Growing Testimony

1 Peter 2:9  
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

A little bit of history:  I asked Jesus into my life at the ripe old age of 5 years old.  While kneeling down at my toy box, I prayed a simple prayer.  I knew I could not be good on my own,  so I asked for forgiveness and for Jesus to come into my heart and make me clean.  End of story.

Well, not exactly, though this was my go to "testimony" until really thinking about it more recently.  I have no idea what concept a 5 year old has of giving ones life to Christ, but I had very little.  I was a "Christian" because my parents were Christians and my grandparents were Christians and so on.  I knew that it was "right", I memorized scriptures, and I had a well thought out rebuttal for anyone who questioned my "faith".  The problem was that I had the knowledge, but in actuality I wasn't living for anyone but myself.

I coasted along quite well, on my own merits, until age 15.  Then I realized, to my shock and horror, that my parents weren't always right.  *gasp*  And if they were not always right in the little things, then maybe they weren't right about the big things either.  Maybe there really wasn't a God, maybe what I had been brought up to believe was merely a ploy to get me to behave.  I certainly didn't see Him doing much in my life.  And so began a very, very dark time in my life.  I won't get into all of the details, but let's just say I rebelled.  It wasn't until the summer before my 18th birthday that I realized that I was a complete mess without the Lord.  So, once again, and for real this time, I committed my life to Christ.

Fast forward to last year sometime:  As every Christian does, I've had ups and I've had downs.  I've had times of incredible closeness to my heavenly Father, and times when I'm not sure what I'm doing anymore.  Last year was one of those times.  The more I would seek the Lord, the farther away He seemed to be.  I was absolutely lost and miserable.  No matter how hard I tried I couldn't force myself any closer to Him.  And in the apparent distance (because He hadn't really left me) so much darkness bubbled up from the depths of who I was.  Though my life was His and His alone, I was angry, fearful, bitter, judgmental, proud, manipulative and ashamed.  I had tried to stuff all of these things, and more, down into the deepest recesses of my heart and then simply forget about them.  But the Lord knew they were there and He was asking me to deal with them.  So little by little He began a new work on my heart.  And because of His work, my testimony continues to grow.

Now, so I don't forget what he has done for me (and will continue to do) I have started a page in back of my bible with brief accounts of this growing testimony.  I write one or two sentences chronicling where I was, and then how He has changed me.  Then whenever I am feeling like the finish line is just too far away, and there is still so much in me that needs to change, I can take comfort in the fact that - He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:6 - emphasis mine)

I would love know how you remind yourself of the ways God has changed you.  Do you journal, paint pictures, or build memorials?

1 comment:

  1. Such a good idea to share your testimony in this "growing" month. Thanks! I hope Sarah and Elisa share theirs too!