize what God was saying in that verse. His good for me, His purpose in my life – as it says in the next verse – is to conform me to the image of His Son. That is what is “good” – God’s definition of good. I had always translated my “good” as success, health, vitality, happiness, joy, peace, which are all wonderful. But as I was going through the years of deep, dark valleys of pain and suffering from public humiliation, slander, and disgrace, I began to understand that if I could yield those tough places to God, He could smooth out the rough edges to begin to conform me to His image. That helped me go through the trials and the valleys. I began to see those hard, fiery times as opportunities for growth – for God to mold me into the image of His Son. If I had looked at “good” as good circumstances in human terms, I don’t think I could have gotten through it. Even then, I still needed to feel that there was a future, that brighter days would be ahead. And that’s where Jeremiah 29:11 came in: “’… 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 hope and a future …’” (NIV). Even though God oftentimes may use tough circumstances and trying times to mold me and get me to where He wants me to be, He still has plans for me. There were times that I didn’t know if I could get through another day, so I would always remind myself that God was conforming me to the image of His Son and He knew the plans He had for me, plans to give me a future and a hope, not for evil, but for good."