Growing up I have been to numerous Christian camps, church retreats and attended church frequently. All of these events had influential, inspiring speakers, and it seemed liked all of them had an amazing testimony. God saved them from the darkest of places (like a life of drugs, prostitution, child-abuse, dysfunctional families, or imprisonment) and through those trials Jesus made himself known to them, which ultimately lead to them being saved and entering into a personal relationship with Jesus. Their life was forever changed when they became a Christian. Their life is a testament to the powerful saving grace of Jesus Christ.
Hearing these testimonies is inspiring. Wow! God is powerful and can change lives, all it takes is faith. Numerous friends of mine have testimonies like this, and it has been so encouraging to me to see God personally transform and work through my friend’s lives.
It made me wonder though, do I even have a testimony? I know that actions speak louder than words when caring for someone, and that people don’t always want to hear your life story. But I still wanted a testimony.
For the most part I have lived a privileged life. I grew up in a loving Christian home. My parents are still married. I went to private school. I lived in the suburbs of Ohio. I had wonderful friends. Never hung out with the bad crowd. Never did anything too bad. Simply put, my life was easy and carefree.
In a small group meeting for church, the leaders made each participant write down their testimony to share with others (our friends), with the goal of inspiring others to change their ways and walk with Christ. Most of us panicked. I don’t have a testimony! What has God done in my life? Hardly anyone in the group thought they had a testimony, let alone a personal story to lead someone to God.
How could I even have a testimony if I never had a huge obstacle for God to help me overcome?
Then I realized that most people we would be speaking and witnessing to were just like us. Average. Broke some rules, but not the major ones. Maybe occasional drinking. Nothing too bad. Nothing too “testimony worthy” in their life.
Yet, they didn’t know about Jesus and they needed to.
Everything the world said I needed to be happy, I had. Yet, I was not satisfied with my life. Something was missing. Something was wrong. At Camp Chof, the summer before eighth grade, I decided that I was missing a personal relationship with Jesus. Yes, I knew who Jesus was before that from church and attending a Christian school. But at camp that week, I decided to make Jesus more than just a subject in school but rather a way of life.
After that, everything changed. Maybe not as drastically as some, but each day I was becoming more Christlike. More patient. More kind. More bold. More passionate. More loving. More joyful. More mission minded
That’s my testimony. See, my life is a testament that the average privileged teen still needs Jesus.
Since that summer before eighth grade, I have changed drastically. I’ve grown and I’ve struggled, but throughout it all God has helped and is helping me overcome difficulties. But my testimony is still simple. I had everything the world said would make me complete, but I wasn’t. I needed Jesus.
I may have not been saved from a life of drugs, abuse, or crime, but I was saved from a life without a purpose or passion and entered into a loving relationship with the creator of the universe.
If you believe you don’t have testimony, your story is more powerful than you think.