No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
- Mathew 5:15-16
The word testimony used to be a word that scared me. When I was in middle and high school I went to a summer church camp. This church camp lasted about a week, and every night we had campfire. Every night all of us campers had an opportunity to share our testimony (our God story), prayer requests, or just anything that the Lord had placed on our hearts to say. Every single year that I went to church camp this opportunity tugged and tugged at my heart to share my testimony. I so desperately desired, and if I am being honest felt God calling me, to share my testimony. Yet, I never did.
In middle and high school, I had many opportunities to fully be vulnerable, open, share, and give even just a sliver of my testimony….at youth group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes that I was a part of in high school, friends or acquaintances that somewhat asked me about my testimony, and like I mentioned, church camp. Growing up, I always felt as if I was blaming or putting the spotlight on someone if they were a part of my testimony. I feel as if I hid behind my testimony for a good part of my middle and high school years because I was scared of showing my scars and imperfections.
In the year of two thousand sixteen I started to crave more devotion and intimate time with the Lord because of my new relationship with Christ. No one else was telling me how to worship and spend time with the Lord. For me, I started to notice the ‘fad’ of blogs. I remember Googling “faith-based blog” and Lane of Roses is what I found when I searched through a couple of the Google results pages. I read Katie and Rebekah’s stories, and I instantly felt as if I was welcomed into a family….just by reading their testimonies. I related to an eating disorder and anxiety while reading their stories. The truth and the vulnerability in their stories left me realizing that our stories are to be used for greatness. That stories are supposed to have a beginning, middle and end. That we can use our stories to plant seeds and create conversations! More importantly, as I continue to see all that God is doing through the Lane of Roses community, I have come to know that we should not be bound in our wounds and scars of our past.
1. Have you ever shared testimony or do you ever have moments where you want to share your testimony but your palms become sweaty and fear holds you back? If so, what is that fear that is holding you back? Make a list of the fear that is getting in the way of sharing your story, because your story matters too!
2. Now, that you have thought about what could possibly be holding you back, get yourself a journal solely for stories about your life and your walk with the Lord. Write down in this notebook your hill and valley moments and write your story on paper, little by little. Once you have written a little bit of it, read it aloud to yourself.
Dear Lord, thank You so much for not only being our Father but being our Prince of Peace too! Lord, when we have moments when we are too hard on ourselves please remind us to give ourselves grace because You have given us even greater grace! Grace, grace, grace wonderful grace! Show us the way to quiet our souls when we get upset at ourselves. May we always remember that You took the cross for our name too when we do not give ourselves enough. Thank You for Lane of Roses and the ability to share stories and relate to women around the world that we serve a beautiful, loving God. Amen.