My Testimony

I never wanted to share my testimony. 1. I am terrified of public speaking. 2. I always thought it was "boring". Having a blog kind of knocks out excuse #1 and excuse #2, lets be honest, is just a cowardly excuse. So, I sort of shared with this video, but I'll go into a little more detail today.
I was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ at the age of 9. I can still remember the night clearly; I was in my room (which just happened to be under the stairs. Harry Potter style. And yes, it was my choice) with my friend just chatting away about whatever 9 years old chat about, when the subject changed to a more serious matter. Where you go when you die. My friend began to tell me if I didn’t accept Jesus into my heart I would be going to hell. Some pretty heavy stuff for a sleepover. But after I heard that I jumped up and went straight to my mom to figure out if this whole thing was actually true. We talked a little and that night I prayed and accepted Jesus into my heart.
Is that the moment that I truly became a follower of Christ? No. That was the moment that I allowed fear to make my decision. I couldn’t wrap my 9-year-old brain around the expectation that God has for His followers. Which means I didn’t fully understand or comprehend the decision I was making. And because I didn’t fully understand, life went on pretty much the same. I didn’t change, I was just more comfortable.
Fast forward a couple of year to when I moved to Maryland. Now, my Dad is in the military, which means we would move every couple of years. Moving so often meant never really connecting with a church. Maryland was where that all changed.
My family and I, after about a year of searching, finally settled in at Grace Community Church. In away, Grace is really where I grew up. At Grace I attended church, went to Sunday school and youth group, was baptized, went on retreats and to Christian youth conferences, volunteered in the nursery, was a student leader, attended two Christian colleges. I didn’t cuss, I never went to a party, I never drank, I never smoked or did drugs, I didn’t dress provocatively. I was a “good person” by all accounts. I knew who God was, I believed in Him, and I did everything right on paper, but my heart was still not right. Through it all I still wasn’t living for God.
I used to watch other kids my age on fire for God and I didn’t get. I didn’t get why they were on fire when I wasn’t. I mean we were doing the same exact things, so shouldn't I be on their level? I would complain that I couldn’t feel God’s presence in my life, and I blamed that feeling on God. I thought He was the one not wanting to be closer to me, when in reality I didn’t put in any effort. I didn’t truly seek after Him, I was just a surface Christian that allowed myself to find my identity in other things; the way I looked, boys, running, friends etc. Basically I sought after things that I thought would make me feel better about who I was. But in the end nothing filled that hole, that feeling of emptiness was still there. 

After I transfered from Liberty to online, I was able to focus a bit more on my relationship with God, but it wasn't until Africa the I fully committed myself to Christ and all that that entails. Africa was the slap across the face that was a long time coming. I went in December of my first mission’s trip to Rwanda and Ethiopia. On this missions trip I saw and experienced God in a completely different way. I went to a country that suffered genocide just 20 years ago. Millions died and suffered and there are still repercussions of that genocide today. Despite that, the people of Rwanda still had faith and trust in God. In Ethiopia I went to a leapers town and interacted with people that had a genuine overflowing obvious love for God. These people, some that have literally have nothing, are still worshiping God. Whereas, here I am, a privilege girl living in America choosing myself rather than all that God has to offer. This trip opened my eyes to the reality that I was living and than I broke. This trip broke and ripped me apart and I am so thankful. Than and there I chose to stop choosing me, I chose to stop chasing after the things of this world, and instead traded it all in for a real honest relationship with God.
I was 20, old enough to know exactly what God was asking of me; to trust, have faith, be obedient and in turn be hated and persecuted, for my love for Him to look like hate for others in comparison, to pick up my cross daily, to set aside my own desires, my dreams, my hopes, to give up everything and follow Him.
What God is asking of me, of everyone that wants to calls themselves His followers, is not easy, He never said it was going to be an easy, fun filled time with butterflies and rainbows.. Everyday is a struggle, everyday I have to fight, and sometimes I fail. I am not perfect. Far from it. I have secrets, am ashamed of some of the things I’ve chosen to do, made mistakes that still hurt, and I’m going to continue to make mistakes. I am an imperfect sinner BUT I serve a perfect loving, forgiving and merciful God. So even when I fail, He is right beside me, ready to pick me back up. In Him I find the strength, comfort and security I need to live this life.
I wouldn’t trade a second of my journey, the good and the bad. I have never been happier than I am in this moment and that is because God has filled and consumed me in everyway.  He has given me something to live for, and something to look forward to after I die. I chose to live for Him everyday and will continue to do so with great joy, no matter the hardships that I am bound to face in this lifetime, because He is worth it. 

1 comment

  1. :) We have similar stories in that we both started talking the talk at a very young age, but didn't start walking the walk until later.