While growing up my mom would often talk to us about the importance of every salvation story.
She remembered growing up in a Christian home, safe and secure, with every need met, but with that hole in her heart that we all have until it is filled with Christ. She recognized her need for Jesus Christ at an early age and began following him early on in her years. She would tell us how she wasn't necessarily ashamed of her story, but was kind of sad that it didn't carry the drama and weight that other stories had when they were told, because she thought the impact would be small and less important.
It wasn't until years later that she was reminded by a friend (I can't even remember who she told me it was) of just how important her story was. God's redemptive hand on her life, as she was guided by the Holy Spirit away from the same things that would wreak havoc on another individual still searching for that Holy Spirit relationship, was just as powerful and important to His plan.
Now, I see where the Lord has brought her and I couldn't be more proud of the testimony she continues to bear. Yes, she was saved at an early age and bypassed many of the difficulties that others faced, but then life happened and her testimony has grown. Yet she continues to stay the course, proclaiming the name of God, no matter what the obstacle has been, and believe me, those obstacles and valleys have been some of the most difficult I've witnessed.
Her testimony wasn't over when she said yes to God. It was only beginning, and she has continued to say yes by God's grace and strength alone.
The older and older I get the more and more I realize just how much life sucks.
In my small little world I am walking through broken and hurting marriages, a mom fighting through cancer, a young girl who thinks her life isn't worth keeping, abandonment, homelessness, loss of jobs...life isn't going to stop, no matter how hard we try to protect ourselves and our littles.
But the hope we have is our story. Our simple testimony of how God loves us, saved us from ourselves, and has promised to carry us through every season we are in, and all we have to do is share our story and His love.
Don't discredit your story, no matter how hard or easy it was.
And don't you dare think it's over as soon as you say yes to following him.
Buckle up, it's a long hard ride, but my how the Lord loves to show off for and in His children if we are open and willing to continue to let him write our testimony.