A testimony is basically your life story, of from before you met Christ to what He has done in your life since. Testimonies are important because they reveal why Christians believe our God is still alive.
In Pslam 139 it talks about how each human desires to be fully known and fully loved.
My parents got divorced when I was 5. My dad abused both me and my mom in about every way possible. Then when I was 9 my step-dad, who basically served as a father figure to me, died of cancer and I watched him slowly deteriorate over the time span of a year. I don’t think my mom could stand to live in the same house that she once shared a life together with him in and so we moved to northern California when I was in middle school. These series of events left me numb in a way I couldn’t escape from. I couldn’t cry at things other people would, I couldn’t get emotionally attached to people no matter how badly I wanted to. I was literally incapable of loving and I knew it but I didn’t know how to fix it. I distinctly remember breaking up with my high school boyfriend of three years and not feeling anything. I didn’t cry at my step-dad’s funeral and I had reoccurring nightmares that anyone I ever loved would die a terrible death. I was scarred by the fact that the one man who was supposed to love me, my dad, didn’t and I was a weird mix between fearing men and yet desperately seeking their approval. On the outside, I was super bubbly and friendly and had a lot of friends but was never able to truly open up to anyone.
I started going to church with my best friend in high school. (neither of my parents are Christian). My church there was very works based. But I fell in love with the Jesus who died for all the ugliness of my past that I didn’t know how to deal with. I became obsessed with perfection and trying to prove that I was good enough to fit in with these people and ultimately, that I was good enough to earn my father’s love.
When I came to college I learned that the people I once idolized were not perfect, as no church or human is. I was in this desperate search to learn who God really was—not to swallow the pill of what others paint Him to be. Or put him in this box of the American Christian church, but who He REALLY was.
The first time I truly felt love was in worship. I don’t even remember the song but I remember it felt as if the wall I had built up had suddenly came crumbling down. It was as if for the first time I was feeling something—something real and something good and something so powerful that it affected me in the deepest way, it allowed me to see people as God does.
I look around me and it breaks my heart. And I don’t quite know how to describe the feeling. But it’s like I care about people more than I ever thought possible. And I have been given this huge capacity to love because I was thrown into a love that hit me like a crashing wave. It feels like freedom and peace and joy and worth all wrapped into one. And I’m being tossed by the wave but it’s not scary, it’s liberating. Because I can feel it’s power effecting me and leading me and I am so utterly out of control.
My God is a God who calls for forgiveness—who requires a love that is greater than myself.
I never thought I’d be able to love my dad. To be able to look at the man who abused me and just honestly love him. To see him as flawed and broken but still have hope and this desire to show him the God that saved me out of the depths. To show him Jesus.
I learned that loving God doesn’t mean sitting in the pew and folding my hands and marrying a ‘good Christian boy’ and having approximately four children. I learned that Jesus had the most adventurous life of anyone I’ve ever known. But most of all I’ve learned that His love is greater than anything I’ve ever experienced. In revelation it says he stands and knocks on the door and waits for you to let him in—that unlike my dad He didn’t barge in when I didn’t want him there and that sometimes the world is so loud but He will just stand there and gently knock and wait because it is the kind of love that is patient and doesn’t pressure. But it’s also fierce. That He fights for you when you can’t fight for yourself. When your whole world seems to be caving in and at the exact moment you look up at the sky and see three pelicans fly by because He knows that was your step-dad’s favorite bird.
I’m not standing up here proclaiming that I’m perfect and I hope you don’t see me that way. I’m standing up here because I truly believe that this God that I speak of loves every one of you in the same way that He loves me.
And I know you might think I’m crazy and that’s ok. Because I think people have been in love with crazier things. And I read in a book once that says sometimes people have to see someone else be in love with something for them to fall in love with it themselves. So I guess this was my way of encouraging you to give this love a chance. It’s ok if you’re skeptical or not religious or even if you are. I mean when Jesus came he hung out with the prostitutes and the lepers. Because the crazy thing is He doesn’t see you as you see yourself. He sees all your potential, all He’s made you to be.