It’s Friyay and time for another #FearlessFriday! I love this series so much and I’m so thrilled to be able to have testimonies from my Christian friends near and far shared on this little space on the internet. As I say every week, every testimony is so special and unique which is awesome because we get to see the many ways that God works through His children.
Today’s testimony is from my good friend Karl, who was the unfortunate person I projected a lot of my silly questions onto when I was first exploring Christianity myself. He has seen me transition from my most unbelieving ways to a Christ-seeking woman that I hope I am today, so he has played a big part of my journey.
FROM DEATH TO LIFE
I grew up in a Christian family going to church for as long as I can remember. I have always known about God. However, God was always a concept in my life. He was something talked about whilst at Church but I never knew God like he wanted to know me. He was compartmentalised as something that happened on Sunday during the service and the subject discussed during bible studies. I called myself a Christian and said I believed in God but looking back I have no idea why I did. God wanted a relationship with me and I wasn’t even sure He existed.
I should make it clear that I had prayed the prayer we have all prayed at one point and accepted Jesus into my heart. What I had not done was turn everything over to Christ. I’d let Him take the Sundays but not touch anything else. I still wanted my life to be mine. I wanted to do the things in life that I wanted to do like get drunk, pursue women, and be selfish. I did not want my life to change.
I was content with where I was. I thought I had it all figured out. I knew all the answers to the questions my friends and leaders at church would ask me. I thought that meant I was “in”. It wasn’t until I moved from home to Nexus that I realised that all my “knowledge” and supposed “wisdom” wasn’t what God was after. What God wanted was my heart. This meant that everything I had built and kept separate from God had to be turned over. This was a painful process. I initially tried to hide and push people away. I dropped out of my church, stopped attending sessions at Nexus, and turned to self-harm. Had it not been for a few amazing friends in my life I would have been lost forever. They helped me start to get back on my feet and brought me back into Nexus.
During one of our group worship sessions at Nexus, I decide that enough was enough. I looked around me and saw people that had hold of something I didn’t. I wasn’t going to leave this session the same way I came in. In a moment of madness, I dropped all my defences. I started to honestly seek God in whatever way I could. I kept asking where He was and telling him just how alone I felt. I was lost and needed help and he was the only one that could do it. I was tired of settling for the life I lived. I wanted a life fully committed to him. I let every defence and every façade down. It was at this point that I was overwhelmed with emotion. I’m not an emotional man at all. Prior to this point, I had not cried for over a year if not longer. For the first time, I had been vulnerable with God. I wanted to see Him and know Him in my life. I wanted Him to shape me and take my whole heart.
At this point, God had some reshaping to do. What I had built in my life was an empire of death and decay, of ruin and turmoil. God had promised to rebuild me. To do so, He wanted me to help him tear down what I had built. This meant conquering self-harm, learning to humble myself before others, and to disciple myself to Him. It meant stepping onto a path meaning that I will be an eternal student and being under constant fire from the enemy as he tries to drag me back to my old life. This path also means I stand with God in his victory and get to live as part of his kingdom. I’m no longer tied to my old life or the old ways that ruled me. Now I’m free in service to God.
Before this journey, I did not seek change in myself. I was waiting for a Damascus road experience from God to believe. God’s last resort is the Damascus road. You just have to be honest with Him. Come before Him and tell Him how you are honestly feeling. If your situation right now is not the way you want it to be and you need God then cry out to him. Don’t do it because your friends are all doing it or because the leader has called for it. Seek Him for yourself in your situation. There are so many times in scripture (especially the psalms) where the author calls out to God and God turns his face to the situation. God sees you and wants you to call out to hHm. Matthew 7:7 promises us that if we call out and ask for help then we will be given it.
I went from death to life, from passively observing, to actively seeking God from a life built to my own worship, to a life that is pursuing the exaltation of Christ. I had no emotion but now I have experienced joy, happiness, sorrow, and everything in-between. I’m nothing special. My transformation is something that is promised to all those who seek Christ. The only prerequisite is to come as you are and recognise Christ and his works. That doesn’t mean understanding everything from the start but it does mean the beginning of a journey into discipleship and going from strength to strength if you stick to the path. It is by no means easy but in my opinion, a life lived in service to Christ is better than that in service to the world.
Karl is a 21-year-old student studying Popular Music and Worship at Nexus ICA in Coventry. His main interests involve music, family, and laughing at everything. Nexus ICA is a faith-based institute offering higher education courses in Popular Music and Worship.