I have recently started going back to college and pursuing a theology degree. In my Evangelism class we were given the assignment to write our testimony in under 350 words. The requirements were to talk about who I was before Christ and how my life has changed with Him. This proves difficult when I do not remember a day without Christ and although, as you will read, just because we have Christ doesn’t mean He removes the obstacles of our earthly life.
I have known and loved Jesus as far back as I can remember. Even my earliest memories are filled with a God who was present and active. My story may not have a dramatic conversion moment, but it is a story of the faithfulness of a life long friend.
I do not remember the moment I prayed “the” prayer but I was 3 years old in the village of Bethel, Alaska where my parents pastored a church and we lived in a house built on pilings and used a honey bucket. I did not respond to Christ out of a fear of eternal damnation rather his love that inspired an intrinsic sense of wanting to please him and not to disappoint him.
I was married to a pastor for 14 years and experienced much abuse at the hands of this “man of God”. It finally came to the point that I would rather leave the marriage and try to survive on my own despite being convinced I was stupid, weak and a failure. I felt torturously conflicted with a deafening sense of guilt. I begged and pleaded with God to change my marriage but the abuse only got worse. I came to a point of such frustration and finally told God, “If this is your way then I am going to do it my way now”.
But his love pursued me. Psalm 23:6 (NLT) has never been more alive to me than in the last 7 years: “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life…” Through many dark bends in my journey he has been faithful while I was faithless. The choices I made following my own way came to dead ends and lifeless relationships. Yet his kindness led me to repentance (Romans 2:3). And this I now know: I would rather do the hard things of life with Jesus than the most fantastical things without him.