I cannot handle those moments where everyone goes around in a circle telling their testimonies.
Oddly enough, though, I find myself quite frequently placed in those circles. Whether it be for an International Service Project or just a group of girls gathering to gush, it happens a lot — people want to tell their story.
I have such a hard time listening to their stories, though, because I am just panicking about what in the world I have to say about myself. If I am going to share it with a group of people it had better be good, right?
Well, that is the problem — or at least it’s my problem. I spend the 20 minutes until I’m up next conjuring up the most interesting moments of my life and then stopping abruptly or with some inferred ellipses at the moment I met Jesus. Truthfully, though, our testimonies should begin there.
There is this weird idea that our lives were much more interesting before we met Jesus.
There was all of the “bad” stuff. Some people are even hesitant to tell their testimonies if they haven’t been through something “intense” enough. Sure, it was interesting, but it should be even more radically interesting after Jesus.
The other day I was listening to a woman tell her testimony to a room full of college women. Since her audience was not over the age of 25, I assumed she would stop her testimony somewhere around there.
But she did not stop there. She kept her story going up until the present.
Surprisingly enough, all of her problems did not magically vanish the moment she accepted Christ. In fact, even wilder things happened after that moment in her life. A real testimony is our entire life with Jesus: before him, the moment of decision and all moments after.
The “after” part is something worth sharing just as much as the “before” because it is those moments that God is doing something and using that testimony for his glory.
As the years pass, the story gets longer. I hope that my life and my testimony not only gets longer but gets more interesting. No, I do not wish for bad or crazy things to happen in my life, but there are things I know I would not be able to handle if God was not the one to help me through it.