It was an evening of getting to know one another better. Post planned ministry and dinner, we now sat around in our pajamas feeling almost guilty about the abundance of unfamiliar free time and handfuls of M&M’s we were enjoying. Having left our jobs, husbands and children at home for the weekend it seemed strange to for once only be responsible for ourselves.
Conversation started slowly. Consistently dripping like a faucet with a leak, sourcing from the typical matters of life. Beginning in those places where we do when someone asks us “how are you?” this question somehow compels us to share about our children’s sports teams, our job and our husbands latest project around the house. With so much going on as women we often don’t have the luxury to consider “how we are.” It was as if we all knew we were broaching the borders of new places of relational intimacy and this caused us to tiptoe rather than run.
As the night progressed, casual conversation transformed into something more. As women had exchanged their street clothes for their jammies, they, as well, began to shed their emotional defenses and reserve for authenticity and transparency. One by one each woman began to share their heart. Minutes turned to hours as we realized how much easier it was to get to know each other outside the confines of before and after church. Heartaches, concerns and fears were shared openly and honestly as others offered love and encouragement.
Eventually, we arrived at the destination of testimonies. Going farther back, “how did you meet you husband” was replaced with “how did you meet your Christ?” It was here that we seemed to run into a little impasse’.
Some of the women shared openly of their coming to the Lord; dramatic stories of rescue, change and transformation as a result of salvation touched everyone’s hearts. Other women, while listening, seemed to become obviously uncomfortable and awkwardly silent. As we made our way around the circle finally landing on one fidgety sister, looking up only briefly she said,
” I don’t really have a testimony.” With a regretfully dismissive tone that was almost apologetic she shared that she had known the Lord her whole life. Growing up in a household where her parents were believers she could not ever remember a time that prayer, church and the Word of God was not a part of who she was.
It was obvious that she felt that this was a less than acceptable offering in the midst of our salvation stories. I looked at her and in a gentle voice assured her that of all the testimonies in the entire room, my heart would be that the testimony of my own daughter would look most like hers.
There was nothing “less” about her testimony at all and the non-dramatic elements of her salvation did not have the ability to delete the miraculous beauty of her redemption. For salvation itself is a dramatic event. In a single moment we exchange guilt for grace, bondage for freedom and a life separated from God to one in which we are never without Him. Whether you accept Him at 5, 55, or 105 the value is no less significant, amazing or tremendous.
Whether it is what He saved you from or what He has walked you through, your testimony is powerful and able to be used by God to minister to others.
Father, thank you for what you have done in my life. Help me be attuned to opportunities to share my testimony with others for the sake of helping them know you better.