So Testify! was born from a face-to-face conversation with my best friend about my inability to have face-to-face conversations. Yes, let’s just go ahead and get the fact that I’m a queen of the paradox out of the way. Eh; what can you do.
Here we are at a semi-fancy restaurant that shall remain nameless (but has the best salad & bread sticks EVER!) celebrating her existence when the pros and cons of speaking our testimonies aloud(!) — like, to other people! — ensued with fervent gesticulation. We weren’t even drinking.
My past is…colorful. It’s no secret that I am a second chancer. That much I have no problem telling people. Unfortunately, my insecurities (or let’s say, Satan whispering in my ear) tell me that there are three serious possibilities that I’m not ready to face:
- Judgment. Whether I actually receive it or not, I will always be paranoid that I am receiving it. I will always be wondering what they think about me or the situation.
And, of course, what the Enemy is telling me is that the judgment I am getting is negative. He doesn’t want me to consider that perhaps they are saying, “She’s a good, strong gal for making it through and handing her life over to the Lord.” No, no. None of that. Lucifer wants me to think that everywhere I go and everyone I encounter can see the old me as if it’s a neon sign on my forehead. Ah, good ole Lucy.
- I’m unqualified. I’m afraid that people will hear how bad I once was and decide that I’m not someone they should listen to. I realize this is a complete contradiction: the most powerful testimonies are from those most broken. Even though I know that, my insides tell me that people will judge the bad stuff so harshly that they’ll forget to hear the important message about accepting Christ, Grace, and obedience. Another portion of that is that I don’t know enough of the Bible to talk to people about any of this yet. This one may actually be legit.
- Friendship loss. I didn’t used to believe that any person — not a one– made it through childhood/teenage/early 20s without the same kind of blemishes that I had. That is so not true. Although everyone messes up, lots of people still manage to make (mostly) right choices throughout their life. I have chosen to surround myself with these people since I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. These are also the same friends who want to reach out and relate to people to help draw them to God. This is the double-edged sword: they will inevitably hear my testimony when I give it to others and knowing the deepest recess of my life may decide they don’t want to be tied down to someone with that much baggage (it’s exhausting no matter how far behind you it is). This is only natural human behavior. Whether this is relevant of truly rooted Christian friendships, I have no idea. Yet.
Satan makes it sound really convincing, though. He’s all like: “It’s so cliché and naive to think that a real friend wouldn’t do that or to think that you just aren’t giving them enough credit…”
So here we are; we have arrived together at the point in my dinner story where this blog was first conceived.
The best advice I have received about this testifying is this: do not go into details about the past; use broad strokes so that the focus stays on how God redeemed.
What is your advice? And what “everyday” conversations have pushed you out of your comfort zone but into His glory?