Sunday, August 29, 2010

My testimony

I shared my testimony with my church today because God impressed me to, and now I'm sharing it with you.

When I was a little girl, not quite sure how old, the laundry room was where we received punishment… spankings on the bottom; I received a lot of those. and I can remember after being punished one time, my mother kneeling down to me, and explaining the gospel, telling me that because we sin, we are going to Hell, the lake of fire (which was not hard for me to imagine), and I thought I don’t want to go to Hell, but she said God made a way out, he died for us, and rose from the dead so that we don’t have to, If we ask Him to forgive us, and if we believe in what he’s done we can live in Heaven with him when we die, and I believed that with my whole heart, so my mom and I prayed together, and that is when my relationship with Christ began, I can remember trusting in God, and praying to him every day. It was never a hard thing to trust God when I was young.

When I was about10, I shared my testimony in front of my church, and got baptized; I wanted everyone to know I belonged to God.

When I was 13 I went to a Franklin Graham Harvest Crusade with my Jr. High Youth Group, and God spoke to me there, at the end of it I could feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart telling me to go down, and my Youth Leaders kept asking us, and letting us know they would go with us, and I knew the others would make fun of me, so I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to, I knew it was a step I needed to take so I did, and there were those that did make fun of me, but that day I surrendered myself fully to God.

God used things in High School to force me to trust Him fully, and I did, I fell in love with Christ even more. After High School I wanted to know God and his Word more so I decided to go to New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson Michigan which is also where I met TJ. During my second semester of School I new God was calling me to be a missionary, but I didn’t want to surrender to that calling, I argued with God every day about why it was not for me, and tried to talk myself out of it.

This speaker came, his name was Brad Buser, and he spoke every day, for a week. I had come down with scarlet fever, which for me was strep throat, and an extremely high fever that broke out. Brad spoke about missions, and the need for tribal missionaries, he talked about all the people that had never even heard the name of Jesus. These people are dying everyday being separated from God forever. He talked about the need for missionaries, that there was a need for people everywhere. He said it very bluntly and an “in your face” kind of way. Every word he said, I felt like he was speaking directly to me and during that week, because I had scarlet fever, and was super contagious, I listened to Brad in the balcony, skipped class, and went to my dorm every day, and pondered what Brad had said. By the end of the week, I gave everything of myself to God, I told him I would go, I would be his feet, I would tell those who had never had the chance to hear of Jesus Christ.

So I told my friend, and she said she had been praying for me for a long time specifically about that. One of the main reasons I didn’t want to go was because I knew I would miss my family the most, and in class one day, my teacher said that when there is nothing left, when we have been stripped of everything God will fill me with himself, and I began to cry when I realized that God was speaking to me, encouraging me, and telling me I could only do this with his strength.

I wondered what God would have me do exactly, and where he would have me go. I wanted to go on a short term/long term missions trip to dip my feet in the water of missions so to speak, but didn’t know how to make that happen. The next year a semester before I graduated, I applied to Moody Bible Institute, and got turned down. The same day I was informed of an opportunity to go to South Africa for 9 months to home school, and work with children in the community, I knew God had me in mind for the job, so I immediately applied, and talked to the family I would be helping, and started the process. God provided all the money I needed. By September I was in South Africa for 9 months. 4 months after I returned I married the love of my life, TJ Shropshire who shares the same desires as I do in the department of reaching the lost.

This next part I’m going to talk about is a struggle that I have really felt like God wanted me to share specifically with you today

Just in the past couple years I have had thoughts of doubt concerning my salvation. It’s not something I ever wanted to tell people because it seemed so childish, and they are so faint, sometimes I’m not even sure they are real. Deep down I knew it wasn’t true because I knew what Christ had done for me, the times that I have doubted my salvation have been the times when I’m either comparing myself to others, or looking to myself to see if there is anything I had done to receive that… if there was anything I had done to merit His love. But that’s the things, I have never done anything to merit what God has done for me, I am no where near worthy of it, and that is exactly why I need God to save me. He is saving me from my sin, I can’t save myself, that’s ridiculous. I need God, He has done everything I cannot do. When I was still a sinner Christ died for me, and He lives in me. I have been letting the enemy gain control over my mind by believing the lies that he tells me, but the good news is he does not have power over me. I think that this has had an effect on the way I minister to people, and I want to ask you all to forgive me, and I want to ask you all to pray for me, that God will be able to use me despite myself.
Recently I have been learning more about the character of God, one thing he does not do is confuse… he is very clear in his instructions.

Recently I have been attending a seminar by video. As I was sitting in the seminar, he was going over this subject of causes of doubting salvation, and as I was sitting there, I could hear God telling me to share my struggle with the church, I’m not sure why, if there was someone that needed to hear it, or if it was just to humble me, but I know that He has given me peace, and I also know that when God sheds light in the dark places of our hearts he is then able to work there. If we ignore it, it just gets worse and worse, and the Lord isn’t able to work. So I want to encourage you to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in your life. When we are faithless he is still faithful.

Psalm 27:1-2 "The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life of whom shall I be afraid?"

2 comments:

Barry said...

Thank you for sharing. I have been encouraged by you this evening.
-Barry

Jennifer Kate Turner said...

this was a very encouraging post lily. since leaving bible school i've struggled with doubt and you've reminded me of truth. thank you for that!