For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved hearing stories of overcomers in Christ. People who faced hardships, battles, death’s door, and seemed to see the goodness of grace and mercy. Who held on to everything they had, because they knew God was able. I love reading about how Peter, a cursing fisherman, was called by Christ himself. Paul, a persecutor of the church, became one of the greatest men of God. How souls were saved due to the woman at the well in Samaria’s account. Listening to testimonies of fellow Christians, of how the Lord pulled them out of bondage and sin. Embracing that they aren’t the person they used to be and how God made a change in their lives, it just stirs my soul.
But I also remember being a young Christian, hearing and reading about all of these great things that God had done, and feeling as though I had no testimony.
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We had been in and out of Pentecostal churches my entire life, and even though we weren’t very faithful, God somehow managed to instill some things in my heart. I always had lots of friends, and that was no different in my teenage years. I’m really not sure if it was out of a fear of God, or of my mom, maybe a little of both, but I somehow managed to lead a different life than most of my friends. I never had a bad habit, I never tried drugs or cigarettes, I’ve never been to a party or a bar. I tried drinking once and I felt so guilty afterward, I never did it again. Sure, of course, I sinned. I was a little more promiscuous than I’d like to admit. I let a few curse words slip on occasion. I lied. I stole. I cheated.
But there was never a real ‘come to God’ moment in my life.
I was popular in school, I hung out with people who were nothing like me, but I didn’t care. I was known as ‘the good girl’, and that didn’t bother me either. I like to think I was good. My family started becoming more faithful at one point in my teenage years, and I eventually started to have a real interest in God. I just began changing and fell in love with Christ. There was no long sinners prayer or big deliverance that happened.
I just began to fall in love with the Savior, and He made me want to change. And with His help, I did.
For a long time, I thought, “I don’t have a testimony”. I have no great story of how there was a change in my life. For a long time, I fought a feeling, a worry that God never really did anything amazing in my life. I didn’t have the testimony that I had served God for all of my life, and I didn’t have a great awakening experience where God delivered me from the chains of sin. No one would ever want to hear my story, I was just a regular. I think I kind of happened upon Christ. What a story, right? I remember telling my husband– back then he was my boyfriend- that I was sort of ashamed to tell people about my experience. That how would I be able to encourage someone else through what happened to me. He just looked at me and said that my story was a testimony in itself. And as he began to explain, I realized something great.
- How great it is that though I had no ties to God, yet He still convicted my heart.
- I lived a life surrounded by people who had no interest in God, yet He called me.
- I never knew a man before my husband, and him the same.
- Though I grew up in a drug-ridden community, I never once tried them.
- I never stepped into a bar and I never went to a party.
- Through the things I faced in my life, I never became bitter.
- I easily gave up my life, to a loving Christ.
- I wasn’t a good person, yet I was shown grace.
And of even all the things I had done, and all the sins I had committed, God washed me clean.
I’d love to have a testimony that I grew up in a home that served God since I was a babe, and I followed in line never knowing sin. Or even to have such a stirring testimony of the grip of sin is so strong that God had to pull you out. But I have my own testimony of a loving God who shed His grace and mercy upon me just when I needed it.
What an encouragement it is to know that I have a testimony. What a victory it is to tell the world of an overcoming God.
Know that whatever you’ve faced in life, it’s not too hard for God. Know that it doesn’t matter if you’ve served God all of your life, or you’ve just met the Savior, you have a testimony. Better yet, know that your testimony isn’t for you, it serves as a testament to what God can do. It proves that God can help someone else that’s in your shoes.