// this is my story, this is my song //

{the song I’ve always felt perfectly describes my testimony}

~

In fall of my sophomore year, when I decided that writing stories was what I wanted to do with my life (among other things, of course, but I digress), I determined that before I wrote anything, there was one story I needed to tell first.

My own.

So I sat myself down one September night and typed out my testimony on Microsoft Word. It’s nothing beautiful– if I were to rewrite it now I’d definitely go about it differently– but I refuse to change a word of it.

Because even if they’re the words of an amateur, 15-year-old writer, they’re genuine. And what’s the point of sharing your testimony if you dress it up with bells and whistles? The real beauty in stories is in their authenticity. Maybe that’s why testimonies are the sweetest tales told.

Tonight, I feel as if I need to tell my story here, on my little blog. So here it is, exactly the way it was written a year and a half ago, the way it was lived and is still being lived today.

This… is the story… of how I met Jesus…

A Testimony

(finished writing 9/24/13)

                At first glance, her story seems simple. She’s the kind of girl who’s been in church since she was born, and known John 3:16 for almost that long. But… first glances can be deceiving. For you see, a girl can have head knowledge of God without heart knowledge. In fact, she can have it without even knowing it.

That was the way it was for this girl. She’d always believed in God, Jesus, the Bible- that was never the question. And when she was four years old, her parents explained salvation to her. Even at such a tender age, she understood it, and not wanting to go to hell, she asked Jesus into her heart.

Nothing really changed after that- she wasn’t a bad child or anything before; she was only four. She just continued to go through life as usual, only this time able to say, “I’m a Christian!”

All throughout elementary school, the girl absolutely hated reading her Bible. For this girl, an avid reader, to dislike a book meant it must be really bad. And to her, it was. It was the boring, confusing book that Christians were only required to read on Wednesdays and Sundays. She was incredibly disappointed when she received her first Bible without illustrations- those were the interesting parts! Little did she know the power and majesty in that one book she’d known about her whole life, and how it would someday become a necessity to her…

Another thing this girl wasn’t all that fond of was witnessing to others. If one of her friends didn’t go to church (which equaled loving Jesus in her young mind), she simply shrugged it off. They’d eventually come around… maybe. She also tended to have a rather judgmental attitude towards others- surely she was better than them since she knew Jesus and went to church and didn’t lie or cheat or steal- well, not that often, anyway.

Perhaps the saddest thing is that the girl was perfectly content living this way. She had her ticket to heaven; she was good to go, right? Sure, life wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty close. She didn’t think she was missing anything- not until her first year of her church’s middle school camp, that is.

The girl was about to start her 6th grade year, and she was pretty nervous about it. But her worries about the upcoming transition to lockers and changing classes were forgotten when the camp speaker got onstage and gave a sermon on living for Jesus.

She sat in her seat and thought for a moment. Live for Jesus? Huh, I don’t think I’ve ever done that. I guess I ought to, since that’s what Christians are supposed to do. So she decided that she would go home and live for Christ.

She did… for a little while. But her quiet times grew less and less frequent, she still didn’t like her Bible much, and she wasn’t all that interested in evangelism. By this point, she’d realized that there was something missing- but what? And how did one go about finding it?

Sixth grade passed, and summer returned with the promise of another great year of camp. This summer, though, the girl was having some serious struggles. She was a smart girl, and a little too inclined to try and reason things out in her mind- to the point where she was doubting her salvation. Was her long-ago decision just a head thing? How did you know if you were truly saved? Was heaven even real? How could she know all these things for sure?

June 20th, 2010. The day she would never forget. The day her life was completely turned upside down. The day she was wrecked and transformed.

She sat there that night in the worship center at camp, surrounded by all her friends, and listened intently as the speaker told them that they needed to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.

Suddenly, in a single moment, it all clicked for her. That was it! That was the missing piece of the puzzle!

One word: surrender.

The girl knew what she needed to do. She didn’t go down the aisle (because at the moment she didn’t realize how huge this choice would be), she didn’t stand up. She just bowed her head and handed control of her life to her Savior.

Her Lord.

As soon as she surrendered, she was instantly filled with a peace and joy that she’d never known before. Now she knew, without a shadow of doubt, the truth. She didn’t have to wonder if she was saved.

She was all in. And her life would never be the same.

The girl was nearly giddy. It felt so wonderful to not have control anymore. It was relieving and exhilarating at the same time.

At the end of the service, the youth pastor challenged them to, if Jesus was Lord of their lives, stand up and yell it, loud and proud. There was the expected pause that comes before that one courageous person stands, but once he did, the floodgates opened. The girl was proud to be one of the ones to stand and shout, “Jesus is Lord!”

The last night of camp, the same speaker gave a sermon on being baptized on the right side of salvation. Now, the girl had been baptized years before, but tonight she felt God telling her to get baptized again, to ensure that it was on the right side of her salvation.

When she got home, she excitedly told her family and friends all that had happened to her. They were supportive of her and excited to see her life change. About a month later she got baptized in her family friend’s swimming pool, by her uncle, a pastor that she only got to see every few years.

This time, when she tried to live for Jesus, there was a difference. She discovered the wonders of the Bible, and that it was the best book ever written- authored by a God whose love for her was unchangeable. She began to spend time with her Creator daily and loved every second of it. In her heart grew a passion for the lost and the desire to lead others- especially little children- to Christ. She was firm and unwavering in her beliefs, and willing to share her story with anyone who asked.

Is she perfect? No. She messes up all the time, more often than she cares to admit. Is she forgiven? Yes. She’s been saved by grace, changed by faith. She feels free- freer than she ever felt before making Jesus her Lord. The peace is still there, and so is the joy. And she knows that it’s never going away- for all eternity.

That girl… is me.

~

{love, Em}

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4 thoughts on “// this is my story, this is my song //

  1. Thank you for this! I grew up much the same…christian home, always lived like a christian, always went to church. It took me until my teenage years as well to realize I needed to wake up.

    Praise God for His grace and patience.

    Like

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