Until recently, I lived with the mentality that my testimony could only carry power and influence if it ended in complete victory and deemed me as credible. I would hold back from sharing the whole truth about struggles and alter my testimony to what I thought people wanted to hear. I would dramatize or deemphasize certain details of my life... maybe edit it just a tad, end with how everything has turned around, and how I no longer struggle with much of anything (because everyone loves a happy ending, right?)
There have been too many times when I feel God nudging me to share an aspect of my past or a current struggle, and I either share the more “socially acceptable” struggles I have faced or exaggerate how changed I am now. That way, my image is not tainted and no one can judge me.
Reality: My testimony is not really MY testimony!
This past year, God has really been teaching me the purpose of vulnerability. He has been showing me that there is so much power in sharing current struggles and the not-so-glamorous aspects of my past that I prefer to keep to myself. I have learned that although I have strayed from God, and although I still fall into temptation, God is working in incredible ways even when it feels like I am too far gone. When I look back over the past year, five years or fifteen years, there is not a moment that He was not looking at me with open arms. Even on my darkest of days, even through my greatest mistakes, even through my current sin, He is wanting to give me another chance and set me on the path of righteousness.
He is always doing right, even when I am doing everything wrong.
What I realized through all of this is that my testimony is not about me. It is not about how far I have come or how many tragic things I have overcome. My testimony is for God to use to bring others back to him and give others hope. It is to remind fellow believers or nonbelievers that God is ALWAYS working. Through the past, through the present, and even the future, there is something miraculous going on behind the scenes that we get to be a part of.
We have no idea who will be sitting in Somsen Auditorium tonight. We cannot guess their past mistakes. We cannot guess their current struggles. We cannot guess what they might face in the future. All we can do is listen, trust, and take that leap of faith.
It only takes one minute to be vulnerable and let God do the rest.
WSU Chi Alpha Senior