I was asked recently to write a one page summary of my testimony. A testimony is generally the story of how someone has found a relationship with God. Most testimonies involve a dramatic moment of change. This is not that story. This is the story of a planted seed that was watered and nurtured. It is the story of how I have grown, bloomed, withered, grown, and bloomed again.
From the moment I was born, I was nourished in the faith. As a pastor’s kid, I grew up running in the foyers and halls of churches, napping in pews, and speaking in tongues. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, and any event in-between, I was there. There was no disconnect between the walls of the church and the walls of our home. Faith was deeply ingrained in my DNA.
While I was in high school, a simple question of theology rooted in deep grief began to inhibit my growth. I decided that God could not be all loving, all powerful, and all knowing at the same time. This God I served had failed me, but I could not deny his deity. Therefore I felt disconnected and abandoned by him. He had the power to step in, but he did not. The doubt that God truly loved me began deep in my heart, and grew with each new heartache.
Throughout the majority of my college and into my adult years, I served God with a wilting faith. I saw his hand in so many ways, but I was battered and weary with living. I never stopped believing or serving God, but I questioned him, and I ached for his love and warmth to revive my drooping soul. I desperately wanted the love I knew in my head to connect to my heart.
I eventually came to the point that all I had were my roots. I was a Christian, but I had felt completely separated from God’s love. I once wrote:
When babies sleep before they wake,
I have no heart left to break.
Nothing left to shake.
With soil and mud covering me, I began to grow again. The unconditional love of those closest to me was water to my dried up faith. With counseling, prayer, and time in the word, I began to see God’s loving kindness and his grace in a new way. My heart was slowly and tenderly brought back to an understanding of God’s deep and passionate love for me. So, mine is not a story of how I came to Christ; it is a story of how his love overcame the sorrows of my life.
Perhaps I will share more details of this story with you some day. In the meantime, I hope that if you are in a season of withering, you will find hope to believe. You can bloom again.