i wanted to give them something more than sentimental gush; i wanted something way more substantial. i wanted to ask my high school friend to help out; he's done classroom evangelism with many of our bigger lecture classes just last month. but i wasn't able to reach him; and my class was early the next day. i had to make a choice. i had to share my own story. (Lord, help!)
in our leadership class in church, we were once taught how to share our testimony: our own personal account of how God saved us from our sinful destructive selves and how God continues to live in us. i hurriedly looked for it. hmm, quite incomplete. should i say it, or write it down? what else should i include? in the midst of this vital decision-making process, i fell asleep (yet again) in my dorm chair and table and woke up an hour before class. yipes. (Lord, help!)
thank You God :) i was able to give a copy of my testimony to each of my students :) in many respects, this is the most personal and the most real of all i've written so far. why open up to my students even before many of my close friends? is it because it's "safer" since i'll rarely see my students again after yesterday? there might be some truth to that...but also, i feel that it's time. there's a time for, finally, letting the truth out. a time for finally standing up and telling my story. the story of God and me.
it has been an honor and a privilege to teach my students. it is but fitting that i now take the opportunity to teach them the most important Truth of all. :)
Ma'am Teci's Testimony :)
I used to live for myself --- according to my principles, my beliefs, my perspective. I had my own ideas about everything, and often didn’t understand why others don’t see a better way (translation: my way). I had good intentions, but at times these intentions did not turn out to be “as good” when executed.
In the middle of my self-centered existence, I had it all --- a challenging course, a big-time scholarship, a supportive family, fun-loving friends, and a romantic relationship which was an open secret. Why secret? Because it was illegal on several levels. Yet, being the young woman I was, I easily pushed through with it and even justified it to the point of being a drama queen.
So I had it all, and worshipped it all --- my ideas, my life, but most of all, my relationship. Being determined to get what I want, I threw away the things I once thought I valued --- my principles. I ended up compromising my beliefs, and compromising myself.
Yet there it was. I still wanted and wanted. And, not getting what I want, I accused and condemned, got angry and jealous and spiteful. In pursuing all I wanted for myself --- and believe me, I had all I thought I wanted for the good life --- I ended up not wanting what I had and hating what I’ve become
But there was a still small voice I was hearing. Crazy? Not really. Many of us know this as our “conscience”. That same voice raised questions inside me back when I “had it all”: “If you now have everything you ever wanted, then why are you feeling more depressed than ever before?” The question seemed so simple, yet I could not give an answer. I knew something was amiss, but I didn’t know how to correct it, so I kept on going in the same (downhill) direction.
Then it hit --- he broke up with me. We had it coming. I was just too stubborn to end it myself, because I sacrificed everything for it, didn’t I? And so my world literally dissolved around me. There was nothing else to live for, because I gave it all up for the one thing that was now gone as well.
The still small voice kept whispering, “Why do you think you can’t go on now that he’s gone? You were able to live for the first 20 years of your life without him.” Again the question was so simple but I could not give an answer. One night when I woke and suddenly broke down in tears, the voice was there, comforting me. “Hang on. Everything is going to be all right.”
There was one thing I knew I had to do. I had to forgive. Oh, it was so hard. In my mind, it was the right thing to do, but my heart was totally against it. “Why should I?” I stubbornly thought. But I knew I should. This was one “good” thing that I could not do on my own. I needed help.
I enrolled in a Creative Writing class and even in yoga and transcendental meditation. They didn’t help. I started blurting my heart out to anyone who would listen. Thankfully, there were two who were really there for me and gave me the counsel I so desperately needed. They lent me books and invited me to seminars and worship services. I had nowhere else to go so I went with them.
It was only later on that I learned they were Christians --- Bible-based Christians who followed the same still small voice which was the Holy Spirit challenging me to look further beyond “the good life” advocated by the world and society today. I learned that Jesus --- the Son of God, fully God and fully human --- came to take the punishment for my sins; the sins I committed in pursuing my selfish desires and those sins that I once thought could be excused or justified. Nope, I finally admitted that I was wrong, so very wrong, and I deserved to be forever separated from God who was absolutely holy and just and good. But praise God, in His grace and mercy, Jesus took my punishment so I can live a new life, cleansed completely…only if I let Him --- not my good works, they’re never enough, but only Him! --- save me. Jesus already died on the cross 2000 years ago, once and for all of us, whether we accept Him or not. But why would I not receive Him? I’ve already done it “my way”, and there was nowhere else to go, but up. Back to Him. :)
The Holy Spirit gently reminded me that I already accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior as a teen in high school. And to think I’ve denied Him and disobeyed Him so much since then! Though that realization filled me with shame, it also filled me with thanks for a God who never gives up looking for that one lost sheep even when 99 are already saved. Thank You God. Baaaa. :)
God has truly given me a new life. After two years or so, I have finally found the grace to forgive my ex-boyfriend, and ultimately, myself. God is giving me new dreams --- He called me to write for Him, even as I’m continuing my PhD in Physics, how cool is that! He is also touching my heart to love again --- who would have thought, right?
So I hope, dear class, that you’d experience the same life in God that I now have. Just accept Jesus as your only Savior, and follow Him as your only Lord. The Bible and the Holy Spirit will guide you all the way. :)
If you'd like to talk to me more about this, just text me at ---- or email me at email@example.com or drop by my blog, http://tecigurl.blogspot.com. :) God bless always! :)