Hello! It’s been very quiet on the blog recently but I hope to change that soon. Hang in there!
I’m very pleased to tell you today that my good blogging buddy Autumn from It’s Autumn is sharing her story on THJ for #FearlessFriday! Hooray!
I think I say this every time, but I am absolutely loving having my friends all share their unique stories of salvation, redemption and grace to encourage YOU. Everybody has something different to share and today Autumn is speaking on her struggle for having a testimony that is worthy and impactful.
I took my first missions trip at the age of 8 to Haiti. It was the first time I took a trip without my parents. It was also the first time I had the chance to hear the testimonies of Haitians who had recently accepted Christ. After hearing so many amazing and heartbreaking stories of redemption and grace, I could distinctively remember thinking that I would probably never have anything like that to share about my relationship with Christ. These amazing people had lived a life without having Christ in their hearts and had reaped the consequences, but had been able to share the joy and happiness they now experienced since accepting Him. Ever since then, that’s been what my vision of what a testimony is supposed to be like. It was only reserved for new Christians or people who had difficult lives or experiences and had triumphed through with God. And that certainly was far from my life.
Perhaps my greatest challenge as a Christian was having being born into it. I’m the second grandchild of a very prominent pastor in the Bahamas so being a Christian was as essential and natural as learning how to walk. Over the years, I have come to hate that and also appreciate it. When you’re “born” into Christianity you already have certain expectations to live up too and a role to carry out. I’ve always struggled with the fact that I didn’t really have the chance to choose Jesus. Unlike Christians who have come to know Jesus later in their lives. To be honest I’m somewhat jealous of new Christians. They have such a thirst and hunger for the Lord and they’re so willing and open to his love. For me, growing up in a Christian family, I think I’ve become jaded a bit. I know the routine, I’ve been doing it since I was 6. But I so desperately want to be like a newbie Christian with that open-heart for God.
Every time in my life that I’ve been asked to give my testimony, I’ve always rolled my eyes. Me? The “automatic” Christian give a testimony? What would I say? I’ve had a great life, it hasn’t been easy at all but it’s been good. And whenever I think of testimonies I’ve thought of stories like the ones I heard in Haiti. My testimony would fail in comparison to theirs a thousand times. I felt like a fraud every time someone asked me and would politely decline. I mean, what would my average life do for anyone? It wasn’t until my latest missions trip to Greece last year, when I had the chance to minister in coffee shops just through casual conversation, that I realized that my definition of what a testimony should be was all wrong.
As I was talking to a woman who worked at the coffee shop as she was on her break, I just began to talk about general stuff like where I grew up, what my family was like, etc. Before leaving, the woman, who wasn’t a Christian, asked me to pray with her and for her. I was shocked. I had only mentioned casually and briefly about being a Christian. Why would she want me to pray for her? Maybe she heard something on TV earlier or someone must have talked to her about Christ before. I couldn’t believe that God had just used my “general” life to somehow minister to a complete stranger.
I assumed you had to be a new Christian and have a life filled with grief and struggle in order to truly reach someone through your testimony. And that’s where I was wrong, I was too caught up with what “I” assumed instead of being concerned with how God was using me just the way I am. God’s grace throughout my life is what I now feel is my testimony; His provision, His guidance, and His forgiveness. There’s something there that can resonate with someone somewhere and it isn’t up to me to decide not share it just because I think it won’t have any effect. God gave Christians the duty of spreading His word to whoever and wherever. And we have no idea how any of our stories, no matter how turbulent or calm they might be, can be that shift for someone else. He can use anything to His glory.
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Hi! I’m Autumn Dickens. I’m a 23-year-old not too recent college grad living in sunny Florida, teaching by day and blogging in between. My blog, It’s Autumn is a fashion and lifestyle blog that I started in 2014 to help pass the time while job hunting. I became a Christian when I was 6 and still don’t have this whole relationship thing quite figure out yet, but it’s fine. I’ve heard that Jesus is quite the patient man.