I Haven’t Always Known You: My Testimony

I shared this testimony in church a few weeks ago and some people have asked me for a transcription, so here you go! Hope that it encourages you to keep seeking Jesus in the midst of your deepest trials.

Quotes from my testimony

I haven’t always known you. But you’ve always known me.

You must have embedded yourself in my heart when you created me, because it cried out for you, long before I even knew what that meant. 

As a child, sleep did not come to me easily. I dreaded going to bed, because I was too well acquainted with the fears and anxieties that awaited me there. But somehow, somehow my soul knew to reach out to you. I prayed to a God that I could not name and about whom I knew nothing. I asked for peace and protection. I asked for reprieve from my fears and for unfettered rest. 

And you, in your great mercy, heard my cry. You heard me, even when I asked without faith, or understanding, or hope. You still took mercy on me. Night after night, for years. The first thing I learned about you was that you are a God of peace.

But still, I didn’t know you.

Years later, you began revealing more of yourself to me. You used two people who were a continent apart to speak to me at the same time, and, to my uncomprehending mind, this was a great ‘coincidence’.

While home from university one summer, I worked with a girl who entered into every situation with such great confidence. When I asked her about it, she said the answer was simple. She believed in Jesus and her faith in him was so strong that the armour of God she wore was nearly visible, even to me. 

I asked her to pray with me and from that day on, she did so at the beginning of each shift. Her confidence in this Jesus person buoyed me and I felt slightly more at ease. I even started to do a little of the praying myself. The second thing I learned about you is that you are a God who helps his children conquer fear.

But still, I didn’t know you.

At the end of the summer, I returned to school, and somehow was talked into joining a gospel choir. In my naïveté, I didn’t even know what gospel meant. I thought it was just a beautiful style of singing and I wanted to learn how to do it. 

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the first practice to discover that every song was about this Jesus. I felt uncomfortable singing such powerful lyrics when I didn’t understand them. I went to the practices because I enjoyed the music, but I mostly just stayed quiet. 

I finally started to get it

Three weeks later, we were ministering in a local church where I heard testimonies that finally made me understand why I needed God. I gave my life to You that night, and I returned home feeling as though I was walking on air. I didn’t understand the fullness of what I’d just done, but I knew something had changed inside me forever. The third thing I learned about you is that you are a God who creates new hearts.

But still, I didn’t know you.

For the past fifteen years, I’ve sought you in earnest, longing to know as much about you as I possibly can. There were times when my life went well and I could see all your blessings and I knew you were with me. I thought I knew you then. 

But then there were years when everything fell apart and I couldn’t see you at work at all. I questioned whether you really existed, and if you did, whether you truly cared about me. I wasn’t so sure that I knew you anymore. 

And it was in the midst of those deepest trials that I finally found you, Jesus, waiting for me, arms open, calling my name. You’d always known me; you knew the day I would find you and the day I would turn away from you; you knew the challenges of this world that would capture my attention and vie for your place in my heart; you knew just how far I would have to fall before I would realize how much I needed you.

“And it was in the midst of those deepest trials that I finally found you, Jesus, waiting for me, arms open, calling my name."

And I saw that you were there every step of the way, waiting for that moment when my heart was ready to be yours.

I won’t pretend that I know you now; it will take an eternity to learn all there is to know about you. 

But I think that what you’ve taught me about myself is even more important, and that is this: I am nothing without you and I can do nothing aside from you. I am in deep need of your mercy, compassion, love, wisdom, grace, and strength. I was created by you to serve a purpose and only in a whole-hearted, everything I am pursuit of you will I be able to do that.  

And for this reason, I will spend the rest of my life striving to know you more and more.

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