I was a freshman in college and excited to finally have a group of women to call my own.
I had always longed for that sisterly connection that I never had from growing up with three brothers, so perhaps that’s why I was so excited to finally be meeting with this group of women for the first time.
The community was called Fidelity and it was open to all women on campus – freshman to super senior. We would split off into smaller groups of about five in order to create a space conducive for vulnerability and transparency.
I hadn’t anticipated feeling guilty that night though as we all started sharing our testimonies, one after the other.
When it finally got to be my turn, I felt embarrassed by my seemingly ‘innocent’ past – I hadn’t really been exposed to a whole lot, especially after having been homeschooled for several years. And even then, my most rebellious moment up until that point had been dating a guy for three months that my parents didn’t particularly like.
That was the extent of it, and I felt guilty for that.
This Life was all I’d ever known. Having accepted Jesus Christ as I knelt at the foot of my bed with my mom at the age of five, I had never experienced a life apart from Jesus.
Did I even understand the concept of an Amazing Grace that has saved a wretch like me?
It was questions like this that I was asking myself as a freshman in college. However, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago when I was asked to share my testimony that I realized – I had been believing those lies my whole life.
I am always eager to hear other people’s testimonies, however when I am asked to share my own, I chuckle under my breath and avoid the topic – I don’t have a great testimony like some people. Mine’s pretty simple – I’ve been a Christian my whole life.
And that’s where it ends. I’ve fallen victim to believing that that was the extent of God’s story in my life.
However, it was shared with me that instead of preoccupying my thoughts with the details of me and my story, I should instead, as the song so beautifully puts it, look to the Son; set my eyes on the Savior and see the image of Love reaching out for us (Look to the Son by: Hillsong United).
Instead of being preoccupied with our part of the story, we should instead be focused on the divine intervention.
While we are all different and have all been uniquely placed on this earth by God for specific purposes, it is still the same God; the same Love reaching out for us, extending His hand of grace.
Sure the testimonies might be significantly different, but regardless of the when and where, the how remains the same. In other words, the significance and the sheer power of God’s amazing grace in each of our lives does not depend on when it happened and under what circumstances God made himself known to us.
The ‘amazing grace’ part has nothing to do with us but has everything to do with God’s hand reaching down to save us, for it is by grace we have been saved, through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Regardless if its a 23 year old girl who’s been a Christian her whole life, an 84 year old man on his deathbed acknowledging Christ for the first time, a friend of Jesus’ who finds himself sinking under the waves of his own fear (Matthew 14:29-31), a sick man who’s only wish is to be healed (Matthew 8:3), or a world lost in sin – Jesus reaches out His hand to us, extending His amazing grace.
My guilt and embarrassment over the ‘innocence’ of my testimony was in fact a form of pride; discounting the power and awe-inspiring grace of God simply because I hadn’t known any different. However, the significance of God’s amazing grace in my life, in your life, and in all lives is simply that – God’s amazing grace, not the circumstances under which we first experienced it or the amount and severity of the iniquities this grace covered (because really, all sin is the same in God’s eyes).
So regardless of your stories; regardless of the details of your testimonies, let’s look to the Son.
Let’s set our eyes on the Savior and see the image of Love, for it was beyond the skies above that Love reached out for each and every one of us, giving us a reason to sing Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.