Personal Testimony

pand dI’m one of those ‘life-ers’.Mom made certain from birth that I was in church Sunday school every Sunday and that daily devotions were as essential as brushing your teeth. It wasn’t until I was ten years old, in fact, it was the summer between 4th and 5th grade, that a gentle woman at Vacation Bible School explained to me that I needed Jesus in my life.

I told her I had always been a Christian and I never missed church. She went on to tell me ‘attending church’ was not enough, I needed to invite Jesus into my heart.

Life was difficult at home with an alcoholic father and the pressures of covering it up along with the idea that I was not to ‘rock the boat.’ As a shy, people-pleasing ten-year-old, I admired her calm but powerful inner strength. There at the little church in the Navy housing area, I began a relationship with a Savior that loved me in spite of my shortcomings. I learned to trust him when very few in my life were worthy of trust.

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As a teen, I began to question which church was the true church. I visited every church I could to get their opinion. I once attended a church with my girlfriend and became a part of their class. I was full of questions and wanted to know where in my Bible things were that they were teaching me. I was constantly saying, “Where is that?” This situation was the catalyst for committing to reading my own Bible. I grew to love the Lord with all my heart and to study the Bible to find out what it said without other people’s opinions. I believe this is the reason my faith is so cemented. I have a very personal relationship with my Savior.

I also believe God wrote about every person and situation under the sun as an example for problem-solving in my life. When I’m in trouble and on unknown ground, I go find someone in the scripture and either do the opposite of someone that messed it up or duplicate their actions if they did it right.

Geocaching with a girlfriend!

Geocaching with a girlfriend!

As a young woman in my 20’s, I once again fell into the trap of people pleasing. I tried desperately to be like Mary and Martha from the New Testament stories. I loved the Lord and serving my home church but I struggled in church life to be quiet spoken, gentle spirited, and submissive. I had energy, opinions and wanted more than ‘pew-sitting.’Then one day while reading the book of Judges I discovered the characters of Deborah and Jael. Deborah wasn’t the type to sit around, she was out on the front lines winning the war for Israel. And Jael while tending her home for her family, invited in the offending King and once he was full and had fallen asleep, she drove a tent stake through his skull to win the war.

Both women represented the square pegs that did not fit the round holes of the typical church woman I knew. I was relieved to know God honored women who preferred to stand on the battlefield or guard their homelands with physical intensity and strength–internal and external.

I’m O.K. with difficult situations and prefer to lead rather than to follow. I’d much rather do than talk about doing. God is teaching me to season my strong will but I am relieved he does not want me to pretend it doesn’t exist.