Summer of 1998

The first time I was asked to give my testimony was on a mission trip to Venezuela with my church youth group. It was the summer after my senior year of high school, and I had never been that far away from home.

Everything was different; the people, the language, the food, the weather. The only thing that seemed familiar was the church service. Starting with worship songs, and concluding with the pastor preaching from the Bible, the Spirit was the same.

Who cared that the building didn’t have a roof, or that they met in the covered car park at the pastor’s house? The unifying element was our love for Jesus.

Throughout the trip, each team member took their turn sharing their testimony at the different services we attended. I dreaded my turn, because I felt like I had nothing to share. I was a good-girl. I had attended church my entire life. I followed the rules.

There was no drama. I wasn’t saved from anything. My life wasn’t miraculously changed.

Sensing my concern, one of the leaders of our trip talked with me about what a testimony actually is. I had assumed that it was my conversion experience. Instead, I discovered that our testimony is anything God has done, or is doing, in our life.

The things I was learning on that trip were a testimony of His power, provision and protection (and no, I didn’t intend for that to be alliterated). He had healed me after I lay sick in a hammock for three days. He had provided the funds for me to travel to a foreign country to work alongside the people there. He had protected our team as we traveled by air and land.

There are still times where I feel like I haven’t been saved from much. My life seems pretty dull compared to a lot of other people’s. I’m a SAHM, a Bible college graduate, I live over my church and pretty much only interact with my neighbors and friends. I don’t have any addictions or vices that I’m fighting off or need God to free me from.

When I look at it that way, I feel like I’m doing pretty good on my own.

But then I look at it through God’s eyes.

I was born a sinner. Nothing I can do, on my own, would have changed that. Only through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s only Son, am I saved from eternal damnation.

My faith in Jesus paints a giant bullseye on my back for the enemy, Satan. He wants to kill, steal and destroy everything in my life in an attempt to thwart the plans of God. I am in battle, I am under attack, I am weak and defenseless on my own. God is my redeemer, He is my strong tower, He is my refuge.

So even though I don’t have much of a story to tell about my sinful glory days before Christ, I have a much more gruesome story to paint about what my life would have been like without Him.

And that’s a dramatic testimony.

We all have our own story to tell, God is constantly at work in our life.

Today I’m choosing to be thankful that the story that might have been, isn’t.

What part of your story, your journey with God, are you thankful for today?