Have you ever encountered someone whose life has radically changed because of Jesus? You know, the type of person that was totally lost before Jesus.
The pusher turned pastor.
The murderer turned minister.
The abuser turned anointed.
The sinner turned saint.
I can remember growing up in church an hearing about how someone was able to conquer the demons in their life because of Jesus. In Bible College I met many people who did not come to Christ until their adult years, including one guy who dabbled in things like the occult and satan-worship. When I heard their testimonies, and how real God was to them at the moment of their salvation and I saw how God was using them, there was a part of me that got jealous.
That’s right; jealous. I used to feel that I had no testimony of my own. In my opinion there was no major life change that had occurred. I grew up in a Christian family with a strong Christian heritage. Everywhere I looked there were examples of faith in my grandparents and parents lives and examples of God’s grace as they raised me to the best of their abilities. Going to church wasn’t an option, it was a requirement when I was growing up. Dad was a deacon/sunday school teacher/ board member/ interim preacher while mom was a sunday school teacher/VBS worker/volunteer. Both were incredible examples to my sister and I. Not because they were perfect, but because they lived what they believed. What I saw in them on Sundays I saw on Mondays-Saturdays. It’s no wonder that they raised a son to be a preacher and a daughter to be a missionary.
But this upbringing, in my younger mind, was no earth-shattering testimony. I used to think that growing up in a Christian family and carrying on that tradition was nothing to brag about. There are no surprises in that story. No life-altering, heart-moving moments. No one would shed a tear at that kind of testimony.
However, over the last several years I have started to come to grips with something. My grandparents’ testimony was a life that was sincere and integral enough to produce God-honoring children. My parents’ testimony is the same. As I have grappled with this idea, I have recognized that my witness, my testimony, my gift to God must be my children. This is difficult as I realize what this may entail. I have watched as my parents pray and support a daughter in Muslim Africa. I have heard the concern in their voices when their preacher son struggled to make ends meet because the small churches he served could not afford to pay much. I have seen them lay their Isaacs on the altar of God and give them to Him, and to be honest, the prospect of doing that with my children scares me.
But, I am my mother’s testimony. I am my father’s testimony. More importantly, I am God’s testimony to the world that a life lived for God, no matter how “mundane” is a light that shines in darkness. If I am to stay true to my call, to my heritage, I must trust God not only with finances and choices and relationships, but with my most cherished possession, my children. I want my children to be God’s testimony. To reflect their Father in heaven. That will be my testimony.