"The enemy's hope for Christians is that we will either be so ineffective we have no testimony, or we'll ruin the one we have."
Ah! How often does it happen that you pick up your Bible, or hear a message in church - and it's like God is right there whispering in your ear? It happens to me quite often - including today. This quote above form Beth Moore's book, as usual, hits home with me tonight.
Lately, I have been sinking further down to the enemy's level. I haven't gone out and lied, steal, cheated, killed, or anything like that! No, but I have given up hope and lost faith in a lot of stuff. Isn't that just as bad? I've given in to the enemy. I've thrown my hands up in the air and simply said, "I'm done".
Unfortunately I seem to think that the enemy is working harder and in more ways in my life at the moment than He is. And I know that's not true, but lately, I just cannot see the silver lining. A few nights ago - my last post - I felt stronger than I had felt in a long time. It was paradoxical in a way - I was vulnerable and weak - letting out all of my emotions, and yet, I found some hidden strength that made me sit down, type a post, and scream out to God for help, support, and guidance.
Sometimes it appears that I have no "testimony" yet - and maybe that's ok because I'm still "getting to that place."
Often times I do feel as though my journey with Christ is ineffective - and maybe the enemy is right? I try and try - and always seem to fail. I just can't "get there." But, no! Sure, that could be enemy's hope - for us to fall, to fail, and give up hope. No testimony = no belief. No hope. No faith.
I'm not there yet. While I don't feel as though I yet to have a strong testimony to my faith - I still do have belief that I can get there. I still have hope. I still have faith. Sure, sometimes it's a lot weaker and less apparent as others. But it's still there. Faith. Hope. Belief.
Now, "ruining the one [testimony] we have" - well, if I don't have one yet, I guess I can't ruin it, right?
Part of me feels like I do have some testimonies - there are the ladies whom I worked with at TK - Jo, Lu, Mar, Stephanie, and of course Mary. Mary's family and Jo's daughter Lindsay - they all touched my life in a spiritual way and opened my eyes in different ways to the kindness, strength, honest and truthfulness, and love of Christians. They all brought me back to wanting to go to church and wanting to be a better Christian. Now, here in Indiana, I have met some of the kindest, strongest ladies again through the school in which I work. Through some male co-workers who introduced me to their wives (Jamie and Jess) - I now have some more guidance when it comes to this "stuff". On a different level, they have gotten to know me at probably one of my most vulnerable times of my life. A girl from my sorority, Beth - I can turn to her for strength and guidance even I haven't talked to her in a few months. I know she will always be willing to listen and be there for me just to give me some words to help me through. Deb and Chuck - they showed me what it's like to have true happiness and true love.
Can all of those instances, those times, be considered my testimonies? When those around me show me a new, better, path? When those around me help me to see the good, the strength of prayer, the hope in Christ? If that counts, then I guess I've had quite a few "testimonies"!!!!
How embarrassing, that I meet new people, turn to people at times when I'm at my weakest and struggling? And while I say that - I know all of the above mentioned people would not judge me at those low times.
It's so refreshing to type that and know that I can turn to them. Why then, is it, that I only seem to go to them when I am having problems? I really need to be a better friend. Those are the people I need to surround myself with. I honestly KNOW God has brought me to these places, introduced me to these people, all in His name. His work. His doing. And I hope he sees all the good deeds His believers are doing, and all the work they are accomplishing in His name - just in my life alone.
So, to close, to hell - literally - to the enemy. The enemy can hope all it wants that I will fail and have an ineffective testimony, or ruin the one I do have. But throughout this post, I have realized that while I am still on my search and path with Christ, and maybe my testimonies aren't that strong, I do have my own. Mine. It's what's worked for ME. They are my stories, my testimonies, my witness to how He, You, has/have worked in my life - especially through some great friends brought upon by moves, new jobs, etc.
Thank you Lord for putting those people into my life who have made a difference to ME in Your name. While they may not all see it in themselves, I know You are using them to spread Your Word - and they are making a change in at least one person's life. Mine. Please help me to reach out to them more - to remember them in times of strength and not just weakness. Please encourage me to surround myself with people who are strong in their beliefs of the Christian faith. I pray for all of those who have been a part of my testimonies that they continue their work in Your name. Give them support, strength, and guidance. Please help me to be that person who does Your work, spreads Your word, for someone else in my lifetime.
To the enemy - suck it.