A testimony is a personal story that someone shares to describe the ways that God has worked in their life. We have a testimony because of what Jesus has done for us.
This testimony was given by Shawna at her baptism in August 2017
I grew up going to church with my mom. I grew up hearing about God, praying to him but never understanding him. I grew up thinking God was someone who was silent. I thought I had to earn his love, that I had to earn his protection. But I was living in a shadow of the truth.
I grew up as a girl who stayed under the radar. I grew up a girl who was a peacemaker for all the wrong reasons. I lived my life based on anxiety and fear. I told myself this was the correct way and became narrow-minded, complacent and stubborn with my life. I really believed it was up to me to keep things safe and controlled. I believed that my actions could change my standing with God.
It takes seeing things slip out of your hands to realize that you have been holding on to all the wrong things. Eventually, it would come that my core relationships were falling apart, my heart turned bitter and anxiety took charge of my life. I was so discontent. I was breaking down. All the pride I had in myself was showing its false foundation.
Sometimes I wonder if I had to get to my weakest to know what grace feels like. Sometimes I wonder if this is where Jesus was waiting for me. In my toughest season of motherhood and marriage, I spent many hours rocking a crying baby. Helpless and overwhelmed I would cry out to God. One night he whispered to me:
“My grace covers everything. My hand is in this. I make it work for the good. You will make mistakes but I’ve got the long game.”
And I let go.
I learned to trust God with my parenting and my marriage, I gave these things to him to make them what he willed them to be rather than what I wanted them to be.
I learned that my weaknesses allow God to show me his strength in my life. My weaknesses are a shared condition of being human and when I share them I tell others they aren’t alone
I’ve learned you can forgive without understanding how or why, but God. I’ve seen relationships healed in my life that I never thought would be.
I’ve been learning to love others without imposing conditions on my love for them.
I’m learning to give my anxieties to God and know that he calls me to live a brave and wild life.
I grew up knowing God but I didn’t understand his heart for me, I didn’t see his hand on me, keeping me on a path he had set for me when I would veer off course.
I didn’t see him crying alongside me when I was suffering.
I didn’t see him loving me when I was so unloving.
I didn’t understand him, so I could never fully give my life to him.
Now I understand and I’m so thankful for his amazing grace and this is why I choose to be baptized today.