I once had a pastor (in Texas) who used to say that you can't have a testimony without a test! I used to agree whole-heartedly. I know that our struggles, when used properly, can lead us to a deeper relationship with our Lord. But lately I have been having the most intense communication with God and I have NOT been going through any trials, and I truly believe that God is calling me into a deeper relationship with him.
Here it is: When I pray at night I always pray to be more intimate with God: to walk more closely with Him, to be more like Him, to let my life be a living witness to His greatness. But through all of that, in the back of my mind I am always thinking, "Ok God if you have to take me through suffering to accomplish that then I'm on board, I will always do Your will, but maybe, if you could teach me those things without the trials and suffering, that would be great too!" I know that's dumb. I know God does not cause the suffering, I guess I am just conditioned to know that He often acheives His purposes for our life in the midst of our trials.
But lately, God has been talking to me through people and I am in a really good place in life. He has been showing me His grace and His love for me without the suffering. When Bridget (www.blogginbridget.blogspot.com) posted her desire for more children, even though she already has five, I felt like God was using her to reach me. I felt like I was having some feelings about wanting more children and no one to share it with because people would say that I was insane (I didn't even share it with my husband). And God, in His infinite wisdom, let me know that I was not alone, and that he had indeed heard my prayers. That was so significant to me. I mean, the God of the entire universe cared enough about me to let me know that he had heard my prayers and that I wasn't crazy!! He used a stranger to talk to me. His grace and glory touched the depths of my soul. I was so humbled that he cared about my struggles, but also that he was reaching out to me during my good times and not just my bad!
The night that I read that blog I was so humbled and so in awe of God that I laid in bed, weeping like a baby, trying to tell my husband how much God loved me! It was so emotional for me, and I'm sure a little crazy to him because I was such a wreck (in a good way).
Anyway, I know I'm rambling. But God is so good and he has such a strong-hold in my life. I feel honored to serve the God who placed each star in the sky, colored every sunset, and knows me more intimately than I know myself!
I know that the people who know me are falling out of their chairs right now about the whole wanting more kids thing. It's true. My heart is feeling a little empty. I mean we have six kids, but one is out of the house, one is on her way out, and one is graduating in four months. That leaves only three kiddos here and I guess I feel like I don't know who I am outside of being a mom. Is that a reason to have more? No! I know that. But reading Bridget's blog taught me that I needed to pray differently. Just know that whatever we do, it's because we have placed our trust in God and will not do anything without His direction. (And I'm not answering my phone for a few days because I don't want to answer your questions) :0)
So... here is my testimony. No, you don't have to go through a test to have a testimony. God doesn't only use our trials to let us know that he is with us every step of the way. I am witnessing God's grace in a very real, very positive way. God is good, all the time!
P.S. Those of you who are followers of our Lord, please keep up the encouragement that you give in your blogs. I hop around from blog to blog and I am so humbled by the women who serve Him without question. I have read and learned so much about God, about faith, and about casting all of our cares upon Him. In the world that we live in, it is so easy to get distracted by all the chaos. It's even easy to feel like we are all alone in this mess. But when I read blogs of women who share their faith openly, and wear it like a badge of honor, I feel blessed that we are in this together. I know that we will probably never meet each other, but you have touched my soul. No matter what we go through, good or bad, significant or trivial, whether you have handed a child over to the Lord, watched your toddler throw a tantrum at Target, been blind-sided by divorce or infidelity, or just sailed the seven seas, we are all part of the body of Christ and it's nice to connect with you!