In my evangelism class for school this week, we were charged to write down our testimonies. I learned that Apparently there are two basic types of testimonies, conversion testimony and recovery testimony. (Talk about getting your educational money's worth! YAY learning stuff!) Rumor has it that sharing your personal testimony is an effective way to share the gospel. These were not only great for me to capture on paper, but really revealed the love and grace of God in my life. So here goes Part 1 of my No Bologna Testimony. (Today is my "Conversation Testimony)
I have not always been a Christian. I grew up in a loving household, but not what many would call a “Christian” family. My parents had high moral standards and loved us dearly, but we didn’t pray or attend church on a regular basis. Dad worked on the farm seven days a week and mom was trying to raise two little girls essentially by herself, so faith wasn’t a huge priority. I knew God existed, but really didn’t have much concern for the topic.
At the beginning of my elementary school career, my mom started sending us to Sapulpa, Oklahoma each summer for about a week to spend time with my Grandad and my Great Grandma Thrasher. Grandma Thrasher was a feisty old gal and was a devout Christian for her entire life. Folks at Faith Baptist Church called her “Sweet Miss Bessie.” During our weeklong excursion in Oklahoma, we would attend Vacation Bible School. I realized I needed Jesus and received Him into my life during the summer when I was 12 years old. We were sitting in the pew at VBS and the preacher asked us to close our eyes. He began to pray and the next thing I knew my little sister and I were standing at the front of the church, bawling our faces off, and asking to receive Jesus in our life. It was a true act of God, and one of the most memorable days of my life.
Grandma Thrasher was thrilled and called my parents to let them know the good news. Our parents drove down the following weekend to watch my sister Kathleen and I get baptized on Father’s Day in 1997. The biggest change I noticed in my life was a new comfort in my future. When I was very young, I was terrified of dying. I had night terrors about not waking up in the morning, and after becoming saved and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior, those fears were alleviated. Even as a 12-year-old girl, I knew that if I did die before I woke up the next morning, I knew where I was going. I was no longer scared of the unknown.
I also started wondering what it meant to truly BE a Christian. I began to pray before I went to sleep each night and turned to God as I continued to grow through middle school, high school and college. As a new baby Christian, I didn’t know it all right away. In fact I still don’t. I am still growing in His love. But I noticed that my concern for others and interest in Scripture quotes grew throughout the years. I began to be convicted when I sinned and asked for strength and forgiveness when I fell short. The comfort that God has given me since that amazing summer is really quite difficult to express in words.
My beloved Grandma Thrasher continued to watch us grow from a distance and although they took her driver’s license away when she was 98 years old, she continued to attend church, pray for us and can more vegetables than we could ever eat. When she passed away my freshman year of college, two months shy of her 104th birthday, I was able to sing at her funeral, on that same stage where I was saved and baptized. I understood the profound meaning of the words of the song “At the Cross.” At the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away, it was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day! I was comforted by knowing that we would someday be reunited. My life was forever changed by that remarkable woman of God in my Grandma Thrasher. She helped me to understand how that the sacrifice that took place on the cross could offer me such a joy, hope and a future. May I share how something like this can happen to you?
Do you have testimony you would like to share? I would love to hear it! Please comment below if you so desire... Or share it with a non-believer you know-- it will plant a seed that could save their life!
No Denyin' this Testifyin',
"And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world." 1 John 4:14