The altar was full of young people. Some crying, some shaking, but all touched by the testimony of a drug-addict-turned-Jesus-evangelist. As everyone filed out of the auditorium buzzing with adrenaline, I left with mixed emotions. I love hearing how amazing grace saved the sinner, and the mighty hand of God at work, but I had mixed feelings because I desired a phenomenal testimony. I wished there was more to my story.
You see, I am a good girl. Always have been. Raised in a Christian home and a Pastor's kid. Revival meetings and missions trips were normal for me. I loved God. Hungered for his presence; longed to do his will.
Then came college. Independence.
I thought about it. But couldn't. Not because I was afraid of wrath or punishment.
But because I knew.
Knew the Light. Knew his love. His grace. Grace that turned weakness to strength, enabling me to refuse things of the world. Amazing grace that kept me. So I've never smoked, been drunk, or taken drugs in my life. I am not a recovering addict. I am not a survivor of divorce or abuse. But for the grace of God.
If only I had a life-altering testimony. Or is it?
I Will Not Hide the Light
The devil would have me think I have nothing to offer; my life unrelateable. The most powerful testimony is one that changes from tragedy to glory. Christ says otherwise.
Then Jesus asked them, "Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine" (Mark 4:21).
Sometimes I think my light is small. Without a dramatic testimony of addiction to triumph, I feel weak. My life is not weak. For too long I have hidden under the bed of inadequacy and ambiguity. I choose to shake off the covers. This lamp needs to be seen. I am compelled to shine.
I Will Not Think Less of Myself
I must have heard this verse hundreds of times at youth group; stirring my soul to a higher calling. Yet at times it did not feel like a higher calling. Faith, love and purity felt boring; a testimony that could not save anyone, let alone set an example to others.
Perhaps 1 Timothy 4:12 should read, "Don't think less of yourself because you were saved while you were young." Father does not disregard my journey, and neither will I. I will continue to be an example in what I say and how I live. Without hesitation; comfortable in my non-tattooed skin.
Amazing Grace Saved Me Too
I have come to realize that grace is not just for the perishing. Followers of Christ need grace. Every moment. Every day. It empowers us to walk in his ways. Through grace our stories change from glory to glory. Grace to believe God your entire life is not something to be treated with indifference.
This is for all the women who don't think they have a story. Who have lived knowing Christ since birth. The ones who always loved and served him. Who never turned away, though the storm raged. Those who have done everything to stand, and are still standing. You have a story.
Just because you don't have a sordid past does not mean you have no testimony. Yours is a great story of grace. A life enveloped by the Lord's preserving mercies is not meant to hide ashamed. As the world gets darker, it is time to glow. We have been kept for such a time as this. Radiate Jesus.
The grace of God upon our lives is refreshing dawn to a lost world. Don't keep the light hidden. You may feel inconsequential, that you have little to impart, but it is time to shine. Let's raise our voices and declare the goodness of the Lord.
We are the light of the world. This is grace. Let it shine.
I'm Sarah Coleman, an Aussie passionate about Jesus & family. Through blogs and books I minister life and encouragement. Download my FREE eBook, Be Amazing: You Know You Want To. Find more of my thoughts at sarahcoleman.com.au.
Publication date: December 30, 2014