Friday, January 15, 2010

3 Minute Testimony

I come from a family of unbelievers, and so, many people wonder how I came to find the Lord. Or rather, how the Lord came to find me.
On the streets of Milwaukee…
Tragedy struck, as anyone with parents that divorce, would honestly say. My parents separated and divorced just as I was entering sixth grade. This literally tore my family into two. My mother and I moved to South Milwaukee and my brother and dad stayed in North.
Insecure, hurt and lonely- described my 6th grade year. I frequently had thoughts of suicide. I struggled as a child to feel accepted, despite my mother’s attempts at telling me, “I love you.” I took disappointments hard and a slight nub ruined days of my childhood life. The idea of escape became my goal. I escaped when I watched a movie for two hours. I escaped when I felt friends liked me. But in the evenings, reality shook my emotional heart, and I wanted out.
That summer, my mom thought it best if I left the big city and visited family. I drove out to small town Iowa, joining my aunt and uncle.
Shortly after my arrival, my uncle’s youth group traveled to Colorado for a youth convention. Vulnerability became my companion; I was the youngest of the group and unknown to anyone. This pain had a purpose.
The first evening under the Colorado stars probed my thoughts on existence. I looked up high into the night and screamed inside, “If nobody in the universe loves me, why do I exist?” I planned to return home and end this quandary.
Following the crowd indoors, I took my place amongst thousands of teenagers. They played weird music and sang with their hands up in the air. I uncomfortably shifted in my seat. When all these “crazies” joined me in their chairs again, a man took the stage. He began to tell the life of a man-god named Jesus, but the words that finally penetrated my heart were, “He loves you completely.” That Jesus spoke, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16). And said, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt 10:30).
Tears flowed as Niagara down my face and splashed into my palms. Loved completely, despite my failures, and without strings attached, I didn’t understand it, but I wanted to know more. I learned that man was created to know God, but that rebellion/sin broke that relationship. God desired a relationship restored, so he sent messengers to bring people back to him. Each time people refused. They claimed they didn’t hear his voice. For thousands of years God screamed his love for his people and wept as they rejected him over and over again. In a final attempt to declare his love, he sent his very own son. This time some listened, but many didn’t see. They crucified him, Jesus was his name, and the Earth shook when his last breath escaped. But in His glory and power, death could not hold Jesus; he burst forth three days later from death and returned to his father in heaven. Jesus died the death man was guilty of and through this “most humble act” we can have a relationship with God again.
In fact, God says, “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
And so, I returned to Milwaukee a child of God.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Lauren. I'm so glad God drew you to Himself and you responded to His love!