So, i was remembering something today & it was sticking with me & i was having trouble thinking through as a whole, the thought that i was having... so, i phoned my sister... & i thought i'd blog about it...
i remember when i found myself a pregnant, unmarried 19 year old ~ being told by a few people that i had 'ruined my testimony'... i was genuinely repentant & knew i had done wrong, but could picture God, with His blocks scattered *by me* throwing up His hands in despair because i had ruined my 'testimony'...
What is my *testimony* anyway?
i have no doubt that i damaged my reputation ~ & disappointed my parents, & let's call a spade a spade : i sinned.
But today, when i was thinking about testimony, i kept thinking that really; any and all good things that i have done or accomplished ~ are from Him. There is nothing about me that is 'boast-worthy' (gal 6:14). Jesus paid it all. My testimony ~ before my pregnancy, as well as after it, is simply this: Saved by grace.
i think i've often earmarked that era of my life... (will it make you blush if i write that *hour* of my life?) All that happened before it being, to me, tainted by what happened in that hour. All the times i had shared my faith ~ or lived out my faith ~ ruined... unusable for God. The right choices so outweighed by that moment of weakness & my inability to choose 'better'. i remember awhile ago, blogging about that professor who laid down his own life for his students during the Virginia Tech massacre & thinking, 'but i'm not made of that Good stuff... i couldn't make a choice like that on instinct... see? i have my ruined testimony to prove it...'
As i watch my girls grow, i think i'm starting to look back on the girl i was then & i find my remberings *harsh*... i remember all the negatives... i was often late, forgetful, thoughtless... & i think, 'ah, yes, but then, after i got married, *then* God began to do His work in me...' ~ but it's simply untrue. i had committed my life to Him when i was a little child. He was a faithful Father to me through all the years of my childhood... & even through the days & weeks that led up to that earmarked era of my life. He began His work far before i began to see the fruit of His labour... & now that i'm older & i think i'm starting to soften to that little hurting girl that i was... i can see that i had a heart that longed to please Him. i can see that even though i chose badly, & i ruined my reputation... i loved him, i believed in Him & i never lost what is most precious to me: the knowledge that God is Good ~ & that He loves me... very, very much. He wasn't finished yet. My testimony is incomplete ~ not ruined ~ a work in progress... Jesus saves... How can a testimony about *Him* be ruined? All of it~ the story of my life, the good, the bad... all of it can do nothing but tell the truth: There is a God & He is Good.
& then there is the verse, (rom.6:1) "What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? "
Just because God can & does work through & use our failings to bring himself Glory ~ doesn't mean that i have any desire to continue in sin. i want to show Him i love Him by living my life more like Jesus... i want to continue to grow & bear good fruit. i want to be known as a follower of Christ because i show His love...
Jesus loves me, this i know ~
for the bible tells me so ~
little ones to Him belong ~
They are weak... but He is strong.
God, continue to shape me... Make me more like you. Make it my instinct to choose Good. May my testimony bring You Glory.