The multi-color glow from the stage lighting slices the dark atmosphere of the room, spotlighting on an unsuspecting teen before darting haphazard to the next adolescent. The air is pungent with the scent of CK One, mingled with pockets of Clinique Happy. He takes the stage, which is more of a designated area at the front of the room blocked off by heavy sound equipment and large speakers, his charismatic personality entrancing all who listen. Words shot like arrows into the heart.
This is how it begins. Somewhere in the world of youth camps and lock-ins. Late night bonfire chats lead to lifelong memories. In the mix of this, somewhere in the 1990’s of my life, a question was posed… “What is your testimony?”
I can remember the first time I heard this expression and had no idea what they were talking about. Like, no clue. It wasn’t long before I caught on though. The stream of almost 20 year olds and upwards, who had spoken at different youth retreats and events conveyed the power of Christ in their lives. They told stories unending of being a “party-er” or experimenting with drugs, having sex before marriage, living a wild lifestyle – all before they met the man named Jesus. The list goes on of all the beautifully crafted stories in the lives of those who had encountered the saving power of the Cross of Christ and its ability to transform a nature.
So what was my testimony? … In those moments, I supposed I had none. My life choices paled in comparison to some of the tales I had heard. So whenever asked, I would simply reply with, “Oh, I don’t have one.” Until one day, God’s power to KEEP ME resonated within my soul. The same power to deliver, is the very same power to preserve.
The other day I was having a conversation with someone about weed. I know, right?! How do I get on to the topic of weed… who knows, but in that very moment I asked for definition of a particular description of said weed. My vocabulary in drug culture is extremely limited for obvious reasons. Yet in that prying moment the comment was made, “Oh, you were a good girl?!”
Yes. Yes I was… and maybe you are too.
Maybe I’m talking to you, the one that’s been labeled a good girl. Maybe you feel like because of the choices you have made and dedication you have given to the Lord, you no longer have what is considered a testimony. You’re wrong. Honey, you are the strongest and most brave soul one could ever meet. So what about the good girls?
Your testimony is the evidence of God’s power to keep and to guard. Your life cries out as a praise to the one who has held you in the palm of His hand. Never feel unqualified, slighted, belittled, or as if you don’t have anything to share with others because you have chosen to follow God and His will for your life, for your entire life. So be you, be good and shine bright.
“I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you— Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. God guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” Psalm 121 (The Message)