I sat motionless in my chair, listening to the speaker give his testimony. Joe's story held us spellbound. It was the kind that totally mesmerizes hundreds of people for an hour. The kind that tugs at heartstrings and sends silent tears trickling down cheeks throughout the auditorium. The kind that leads to repentance and faith rededications at the end of a service.
I left the chapel service amazed and inspired. And frustrated. God had so obviously worked in this man's life, and his powerful story touched hearts. Of course, his wasn't the first incredible testimony I'd heard. Growing up in the church, I listened to many men and women tell of God's grace in their life. The most powerful stories always involved pain and heartache—women who had abortions, men who battled pornography addictions, teens who escaped a life of drugs and alcohol. These Christian brothers and sisters told how they saw God's hand in the midst of suffering and sorrow. Their stories always inspired and encouraged me. They also made me resent my own dull testimony.
As a pastor's daughter, I grew up in a stable Christian home. At four years old, I prayed with my mother to ask Christ to be the Savior and Lord of my life. I can count on one hand the number of Sundays I missed church from infancy through high school. I never went through a rebellious period, hung around the bad crowd, had a shady boyfriend, or tried drugs or cigarettes. For a couple years during college, I struggled with doubt and cynicism about Christianity, but that eventually solidified my faith and grew my relationship with God.