My Testimony

“I was born. I screamed and cried. I struggled through my life, learned how to walk, learned how to talk. I learned about God. I learned about how foolish I had been- I screamed and cried; I was born again into His wonderful Love.”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son; that whoever should believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16″

Being born and raised in a church family my entire life, I was fortunate to always be immersed in the beliefs of my fathers. Church was a (usually) comfortable routine for a while, and I found several good friends while I was in the church.

Unfortunately, youthful bliss is something we take for granted, and with the rare exception, we all lose our youthful bliss and a degree of innocence as we age. I was immersed in the constant bombardment of the ideas of Selfishness and instant gratification, and with very little daily influence to the counter, I struggled to make sense with these ideas, and get them to fit into this nifty little basket of ideas I had acquired from Church. That didn’t fit. It was like fitting a camel through the eye of a needle.

I struggled with the constant lures of daily life; the seduction of popularity and the security it promised, and several feel-good philosophies which kind of felt good- until things got rough again. My life by no means was a dreadful mess comparatively speaking- I’d never tried drugs, I’d never smoked, and I’d only very slightly dabbled with drinking- but the allure of those things was never a real concern for me. I had different problems, equally as significant one could argue. My heart longed for a deeper connection, an intimate companionship, something with true substance and assurance. I struggled to find myself acceptance and security from a variety of places, in particular the Drama life in high school.

There, in Drama, I could be whoever I wanted to be, and people saw me and knew about me. I could construct someone who could be loved by everyone. I was even popular after a fashion. I knew the names of more people than I could reasonably keep track of, and people I’d never known were coming up to me and addressing me by name, talking about my exploits as if they truly knew me…

I quickly found out, however, that they didn’t know me. I didn’t even know me. The security and acceptance I was promised and that I reached for so hard was just an illusion, and so many of my drama friends were experiencing the same. Living a life that wasn’t congruent inside and out, one that could be discarded as easily as a set of clothes just wasn’t satisfying anymore. I learned that as easily as that life could be discarded, I as well could be discarded and any pretext of friendship along with that.

At about this time, I wasn’t attending church as regularly as usual either- I wasn’t finding anything in the messages that I felt addressed me, and I was unhappy with many things that didn’t give me what I needed. I saw a great amount of hypocrisy going on, and found I could trust select few people- far to few in my own peer group. There was no security- let alone acceptance, there for me.

Yet something in my heart kept nagging at me, telling me not to give up on church- not to give up on God, as it were. I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to God, and that I should get baptized- which I did in 2007. I don’t doubt my convictions in doing so- but like they often say about marriage, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into at the time.

I struggled for a while after that, never really finding the peace or security everyone in church promised from God, but that quiet nagging in the back of my head never let up, and I never stopped searching. With my mouth, I knew the rhetoric of what it was to be a Christian, and I could make a passable conversation on belief. But there was no connection to my heart. True dedication of my life was a long way away yet. God was still busy working on me and preparing the field of my heart to accept the seeds of His word, bit by bit, one kernel at a time. In retrospect, it stands to reason- the apostle Paul refers to new believers as babes for a reason, their thinking and their ‘digestion’ is infantile in comparison to it’s true potential.

In the late winter/early spring of 2008, I found out about the next upcoming Church of God Bible Course being offered- and since this time was the first time I would be ‘of age’ to attend, I figured I would give this a try. It felt right, and it felt like I would learn something there. I was wholeheartedly intimidated by the impression that everyone else going would know more rhetoric than me, and seemed to have a much more solid relationship with God than I did, but I decided to go nonetheless!

That Bible Course was the beginning of something marvelous. For two weeks, I was immersed in the scripture and praise and worship of our dear heavenly Father. For two weeks, I was surrounded by like-minded individuals whom I never had known before, yet felt like brothers and sisters. During that time, I faced an immense struggle- but I thank God for that as well because it is in times of necessity, in times of disquiet, in times of discomfort that the Comforter, the Counselor, and the loving Father shows Himself to us the most clearly. When we live by faith in God, instead of include Him by convenience… that’s when he truly works in our lives. That’s when a head-thing became a heart-thing for me. From there on, no low has ever been as low as it was before, and no circumstance has ever shaken me again- I finally have that security and peace that I struggled for 17 years to find. And no one, no thing, and no power can take that from me. To paraphrase John 10:28b, Nothing can pluck me from His sovereign hand.

In the years since, He has been faithful to teach me more and more, and to draw me closer to Himself. The time has not been without it’s struggles- but I’ve learned to love Him through them, and take Joy in them for the peace and growth that occurs resulting from them. Life has become more fascinating, more abundant, more rewarding, and more peaceful. Standing in congruence inside and out before the One who knows you inside and out, that is where the soul finds peace long enough to take joy in the presence of the Holy.

This blog is dedicated to tracking my journey from here on, and hopefully, by the grace of God, inspiring you as a reader as well!

2 Responses to “My Testimony”
  1. Jo Bro ;) says:

    Amen Brother

  2. B says:

    I too, needed a wake-up call to learn what serving God was all about. Mine happened when i learned how to have victory over sin – namely praying daily for victory and in Jesus’ name no allowing Satan to make me doubt and think things were sins that were only mistakes.

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