I'm expecting this to be a powerful experience as we share our stories of what God has done in our lives through “Cardboard Testimonies.” We are to write a few words describing our life BEFORE, and our life NOW (or what you hope God to do in your life in the future).
One thing I've rediscovered is that not a single one of us can grow without someone to share our life's experiences with. It takes more than a faint smile or a nod to feed and water the seed of spiritual growth. We can't exist in solitude. I can no longer exist in solitude. I have experienced it and it just doesn't work. No matter how happy we think we are in a life apart from others, the reality is that we have to have that firm hug, that handshake, the recognition that we are really and truly somebody apart from ourselves. We need to be recognized for who we really are.
In my Bible study group just days ago, I poured my heart and soul out to those ladies. I could feel that they were truly there to help me, that they would try to understand, and that they would do everything they could to help me to be ME and to grow. I think that growth is happening and I give them thanks for putting me back on track to see that God has never, never given up on me even when I'd given up on myself.
I mentioned to someone very dear to me recently that I just didn't want to be here anymore. I assured her that I never could or would do anythng to harm myself in any way....that's just not my nature because deep down I like myself. Not necessarily the person I was on that day, but the person that I knew I could be and had been in the past. What I meant was that I really wanted to see Jesus, to be with Jesus. I want to kneel at his feel and pour my heart out to him. She told me to go ahead. (Not her words exactly, but that was the meaning.) And I have. I've laid myself out before him and asked for forgiveness for my doubting Him and for forgetting that He was there for me.
Just this afternoon I experienced something that Jennifer Rothschild mentioned in our study book. She was talking about how in a storm, between the booms of thunder and bolts of lightening, that the smallest of the birds continue to sing. It's true. They do. They have the faith that God's eye remains on the sparrow even in the darkest. That's what He does for us, too. Even when we feel that we've been overcome with the most horrible experiences of our lives and that there's just no hope, He continues to have His eye on us. We are all His sparrows and He continues to see us through.
Anyway. Our Cardboard Testimonies are today. In doing mine, I see that I can't move ahead without seeing where I've been. I've come so very far in what seems like a short time, but the time it took me to fall into that hole of darkness and despair that I lived in for so long was even shorter. I'm guessing that this is one of the points of John asking us to do these testimonies. It's all too easy to forget where we've been. It's often difficult to turn around and relive those steps.
This is my Cardboard Testimony:
This is where I'm coming from.
And this is the track I'm on today.
Blessed Sunday, my friends.
You are all special to me.