When I was in high school I was constantly surrounded by one youth group speaker after another, each with a powerful testimony of how they came to know Christ after some dark and troublesome time in their life. Each person had a heavy story – a life of drug dependency, a life of running from the law, a life of selling their body, a life of anger and hatred, a life trapped in a cult – and all of these intense stories ended the same. In the end, they all had a radical encounter with discovering Christ their Savior, they turned 180 degrees and life was drastically different.
Each of these stories felt incredible; I often was met with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I heard of God’s saving, redemption plan for these lives that were deep in muck and mire. I was in awe. God is good! And look at these incredible people, look at them going around and telling of the gospel of Jesus, of the one who saved them from their pits.
But also, then… what about me? What about my story and my testimony of how I came to know my Savior? I was a “good girl” and always had been. I’d grown up in a loving Christian home with two parents who always pointed me back to Jesus. I’d known the name of Jesus for as long as my memory served me. I told myself that because of the limited drama in my life that I would never be a speaker giving my testimony to a youth group crowd. What in the world did I have to share?! I didn’t have some wild “before” life! I didn’t feel like I had a testimony that anyone would care to hear. It only takes two seconds to say “I’ve known Jesus all of my life,” and who would sit before me to listen to that? I doubted the importance of my testimony – one of a life rooted and with a foundation of knowing Christ since birth. I doubted that it mattered one bit in the pool of all of the awe-inspiring tales of conversion out there. Frankly, I doubted the power of Christ to show up and be revealed in a story as mundane as my own.
I remember when the time came in my college group when we were asked to take turns sharing our testimonies with the group. I asked the leader, “but what if you don’t have a testimony? What if you don’t have anything to share?” I didn’t doubt the goodness of God in my life which had been constant and steady, but I doubted what felt like His lack of display of power in my life.
I didn’t have a gripping story. I didn’t have an “ah ha” moment. Did I even have a “real” testimony? My lifelong knowledge of Jesus, who He is, and what He always did for me didn’t feel exciting or gripping, it just was.
At some point in those early college years, I realized that it was enough. More than enough. My story may not be one for the books or speaking engagements but my story is just as powerful as the one who came out of a life of addiction or a life of utter brokenness.
My story is powerful because it drips with the power of God: His power to save me from all of the muck and mire that I didn’t have to walk through, His power of steadfastness to walk beside me as a constant for all of my life, His power to be a strong and firm foundation, laying the brickwork for the mess that my adult life can sometimes look like.
Today, I don’t doubt the power of my testimony or the power of Christ through my seemingly mundane story. I don’t doubt that He can and will use it, boring as it may seem. I’m not discouraged by my come to Jesus moment being something that feels like it ought to be more. After all, it’s not me and my mess that the power and glory comes from. The power is in Him alone and His saving grace – His grace over my sin-filled life. A life where, despite being “a good girl”, I am still a sinner, just as in need of a Savior as the girl whose life was more outwardly messy or had a more exciting story.
I no longer doubt the power of my testimony, for I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. I am saved by His grace; there is nothing which can snatch me up out of His loving hands and that is a mighty display of His power in my life. Thanks be to God for saving a sinner like me.