THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF OUR TESTIMONY

I

wonder where the quiet is sometimes. It feels scarce, precious. Like I don’t know how to reach it. Still, I am greedy for it. I convince myself: nothing I can do will make it available to me. My heart beats too fast, surely. Slow me down, Father. There, there You are.

I watch a movie that shows me God’s face. An actor depicts Him as the father who loves with intention. He watches his son, and He protects him. He pursues, and yet He lets him, if the son chooses, to fall.

And the son falls.

I wouldn’t know God unless He let me fall.

HOW OUR INITIAL REJECTION OF GOD MIGHT NOT BE A BAD THING

I wonder about this story of mine–why it is that I had to fall, to sin, to know Jesus like I do. But I know I wouldn’t have understood, even just a little, the sweetest of his forgiveness. I wouldn’t have understood, even just a little, the redemption that comes from grace. After all, it was my thinking–I didn’t need God–that ultimately pulled me toward Him. He knew. He knew, I think, I had to fall.

I talk to Him about how I wish it didn’t have to be this way–my pushing and pulling, my rebellion against His goodness. I have been an expert wrestler for independence when separateness from God was the last thing actually good for me. But this I know: there is one way independence is beautiful. Choose Me. Or not. Love Me. Or not. There is no half way. There is no second guessing. We choose Jesus to be in our life, or we reject Him.

MAYBE WE NEED TO FALL

I know a lot of us can tell stories about our experience of rejecting God. And maybe, actually, those stories are not so bad. The wrestling with God–maybe even the temporary rejection of Him–is just what we need. The act of wrestling propels us to make a decision. And in that decision, we come face to face with God’s heart.

For me, I had to push Jesus away completely before I could recognize how desperate I am to be in his arms. And He loves me. He loves me still.

He loves you still.

WHEN THE CONFUSION STARTED

A friend asks me a question that makes me consider my story. She knows it; I’ve told it to her, leaving nothing out. She worries that the sharing of my story might make a person more anxious, more worried about sinning themselves.

I am confused. Conflicted. No, actually . . . I am none of those things. . .  I am resolved.

The story of God’s rescue of us is beautiful. It is what makes us beautiful.

Jesus’ rescue of us makes our testimony–our testimony that includes our fall–a beacon of light in a night. Our life shines now that it has been redeemed. For me to tell you I know Jesus without telling you how I know Him, how He rescued me, would be to deny that I have sinned. It would be to wear a shroud of secrecy that brings deaths to any heart.  Our rescue is the beginning of our truest self. And how do we tell the beginning of us without the context provided by the story of our fall?

REDEMPTION IS BEAUTIFUL, EVEN IN THE DARKEST MESS

I don’t know how to tell my story–tell a listener about the Jesus I know–without telling, also, of my fall. I don’t know how to point to Jesus and his love for me without acknowledging to anyone how I know, in the quietest, most truest place in my heart, how dark and desperate I am without Him. I cannot articulate how beautiful He is without remembering how He showed me who I am without him. I cannot explain how loving He is until I remember how He forgives me, again and again, when I deserve it least. I cannot speak of his grace without telling a story, without sharing how I saw His tears fall when He saw his daughter run into arms.

Jesus brings the dead to life. He brings the lost into the fold.

Jesus brings the dead to life. He brings the lost into the fold.Click To Tweet

LET’S START HERE

What is your story, sister? How do you know the God you know? Can we start here, just now? I reject the lie that our stories are not sacred, that they need to be boxed up, shelved.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Revelation 12: 10-11).

God has given you a voice, redemption, life and light. What now, will you do with it?

How, now, will you let your light–before your Father and before your friends and family–shine? I can’t wait to hear.

the light of your testimony
the light of your testimony
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Showing 13 comments
  • SHELIA
    Reply

    This was a very uplifting reading. I Thank God for you.

  • Lizann Painter
    Reply

    Hello Jennifer,

    You have answered a question I did not have the heart to ask. I used to give my testimony regularly at Inner Healing workshops and was eventually told I was not relevant because I was too old to relate to the university students, also because it included my family story and home-life there were parts that would have hurt my parents in the listening. My mother and I have grown enough to share a pulpit, but she has never actually gotten past the shame of my fall and really prefers me not to share my testimony which is so full of grace. I have found the same thing in my Church were the feedback is that it must rather be shared in a contextual group where folk who have “those” particular issues can relate.

    My rescue is ongoing and fresh and stems from the times of pressing in and learning how to hear His voice that have now given me a prophetic release point to share what I see and hear, sometimes in a most wacky way, because that’s how Father relates to me. My stories mostly go in my Art Journal which I snip Pinterest art from and embellish with beautiful things. Many of your letters and stories of rescue are there too. My testimony is not only who I was but, gracefully, who I have become … to be a nurturer who has met with Father and has a place in His arms. (I love to twirl His long white hair)

    I am not who I was or will be but, for today, I am who I am, not looking in cracked mirrors for who this may be, but into His eyes telling me I am the beauty. His beauty! Thanks for this opportunity to rejoice in my rescued, precious heart.

    • Paula Leffert
      Reply

      Wow, Lizann.. I have yet to comment on Jennifer’s post and then I read yours! I totally relate! Circumstances may not be the same but the enemy’s talk in my head and sometimes through the mouths of the unsuspecting subtly shut me down with the first thought I believe that is actually a lie with a hot arrow to burn deep. When I receive that wound, then it makes me vulnerable to the other poisonous arrows. Fear of man is it’s name and though the stronghold has been defeated by the blood of the Lamb, I am in the process of the conquering of my enemy through the word of my testimony and not loving my life unto the death. You inspired me to courage. Thank you.

      • Jennifer Camp
        Reply

        Paula, I am so encouraged by you, sister. (And yes, I am so grateful, too, for Lizann’s true words.) May we continue to trust in Him, putting on our armor each day so that we can follow him–knowing He is in us and has equipped us to choose Him and His life in us. Let us reject the lie that our stories are not beautiful–for in Him, they are!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Dear Lizann, I sit in a coffeeshop now, reading your beautiful words, and I am in tears. It is such a gift to my heart now to hear this. I love this truth: “My testimony is not only who I was but, gracefully, who I have become.” Yes! I am so grateful for how our Father turns everything upside down, restoring our broken hearts and giving us faith to continue to trust in His complete (in process!) redemption of us, beautiful broken pieces and all. Thank you! Bless you as you continue to trust in how you share your story–and bless your relationship with your mom and family–I pray for continued healing and for His light to shine!

  • Sandra
    Reply

    This is truly inspiring, I have always felt that way, Jennifer you simply gave voice to what I know and feel. We were given free will, it is like watching your child take their first steps, it is the natural process. As much as your heart is in your hand, you do not want that child to fall and hurt themselves, you let them do what they have to do always there to catch them when they fall and to soothe the hurt away.

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Hi Sandra, it is so beautiful to keep the visual in my heart of our Father watching us, letting us choose our next steps. We are so cared for, so loved!

      Thank you so much for sharing here. I love connecting with you.

  • Paula Leffert
    Reply

    Jennifer,

    This, this post is so needed!! I will be sharing it again and again! My battle with fear of man and not believing God at His word, especially the verse you quoted in Revelation. Releasing my testimony and then not loving my life unto the death. I repented immediately when I read that verse. I saw. I saw that the problem is that I’m still trying to save my life which causes me to lose it through discouragement. The reality is that sometimes when I share my testimony the result will be the manifestation of evil in someone because the truth and love I just released through the testimony of Jesus is casting out their fear. I need to be ready for that and respond in love, stay in the Spirit. Oh the freedom it must be to not love my life even unto the death! I want that and will continue to pursue my heavenly Father for the release of that freedom in me as I believe His Word concerning me. Thank you for your courage, it is inspiring courage on me!

    • Jennifer Camp
      Reply

      Paula, and you embolden me! Thank you! I stand with you, praying the same prayer. I love your heart of surrender, of seeking and desiring Him more than anything. Yes, let’s go!

  • Theresa Boedeker
    Reply

    Great thoughts in readable and relate-able words. We need to fall to experience His love is so true. This just shows that what we sometimes perceive as a curse is a blessing in disguise.

  • Jessica Freeman
    Reply

    Thank you! I needed to read this. God is in me no matter what. I liked the metaphor about the parents holding on and letting go when a child takes their first steps. And always will be there to catch their fall. BEAUTIFUL!

  • Sandie Heckman
    Reply

    Jennifer – This is so beautiful. I volunteer in a single moms group. I was giving my testimony and I had written down all the things about my marriage, and the abuse, and finding God in the aftermath. I sat looking at these beautiful faces of young moms, and my testimony totally changed. I had prayed for God to give me the words, and my words were actually not of my past but of who I am now in Jesus Christ. I saw before me broken women with such potential to be all and more, because of Jesus’ saving grace. I can’t remember half of what I said, but I know the words were God breathed. I know my words were that of lifting them up, of helping them to find their stories, their testimonies of faith and how Jesus has saved them. I praise Him for all of our testimonies, because truth be told – we are a testament to His grace, His love and His life giving embrace. I can’t tell enough about how your words have touched my heart. Thank you for sharing. We never know how our testimony will evolve, each day it does, but it’s God’s testimony of His love for us. When we surrender to Him, our lives change, because of Jesus we change.

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