Here's a testimony from my own life:
I have a sister named Debbie. She
always went to church when I didn't. One day we discovered that
God wanted us in HIS Life! Wow! What a change happened! Suddenly
we were moving and growing in the Lord. Well, Debbie came to
visit and I asked her to write her own testimony. The Lord told
me to collect these testimonies and that some day HE would use
them to touch people around the world. I've linked to Debbie's
email at the bottom if you want to drop her a note when you
finish. Here it is in her own words:
(April 23, 1991)
I forgot all about your book, and your request to me to write my testimony down. I received your praise letter today and remembered when I read your note of my commitment to write for you. If you still want it---then here goes, but I warn you now I'm not any good at this and am still not sure what you want me to write.
Do you want me to start with when you got saved and started going to Chapel, which had me real worried? As I saw it I had been saved most of my life, and you were not. Which up until that time you weren't. I thought I was glad you had at last found a church to go to as you had been so against "organized church" most of your adult life, but this church was real weird. You were talking about speaking in tongues, seeing angels on the ceilings, etc. I was scared you had gotten mixed up in some cult, and here you were taking my children to this church. (Cheryle had discovered a Pentecostal Church. Debbie was and is Baptist, okay?)
You and Tom continued to go to this church for the next year or so. I always refused to go there whenever I was in town and told my boys that they were not required to go with you if they did not want to, that was not what I had always believed and didn't want them to believe what you did. Then you and I got in to several arguments, especially after your son Roy, wrote me and told me that I was not a Christian because I didn't go to your church.
But maybe that is what God wanted us to argue about. Since you and I haven't ever gotten along. We could not stand being in the same room together for five minutes. But here was something we both felt strongly about. So at a family dinner I asked you to come into the back hall and talk about your religion and especially your church. I think that was when God started working the hardest on me. We went through some scriptures and talked about your church. We didn't argue for the first time but it left me with a lot of questions.
For all of my life I had thought of myself as a Christian - a born again Christian. I had always gone to church, even when you had dropped out, had said my prayers daily, taught my children to do the same. During my divorce I had prayed constantly for help, and I do know that God heard me and answered me. Not by saving my marriage but by giving me the strength to go and raise my children and myself with only His Help and the help of my family.
Cheryle, this is a side track but I never told you but I did Mom about an occurrence that happened to me one night right after my husband filed for divorce. As you know, I was working from 3 - 11 PM and Mom kept the boys. One night I had come home and was to awake to sleep so I stayed up downstairs to read awhile. It was late at least 1 am as I sat in the big chair reading. I suddenly heard someone call my name. I looked up but didn't see anyone and the TV was not on, so went back to reading. Again I heard some one call me "Debbie" by name. The voice continued, "Don't worry, everything will be all right." All of a sudden I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me and I started to cry and felt happy! I stayed there a little while knowing that God had spoken to me and that everything was fine!I went to bed and slept!
The next morning I asked Mom if she thought God ever spoke out loud, and told her what had happened the night before. Now, I know that this is out of context but do with it what you will, but now maybe you understand why I had always believed that I was a Christian. I still feel like I have been a Christian but one that has been asleep!
Anyway, as you and I had been talking I had started asking myself a lot of questions...was I a Christian...was I really saved?...would I go to heaven?...or was I going to hell? But I was worried and thought about this constantly! The more I thought about it the more I was convinced that God could not possibly want me...no way would I ever be allowed in heaven. Now when I say I thought about this a lot, I mean A LOT! ...While I was driving to work, at work, driving home, cooking dinner, in the shower, at night, etc... I mean it was horrible! I was crying constantly, praying continuously! I could not sleep! I would get on my knees, and pray, "Accept me! I beg your forgiveness!" This would last for a couple of hours before I finally was able to fall asleep. This went on for three months! Nothing seemed to work!
Then one afternoon, I came home and crawled in the shower. Again I was crying and worried. As I stood in the shower with the water hitting me on the head, I finally cried, "Okay, God, I have done everything I know and nothing is working. You have said to praise you in all things. So I don't know why, but I give you praise in this and trust you to handle this, too."
Suddenly I heard a voice very clearly, "Of course, you are my child. The devil always does this when you try to get closer to ME! He doesn't want you to KNOW ME!"
All I could do was stand there and cry and thank God! It was like the earth had been lifted off of me and I had a whole new out look! Since then my life has changed. I know that I am saved and God loves me. I want my life to be HIS and I want to know everything about HIM! I still have a long way to go but you and I have learned to be friends and love each other because of God's gift. You have helped me with encouragement and books, taking me to hear God's teachers. Hopefully one day I will get to the place that God wants me to help HIM win others.
Boy, Cheryle, that
has got to be the longest letter I have ever written, and hope it
is not too dumb for you to use. Throw out anything that is too
stupid to use, but I did warn you that I wasn't any good at this.
Though as I read back through this, I somehow feel that God wrote
most of this, and it wasn't me at all!
(This will link you to her email address)