My Testimony

Blog Tour of TestimoniesIt wasn’t dramatic or shocking. There were no sudden tears or overnight transformations. In fact, I am sitting here, staring at a blank screen, trying to figure how I should share my “testimony.”

You see, I can’t even tell you what my life was like before I became a Christian. I don’t have any real memories of a time when I was without Christ. I ‘grew’ into my Christianity and into God’s family as naturally as I did into my earthly family. I remember the time my twin sister and I knelt down beside my mother’s bed and prayed to accept Christ into our hearts. But, other than that instance, my understanding of God didn’t come from any specific experiences. It simply evolved.

As evangelical Christians, we attended a relaxed Brethren church. Our family was far from perfect, but I had a relatively happy childhood.

My twin sister and I are worriers and, right from the start, we turned to God to strengthen us. I remember my mom getting us to write out Bible verses about not worrying to carry with us to read when our fears threatened.

At fourteen I got sick with a virus that devastated my body and immune system. The rest of my teen years were spent as a sick kid, trying to get to school for a class or two, but mainly home schooling from my bed. At eighteen I got even sicker from trying to push my body to do more than I should and, as a result, was bedridden from nineteen to twenty-one.

While my twin sister and my friends went to university, I was being fitted for a wheelchair. I was so weak that even walking from the elevator to the doctor’s office was straining. I was beyond discouraged and frustrated. I became obsessed with getting healthy. I prayed for healing constantly, but was never healed.

Eventually I surrendered to my fate and to God’s will for my life, sick or not. After that began the most peaceful years I have ever experienced. My days became joyful, even as I lay in my bed for 22 hours of the day, often too weak or sick with headaches to watch TV or even listen to music. Instead I prayed and talked to God. He was my constant companion and became my best friend.

Now, after eighteen years of illness, I still struggle with a weak body but I am much healthier than I ever imagined I would be. God granted me many of my dreams that I shared with him. And although those years were lonely and difficult, I am so grateful for them. They laid a foundation that I can’t imagine living without. I get lazy now and neglect my prayer life. I get greedy and want more energy and health. I get selfish and forget to surrender. But then God reminds me what he taught me and where I will find peace.

My life is not perfect and it never was. My family has its own hurts and wounds. But mercifully my twin sister and I came out of it all with a deep love of God. And just as I couldn’t imagine life without Him when I was seven years old, I still cannot imagine living one day without my faith in Christ.

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Comments

  1. says

    Reminds me of the “thorn” Paul in the bible was required to bear. We don’t know why Paul was given a weakness, but it was one God used in a mighty way. And I can see reading your testimony, you may never know the WHY but God can use your “weakness” in a mighty way for His glory, and furthering is word.

    Great testimony. I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. says

    Wow, Janice. I think it’s awesome that you have the testimony that you grew up with Christ and have no real memories of being without Him. That is a testimony in and of itself!! That being sick must have been very difficult to a teenaged girl but I love how you used it to get closer to Him and now He’s using using you to touch other Moms. Thanks for sharing all that Janice!

  3. says

    Janice, thank you for sharing your testimony. To be honest, I almost didn’t post mine because mine wasn’t a “born again” situation either. Then I read your post and was encouraged to share my own.

    Thank you!

  4. says

    Thank you for sharing! Your testimony may not have drama or shock value, but it certainly demonstrates God’s love and comfort. Praise God for desiring to pull us close and give us strength through our weaknesses!

  5. says

    I so appreciate your testimony. Truly, I think that is how most of our testimonies are–that there is no “event,” but rather a “growing up” within our beliefs. We experience the peace that the gospel brings into our lives.

    As kids, particularly, I think we’d like an event: an angelic visit, or other divine spectacle. Instead, we feel a warmth in our heart of the Holy Ghost bearing witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    What a lovely, Sunday post!

  6. says

    I appreciated your testimony too. I didn’t have any dramatic twist to coming to know the Lord either. I like the way you shared about “growing into your faith.” I’d have to say my journey was similar in some ways. I can’t imagine how hard the physical issues were on you being so young but praise God He has strengthened you and even brought some of your dreams to reality today. God bless you! It was nice to get to know you a little better today. (I’ve fixed my address issues here today . . . sometimes I wonder why I picked such a long blog & e-mail address. Smile.)

  7. says

    What a neat testimony of God’s grace in bringing you to Himself early and keeping you from many of the things so many of us come to regret who are saved later in life.

    I had no idea about your illness. I’m so glad God restored you to a measure of health to be able to have a family and a ministry here. I have a viral “thorn in the flesh” as well, and used to think I’d be able to serve the Lord so much better without it, but realized finally that it shaped my opportunities and ability to serve Him.

  8. says

    Thank you for sharing your testimony of God’s continued love for us. He is our steady rock, unchanging…thanks for the reminder of that as I need constant reminding.

  9. says

    Praise the Lord that you were taught at home to trust in Him. One of the many things I struggled with in my early years was my lack of a “powerful” testimony. I had no life-changing event to mark the occasion, but I thought it was required. Of course it isn’t. Your story is plenty powerful.

  10. says

    Thanks for sharing that with us. I can’t imagine what you went through being sick for so long…but I guess it was all worth it to have made God your best friend. I think I will share mine, is it too late, or can we link up anytime??

  11. says

    This is a powerful testimony, Janice. The time you spent alone with God lying on your bed in prayer must have been wonderful. And you know disagree with you, although apprehensively, that this isn’t dramatic because I think it is. Thank you so much for participating.

  12. says

    Your story is so inspiring. I’ve said it before, but gotta tell you. The people I admire the most are people like you. You knew God from a young age, and nothing swayed you from His side. That not only proved your faithfulness but His as well. You stayed the course, and have remained His daughter through thick and thin and that just blesses me so much. I personally celebrate the ones who grew up and remained faithful and weren’t attracted to the world, as being the ones who Father is so very blessed and glorified by, and so very pleased with. Well done!

  13. says

    What a sweet testimony! I hope my children will have a testimony of knowing God early in their life like you. I am doing my best!

    I struggled with lonliness most of my life. I think it was instrumental to getting me to depend on God totally.

    Jenn

  14. says

    Juat wanted to comment on your comment on faith lifts today. I too love Rick Warren and his readings and his Celebrate Recovery Program that I have been in for three years now. He speaks the truth in the purest form, you keep on preacing his words sister, that is what God wants from us anyway.
    Just had to let you know I am a big Rick Warren supporter……I have the purpose driven life book at my desk at work, and will always use it as my stepping stone for life……sonja

  15. says

    I loved reading this, I’ve been out of the blogging loop for awhile but I’m hoping I’m back now!

    Anyway I always enjoy reading testimonies, I have one posted (link on my sidebar) from a previous bloggy of testimonies!

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