Happy Thursday, everyone! This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for a super long time - and isn't at all what I had planned for today... but it was laid on my heart yesterday that the time to to actually finish and share it was now and that if I was waiting for a "perfect time" it was likely never going to happen. So I opened up the draft, and with some hesitation, wrote like a crazy person and here we are...
We all love a great testimony. A dramatic retelling of how God reached into the worst of situations and pulled someone out and into his arms of salvation. You know the ones.... recollections of drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, financial ruin, broken homes, lies and deceit. Stories full of pain where God's healing power is easily seen. Stories that give you goosebumps and stick in your memory. They're the testimonies that could be made into a movie, shared in one of those videos they play during a worship service or would go "viral" on Facebook. They're emotional and gripping and powerful.
I've always been hesitant to share my testimony because it is none of those things and somehow doesn't seem "good enough".
I was raised in a loving, nuclear home. We did devotions after dinner, sang in the Children's choir and weren't allowed to watch The Simpsons :) I never drank, did drugs or had pre-marital sex. I had "good" friends, saw Newsboys in concert a few different times and looked forward to youth group on Sundays. Sure, there was some teen angst and adolescent drama thrown in there - but 99% of the time my life was pretty much carefree. I accepted Christ into my heart quietly at a church camp when I was in the fifth grade. After a service one night, I prayed with a counselor and then shared my decision with the girls in my cabin. The foundation for my decision to accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior was the time, effort and energy poured into me by numerous adults who led Sunday School classes, Bible studies, choir practice and Girl Scout meetings. Family members and friends who lived out their lives in such a way that the love of Christ shone through them.
What I've come to realize is that even though my testimony may lack that dramatic "before and after" story - it's not lacking in Christ's love for me. Just because I was saved as an elementary schooler at Church camp instead of at a "rock bottom" point in my early adulthood doesn't make my story any less powerful or important.
I've always been a little envious of other's dramatic testimonies and how powerful they can be (that sounds ridiculous!) and have been hesitant to share my own since it seems super lame and boring, but what I've come to realize is that my salvation story is amazing because God saved me from all of the consequences and long term effects of what makes others peoples stories so exciting. I know my sin is just as significant as anyone else's, but I'm so grateful that God prepared and spared me from having to experience a lot of regrets in my life decisions.
I'm sharing today because I want to encourage all of you with "boring" testimonies to not be hesitant to share what He's done for you... because it's amazing. Are people banging down my door dying to hear my story and turn it into a made-for-TV movie? Most definitely not :) But it won't reach anyone if I keep it a secret.
I also want to encourage those of you without a testimony yet... there doesn't have to be some big "event" to catapult you into the arms of Jesus (thank, goodness!). Decisions to live for Him can come at any time and if you ever have a question about how to do that or what that means I'd love to give you some verses to read. My prayer is that we can all set our anchors firmly in him and establish that relationship NOW so when the storms come (and they will) our testimony will include a chapter of how having that relationship with Him carried us through.
Happy Thursday, Friends!
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think" - Ephesians 3:20