Thank you so much for joining us on the Testimony Tour! If you missed Carmen Brown’s testimony yesterday(the beauty who writes over at Married by Grace), you can check it out here. It’s powerful and speaks to the heart of the many women who have reached out in love and given everything they have to save their man and their marriage. What she learned is far bigger than anything she could have imagined.
Freedom and victory weren’t always a part of my story.
You see, I knew about Jesus. Every memory I possess holds a piece of Him. There was a subconscious sensing of His presence in the day-to-day.
Never, not even for a moment, did I doubt. The conviction of His existence somehow never wavered.
It sounds good, doesn’t it?
Yet a vital piece of my faith was missing. A piece I needed in order to experience freedom. Without it I couldn’t grasp the redeeming love of Christ or the power in His name.
Without it, I couldn’t live fully free.
I didn’t know the cross wasn’t only about the victory over death giving us eternal life. I didn’t know there was great victory available to us on this side of the cross, too.Do you know about the victory available on THIS side of the cross? #testimonytour #howGodsavedme… Click To Tweet
At some point in my later teen years, I began drifting. I believed, honored, and revered the Lord as my Savior. But a Savior residing in Heaven living apart from me. Not a Savior actively engaged in the day-to-day of my life.
Not as One who longs to dwell in me and be in relationship with me.
That way of thinking lead me down paths of destruction and pain.
Because when we don’t embrace Jesus as One who is with us in our every moment, we tend to think we are doing this life thing on our own. We take over and run it as we wish. Then, in our humanity, we lose our way.
Our frailty causes a crumbling and our brokenness surfaces giving way to actions born out of feelings that deceive us.
In those years, my past haunted me, the here-and-now pained me, and the future scared me. I dragged the heavy weight of insecurity into life-altering choices. With them only bringing more pain and, in turn, an increasing sense of worthlessness. It was a season of confusion and emptiness.
I lived in search of being “something” because inside I felt like “nothing”.Are you in search of being something because inside you feel like nothing? #testimonytour… Click To Tweet
Striving, searching, seeking.
Relentlessly in pursuit of validation, I held onto the hope of that one person who could grant me worthiness.
Instead, betrayal and rejection flooded my life.
Maybe, if I could do better. If I could be a better athlete, smarter in school, thinner, prettier, more creative, or simply be a better human being, then I’d be lovable.
I’d be worthy.
I became an overachiever giving 110% to every aspect of my life. However, the more I accomplished, the less the achievements actually mattered. I couldn’t accomplish enough to fulfill the need within my soul.
A vicious cycle evolved pushing me into a deep sadness. The harder I tried, the more my sense of worth plummeted.
Today I see it through a different lens. I see the betrayal, the search for love, and the abuse. I recognize what I was searching for. As I dealt with life threatening illnesses and a heart shattered into a million pieces, I longed for the filling of the deepest hole in my heart.
I often wonder how that life was mine. Such a story of pain and dysfunction, yet a story I would never change because without it I would not have experienced the power of God’s redeeming love.
Because, friends, today I am changed. I am made new.
Through those years Christ was there with me waiting ever so patiently. Waiting for me to fully give Him my life so He could stop all the madness and show me that He alone is the only one from whom my worth could ever come. Through Him I could be made whole. But I needed to look at Him differently. To know Him, not just know about Him. I needed to see Him as here with me. In me.
And I needed to pursue that relationship.Knowing about Him and knowing Him make all the difference! #TestimonyTour #ChosenandWorthy #Hope Click To Tweet
It took the sending of a warrior into my life. I’d found my way back to Him in my actions while pursuing Him and His Word. I engaged in a church community. They were all the right steps toward freedom. Yet, even with all the right steps, there was a part of me still unfilled. A part of me yet to embrace the fullness of Christ.
And one day in the depths of an enemy attack leaving me in a pit of depression, my warrior came alongside me and spoke Truth in a way I’d never heard before.
A way that, bit by bit, took apart the love story God has breathed for us. Every detail in the Bible that tells us of God’s relentless pursuit of His people. His relentless pursuit of our hearts. Of a story leading to the ultimate sacrifice all in the name of love. For us. Because we are worthy just as we are. Forgiveness wipes the slate clean. Redemption means to make us new leaving the past behind and stepping forward clothed in His righteousness.
I finally got it. I peeled away the final layer from my heart, laid it bare before God, and realized I’d found safety.
Finally, the deepest places of that hole in my heart were filled. Not by people. Not by achievement. Not by approval.
But simply by the unfailing love of a patient yet relentless God.
It was when freedom found me. And I faced each day as a new person set apart, created with purpose, worthy, and victorious.
How about you, my friend? Are you ready to know more about His relentless pursuit of you? Are you ready to peel away the layers from your heart and lay it bare before Him?
Now be sure to jump back on the Testimony Tour bus and join me here as my friend, Jami Wiebel, shares her story of coming to know Christ! Each of the 10 testimonies along the tour will not only encourage you, but ultimately could end up being the tool you need to share your faith with another. Someone who has yet to experience the love and redeeming grace of a God who never lets go.