Monday, February 21, 2011

"I don't have a story!"

For years people would ask me, "So what's your testimony?"

And I hated that question. You already know I'm a sucker for a great story. I mean, the way things weave in and out and mesh together, the way stuff culminates in THE moment, how seemingly random stuff all of a sudden falls together and makes sense...it's poetic, and I'm in love with it. I'm a writer--those things make my soul feel alive!

Growing up, especially in my teen years, I met people with these fabulous testimonies all about how God rescued them from awful decisions they'd made, or how God showed up and pulled them out of troubling situations, or how God "coincidentally" had them in the right place at the right time. Other kids would stand up at the campfire at the end of the week at camp and tell wonderful stories of God's redemption and how much He'd worked in their lives over the week.

And I'd have nothin'.

See, I've been a Christian since I was four years old. As tired as the phrase is, I grew up in a Christian home. I remember being at church all the time as a very young kid. I watched my mom highlight things in her Bible, so I'd attack my children's Bible with a yellow marker and scribble in the margins. I made a decision, on my own when I was probably about four, that I wanted to follow Jesus. I don't know what day it was. I have no idea why I wanted to make that decision, but I did. I only had a very basic understanding of Jesus. I knew He loved me, and I wanted to love Him forever, too.

So my "story" began. I say "story" because I truly believed you couldn't get much more boring than that.

I spent a lot of years going to church, going to church camp, and I even went to a Christian school in middle school. I learned a lot during those years, but every time someone would bring up testimonies I'd start feeling let down. I knew I was a Christian. I knew what God had done for me. But, really? There was no orchestral accompaniment, no shocking moments, no instantaneous decision to put aside my four-year-old vices.

I had no story.

And I really believed I had no story all the way until I was about 20 years old when God met me in a special way and showed me that I was so very, very wrong.

Next time I post I'll tell you a little more about how He was faithful to show me that my life has more of a story than I'd ever imagined.

Maybe you're like me and you feel like your testimony is a little boring. And maybe the rest of my story will give you a little bit of encouragement.

Because God doesn't write boring stories. :-)

Want to tell me about your testimony? Email me at ashleymayswrites at gmail dot com or visit my website (www.ashley-mays.com) and contact me there. I can't wait to hear YOUR story.

Love always.

5 comments:

Annie said...

I remember reading somewhere that those of us who think we have "boring" testimonies really are beautiful stories. And I remember a friend telling me once that the fact that I had always stuck to my values really stood out to her. I don't have any "great sin" from which I was rescued, but I look at my story and those like mine as evidence that what God sets apart, He will preserve, even in the midst of temptation.

Emii said...

Wow, you know that's exactly what I said last week, when we had to share our stories in class -- I don't have a story. But the night before I had to tell it, I scrambled to write down things about my life, and without even a practice, I was the second person to tell my story.

And you know what? One guy said, "You just made mine look really, really bad." And afterwards, another guy was like, "I think yours was the best story in the whole class."

I was honest. I talked about my relationship with God, and how Jesus is my best friend. About how I was a loner in year 7, and year 8 was the best year of my life. About how I think we can either choose Jesus or the world -- and I choose Jesus, but I still care about what people think and I don't know why... and yeah. I don't know what was so good about it -- but I guess God was speaking through me. I think He really was... because I sure didn't think it was too interesting!

Ms. Blasé said...

Everyone has a testimony. I think trouble starts when we begin comparing our stories to other people's. We must remember, however, that God has put each person on a unique life path and that no two stories will be alike nor should they be measured against one another. We are to use them instead to minister to others and glorify His name.

Adrienne said...

This reminds me of a song by Da T.R.U.T.H. called "My Story." It's about how he thought his testimony wasn't "cool" compared to other people, but God showed him that his real testimony is that God kept him since he was a child. It's a really good song.

Seri said...

God reaches out to everyone at different times and in different ways.