My Testimony Of Faith
Who I was
I was once a very bad person. I know we all say that from time to time but I really was something else. If you had an issue with me you had better been ready to drop it or fight me over it. Regardless of how small and mundane an issue it was. I walked through this world without any cares always thinking I had it figured out. I never stopped to think about what the things I said or did would do to somebody else. I was concerned with number 1 and in reality I was anything but the best anything. I refused to look at that mirror of life that reflected the true inner me, who was trying so hard to come out and be seen. I was not the person I portrayed, it was an act. Why did I play such a demeaning and silly role in the story of my life? I played it because the world had me. Satan had convinced me that I was doing nothing wrong and I never realized the affects I was causing. I was creating very dangerous ripples in the waters of not only my own life, but those around me as well.
The inner me
I knew deep down that I had to change, I just couldn't be that way anymore. The more I tried the harder it got and I just went right back to being Mr. doesn't care. I just could not let the wall I had created down enough to show people the real me. I can blame poverty, being bullied, and even not having the best opportunities but the truth is I was the culprit. I held myself back. I refused to head the mark of my high calling. I was raised in church but just could not get into it as much as my grand mother. Than a faithful day in 1998 changed that for me.
I attended a three day youth fellowship revival at a little old timey church up on a hill. I didn't want to be there, but my girlfriend was a big christian and I wanted to impress so I showed up. The first two nights that preacher gave it everything he had. He preached himself to tears. he was trying so hard to reel one more soul in. He wanted to open someone up to the opportunity of eternal salvation. Someone's heart was being pulled and a small knock had started sounding. I don't think anyone was ready for the third night.
The third night
On the third night I was feeling bad. I could not shake this feeling of guilt and shame. I really didn't want to be there but something inside me told me I had to. I set there, my long hair pulled back in a pony tail, and my typical black tee and ripped pants. I wanted nothing more then to leave but I just couldn't gather the strength to get up and walk out. Suddenly the words that preacher were saying began to make sense. I started to understand that God's grace is and always will be there for me.
I heard a faint voice in the back of my mind. "Stand up, be counted for". I started to rise and than a darker, more clearer voice spoke to me. "You have long hair, boy, do you really thing Jesus wants you there?" I kept my seat, knot on a log and the preacher stopped. "God doesn't care what we look like on the outside". His eyes were glaring at me and it looked like even he was confused by what he just said. He went right back into the lesson on Noah and God's unfaltering grace. I set there.
I was reminded of my friends. They always teased that instead of an angel on one side to guide me right and a devil on the other to steer me wrong I had one devil that might coax me to steal a car and on the other side another devil telling me to set the stolen car on fire.
I listened more and I heard it again, louder, more pronounced. "Arise, and tell them all what I have done for you." I started to get up but I buckled as that second voice chimed in. People say all kinds of bad things about you, God doesn't want a rumor mill in his heaven." I gave in again and just set there. My guilt was rising and I felt so tired. The preacher stopped, looked right at me and said "God does not care what others think of you." He went right back into preaching like it never happened. Despite the oddness of the situation I just set there.
Three times is a charm
I will admit I was shaken and a bit scared at the same time. I set there as the preacher prepared to come to a close with tears bellowing in my eyes and my heart as heavy as lead. There again, that voice. Loud, and distinguished rang through. "Stand and be accounted for." I started that rise from that crowded back seat when the voice that had kindled a fire of doubt in me hit me like a ton of jagged bricks. 'You dress like a freak and you listen to heavy metal, God does not want you." I was shaking now and just could not hide the tears any longer. My friends kept asking if I was OK, and I lied and said sure just feeling a little hot.
That preacher stopped. Inside a battle was raging that I could not fight alone. On one side was the enemy I had never resisted to give into and on the other the best friend I never knew I had. As that preachers eyes hit mine he spoke, "God doesn't care how we dress or what we listen to". I could not fight it any longer, I knew where I was meant to be. I stood up and walked down the church floor, tears spilling on the carpet and inside I felt like the world had finally made sense. That preacher took my hand and asked if I had something to say. I looked up, and smiled which was something I was not really known for. "I just met the father and let him take over where I was lacking". The church roared in celebration.
I had finally found what had been missing in my life for so long. He had always been there at the door wanting to come in but I let my own selfish ways keep him locked out. That day I made the choice to be a soldier for my Lord, to walk by faith and to be a light so that others may see. I have come short from time to time. He never promised us an easy battle, but he did say he would never leave us. The road still gets rocky and the climb has it's moments where I want to let go and fall but he is always there to catch me and see me through.
I ask that if you read this and were touched, even if you are not a christian just look out your window and see what he gave you, what he gave me. I hope that someone was moved by this. Thanks for reading.
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