I welcome you to the first ever Testimony Tour! This week my co-host Carmen and I are delighted to introduce you to the testimonies of eight beautiful women of God. We will each be sharing how we came to know Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. Each of our stories are so different yet they each reveal the glorious love of God. I pray you are blessed as you read each post this week and that you get something valuable from each of our God stories. Please be sure to stop by at each blog to read every bloggers’ testimony this week.
A Child Seeking Jesus
As a child, I can remember always wanting to know Jesus and worrying about whether or not I’d make it to Heaven. I was so perplexed by these thoughts that I often recall crying myself to sleep. I felt that no one had an answer that made sense. After all, I had grown up in a home where religion was less than a priority. Visiting Church was only possible if I accompanied my neighborhood friend and her family. Even then, I was reminded that I probably wouldn’t be walking through Heaven’s pearly gates because I hadn’t been baptized as a baby. I felt it was all hopeless. How would I ever find Jesus? Did He even want me? Little did I know that Jesus had already chosen me.
When I was fifteen years old my family had moved us an hour away from our hometown but it may as well been across the country. I was alone without a familiar face in sight. In order to save myself the embarrassment of eating alone during lunch, I hurriedly made friends with whomever crossed my path. This resulted in me hanging out with the wrong crowd and making haphazard decisions. I ended up being suspended from my new school twice before I had even been there a month. My school year continued to go downhill from there and I found myself trying to compensate for the gaping hole I felt on the inside.
Embarrassed to Raise my Hand
There were multiple times that Jesus came knocking on my heart. I frequented different Churches as my parents sought a place to call home and I would feel the tug at my heart as the pastors preached. The part would come where they asked you to raise your hand to make a declaration of faith and I’d get embarrassed.
I was afraid that everyone would look at me and I’d be exposed as the ultimate sinner. After all, everyone in Church looked like they had it all together. Time and time again I’d shrink away. That child that had once been so eager to find Jesus was now a stubborn teenager who was too ashamed to raise her hand.
The Night Everything Changed
As my Sophomore year came to an end, I got news of a theatrical performance taking place in the next city over. I distinctly remember thinking of the play as a great excuse to get out of the house to meet some boys. Many of my friends said that they’d be attending as well so I became excited about the unfolding event. I could never have imagined who was waiting to meet me there.
The theatre was filled with hundreds of teenagers in attendance from several high schools. Some of them I knew and others I didn’t.
The play was dramatic and gripping. Although I can’t quite remember all of the details, I remember the message. It was about a group of teenagers who were choosing a life of carefree living over a life with Christ. At the end of the play several of the youths perished and ended up in hell. There was an emphasis put on time not being promised to anyone and that tomorrow could be your last day. I realized I had been cowering away from Jesus and I was ready to stop saying no.
At the conclusion of the play a pastor came out and gave a call to salvation. Something was different this time. Instead of asking us to simply raise our hand, he asked us to stand up. A new friend I had invited was sitting right next to me and my heart was pounding in my chest. My body started to shake but I knew that I had to do it. After all, God had given me several chances to raise my hand but now I knew it needed to be something more.
Taking a Stand for Christ
I stood up. I didn’t care who saw.
A lump started to form in my throat and my eyes got blurry from the welling tears. Not only was I standing in a room full of my peers but I could feel myself wanting to cry. I desperately tried to hold it together.
The Pastor asked for everyone standing to move to the front of the stage so he could lead us in prayer. I didn’t hesitate and I didn’t wait for anyone, instead I took deliberate steps to the front of that auditorium. Consequently, tears began to trickle and slide down my cheeks.
Jesus Chose Me
Once I made my way to the front the Pastor began to pray along with with us in our choice for salvation. As I prayed, I felt a flood of emotion. It was at that moment that I completely broke. Nothing would hold back the sobs. All of the rejection I had felt up to that point dissipated as peace flooded my heart. I prayed to surrender my life completely and I meant every word.
Slowly as my sobbing quieted I became aware of my surroundings and people around me were staring. I could feel their eyes on me but this time it didn’t matter. My heart had changed and now it didn’t matter who saw. In a matter of moments it was evident that the old was fading away and the new me was forming. My eyes were now seeing through a different lens. As a result, the things that had mattered so much to me minutes before were now a distant reality. As the lights flickered on I could see that there were guys in the theatre but I looked down as I was no longer interested in flirting or being noticed. I just wanted to start my life with Jesus.
What had started off as a regular evening had suddenly turned into a life being saved. That night was the first of many nights in my walk. Every step of the way God has been guiding me, disciplining me, and turning me into who He wants me to be. Here I am twenty-two years later and I’m amazed at the grace He has shown me. I often think about that evening and it remains the most precious of moments in my heart. It was the night that I accepted true sacrifice and overflowing mercy. I accepted Jesus.
The Testimony Tour
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my Testimony but it’s not over yet! In fact, we are just getting started! Please remember to visit my co-host Carmen Brown’s blog Married By His Grace for the second stop on our Tour.