Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I've come this far by faith

It’s hard to condense a “testimony” into a few lines. There are so many facets of my life. Recently I wrote on my own blog Sounds of Hope about The Circles of Life. My life is like a kaleidoscope of circles. Sometimes they intersect and blend but mostly they are just random circles each with its own color and intensity.

I was born in a Christian home, grew up in church, and never left it. Okay, done. That’s my testimony. Seriously, I guess you could reduce it to those three phrases. My parents were both Pentecostal believers who loved Jesus with all their hearts and were faithful in every way. Like Andrea, there is never a time I didn’t know Jesus.

My mother would tell how she taught the Cradle Roll class in Sunday School. Before their were infant seats she would lay me on the altar in the prayer room while she taught her class of wiggling babies and toddler. She seemed to grow with me and as I got older, she was in charge of the “downstairs section” of the Sunday School. By school age, she was in charge of Released Time, the program on Wednesday afternoon where we were released from school for religious instruction.

I had many “come to Jesus” moments as a child. I feared they didn’t stick. A good sermon about “you need Jesus” would cause my sensitive heart to raise my hand, or go to the altar. I was “saved” many times. I was baptized twice. First, I was baptized as a teen. Always sensitive, always worried it wasn’t enough, I did it again as a young adult.

When it comes to my testimony of coming to faith, this just about sums it up. It is the walk, the journey of faith which is more interesting and full of inspiration. God is faithful. I have placed my hand in His and gone through abuse and divorce, life and death. In the midst of my childhood, I was molested.  I have given birth to and raised eight children. I have buried my father, my mother, and my granddaughter. I have been a welfare mother with no future. I have been a high school drop-out. I have been married to a wonderful man for 34 years who does not share my faith. I am a doctoral student – from high school dropout to doctor. I have answered a call to ministry and know my life’s vocation is to service Christ by serving His people. And I’ve just scratched the surface.  If you want to read more, read my blog.  I have told almost all this story in detail there.

There’s much I could say. Much I could write and much I have written – but it all boils down to this:

1 comment:

Linda Maynard said...

Hi Joyce...
Being an ongoing witness to your faith, as well as one who has learned about your Godly heritage...believe me you do have a story to tell.
I have commented to you often, as to how fortunate you were to have those roots.
Still believing it was wonderful, I realized something when I read your blog today. You remained with the Lord, through it all. Not everyone does.
You are surely a living example of when all fails...Jesus is the constant and He will NEVER fail. So many need to know that...whether they are hearing it for the first time or that they need to be reminded.
Thanks for hanging in there!