Thank you so much for joining us on the Testimony Tour. This is day two of the tour and you can check out Lori Schumaker from Searching for Moments here if you missed her post.
My testimony may seem typical for a kid that grew up in the church. We went to church every weekend and every Wednesday night. I was trained in all the do’s and don’ts of the church. I was taught all the traditional Bible stories and had many scriptures hidden deep in my heart.
At twelve, I remember sitting in my room and pouring out my heart in prayer. Whatever else was going on in the day, I don’t remember. What I remember clearly is realizing that I was a sinner and I needed to ask God for forgiveness and to come into my life to save me.
I would like to say something amazing happened that day, but on the outside, it didn’t appear that way. Everything seemed to continue as normal. I continued to do all the things a good church girl would do. I went to church faithfully and knew the right things to say at just the right time.
In my early teens when my life started to change, I was on automatic pilot in my Christian life and started doing things I wanted to do. Living up to the standards I was taught felt impossible. I wanted a free ride to do it my way.
I spent many years, my way. In fact, this continued until my mid-twenties. I always kept God on the backburner and like anyone who has bible knowledge but not a real relationship, I could pull it out and use it to my advantage.
The story of the prodigal son touches my heart because it is about a father who didn’t give up on his child after all he had done. The story can be found in Luke 15.
There was a man who had two sons. The younger of the two sons told his father he would like to have what his father was going to give him as an inheritance. The father gave his son his portion and a few days later, the son left.
It’s not surprising someone given a free pass and a lot of cash squanders it away. Thinking he was just given the world and enough money to buy it he quickly finds himself broke. This son ends up working for a farmer and eating the pigs’ food before shamefully going back to his father to ask for work to get a bit of food.
I had a pretty easy life. I was loved dearly by my parents and family but I squandered a lot away doing the things I wanted to do. Any money that I had I used for myself and my own selfish desires. Whatever the latest whim I had, I satisfied.
I ended up living a pretty cushy life in Hawaii. I was teaching during the day and had plenty of money to indulge in, as Luke 15:13 calls, “loose living”.
When a person asks Christ to be their personal Savior, He says he will never leave them nor forsake them (Deuteronomy 31:8).
I knew Christ was with me but I did what I could to not face Him. I tried running as far as I could. Honestly, I don’t how I would have survived had He not been there.
I, unlike the prodigal son, never ran out of money. What I ran out of was spiritual satisfaction. No matter where I looked or how hard I tried to find satisfaction in the things of this world, I was left spiritually poor.
Then everything changed. God let me, like the prodigal son, fall into a pit, not just a pit of destruction, but a pit of self-loathing. I had despised this person I had become. I had great shame and by then, a large amount of baggage accumulated.
God is faithful and oh, so good. He like the Father in this story allowed me to repent and when I came running back to Him, He welcomed me with open arms rejoicing my return.
I would love to say that there was instant healing but God had a lot of work to do in my heart and mind. I had chosen to live for myself for a long time and those habits had to be broken.
In Christ, I had to change. I had to begin to let Him perfect me. That kind of retouching doesn’t come easily. It meant facing the consequences of a loving Father so I could be restored in Him. It meant surrender. It meant understanding that I was already forgiven and I had to forgive myself.
My life’s consequences were based on my choices to rebel against who I thought God was. Growing up, I thought God was all about rules and quite honestly, they were rules I could never live up to. In my own eyes, I was a failure.
Every time I broke another rule, I thought I was farther away from ever being truly forgiven. Being a person who strives for achievement, this kind of life seemed impossible to live. I don’t remember ever knowing or being told, it is impossible.
I tried living without Christ while living up to the standards I was taught. After a while, I thought I had messed up so much that there was no hope. Why try to be perfect when you just can’t.
That is not the gospel, friends. The gospel tells us we are sinners and desperately need Christ. This world is temporary and to live forever with Him requires that we submit our will and our life to Him.
The rules and the do’s and don’ts, the squandering of our lives, leave us short next to a perfect God. He doesn’t expect perfection. He will perfect us through Him.
Once we have decided to give our life to Christ we are free to obey Him. We are free to walk in His grace.
We are no longer bound by the rules. The rules were intended to point us to our sinful lives so we could recognize our need for a Savior. Does that mean we go on sinning? Trust me, it certainly does not!
Life with Christ is about a daily relationship. A relationship where we rely on Him because we love Him and are not strong enough to do it all ourselves. It is about spending time with Him and knowing who He truly is based on His Word and not ideas we have devised about Him.
Being part of this Testimony Tour meant I would write about how I came to know Christ. How I came to know Christ was a process. It started for me when I was a child. But when I began to really “know” Christ was when I truly surrendered to Him. I learned who He truly was by studying the amazing words He has given us through the Bible.
Through knowing Him and His constant grace, I have been given the gift of understanding who I am in Him. Today I can say I am an imperfect, loved, child of the King of my life. Thanks be to God!
If you would like to know more about giving your life to Christ, I would love to have that conversation with you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for joining me today.
Please be sure to join my new friend, Tiffany Parry to continue The Testimony Tour.
You can also visit the rest of the Tour by visiting the links below!
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