I never thought my testimony was worth sharing.
My freshman year at Corban my RA asked me to share my testimony at Bible study. I was terrified. My life was boring, and I didn’t have any words of wisdom to share.
I struggled to find what I was going to say. I wanted to say something encouraging. I wanted to say something impactful. But what was I, a girl from a small school on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, going to say? I’ve never had any “big” struggles. I grew up in a Christian home and in junior high I decided to make Jesus Christ the Lord over my life.
One thing I have been learning is that my story is part of a greater story. The words I write have nothing to do with me, but have everything to do with the Author.
My story of being saved as a teenager and growing up in a Christian home has never been about me. It has never been about the absence of “big” trials. It’s all about Him. It’s about His goodness and how He has saved me from heart-ache. It’s about the great works He has done through me.
God has been teaching me that I matter to Him. He’s been teaching me to fix my eyes on Him. He’s been teaching me that He is still the great God of deliverance even in the “small” things.
He delivered me that August day in eighth grade when my school had a revival. The preacher spoke on Isaiah 6:8. During the entire message I heard God’s voice telling me He wants me to be willing to go. He told me I needed to surrender my will to Him, and I obeyed.
He delivered me at an early age when He surrounded me with parents, teachers, and friends who love Him. My parents and teachers always encouraged me to seek God’s will. My parents sacrificed everything to send me to a private school. They both worked so hard for me to have the opportunity to even consider college. My dad showed me what a man after God’s heart looks like in real life. My mom showed me how to be a woman of God and to be bold with what I believe.
At my school we had a daily Bible class and my Bible teacher was such an encouragement to me. When I graduated from high school, her gift to me was a journal in which she wrote me a note that encouraged me to keep searching for God’s will. I still have the journal she gave me and I (try to) write in it daily. Because my school was so small my class was really close; we still keep in contact to this day. My class showed me what true friendship looks like. We’re brothers and sisters in Christ and that bond can never be broken no matter how many miles there are between us.
He delivered me from my own thoughts of inadequacy. I always felt inadequate in a family full of talented and smart people. In school I worked so hard to measure up to my older cousins. I tried so hard to be good at everything. But God has been teaching me that I’m not them; the gifts He has given to me are unique. He revealed to me Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” My friend once told me to read myself into that verse whenever I felt I was not good enough.
The song “Beautiful,” by Dan Bremnes, has been stuck in my head for a while now. The lyrics that struck me the most are, “And you’re making me what I’m called to be, break all these chains now I am free. You’re making this life so beautiful.” God has set me free from the chains of this world. He makes my ordinary story beautiful.
My story may not contain traumatic events. My story may not be filled with deep canyons of sadness. And I think that shows the extremely good God I serve. For that I am forever thankful.