I’ve never really considered my ‘testimony’ to be of much interest or that anybody would ever be moved by it – its not like many of the dramatic conversions I’ve heard where people make 180′ turnabouts from all sorts of dodgy things to find new life in Christ. But, in its own special way, I guess its as valid a story as any.
I am blessed to be able to say that I grew up in a loving, Christian home where my parents love eachother (30+ years of marriage, they’re my role models of what a marriage relationship should be), love my sister and I and raised us to know and trust the Lord God. What an incredible beginning! When I was 5, I said a very simple little prayer, inviting Jesus into my heart – and since then, I honestly do not remember a time when I didn’t have Jesus as my Best Friend. I grew up in a very sheltered environment, yet have never been considered naive. Through God’s protection, I have been exposed to much of everything the world has to offer – the temptations of meaningless relationships and physical attractions, reckless drinking binges and even sitting with friends as they openly did all sorts of drugs and illegal substances – and yet, never once, was I invited to join in. I have no other explanation but that God’s protection upon me delivered me from each temptation. And seeing all of this, I struggled with needing “more than this” – I was sure there had to be more to life than all the superficial activities people did in their youth. I wanted more than what was Expected of me; more than simply doing well academically, getting a qualification, beginning a career, meeting a nice man, getting married, buying a picket-fence house, having a couple of kids and living happily ever after… not that those things are bad by any means, I just wanted… Adventure. I wanted the Extraordinary.
Without really knowing the consequences, I prayed two seemingly simple prayers:
1. That I should have Faith for Great Things in God.
2. That nothing in my life be defined by the ordinary, but that everything should find its true explanation in God’s extraordinary ways – and that in everything God should be glorified, and His sparkly fingerprints be seen upon every detail of my life.
Simple, childlike whimsical prayers – with massive aftershocks!
From the moment I prayed that second prayer, it has felt like I never quite fit in anywhere – that I didn’t think like the people around me, or that somehow my perception of the world around us was just vastly different. But God has done something very special in me; He has led me along paths most people don’t know exist – I have had the most intimate and glorious ‘mountain-top’ experiences with Him, enjoying Adventures and Joy that would take forever to explain… but I have also crawled through the blackest of dark, shadowy depths; places of despair and helplessness that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. But in each of these places, God has been Faithful and drawn me ever closer to His heart. He has truly become my heart’s delight.
Being a Christian is by no means an easy way out or an easy road to walk; quite the opposite if you’re living an effective, Spirit-filled faith! But no matter what the enemy throws at me, or how tough the battle becomes, I know that I know that God is with me; that He is powerful beyond all measure, fighting on my behalf and that He loves me with a Love that burns away every doubt, fear or lie that stands in my way. Although the cost of following Christ truly is high, I know that there is no other road worth walking…and yes, with all honesty, I can say that I have reached a point where the cost did indeed feel too high – I had given so much and yet my every last bit was called for – and I had to face a tough decision: Dig deeper in Surrender or Pack it in and Walk Away. The hurt of that moment still burns in my soul, and after two hours of agonising pain, I told God I couldn’t do it. I’d reached my end. My world went very still. The silence was deafening. And then the smallest whisper asked me a simple question, “Where will you go?” Where would I go? Where could I go? Without God, nothing made sense or had any appeal – I didn’t want a life without Him. And after a moment’s contemplation (and admittedly a pathetic effort to sulk) I realised that no matter what the cost, if God asked it of me, I would say Yes Lord.
And that moment has led me to this place – 20+ years of knowing and adoring my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…and the Adventure just seems to grow in size and potential! I know the promises God has given me for my future – my marriage and my ministry. Both are still being prayed into, and I am still standing in Faith for both to be released into the natural (to His glory!). But of this, I am sure: God does not make promises that He cannot or will not fulfill, He is my Heavenly Daddy and no matter what the path looks like, if He’s holding my hand, I will walk it…