Recently I needed to rewrite my testimony. So since my mom kept bugging me to write a blog, I thought I would use it.
The first time I remember hearing the gospel story of Jesus was when I was very young at home. My mom and dad told me that Jesus loved me and died for me. I believed them and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and live in my heart. As I grew older and reheard the gospel story in church, Bible school, and at home I understood it more and more. When I was ten, I decided to get baptized and that is when I think I truly understood what Jesus did for me and I wanted to live my whole life for Him.
As I grew older, I fell in love with hearing the Gospel told, and I wanted to tell it to others. Every year we would have Backyard Bible Club at our house, and I decided I wanted to teach others the Gospel too. So, when I was old enough I went camping and started teaching at clubs. I remember at camp that I was freaking out about how in the world am I going to do this. Who is going to listen to me? I had to realize I needed to place my trust in the LORD. It was then, I realized that the people I was sharing the gospel with didn’t need to hear from me. But instead they came to hear from God, and God would use me and speak through me. On the last day of camp, we went to a local park to share the gospel with strangers. It turned out that one of the couples I spoke with were already believers in Jesus, but they really encouraged me to keep at it. Another woman I spoke with had recently just accepted Jesus as her savior, and we were able to encourage her in her new faith, and she in ours. That first summer of teaching five-day clubs, we taught lots of different children from lots of different backgrounds. It was exciting because at each club at least one child asked Jesus into their hearts. It was a real picture to me of how God loves all people. That same year I was privileged to help with a Good News club after school at the local school in my neighborhood. It was exciting to see these students in the neighborhood and be able to reach out to them and have a relationship with them.
It was shortly after this that I experienced my first real tragedy in life. Our family arrived home from vacation to find out that my closest friend’s dad had died. It was the first time in my life when I needed God to give me the strength to comfort someone else. I had a hard time letting go of my anger at God for allowing this tragedy to happen to her and her family. It turned out that she and her family became my strength and helped me see how God was with us all. God used this tragedy to strengthen our faith and friendship. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to go through this with her, and I know that because of it, she and I will always be close.
As my fifteenth birthday arrived, I prepared for a special day. It was during this time of preparing that I was able to let go of all my anger and begin to worship God again. As I prepared to share my special day with family and friends God healed my heart. As I gave a speech of dedication to the Lord and sang to Him it was so overwhelming as I remembered all that he had brought me through.
It was near this time, that I went for my annual heart check-up. This was an amazing visit, in that the doctors told me and my mom that I no longer had a hole in my heart(that I had since birth). This was cool to me, how God not only healed my broken heart spiritually but also physically.
The very day after my big party, my whole family moved to Pennsylvania. I knew God was with us and I trusted him with this move. But even though I trusted God with the move, I still at times didn’t like being there. God took our family through a lot during our time there. We switch our school, and then we switched it back. We learned that God’s Word held all the answers, so we as a family started to really dig into it. Even though we only lived in Pennsylvania a year, it changed our family because we had to be there for each other. I missed my Michigan friends, but God comforted me and I knew I wasn’t alone.
When we first came back to Michigan we had to stay at my grandma’s house for a while. It was really tough to feel like we had to depend on them and that we were intruding on their lives. It was hard not having a home, and know that the home I had lived in most of my life was just around the corner. Knowing that someone else lived in that house now, was really tough.
It was really exciting though when God blessed our family with a new house. It was just the right size, and closer to dad’s work. Finding a new church was extremely hard because the church we went to in Pennsylvania had really been there for us. As we attended different churches, I realized I was judging others for not being at the same place in their journey as I was. God really humbled me and made me realize that just because I am at a different place in my walk with the Lord, I am no better than anyone else. We are all just sinners saved by grace. Now God has given me opportunities to help with another after-school program near our home. I am excited to share the gospel again with children and reach out to others.
I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to use me in this new season of life. I am getting ready to go camping again this year and teach all summer. I can’t wait to see what God has for me and who he is going to bring into my life.