Welcome to The Testimony Tour! I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing project all about the ways that God works in our lives. Every day this week, a group of bloggers and writers are sharing their testimonies—a total of ten in five days. Each woman’s story points to the promise that God has a plan and purpose for every single one of our lives…and friend, that includes you!
If you’re a regular reader at Simply for One, thanks for being here. I’m so grateful for you! If you’re visiting me for the first time…welcome! I hope you’ll browse around and learn more about my heart and the words I lay down on these pages.
Read on for my story, and then be sure to visit Jaime Wiebel who shared her testimony with us Tuesday.
Where God Found Me and Why I’ve Stayed
Jesus brought me a boy. That boy brought me to Jesus. It’s not traditional, conventional, or even biblical, but it’s my story.
We all have one. Christians call it a testimony—the account of our conversion; what compelled us to follow Christ as Lord and Savior. Quite simply, it’s the story of how God found us.
My story started with that boy. He was handsome, silly but sweet, and carrying past hurt and disappointment. I was shy, driven but inexperienced, and fueled by perfection. We began just as friends.
As boy-girl friendships have throughout the pages of history, greater feelings developed and were followed by all the beautiful firsts: dates, kisses, and even confessions of love.
As this boy wrestled out his standing before Christ, I took my own stand. It was of the “don’t think I’ll become a Christian for you” variety.
I know, harsh. That night replays through my mind vividly. Under glowing street light, we stood in my parent’s driveway fresh from an evangelical crusade (think Billy Graham). His invitation to faith was eager and full of hope. My response was stubborn and swelled with pride. While I knew who God was, I believed more in who I should be.
I couldn’t see the promise of God, but God saw all the promise in me.
The next morning, having prayed and sought council, that boy displayed unspeakable courage. He walked up that driveway where my pride had stood, knocked on my front door, and chose God instead of me.
Sometimes God must break our hearts before He makes them new.
I could go on forever about that hinge moment—the kind that changes everything. I could share the undoing and mending, the baby steps of faith full of conviction and expectation. But there’s something much bigger than those details of the past.
The moment Jesus found me was pivotal, but it’s only a piece of my story. It’s every moment since then that has truly transformed my life.
My real testimony is not how I found Jesus, but why I’ve stayed.
With all my heart, mind, and soul, I believe that God is sovereign—He has no rival and no equal. He has written endless grace over my bend toward perfection and sweet freedom over my self-imposed rules. It’s with gratitude that I receive His matchless love and forgiveness. I’d be lost without Jesus.
While proclaiming all that, I can also tell you that I’ve been disappointed and confused by things God has allowed in my life. I’ve been wounded by the paths His people have chosen in His name. While questioning His very presence, I’ve cried out from deep doubt and pleaded with Him to move.
Faith is holy, not easy. And yet, I pursue God still.
Trials come and I still believe. I hold fast. I plant my stake in the holy ground of faith and declare God mine, and myself His.
Because His ways are higher when my flesh goes low.
Because He proves Himself faithful even when I am not.
Because we are flawed and forgetful, and God is STILL good.
That’s why we tell our story. If we don’t, our salvation just becomes a thing we did—something we wrestled to achieve—rather than the very air we breathe.
Through us, He [God] brings knowledge of Christ…Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation…this is a terrific responsibility. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak.
2 Corinthians 2:14,17 MSG
Our story is God’s story, and we tell it to proclaim His power and truth. We bear that responsibility, not just for us who believe, but for everyone who needs a reason to.
It’s been nearly twenty-three years since that boy broke my heart and Jesus made it new. I thank God for him, and have for the eighteen years we’ve been married. It was his story, his conviction for Christ, that propelled me on my own journey toward knowing God more.
Faith is a choice I make every single day.
Whatever lead you to Christ, tell your story. Don’t tidy or embellish it. Don’t let shame or fear steal it, because faith can’t be contained by “perfect.”
And whatever has kept you at Christ’s side, share that victory too. Those are the beautiful intricacies of faith, the grit and guts that keep us fighting another day.
And if you don’t know Jesus yet, well friend, don’t waste another minute. Your story is written by a God of endless grace, and I can’t wait to hear it. ♥
By His endless grace,
Thank you so much for joining me on The Testimony Tour. It’s not over yet! Hop over today and visit Valerie Murray, then be sure to check out the other stops on the tour this week.