My Sunday School class was challenged this week to write out our personal testimonies of how we came to know and trust Christ. Here is my story:
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I was raised in a Christian home by parents who studied the Word, taught the Word, and tried their best to live by the Word. I was baptized at a young age and did all the right church things as a kid. I never ‘rejected’ my faith or challenged the reality of Christ’s work on the cross, but I stopped embracing it somewhere in my late teens. As a young adult, I was consumed with typical motivations (career, education, marriage) rather than seeking or following God. I ended up with a nice resume, a crumbling marriage and a knowledge deep within about where I went wrong.
30 years old, divorced and depressed, I thought I could anonymously attend a local church to get some kind of emotional lift. God had a different idea. Out of no effort on my part, God led both the pastor and the music minister to seek me out, befriend me and lead me back to Him. Over the next 5 years, these two men (with very different backgrounds and testimonies) became my closest friends. Their accountability and fellowship helped my faith grew in breadth and depth.
Today at 40, I am committed to continued growth. Every day I see opportunities to live by the Spirit versus living for, or reacting out of, my flesh. I certainly make mistakes, but there’s a peace that comes from knowing and sensing God’s presence with me. It is convicting at times, confidence-building at other times, and comforting always. I am just one piece of His plan for this earth, and an important piece of His plan for my wife, my son and my community. So that’s where I am today, still seeking His help in my daily life.
When I think back on my story, I recall the weight of that anchor of shame that I used to drag around. Now, I carry only a certificate that says, “Not Guilty Anymore.”