Monday, October 02, 2006

Bloggy tour of testimonies - here's mine

Hello everyone! I'm participating with the Bloggy Tour of Testimonies sponsored graciously by Lauren at Created for His Glory. I'm a little late to link to Heather's, but here goes anyway!

I admit I usually kind of dread it when I'm asked to share the story of how I came to Christ. I always wish I had a dramatic near-death experience to make it more interesting. But no. I just had a family that loved God and introduced me to Him at a young age.

As I said in this post, Christ was the center of our home growing up. Not in a churchy, hypothetical, mental-ascent sort of way, but in a God-is-here reality. I can’t remember a meal, bedtime, car trip, illness, decision or celebration that did not include a heart-felt prayer to a personal God who was interested in the small details of my life. Although my parents were not perfect, they modeled Christ for me in a way that made it natural for me to put my faith in Him.

It's almost hard to believe that from a very young age (maybe 4 or 5), I knew that I’d broken God’s laws. I knew that nothing good I could ever do could take away my guilt, except believing that Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sin. My parents regularly encouraged us to ask His forgiveness of our sins after we'd disobeyed. But since God was so much a part of our everyday life at home, there was a time I was worried that maybe I wasn’t saved, because I couldn’t point to an “exact” date when I’d prayed to ask Jesus into my heart.

One day when I was about nine, we were on our way home from church, and I mentioned this to my parents. After we got home and everyone else cleared out from the car, my dad asked me to stay behind. He asked if I wanted to pray with him, not because he doubted my salvation, but so that I could point to a time when I turned from my sin and invited Christ into my heart. I did. I was baptized when I was twelve.

Does this mean my life was perfect? Of course not. I was nine, for goodness sake! I had a lot of growing up to do, spiritually and in every other way. I wish I could say I faced every challenge from childhood through adolescence perfectly – far from that. I disobeyed, struggled with a sarcastic tongue, had attitude issues, and regularly instigated disagreements with my siblings.

But the foundation had been laid. By the time I was in my early teens, I knew I wanted to live my life to please Christ.

Of course, growing up in church has its own set of issues, like learning to keep my trust in God, even when His people mess up. The other thing is taking God and His blessings, protection, and even salvation for granted. And pride – the sin that God hates most (Proverbs 8:13) – is much more of a temptation when I start to focus on my own righteous works, which He calls “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

No, it’s all because of Him. And just to remind me that my own efforts could never please Him, He’s given me a houseful of kids to keep me on my knees, and a husband and a few close friends who care enough to speak the truth to me when I need it the most!

I used to be a little embarrassed that this was my “story.” But now that I’m a parent, I see the blessing – and it really is only by His mercy and grace that He chose to place me in the family He did. It’s what Paul intended when he instructed parents to bring their children up in the "training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4).

I can’t thank my parents enough for making the choice to pass on this gift to me (as their parents did for them). In today's culture, it seems like even more of an an uphill battle sometimes, but my husband and I are intent on passing the same blessing on to our own children as well.

May I encourage you to do the same with yours?

If you would like to know more about Jesus, click here.


Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

14 comments:

Heather Smith said...

This is a beautiful post! My parents raised me in this way too! I'm so thankful for that fact each and everyday!

Susanne said...

What an awesome testimony! This is what I hope and pray for my kids to be as their testimony!

Stacey said...

That was great! I remember a time when I was scared to share what Jesus had done in my life because I felt like it wasn't a very good story. I'm glad to know that other people struggled with the same thing. You have a great testimony!!

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

I love this testimony. Thanks for sharing. I do happen to know the exact date but that is ONLY because my mother wrote it down. However I do remember the exact DAY in my mind, I remember the exact order of events etc and that is NOT from my mother! :)

I posted mine today. Oh yeah, I think you already read it.

Melissa said...

Great testimony. Believe me, I wish I'd had your background instead of my own. My conversion was dramatic, but I would've skipped the "field trip" if I could have!

I once heard a woman give her testimony as, "Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so." She, too, had grown up in a Christian home and had known the Lord all her life...but her converstion wasn't any less real than those of us who have done it the hard way. Her story was beautiful, as was yours.

Thanks for sharing!

Joy said...

I think that's the best testimony! Exactly what I hope and pray will be my children's testimony someday. What a treasure your family has passed on. Thanks for sharing!

As For Our House...We will serve the Lord. said...

Great testimony, Katherine!
I have been visiting your blog for the last week or so, and have been very blessed. I am adding you to my "blogs we like" list, which may not seem like a big deal to you...but for months my list has just consisted of 4 other blogs (family and friends)...your blog has inpspired me to branch out!! =) May God continue to bless you and your family greatly! Michelle
p.s. I found your blog on "BlueBird Blogs"...she is working on a blog design for me...hope it turns out half as nice as yours!!! =)

Erna said...

I appreciated your testimony today. What a lovely picture of the fulfillment of the Word, "Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it." God is so good! I too grew up in a Christian home and am serving the Lord. Like others, I was saved at a young age, recommitted my life to the Lord in my teens (or decided to take things more seriously with the Lord being my Saviour) and more. Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

You need to go read my post for today...it's about Madison my 9 yr old...she was saved Sunday morning in church...and will be baptized soon..I'll keep you posted.
Praise God.......
Jen

Kim said...

Great testimony! I have so much admiration for those who loved the Lord at such a young age! What a precious heart! I had to go through "the fire" but I guess that's what it took to be broken. Praise God for His tenderness and mercy!

GiBee said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony ... and thanks for the scripture (Eph. 6:4) -- I am so excited that my son is a third generation Christian, and I can't wait to start teaching him about the Lord!

Jennifer said...

Good story. A dear friend once said, "I want my children to never know a time when they didn't know and love Jesus." I pray the same for mine, but I know that in those "take it for granted" growing up years, it can seem rote, so I pray that God will truly grab their hearts and He will be real to them.

Christine said...

Wonderful! My story was pretty much the "lightning bolt" moment after being raised in a never-go-to-church-even-on-Christmas kind of home. I'll have to post mine soon.

I hope my kids can say about their upbringing what you have said about yours.

Wendy said...

What a beautiful testimony! I hope this for my children as well.

Mine is up now too.