Photo by Blakeney Clouse
If I had been asked to write my testimony five years ago, it would have included your “traditional southern Christian” answers and reflections. I have amazing Christian parents who love Jesus first and love each other second. As a family, we were in church every time the doors opened. After Vacation Bible School in the 3rd grade, I “asked Jesus to be in my heart” and was baptized shortly afterward.
I could easily give you all the church answers but thankfully that isn’t the whole story. If I’m being honest, that was a formality. I don’t doubt that I asked Jesus to be in my heart at that moment but I spent many years not living like I knew the Lord.
I am so thankful the Lord has written a better story for me than I was writing for myself. It was not until I was married and had kids that I fully grasped what having a relationship with the Lord was all about. I finally could see the bigger picture of what God intended for me. I now know that being a Christian is so much more than that one time after VBS when I walked the aisle. It is so much more than sitting on the pews every time the doors are open. Instead, it is fully about the daily relationship I have with my Heavenly Father!
The Gospel is simple. I was born a sinner. I continue to sin daily, but the same God who spoke the world into existence loved me enough to send his Son to die for my sins!
Hillsong captures the beauty of this with these lyrics:
God of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill
You created the light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to die
And as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
My story of God’s grace is an understanding that repenting “of all my sins” should not be in some generalized way. The cleansing and refreshing forgiveness of God is not just once to be saved but daily walking, repenting, and worshipping!
The Christian life is much more than a biblical code; it is a life of faith, commitment, and fellowship with the living God. I often pray that the Lord will make me a vessel for His Glory. In that same breath, I fear what that actually means. I fear that could equal some earth shattering heartbreak. I pray that God never stops teaching me about His Goodness.
For now, I feel like the Lord has made my mission field my home and work. My girls will not become disciples for His Glory just because we have them in church every time the doors are open. Andy, my husband, and I long to show our daughters how to seek the Lord out of gratitude that He first came to us and brought us where we could never go on our own into a relationship with Him. 78