Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Testimony Time

I shared my testimony last night at life group.
I was quite nervous about it. I’m not sure why. I mean, I share sections of my story all the time. I share the whole quite regularly. Our lifegroup is filled with friends – and I talk in front of them every week! When I share my testimony I usually do so with a slant – I can focus on the insecurity, I can focus on relationships, I can focus on sexual temptation, or temptation for any sin, I can focus on performance or family or church…I can tailor my story to draw us together and help people see the God that is in my life could be in theirs too.

So sharing my whole story, and not really knowing what the point needed to be was scary. There’s something about sharing your life story – the true, honest, pain revealing, victory bearing truth - that is always intimidating. You have to believe God meets you and he will speak through you. Otherwise it’s just a story about me. And while that might be interesting, there isn’t any power in it.

So I told my story. I shared where I came from – to look into my future, to see that God saved me out of death, you need to see the pain. Because school sucked growing up. Being bullied and spat on and made fun of day in and day out for 14 years is terrible. And yet I stand here now surrounded by people, made whole by Jesus, and loving Him and others out of those experiences. And these experiences and painful times, and times of love and graciousness from others, and moments of rebellion and anger all contribute to who I am today.

Because of my experiences I am always looking out for people on the outside and will never be content to have a close knit group that is only inward focused.
Because of my experiences I look deeper into people than I might have, trying to see past the masks and into their hearts – because what we believe in our hearts dictates our lives and the choices we make and so many of us are walking with wounded, broken, lied-to hearts. And that is not ok.
Because of my experiences I love to reach out – to offer practical love and help to someone in need, to let them see that this Faith, this God isn’t just words, it’s actions and love and reality.

That’s really the spin I put on my testimony last night – that looking back I can see God moving in my life, orchestrating the plans, the situations, the experiences because he had a greater plan for my life than I could ever dream. When I look at that, when I see that, when I take the time to notice, that is when I see that He is trustworthy and that I need to trust him, that only He is trustworthy. It is so helpful to do.

As I shared my story with our lifegroup, I was moved by the truth of God that I was speaking. I knew he was speaking through me, and I knew he was showing me, just as much as them, how he had planned my life. Every detail. And I knew that he was showing us that He loved me, and that His plan for my life was the best plan. It was also clear that he was showing them that this was true for them as well – that this is what his power can look like in our lives. And that is a crazy humbling thing to be a part of.

And then because my life group is wonderful, they took some time to reaffirm the things God was speaking. My cousin shared about his experiences of being my cousin, and how he has seen me over the years, and where Paul and I are now and it was so encouraging. My dear friends reaffirmed that the things I am doing are glorying God…and that means the world to me. Because I would hate for this to be glorifying me. I would hate to be missing the mark. I know I will. I know I will mess up – but oh that the direction of my life would be bringing glory to Him.

And on a lighter note: April Photo-a-Day “Where you ate breakfast”

I also wish, what you made for dinner, was a topic yesterday because I made Chicken Toquitoes and they were awesome. I made them for LG two weeks ago but due to popular demand they made a re-appearance. And Paul’s leaving on Monday and he loves Chicken Toquitoes.
Though I did quickly learn that now that I work until 5, not 4, and now that I’m riding my bike again (adding half an hour to my commute including shower time) I need to precook LG food on Mondays – this whole trying to cook for 15 people in less than an hour thing, isn’t really going to work.

Thank goodness I have the meals all planned for the next few months and can assemble them ahead of time.

Though I do wonder about the Turkey – hmmmm…how will that be done. Ah, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I bet though that it won’t make a typical turkey appearance – stoked to see how I can use it!

Oh and this made me laugh:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome Terra. A wonderful testimony that reflects your love of our God and of people, especially those who might be struggling. Diane

LeAnna et David said...

that's so great, and very interesting to read :)

Your comment about looking for people on the outside made me think, because I found my experiences in school have perhaps left me much more inward focusing (although I always have been a loner). I'm happiest with a close-knit group of friends, and I am generally wary of outsiders because I don't trust people. But, I don't like to see people on the fringes, alone & excluded, so it depends on the situation I suppose.

Anyway, I think you're awesome.

Mila Anggara said...

Thanks Tara for being awesome. I'm always inspired being around you and reading this makes me happy!

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