In tandem with our sermon series on the Book of Acts, we thought it would be helpful if the leadership of the church each shared their testimony. Testimonies are powerful. They’re personal stories of what God has done in our lives. Along with the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the Enemy by the “word of our testimony.” Our hope is that through this series of articles, your faith will be strengthened, you’ll get to know all of us better, and you’ll see that Jesus can and does redeem all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.
I was such a happy heathen, so what the heck happened?
I was raised in church, walked the aisle, and was baptized when I was twelve. Late in high school, I decided that the concept of God was not intellectually cool and I chose to reject him altogether. I went away to college (go Hokies!) and had a great time! I was happy, having lots of fun, making good grades, and falling in love (go Mark!). I wasn’t looking for a change. I didn’t consider myself a lost sheep and I certainly wasn’t looking for a shepherd.
Then one Christmas I went home from college and I was looking for something to read. My mother offered me a book that compared the prophecies of the old testament to the life of Jesus. There were so many fulfilled prophesies that I couldn’t ignore them. So, as much as I hated to admit it, perhaps there was a God. I went back to school and told Mark that I was having to reconsider the whole God issue. To my surprise, God had also been dealing with him over the break too. I should have realized then that God had a plan!
Shortly after that, we met some Jesus followers who started inviting us to hang out and share meals with them. We asked them lots of challenging questions, hoping to argue with them about the faith and how we should act. They never took the bait. They wouldn’t tell us how we should behave; they wouldn’t argue. They just loved us and encouraged to look to Jesus for our answers. We often say they “glowed” because they were so full of the love of God. I remember saying shortly after we met them, “I’m not sure what they have, but I want it.”
We finally gave in and Jesus changed our hearts and our lives in a very real and powerful way. And he’s still changing us today, 45 years later. Turns out, the shepherd was busy looking for a lost sheep who didn’t even know she was lost.