I just wanted to share the testimony that I wrote and read out before the baptism. I hope it will show how I came to that point, and how God has touched and transformed my life.
I have always known that God loves me, I have always known that Jesus died for me and I have been greatly blessed being brought up going to church, learning about Jesus and learning how to pray. Knowing God’s amazing love and knowing that He is always there for me has been a great hope and comfort all my life. But I haven’t always completely lived in that knowledge and truth.So that's it! I hope this has encouraged you.
As baby, I was christened into the Anglican Church and Confirmed at 12. I made the personal decision to follow Jesus at that age because I felt it was the right thing to do and because I saw no other way than that. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life” And from then on, I began to embark upon a journey of faith that was personal to me, growing in personal relationship with God and working out what it means to be a Christian. I learned how to worship God and to pray to Him in my own way, how to communicate with him in a relationship that is unique to every one of us. I had some great friends during my teenage years who encouraged me in my faith, and who are still good friends to this day.
As a got a bit older however, I guess I wasn’t really living for God. Sure I knew He was there for me, that he would forgive me when I messed up, but I decided that I wanted to make my own decisions without Him. And of course I made many mistakes. But God is so faithful. In all things He works all things out for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8v28) He has turned every wrong decision and bad thing in my life into something good that has made me wiser and stronger. I have never felt like He wasn’t there. I guess I just sometimes acted like He wasn’t. But He’s never left my side. Whenever I have called out to God, He has always been there.
During university I was part of a great church and I started to really love reading God’s word, finding strength in Him and being involved in Christian Union outreach on campus. However, it was after finishing university nearly 2 years ago that I started to really understand what it is to trust God with my whole life. Not really knowing what to do with my life, and finding the courage to leave behind me a relationship that wasn’t right. I felt really called to France. In fact, my whole life, France has been a passion for me. Trusting in God, I allowed Him to find me the perfect place to live and for a year I had a great church, and English Bible study and some wonderful friends. God blessed my life beyond belief at a time when I really just had to completely rely on him. I learnt how to embrace life in his care and to be more thankful for all the blessings he has given me.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (Thess. 5,v16-17)
I have learnt to trust God and live my life in Him, praying about everything, praising God in good times and in bad, and putting my life into His hands, knowing that his ways are the best ways.
In Isaiah 55 it says: “ ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ” (Isaiah 55 v8-9)
Through trusting in God, he has shown me that He really does know best. When I have chosen to completely follow His plans for me, He has completely blessed me. He has brought so many wonderful people into my life on my travels and back at home, He has been changing my heart and continually giving me wisdom, making me less scared and more courageous.
3 months ago, I came back home to England, and as soon as Christmas was over, I wanted to go running off back to France. But God had other plans – reasons for which I can now see – to keep me here for a bit longer and He has blessed these last 3 – difficult – months of my life more than any other. I now appreciate the verse in Philippians 4, which says:
“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”. (Phil, 4v13)
I have felt Him here with me in everything, even the tiniest decisions. The last words of Jesus in Matthew have come back to me again and again during my life and especially at this time; words that profoundly touch me.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt. 28v20)
To really truly know that Jesus, the saviour of the whole world is with us, loving each and every one of us is really staggering. I want to follow in His footsteps, coming to Baptism, leaving past hurts and every worry and trouble I have at the foot of the cross to continue my life in Him for the rest of my life. His works in my life have given me faith that He really wants the best for us and that I can look forward to eternal life in Him. Looking forward, I want to be transformed to be more like Jesus every day,
In Colossians, 3 it says “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col.3v17)
I want God to use my gifts and to allow me and to stand with others, encouraging them in their faith, and being to them, what so many people have been to me, to be a living testimony, living in love and allowing God’s light to shine from my life.