“The Bible says that we all had sinned, and, as I write, I still shudder at the memory of the heinous sins and gross indiscretions [both moral and social] of my irresponsible youth. Today, no matter how hard I try, I cannot make my past obnoxious behaviour undone, and can only fall prostrate on the precious BLOOD of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour, and beg His grace and mercy, for now and eternity. The only hope for the human race is for us to confess our total inability to save ourselves [from ourselves] and thrust ourselves morally and judicially on the universal righteousness of Jesus Christ.” – P J Stassen
Each one of us has a story to tell.
“Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you.” ~ Jeremiah 1:5
You have a something to offer this world that nobody else does. You have incredible talents, gifts, abilities and experiences to share with others. You were made unique, and the very fabric of your being cannot be reproduced. You are an original. God has great plans for you filled with hope, not only hope for you, but hope for others as well. The Bible says in Colossians that Christ in us is the hope of glory.
How can we bring hope for others?
“They overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” ~ Revelation 12:11
As you interact daily with people and they share their hardships, problems and worries, you need to remember one thing: Anything that comes up in a person’s life, anything, Jesus is the complete and perfect answer to.
“Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing I know for sure, I was blind but now I see” ~ John 9:25
Jesus healed the man born blind on the Sabbath. The Pharisees were upset that Jesus didn’t keep the Sabbath and told the (previously) blind man that it is not possible for a “sinner” (meaning Jesus) to perform such signs. They kept questioning him until finally the man gave them the response you see in verse 25.
Your personal testimony of what Jesus did in your life (your moment of “I was blind but now I see”) is something no-one can take away from you. You have the key to set people free from what you struggled with by sharing your testimony of how God saved you from that desperate situation, healed you from that sickness, freed you from that devastating lifestyle, etc.
So what is MY TESTIMONY?
There is a long and a short story. The short story is this:
I reached a point in my life in 2008 where I had to ask myself (I didn’t ask God because my relationship with Him was non-existent at that point) whether this is it. The monotony of my life was killing me to the core. I didn’t have a bad life. I had good friends, a ”good” job, went to church now and then and went on exciting trips now and then. However, there was something inside screaming out for more. I gradually fell into a deeper depression and started looking for answers, love and acceptance in the wrong places. My heart was cold and hard, I was insecure and I continued experiencing greater and chronic disappointment, being disappointed with myself and disappointing others with my life that was slowly falling apart. There was a mould that society expected me to fit in and I wasn’t fitting in. I thought to myself if it’s worth it all? If this is it, I don’t want to live it. I’d rather die. I was suicidal and eventually had a breakdown at work one day and started seeing a psychologist. I received treatment and was on anti-depressants for almost one year.
I can say with all honesty, my psychologist was great. She helped me get perspective and kept me from committing suicide. However, what saved my heart and life was Jesus. Hearing the Gospel again after being on the brink of death is what saved me. Hearing that God loves me irrespective of what I’ve done, that I’m forgiven, that He’s not keeping score, that nothing can separate me from His love, that He loved me so much that He fought for me by dying on a cross so that I can live abundantly, and that His plan for me is full of hope.
That is what saved me. It might seem like something small, but that is the power of the Gospel.
The power of God’s love.
It changed in me in so many ways. My MBTI profile changed from INTJ to ENFJ. My DISC profile changed from CS to ID. Is it possible for a person’s personality to change? I think it is more a case of me finally becoming my true self. The Cecilia who God had planned and created and set apart. The cognitive dissonance of who I believed myself to be and who I was in reality was gone.
“…whoever did want Him, who believed He was who He said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves…” ~ John 1
So what is MY IDENTITY?
Since then my relationship with God has intensified to levels I’ve never experienced before. He is continually busy affirming and expanding my identity of who I am in Him. Some of these include being chosen and set apart before I was born, that I am royalty, I’m the bride of Christ, I’m a daughter of God, I am a King and Priest, I am His beloved, I am the body of Christ, I am salt and light, I have streams of living water inside of me giving life to people wherever I go, I am a living example of God’s love, and I am like Jesus in this world, a Servant King. Words cannot describe the love I have for Him. Words cannot describe the love He has for me. A Divine Romance.
What God says about me that is part of my true self, my child-of-God self, something that I never thought would be possible let alone my destiny to walk in:
“You will be a living example of God’s unconditional and selfless love… “
What if you are the answer for someone? What is written about you? What is your testimony?