When was the last time you assumed something to be true, only later to discover you were off base? How often do you find your assumptions are wrong? My experience suggests more often than not.
When I wrote For All Who Wander, there were chapters I loved and others I had to fight for when my editor challenged their strength or relevancy. Those ended up being some of my favorites. On the other hand, there was a chapter or two I would’ve tossed without resistance, mainly because I wondered if I landed the point and wanted to be sure my illustrations were substantive and clear.
Imagine my surprise, then, that one of my least favorite chapters turned out to be one of the one most commented on to me. Chapter four, “Testimony Envy,” reveals my perception of how “boring” my conversion testimony is, and how I glamorized other believers’ “Damascus Road” experience. My concern was on multiple levels: a) readers might think the chapter was silly or not substantial, or b) I assumed no one would identify with or connect to my brand of angst on the topic.
My assumptions proved wrong. Time and again, people would mention this particular chapter, writing or telling me they’ve felt the same way. Either they wished their testimony were more exciting or dramatic, or they lamented what it took for God to bring them to their knees and how they envied a humdrum testimony like mine.
The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, but whatever God plants under our feet is the exact shade of green He intends. Meaning, however you or I came to a saving knowledge of Christ is a story we can share for the glory of God.
If you grew up in a Christian home and can’t recall not identifying as anything other than a Christian, praise God! If you never stepped foot in church and broke every single commandment before meeting Jesus, praise God that He delivered you from darkness to light right when He did!
Regardless of how you came to know God, yours is a story worth telling because it is part of God’s story. He’s the hero every time. What Jesus has done on our behalf to rescue us is nothing short of astonishing grace. It is in Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection we find the gospel, and He expects us to share this good news. “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation,” He says in Mark 16:15 (and in more detail in Matthew 28:16-20)
Regardless of how shiny or dull you think your testimony is, if you’ve been reluctant to share the gospel with others or you get nervous about sharing your testimony, take a moment and read Acts 10. It’s a masterclass in how to do both, the story of Cornelius, a Gentile, and Peter, a Jew.
Keep in mind that sharing your testimony isn’t only about your conversion to faith — a single moment you “walked the aisle” or prayed to receive Christ. Sharing your testimony is as simple as telling a friend what God is teaching you right now or how He’s working in your life. Peter did that for Cornelius when he explained why he was willing to go to Cornelius’ home (Acts 10:28).
Then, in Acts 10:34-43, Peter shares the gospel. In just a few short sentences, he describes the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the subsequent implications to Cornelius and those present — ” . . . that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Why do we find sharing our testimony to be so complicated or intimidating?
What struck me in particular was the posture of both men: they were focused on God. Of Cornelius, we read that he “prayed continually,” and Peter’s vision from God was preceded by prayer. Would they have been moved to such swift obedience — Cornelius to send for Peter and Peter to drop everything and go — had their attention been focused elsewhere?
The testimonies of both Cornelius and Peter point me to Jesus, modeling a faith that is active and purposeful. Their prayer life was powerful and effective, and they humbled themselves to hear from God. And God, in response, revealed Himself to be Lord of all and without impartiality, and the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out (Acts 10:45).
There are people in your life who are in need of a Savior and those who will meet Him because of your story. If you’ve ever wondered about God’s will for your life, you can always assume that sharing your faith is part of it, and you can do it confidently knowing it’ll point to Him.
I loved your book, so much so that I read it cover to cover and decided that I had to share it immediately with my MIL, who is in the process of reading it. This post is very moving.
Robin Dance says
Thank you so much, Bonnie–for reading FAWW, sharing it, and being an engaged sister at (in)courage <3.
I have often wrestled with the same feelings. I chose to get baptized when I found out one of my friends was doing it. I was raised in a Christian home, so I can’t say that it was decision I wrestled with. It was only a matter of timing and seemed easier to do when someone else was doing it, too. I have often wished that I had a big conversion moment, but I think in wishing for that I miss the beauty of the foundation I received.
Robin Dance says
But you see that beauty now, and your perspective has broadened. Lovely.
Thank you for sharing this. This is confirmation that what is in my heart is true. I have sensed a pull to share my story with others more and more lately. My testimony proves that God is no respecter of person and that we are never too far gone. More of a road to Damascus story that I have had the honor to share a few times in women’s retreats, but I am sensing an urgency and praying the Lord leads me.
Robin Dance says
Yes, Dawn…you’re wanting to follow the Lord’s leading, not jump in front of Him!! Your sense of urgency is reflective of our world’s great need to hear His story through our own. 🙂
connie ker says
This past year it has been difficult to share with one another since we have been isolated and disconnected from friends and family. I live alone and once shared my faith on the telephone with a friend who was questioning her beliefs in this lost year. Another believer said to me “What is God trying to tell us”? I had no answers to her question. Our world has changed all the way to our neighborhoods. The promise is God never changes; hang on tight to Hope in the Lord. That promise is worth sharing.
Robin Dance says
Connie, what a perfect reminder that everything about Jesus is worth sharing :).
Thank you for your post. Your timing is interesting. I just got home late yesterday from the emergency room. A long story. What they thought was a heart attack was a panic attack. God is so good.
I’ve had close friends encourage me to write a book sharing my story. Having been born behind the Iron Curtain and Escaping at a very young age. Abandoned at 3. Foster care. Coming to America. Wondering how can there be a God if innocent children are harmed? I didn’t realize that God was always there. There’s so much to share! I’m so blessed! I need to find a ghost writer.
Your post has inspired me.
Robin Dance says
Oh, Rita….what an incredible story!! Yes! DO tell your story, because in doing so, you honor the Lord and point others to Him!! Keep us posted!
danita jenae says
Ms Robin! You’re so very loved. I’m cutting sections today and really needed to hear this. Partnering with Holy Spirit in writing always leaves me mystified… it is hard work on our end, but He really does do the heavy lifting. Thank you for this.
Robin Dance says
So PROUD of you, Danita!! I love how you phrased this–acknowledging our part AND what it is that God is doing/has done. It’s good to give credence to both :). xo
Karen Knowles says
Great post, Robin! I have always loved hearing people share their testimony and I love to share mine whenever God presents me with the opportunity to do so. We all have something worthwhile to share about the way in which we came to know the Lord and also we have things to share about what He continues to show us and teach us that would be relevant to others.
Robin Dance says
YAY! We need bold women (and men) who delight in sharing their stories — HIS STORY — with others! That you’re looking for these opportunities *on purpose* is inspiring :).
Jennifer Johnson says
I also don’t have a grand story to share, just my story. Growing up I knew we were Christians but we never went to church. I learned as I got older than Mom didn’t like “organized relationship” because of her experiences growing up. My parents left it up to us (my brother and I) about whether or not to attend. When I got engaged my future ex-husband (lol) was friends with an associate pastor. He invited us to attend. I got baptized there (the sprinkle on forehead type). After my divorce I didn’t attend church for several years, just due to life events, illnesses, etc. Found another church which I was a member of for about 10 years. Right before pandemic started attending another church. So I don’t have a particular day or time, it’s been a journey. I want to continue to grow and have a personal relationship with God.
Robin Dance says
Yes, Jennifer…pursuing a relationship with God DOES lead to spiritual growth. it sounds like you DO have quite the story, and I bet there are people in your life who would benefit from (and just plain *enjoy*) hearing about it. The life of faith is a journey toward our forever home :).
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Robin I don’t remember or how I came to Lord. But I remember one thing’s loving Scripture Union in School at lunch time. The songs they used to sing at it. Like “This is day that the Lord has made” “Jesus Love Me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” Loads over songs like theses. Then I remembered asking a teacher at the school I went to them that had the Scripture Union in it. How do you get saved. I think that teacher lead me with another girl to the Lord. Don’t ask me what age I was I was in Secondary School then. I don’t know if I really meant it then. But I can remember listing to the teacher then. I don’t know if really said the sinner prayer then or if I meant it if I said it at all. I can’t remember what age I was then. I then probably didn’t live probably as Follower for Jesus as my family was not saved and still until today not saved any of them. I pray for all them to come to know Jesus. Then years later I went on Alpha course to learn more about Jesus. I did and I didn’t learn alot about Jesus in it. As I didn’t understand it much yes bits and pieces I understood. It wasn’t really until I got married 27 years ago and I started going to the Salvation Army yes I went to Elim Church for a good few years when married. But did enjoy it for years the Elim Church when there. But something in Salvation Army and it teaching has brought me closer to Jesus. Along with another good Friend who knows the Bible inside out and teaching she has sent me. I am along with my Husband now walking with the Lord and doing as the word the Bible says. Were as before I can say I wouldn’t have been. Yes I like everyone else. Make mistakes and mess up. Find being a follower of Jesus hard at times. When I do I go to Jesus in prayer and ask him to forgive me and start again. But for the whole world I not change my life and live the life my family live my Dad and sisters or anyone else. Plus I pray for them all to get saved as they are missing out. You can’t tell them they need to get saved. As they tell you keep all that Jesus stuff or something like that to yourself. So I just live my life for Jesus in front of them. Hope they see Jesus in me want what I have and keep praying for them all. Plus you guys incourage have taught me so much through your brilliant reading. From all the different readers that write in them from their heart. I am so blessed. Along with prayer. I thank full on to God. I am saved. Thank you for all you guys do. God bless keeping you all in prayer. Love you all in the Lord so much. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx
Robin Dance says
“I just live my life for Jesus in front of them.”
^^ If only every believer did this…. the world would be so different, in the best of ways.
Dawn, living Jesus in front of our family can be hard. They know everything about us. God bless you for living Him in front of them. God says that some sow the seed, some water the seed and some reap the harvest. You are sowing seed my sister. In that, your faithfulness will be rewarded.
Theresa Boedeker says
We do tend to compare our story of coming to Christ with other people’s stories. I have a friend who in elementary made up a conversion story about Jesus speaking to him in his closet, to compete with his Sunday school mates and their stories. I like you, felt for years that my story was boring, as I was raised knowing about God. And yet, it is my story. And it too can point others to my hero, God.
Beth Williams says
Loved the book. I, too, have a dull conversion story. Always in church-but not really a Christian. It has taken me years, denominational changes & trials to open my eyes to the truth of the gospel. I was “sprinkle” baptized as baby, Later in life listening to my preacher talk about repent & be baptized for remission of sins I took the plunge. After dealing with aging parents my faith & trust muscles have grown. I readily trust God & am ready to talk about His saving grace to anyone who will listen.
Robin, thank you for sharing this! Sharing my story and my faith is something I have struggled with. I feel inept at doing so. God is leading me to step out of my comfort zone and start sharing whenever the opportunity presents itself. I will follow His leading and know that each time will be easier.