My Testimony Begins: Jesus and the Eventual Atheist
My Testimony began when I met Jesus when I was 12 or 13 at a bus stop. Not a city bus stop but a school bus stop in a neighborhood. My best friend and I waited for the same bus everyday. Each day my hilarious and outgoing friend created a new scenario, a new story using any nearby object to enhance the experience.
Then one day I noticed the cross around his neck. Somehow I had missed it for months. But I saw it and asked about it. I hadn’t grown up with Christianity so it was all new to me. And so I was introduced to Christ by a Catholic who is now an atheist.
Jesus, My New Best Friend
Though I sadly drifted away from my once best friend over the years, he introduced me to the ultimate best friend. My life was suddenly changed. I now had a new purpose in my life and I began attending church and reading the Bible to understand this new life. And what I found was a new best friend! The problems of life that inevitably came no longer had the power to take my joy. Knowing that God was always with me brought a peace that truly passed understanding.
A Distant Friend
I grew close to Jesus as I progressed through high school, reading my Bible, praying, and attending church and youth group. Then I entered college and slowly began to give less and less focused attention to Jesus. I worked 2 or 3 jobs at a time while going to school full time. Soon my only interaction with Jesus was at Wednesday night church or Sunday morning. I noticed the distance developing but didn’t know how to fix it. And so 5 years of spiritual up and downs passed.
A New Chapter
2009, the year I graduated from college, was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I began working at my local church as the Media Director and loved my job. When I got my diploma I was able to quit the other jobs and work full time at the church. This was a huge spiritual boost for me as I was surrounded by great friends and mentors.
I soon had a renewed hunger to spend time with Jesus. The distance created in my college years began to disappear as I confronted the lie I had believed: that being a good enough person is ok. I had bought into the idea of compartmentalizing Jesus. He was my Savior but the event of salvation was all, I had discarded the need for sanctification. With this lie revealed, I was hungry to know God and become more Christ-like.
This new chapter may have began in 2009 but the road to discipleship took a couple of years. The blessing of marriage and godly friends led me to deep relationships with godly mentors and the access to join a community of disciples and disciple makers that forever changed my life. I was now reading books from John Ortberg, Bill Hull, Dallas Willard, and others and they were all focused on discipleship and living a disciplined life to pursue God.
I may have met Jesus in a humorous way but that moment has changed the course of my life. We all have these moments. What was your moment like? What is your testimony? For some, it’s small like mine and for others it’s a huge change. I would encourage you to write your testimony. Share it with others. And pray for people to experience this moment today!