You’ve all heard the classic redemption stories, the ones that make your heart burn and your soul go “Thank God for saving them. Thank God.” We hear the stories about people who have been saved from drugs, immorality, prison, and all of these awful, awful things. But they’ve come back, and they’re living for our Heavenly Father. And that’s amazing. And that is so, so powerful, don’t get me wrong. I love those exciting testimonies.
But when I was younger, I was so scared that was going to become my testimony. I added apologies for “if I do bad things in college” or “please, God, don’t let me stray. I don’t want to stray. Keep me safe from the world.” to my talks with God. I was so scared and insecure of my own strength, because I knew, that if left to my own vices, I’d pick the world over my God. That broke my little ten year old heart into bits.
I brought up my fears once to my cousin, and she also related to this, and she prayed with me, read me some Bible verses and gave me a hug. Love her to death, she is an amazing person to go to with problems like that. It quieted me for a time, but then I was worried again. So worried about what might happen to my relationship with God. I didn’t want to wander. I wanted to stay with him forever, and only begin to stray, but for Him to catch me and bring me back before it got bad.
My testimony is simple and short. There is no major sin, no major falling and coming out of the dark. I was six, and my parents taught me to love their God, but this was the first time He became my God. I was outside playing and it just… clicked. I knew and loved Him. And I ran inside, grinning and told my parents, “I was a sheep and I was lost. And Jesus came and brought me home.” And He’s been bringing me back home ever since.
I’ve heard the testimonies of the kids who’s parents are leaders in the church who never really got it. I’ve heard the ones about people who grew up in that atmosphere and rebelled, going wild in their college years before coming back. I’ve heard the stories about the people who have sinned and lied and thieved and gone to jail multiple times before loving and accepting my Jesus as theirs. I’ve heard the stories of people who have tried every other religion but mine. I’ve heard so, so many stories of going from the dark to the light.
But where’s the stories of the kids who grew up, loving and respecting their parents, and taking Jesus as their savior and meaning that first sinner’s prayer with all of their soul. Where is the stories of the people who listened to the Gospel on their grandparent’s knees, and still live by it. Where is the stories of the families who all worked in the church together and loved it, and meant it?
Because these stories are there. Because that is my story. That is my mom’s story. That is my aunt and uncle’s story. My grandparent’s story. My cousins’ story.
I want to know that there is hope. Hope that we can stay on the straight path. That we can not wander too far. Because all we hear are the broken stories, so we forgot how to be whole.
We know how to be broken. We know how to fake it. We can be plastic broken people because that is all we know.
But there are real whole people out there. Those who aren’t faking it, that mean every word they pray with their entire being, that have been meaning it since the time they were old enough to understand.
My dad tells this story of when he went on a trip with a bunch of teenagers as a leader, and they took turns sharing their testimonies, and it’s this girl’s turn.
She stands up and says, “I was saved from drugs, from sexual immorality, from going to prison…” and she goes on and lists all these awful things, and she’s only thirteen, and my dad is thinking “Oh no, I’m going to have to tell her to stop lying, because how on earth is she saved from all of this? I know her. She’s a good kid.”
But then she says, “I was saved from all of these things, because I was blessed by God with parents who have taught me to walk in His ways.”
That makes me want to cry every time he tells this story. Because we can be whole. We don’t have to stray, we don’t need to wander. We can remain in God’s care for all of our lives.
Isn’t that amazing?
We don’t have to fall so far into the darkness to see the light. We can live in the light. We can live in the light. We can live in the light of our God.
For all of our lives until he calls us home.
Sometimes people will say they have been “re-saved”, they’ll say things such as “I didn’t mean it. I was too young to understand.”
It was seven years ago when I was first saved. And I know so much more about God now, yes, but it all goes back to that first statement of faith. Everything, do you understand, everything, goes back to this one statement.
“I was a sheep, and I was lost, and Jesus found me and brought me home.”
I didn’t understand everything I know now seven years ago, I don’t understand everything now that I will in seven years, and in seven years, I still won’t know it all. And that does not matter. At all. Because all I have to know, is that I was lost, and now I’m found, and I am Jesus’s now. That is all that matters.
And I will be his. For the rest of my life. And I will be whole and I will be real and I will tell everyone without shame the day the six year old me realized who God was.
I am not ashamed of my “boring” testimony. I will never be ashamed of my testimony. I will share it in the same room as the ex-drug addicts and people who have been saved from a life of darkness. My testimony has the same power as theirs.
Do not be ashamed of your testimony. For it is yours, and it is amazing and special and will change someone’s life.
It doesn’t need to be big or impressive, or extremely touching. Because it is the day God changed your life, and it is meaningful. So, so meaningful. Hold your head up high and tell it with joy.
I was a sheep.
I was lost.
I knew I was a sinful human.
And then I knew. And now I know.
The Creator of the Galaxies is holding my hand.
And he’s brought me home time and time again.
I’m not leaving his side.