Let me tell you a story about myself.
Well, I say it’s about myself but, let’s be honest, I wouldn’t be sharing it if it was completely about me. This unique story is about certain events in my life, yes, but it’s not just my story. It’s about how God changed my heart.
I was extremely blessed to grow up in a good Christian family with loving parents. They are both on fire for the Lord and my dad is the pastor of our Church. I love them greatly but, regrettably, I can often take them for granted.
As I imagine most good Christian parents would, they raised my siblings and I to know about Christ and what He has done for us.
As a child, I was taught Bible stories, memorised verses, attended Bible Club, connected schoolwork to Christ and the Bible, and attended Church regularly. Our family would also spend time together singing children’s choruses and hymns, read the Bible, and pray. My childhood was rich, which I am ever thankful for (even more so as my younger siblings are receiving that same rich childhood now).
But despite the fact I knew all about Christ, why I needed Him, and how I could be saved, I didn’t really think about it much. Although I would be enthusiastic and believed all I was being taught was true, I didn’t make it personal. I didn’t know Christ for myself and was living in sin. It was just head knowledge and not heart belief.
Lying to everyone (including myself)…
I remember when I was seven, I had a sudden concern about going to Hell and praying for God to forgive me but, after that, I moved on and kept living as I had before. I gave myself a false sense of safety and would even tell people I was saved. To me, salvation was a “Get Out of Hell Free” card. Now I could just move on and live my life, right?
Wrong. I didn’t truly give my life to God and I hadn’t changed anything about how I was living.
Then it all changed…
On a whim, I went to a girl’s baptism in January of 2014. My mum, fairly last minute, asked if I wanted to attend. I hadn’t talked to this girl or her family for a while but I semi-knew them and I was friends with her younger sister, so I was enthusiastic to go.
I remember being convicted that evening. This girl happened to have the same first name as me and, although I don’t remember her testimony or what the sermon was about, I knew one thing– I was a sinner just like this other Bethany. However, there was one vital difference: she was headed for Heaven and I was headed for Hell.
I knew that I needed to be saved and that I needed to give my life to Christ. It was on my mind that evening as we ate food after the baptism, as I talked to her sister about playing the violin, and as we drove home.
That night while laying in bed, I cried, feeling torn and broken over my sin and how inky black my heart was. Tears just kept falling as I pleadingly whispered, “Lord please save me! Lord, Lord, please save me. Lord, save me,” over and over.
Suddenly, though, I felt a sense of relief. My parents had rightfully taught me that, as soon as you ask to be saved, God will wipe away all your sins and you no longer need to worry. Very quickly, my mournful tears turned into tears of joy. I was Christ’s child. He had saved me!
“My chains fell off, My heart was free…”
What came next?
My life changed; I started living for Christ and was full of joy.
I don’t remember when exactly, but later that year I was convicted to be baptized. I knew that was the next step in my Christian journey and that we’re instructed to do it by Christ. So, on the first of November, 2014, I publicly declared my faith with the outward sign of an inward change that is baptism.
Since then, a lot has happened in my life. There have been times of struggle and times where things seemed to be going well. A particularly challenging season was the first half of last year. The devil was truly attacking me and tearing me down, tempting me to have doubts and fears. As I was struggling, it had an effect on everything around me and that whole season was quite difficult.
Roses, I’m not telling you this to be pessimistic. I simply want you to know that the Christian life will not always be smooth and we can’t expect it to be trouble free. Even recently I’ve been struggling again but, let me tell you this, God has been with me through it all! I may not always feel or remember it, but God has promised to be there for me. He knows my struggles and pleads for me to trust Him in the midst of them.
“My life, God’s glory”
Hindsight is wonderful. Looking back over my life, I can tell you of many times He has preserved and guided me, often turning insignificant events into something life-changing.
My testimony is not about me. I didn’t save me. I didn’t help myself through the tough times. I didn’t give my everything so that all may have the opportunity for hope eternal and freedom from the weight and punishment of sin. I didn’t bear terrible pain. I didn’t have God turn His face from me as I bore the weight of the sins of the entire world.
No. God sent His Son, Jesus, to do that for us. Jesus died and rose again, defeating death and the devil. Jesus ascended and left the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be with us and guide us through our lives.
It’s all about God, not me. “My life, God’s glory,” as a friend of mine likes to say. Remember that as you go through life. It’s. All. About. God.
If you know Christ already then go out and share your story with the world. Your personal story of God’s work in your life is a great tool in the sharing of the gospel! When you have nothing else to tell, then tell of God’s work in your life. Share your beautiful story, Roses. Even if you think it’s uninteresting or if you don’t remember details; it doesn’t matter! What matters is that you found salvation in a Saviour who gave His life for you.
And if you don’t know Christ, I encourage you to think about your spiritual life. If you have any questions then please ask us and we’d be happy to help and encourage you in any way possible.
So there you have it. That’s my story. What’s yours?
Beth is a seventeen-year-old Historical Fiction writer from the United Kingdom. She is the second oldest of ten children and is a pastor’s kid. She loves her quiet countryside life and couldn’t dream of living anywhere else. She recognizes that she is not alone in her battles against the Devil and that there are many other young women out there who simply need a kind voice reassuring them of God’s love and power. It’s her goal to be a reassuring voice saying, “Keep going- I’m here for you but, most importantly, God is here for you.”