It was a sunny summer day in 2012 and my girlfriend and I were walking past the cheetah exhibit at our local zoo when she asked me this question: “What changed?” I didn’t have to ask her what she meant because I knew exactly what she was talking about. You see, several months before this warm day at the zoo was the day I started my walk with Christ. This woman had been my friend since middle school and saw me go through life. She saw me turn from a fun and innocent young girl to a teenager, distracted by boys and parties. She watched from a distance as things escalated even further after high school: boyfriend after boyfriend, party after party, one unfulfilling distraction after another, and a Facebook filled with Debbie-downer posts.
My friend was still in college when the text came: I was pregnant, and the father of my unborn child didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. Thankfully, having that baby changed things for me. I was no longer partying all the time and started being more aware of my actions because they would now be affecting Jude, not just myself. And it was because of that brown haired blue eyed boy that I started going to church. I knew that he needed a different life than what I could offer and the church was the first place I wandered to find it. But instead of just finding a better life for my son, I found a new life for myself. I made a decision to give my life to Christ and things changed for me.
Instead of being filled with depression and despair, I slowly started being filled with hope and joy. Instead of laying in my bed at night wondering where my life went wrong, I felt like I had a purpose. I began filling my head and heart with the Word and going to church regularly. Jesus Christ gave me a new life, and my friend saw something change in me.
The point to this is: our stories matter. Our testimony to how Christ can transform lives is important. Telling your tale is a way for others to see Christ living and working in this broken world. It is also a great way to “Develop a Faith that Flourishes” by giving our testimony to those who need to hear it. By sharing our stories with others, it gives glory to God and deepens our relationship with Him.
Luke 8:39 says, “’Return home and tell how much God has done for you.’ So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.”
How much has Jesus done for you in your life? Who have you told?
Let’s fast forward a few years from that story to present time. Because of my obedience to God and His will for my life, I am now a leader in multiple ministries at my church. I am married to a Godly man (that I met at church) who adopted Jude as his own on our wedding day. I became a step-mom to Cavan and Remy, two wonderful kids. And now, we are looking at the possibility of planting a church of our own. God is amazing, friends! Sure, life isn’t perfect. I still struggle with depression and anxiety on my bad days. Sometimes I still do and say things that I don’t mean to say or do. But by God’s grace, He is working on me each and every day.
If you have the chance, ask others their story. Their own experiences can give you encouragement to deepen your relationship with God. And if they ask you, try not to be afraid to open up. I may not like the person that I use to be – but I know that my story may help another woman in her struggles with life.
Prayer: Father, thank You for making my story unique. Please let my life be a witness to others on how You can transform people into something new. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Discussion: Have you ever heard a story or testimony that greatly impacted you? How did it strengthen your relationship with God?