Fear. Not a word we think of when we think of our testimonies. I realized recently that fear of telling my story to everyone was rooted in really just the possibility of a few hearing it. God is certainly working on me to trust Him more, even when not-so-great consequences could result.
As I get ready to share my testimony with Cassandra at Raising Up Stones for our introductory pieces on each other, it occurred to me that I hadn’t even shared it here on my own blog yet. Most of the reason for that was because I have been timid in sharing the whole story, not with the general public but with my own family. It doesn’t paint some of them in a good light and I am afraid of what their reactions would be should they actually read it.
Then my mother-in-law stepped in and reminded me that God does not call us toward comfort, nor is He glorified when we side-step certain people with parts of our story due to fear.
It was just what I needed to hear since I’d been thinking about doing it for a long time. I knew God was prodding me to do it but it took someone else to speak that into my life before I could respond. That’s awesome and sad at the same time. Awesome because God speaks to us, and confirms His own prodding through others in the Body. Yet sad because I’m still fearful of man so much that it affects with whom & where I share my testimony.
Testimonies are God’s stories in how He has drawn people to Him. It’s how God has shaped people and changed them for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom. I have a complicated testimony.
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'” — John 8:31-36
Some who hear it ask me, “Would you have been better off not having that story?” My answer to them is, “No.”
I would not be who I am today without the history that has shaped me. I recognize that I am a person who tends to draw closer to those who are often overlooked – because that was me. I often share my failures and sins with others because I want them to know that I’m not perfect, I don’t have it all together, I struggle with wrestling with my past as a source of my identity. Past wounds continue to sometimes wreak havoc within my mind as I relate to others. I empathize with those who don’t fit in, or who have suffered a great deal because I was there too.
My point in this post is to apologize to my readers for withholding the greatest story that God has ever given me.
I’m sorry I’ve resisted writing it here, yet have been willing to tell people during play-dates. I’m sorry that I’ve resisted trusting God with the outcome, and possible consequences, of sharing my story in this space simply because of fear. I’ve lived a life in fear and I’ve been struggling for freedom from it ever since.
Please forgive me. My baggage gets lighter each day, each week, each year, but it still is a part of me.
I will be sharing my testimony in my next blog post. I don’t know how much detail I will go into, but I will trust that God will be glorified with whatever the final outcome is.
“But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 6:21-23