“That was a waste of time…My story is boring and uninteresting….” These thoughts raced through my head, one evening, after sharing my testimony. I felt ashamed and inadequate as if my testimony was of little value to my audience, especially when compared to the inspiring and compelling stories of my peers. My story was insufficient, and I cringed at the thought of sharing it.
Unknowingly, I had let my perfectionistic tendencies affect my walk with God. I was approaching my relationship with Him as an effort to perfect my testimony, which additionally, was motivating my spiritual life. This motivation spurred me to become a student missionary, a year dedicated solely to serving God. My year as a student missionary was one of the most difficult years of my life. Instead of the purpose-filled year I was expecting, I was left more broken, discouraged, and lost than ever before. Now, it seemed my story was not only insufficient in leading people to God, but more apt to lead people away from God.
Following that year, I was forced to come face to face with my fear of claiming my story as a testimony of God working in my life, including all the brokenness. After much searching, I realized my perspective was all wrong. I was treating my story as if I were the author, not God. By saying my story was lacking and embarrassing, I was saying God’s authorship was less than perfect. Who am I to say that about God?!
Sharing my story is still hard, but I am learning how to challenge myself to claim every single part of my story, the good and bad, because it is all an important testimony to God’s involvement in my life. Nothing you do for the Lord is useless (1 Corinthians 15:58). I believe this also applies to my story and your story – no part of your story is useless if you are wholeheartedly pursuing God.
I challenge you to claim your story and take every opportunity to share it because you never know the radical ways God is working in between the lines.