Written by Claire Clubb
There is no easy way to give a testimony.
Regardless of your background, there always exists a nagging desire for the words to come out just right, for your past, present and future to reflect the person you are, as well as the person that Christ wants you to be.
For me, the combination of experiences, good or bad, that make up my testimony can be overwhelming. Part of me wishes to just blurt out, “I’m a Christian, divorcee, and single mom” and get it over with, assuming the majority of people who hear this will run away before I can elaborate. But as I have wrestled with sharing this part of myself, a wrestling match that has lasted a few months in fact, I have come to realize that what God places on our hearts is not always easy.
My story starts the same way as many others—I grew up in a conservative Christian family, attended church every Sunday that I could remember, and rarely spent a moment thinking outside of the safeguards of my childhood.
When I was thirteen, however, my parents’ sudden and emotionally painful divorce engulfed my world. My friends didn’t understand divorce, and separation of any kind can be hard for church members to understand.
Christ’s perseverance in my life is the only thing that protected me from a series of bad decisions and attempts to cope with the loss of security that a full family can provide. I was blessed with a youth group that lifted me up and supported me, even when they underestimated their importance in my life.
I was given a fine opportunity to go to the college I wanted, a sanctuary just far enough from home to be a challenge, with chances to fulfill my deepest aspirations. Then trial knocked on my door once more.
Due to family issues, I had to return home and work to earn back what had been lost. During this time I struggled with deepening depression, another subject that the contemporary church body struggles to understand. I say this not to place blame or make anyone feel guilty—I say this because it is a hard disease to understand and an even harder one to live with.
On August 14th, 2006, I attempted to take my life and nearly succeeded. By the grace of God alone, I was given a second chance. Recovery was not a simple task, and understanding this disease is even harder.
I still struggle, still have to fight against an imperfect body, but moving forward nonetheless. There is a reason that Christ is compared to light, and that reason is never clearer than when darkness surrounds us.
In 2007 I married my best friend, my closest confidant, and the man I intended to spend the rest of my life with. In 2012 that same man made the decision to leave our family, including our two children together. I don’t know that I will ever understand the complexities of this part of God’s plan for me, but I am glad that He doesn’t ask me to. He asks me to trust, be still, and know that He is God.
There is no easy way to give my testimony. Even now, I wish that my words could be clearer, and that I would come across as the woman that Christ wants me to be. But what God has placed on my heart is not easy. I am a Christian, divorcee, and a single mom. I am the woman that Christ has in progress, and HE finds my testimony as important. For that, it was put upon my heart to be shared, a word of gratitude to my Savior.