“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 NIV.
“Our testimony is powerful because it reminds others of God’s faithfulness. It offers hope to those who feel stuck. It brings a sense of community to those who feel all alone.” Propel Women’s devotional
“When you give testimony you are telling what you saw or what you know.” Vocabulary.com
My connect group leader announced that we would be learning to share our testimony in the next couple of months and he gave us a handout outlining how to prepare your testimony. I quickly looked down. I was told if you don’t make eye contact with a teacher they won’t call on you. The sheet before me was one I had seen quite often in my walk with the Lord. I always struggled completing the before section, before you knew Jesus. That night we looked at the apostle Paul’s testimony. He succinctly explains to his listeners the parts of his life. The before, the moment of conversion, and the after (how Christ had changed his life.)
Yeah, I got all that. It’s the before that always keeps me locked up. I know my conversion. I have it marked on the timeline of my life. I know the after. Christ has come to be my sanity. He is the force that keeps my puzzle pieces together. I have great joy because He has restored to me the joy of my salvation.
The next night I sat at writing class making art doodles on the tablet. Behind me I could hear her clicking away on her keyboard. The sound annoyed me. We were to be using this time to get some writing done. I have 10 more chapters to complete the book, “On the Way.” I had written and erased one to many times. Discouragement was setting in. The clicking of the keyboard only accentuated my frustration. I love my writing friend but I was jealous that night because her words just seemed to flow. She announced, “I’m writing my story and my fight with cancer.” Then she read a paragraph she had just completed. It brought tears to my eyes. Her ministry is called, “The many faces of love.” She is anointed to bring out the story in you.
Trust me I don’t want to fight a battle with cancer. I don’t want a testimony that God brought me out of addiction. I don’t want any of those things. I am thankful for my many blessings. I am thankful for a mom and dad who took me to church and taught me about God. I am thankful that it was the most natural thing for me to ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior at age 8 because of my parents. I am thankful for a husband that loves Jesus and children who follow the Lord. I am thankful they have families that believe in Jesus. I am thankful for all those things. I’m beyond grateful for 37 years of being married to my best friend.
So you see, My testimony won’t bring you to tears. It won’t break your heart like the ones I heard in my connect group of God bringing healing and worth to those who had been broken by divorce. My sister-in-law is so excited to share her testimony when we are in Ethiopia next week. I’m excited for her. Her testimony is powerful.
My publisher has a flock of authors who have or will write out their lives story. And then there’s me. I’m just me. And that’s okay. After reading all this you may think I’m ashamed of my testimony. I’m not. It’s just that the before part is not shock and awe. It’s not earth shattering. It’s not death-defying. It’s just a story of a southern girl raised in the Bible Belt who accepted Jesus at an early age. I’ve walked with the Lord almost 50 years. I have had mountain top experiences. He has walked with me in the valley of the shadow of death. God has righted my world upon multilple occasions. The power of my testimony is in the conversion. It is in the me after He came into my life. It is in the fact that He keeps my crazy from coming out and driving my family crazy. Jesus is the source of my joy. He is the one who keeps me counting my many blessings. It’s the shalom, the wholeness He brings into my being.
Right now the books I write are about me writing another chapter of my testimony. They are of me finding myself in the people of the Bible. These are my after testimonies. They are of me wanting to become like Anna the prophetess. They are of me seeing the desperate father approaching Jesus to heal his sick son. I am like Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the dark moments of my life with my list of questions. I am Mary as she watched her son walk down the lane to the road of ministry God had prepared for Him. I find myself in the women like Mary and Salome and the others who followed Jesus down the dusty roads of Israel. I go to Ethiopia following where He leads me.
I have a testimony. God uses it daily to triumph over my enemy. It’s just that I don’t feel it is completed yet. Everyday I just keep adding a new chapter to it.
To all my friends and fellow writers, “Keep testifying!”
Pursue the journey God has placed you on. All our adventures with Jesus are unique.You are just you. God has given you your own story. And I, well, I’m just me. God has written His signature across all of our lives. As christians, we are not in the comparison business. We are in the completion business. Our various stories complete the picture and image of Christ in our world. By our name we are Christ’s likeness. Let’s tell His Story. Become part of His narrative.
“Just as I am, Lord, I come.”