It's number THREE out of eleven salvation testimonies to be shared on Selah the days leading up to and just after Easter. I can't think of a better way to celebrate His resurrection than hearing God-stories of souls raised from death to life. So pause. Ponder what He has done. Then praise Him!!!!
I know you'll enjoy hearing from my friend, Josh. God's really gifted him not only as a writer, but also as an authentic communicator. I pray his testimony reaches one who is lost, letdown or looking today.
What is my testimony?
This is a question I used to ask myself. I never really felt like I had much of a testimony to share with people. I hadn’t been addicted to drugs. I wasn’t a recovering alcoholic. I never found myself in jail or hanging with the wrong crowds. I guess you could say that I was pretty “straight-laced” growing up. I was the shy, timid boy who was afraid to say much to anyone, let alone go out and get myself in to a bunch of trouble. I didn’t seem to have found my salvation. It sort of found me, or at least I thought that was the case.
I grew up with Godly parents that taught me about Jesus from birth. My mother has a cassette tape of me singing Jesus loves me when I was one and a half years old. I attended a private Christian elementary school, and I had first accepted Jesus Christ into my heart at the age of 6. I was then baptized in water at age 10. Nothing exciting about my walk with the Lord, it was all pretty straightforward and boring, right?
That all changed when I entered the 7th grade. I began experiencing a fear and terror unlike anything I had ever faced before. The internal scare was accompanied by physical symptoms of hyperventilating, shakiness, and dry mouth. At age 13, I was experiencing anxiety and “panic attacks.” They were something my dad had struggled with for years, and I had never understood them. I still didn’t understand them, and neither did my teachers or principal. They thought I was just a clever kid who was finding a way out of having to go to school. They didn’t know me and how much I loved academics. They didn’t realize that I thrived on going to school and learning new things. This was not a ploy to get to go home and have fun. This was a battle within my mind.
For several months I struggled with sitting in the car every morning, ducked down and sobbing uncontrollably, afraid to enter the school building. The principal decided to let me try half days to see if that would work better for me. It did for a short while, but then I began to be plagued again by the symptoms. Finally, my parents gave up and pulled me out of public school to homeschool me.
I was a failure. There was no hope for me. God had abandoned me. The Savior that I grew up praising had left me. I sat in darkness for a period of time until I finally hit rock bottom. It was at this point that I realized I needed to renew my commitment to the Lord. I asked Him into my heart for a second time, but the second time felt like the first as I had now matured enough to know what having a relationship with Him truly meant. I now realized what salvation in Him was, and for the first time, I truly felt saved. I made up my mind that I was going to get things turned around in my life. I graduated high school and decided to go on to college.
The symptoms began to hit me again during my first semester of college. I started to cower down in fear, but I heard that beautiful, still-soft voice speak into my ear “Remember 7th grade. How long will you keep running from this? Be strong because I am with you through every step of this journey.”
I now have my Bachelor’s Degree. I now have a good paying job and a lovely fiancé. Most of all, I now have my testimony and my assurance of who I am in Jesus Christ because of what He has brought me through. My salvation is in Him alone, and I cannot thank Him enough for loving me.
Josh is a 26 year old Network Administrator living in the beautiful mountain state of Colorado. When he's not tinkering with technology, Josh likes to read, exercise, play games, surf the Internet, and of course - write. He sees his writing as a ministry, given to him by God to help encourage people and lead them to the hope that is Jesus Christ. Whether it be through humor, fictional Biblical re-tellings, or non-fiction confessionals, Josh's goal is to put a smile on people's face and remind them of the love that God has for them. Please take time to visit his ministry website: Uplifting Words or his personal blog at Just Joshing.