I remember growing up in church and having a safe, happy home. I also remember seeing other kids with a family like mine while I went to a Christian private school for all but one year of my elementary education. We were healthy and happy, but not without its imperfections of course.
I remember when I changed over to public school from private going into 5th grade and a major culture shock hit me. Not every family was like mine. Not every kid had two Godly, loving, and firm parents in the home. Not every kid was well behaved. Not every kid had enough money to afford lunch.
I remember being in youth group, and hearing stories of God’s amazing grace being poured out upon the lives of kids from broken homes, who had struggled through drug addictions, major regrets, abuse, and the like. I used to be jealous of them because of the connection they had with Jesus as a result of what they had been through. I did not understand the value of my story at the time.
In my years as a youth pastor, I began to discover I wasn’t the only kid who grew up in church who felt this way. I can’t put a number on how many times I heard, “I wish I didn’t have such a boring testimony.” Being where I am now, and having seen the things I’ve seen, knowing the things that I know about how some people’s lives truly are, my heart breaks for the kids that feel as if their story isn’t as valid as a “dramatic” testimony.
I can honestly sit here and tell you how truly thankful I am to the Lord for the “underwhelming” testimony I have. I am thankful for the home I grew up in, and the journey that I’ve been on in following Jesus. It’s been far from easy and has had its share of hard times. The reality is that no one, and I mean no one on the face of this earth, who comes to Jesus has an invalid testimony.
Think about what Scripture says for a second. Colossians 1:13-14 says that we have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to Jesus’ kingdom. No matter if you came to him in dramatic circumstances or not, you have been rescued by Jesus from the kingdom of darkness (sin, Satan, the world, yourself, etc.) into a deep and intimate relationship with Him. That is dramatic! That is earth shattering!
If you’re not thankful for the fact that you have this relationship with Jesus, and don’t see how it incredible it is despite your story being “underwhelming”, it might be time to deeply reflect on whether or not you understand the depth of what the gospel accomplishes in you.
You have been transferred from darkness into light. You are a new creation in Christ. You are no longer the person you used to be, but God’s workmanship, which He planned in advance for you to do good works. You have been justified. You have been given a new heart that desires to follow Jesus above all else. You are identified simply as God’s child, forever and perfectly wrapped up in an intimate relationship with Him forever. The list goes on and on. If even just a taste of that doesn’t get you fired up, it’s time to check your pulse!
I am thankful for my journey, as it is, not as I used to want it to be, simply because I know I have Jesus, and that’s all that matters in my life. I am excited for where I am going because I know I have Him with me. I can honestly say my testimony is no longer “boring”, because God has, and continues to, dramatically change me from the inside out from what I used to be to who He has created me to be.