You Are You Podcast Ep 1: How I Went From Scared to Testify to Testifying Daily
How do you feel about testifying? Have you ever felt unqualified to share about God? Or wish you could do it more boldly? Join Jenni as she shares how God took her from scared to testify to testifying almost daily (and honestly!) with The Yay Project. Learn practical tips, including tips for discerning God’s voice, and be encouraged to live out Psalm 66:16, “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.”
Would you believe me if I told you that up until a year ago I barely testified?
Sure if someone I knew outright asked me I’d have no issues telling them I was a Christian. Maybe I’d even share about one of the clear “God moments” I’d experienced. But I was in no way seeking out opportunities or doing it regularly. Why? I think mostly I didn’t feel qualified.
To me, testifying was for really mature Christians. For example, at church, sometimes people would be asked to share their testimonies from a mission trip. These people were generally church leaders or at least people who’d had a serious, life changing encounter with God. Or when I saw people sharing their testimonies online, they knew so many verses and so much Bible history. What if I got my facts wrong? No one would take me seriously, so it was better to not try.
Maybe I had also been scarred from a past relationship with an atheist. That relationship was the first time anyone had really challenged me about my faith. While he didn’t believe in God, he’d grown up in church and knew a lot of Bible facts. Me? I also grew up in church but my faith in God was largely experiential. I’d had so many experiences with God talking to me, providing for me, telling me to wait on something and then it actually happened. Could I confirm that all of these things were God 100%? No. I just had that inner knowing, even if I couldn’t prove it.
So after questioning my faith for a few long, tough months, I made the decision to follow God. Even if I was no longer 100% sure, I was pretty sure that my experiences with God were real. I’d tried researching other religions to try and compare but it was just too much and I knew I could spend the rest of my life researching and still never be sure. So I took a step of faith and went all in with God.
It’s funny. During the relationship, I felt like I hadn’t heard from God very much. I mean I knew he’d said to break up with the guy but I was stubborn and refused. So one thing I learned is that God is God. I’m to follow him, he doesn’t have to follow my demands. But basically as soon as I repented as surrendered, God met my brokenhearted needs so specifically helping me to see that he was indeed Jehovah Jireh, my provider, and wanted to love and care for me.
Two things I really needed were more girlfriends and to keep busy. And almost out of nowhere, God gave me two sweet girlfriends who were also in a season where they were free to hang out a lot. One I even met ‘randomly’ on Instagram! God also opened up an opportunity to start reviewing restaurants and attending events for a popular food website. So slowly but surely I grew stronger and learned to share my walk with God with my friends. But boldly testifying?
The imposter syndrome was still there.
Around this time I attended a women’s retreat where the guest speaker spoke about being in ankle deep faith, waist deep faith, and ocean deep faith. She asked us where we felt we were and where we wanted to be. After reflecting, I thought I was probably at waist deep or at least close to it. Ocean deep sounded amazing but I couldn’t really imagine it. To be free and surrendered and swimming in the ocean of God’s love? How was that even possible?
I’ll talk about this more in the next episode but essentially it took my biggest heartbreak for God to rip out some significant lies: impostor syndrome, fear of rejection, and shame. For now, I just want to encourage anyone who’s feeling like they can’t believe God allowed a terrible thing to happen to them. First, I wish I could be there to sit with you and pray for God’s comfort to surround your heart. And second, I pray that my testimony can encourage you that God used my absolute worst nightmare to change my life. I actually journalled out my worst nightmare one day, praying to God that it wouldn’t happen. And it was like the devil saw my words, knew what would cause me pain, and chose to STRIKE the exact spot that would cause me the most pain.
Oh how he tenderly met every single one of my cries for help.
As I was preparing for this podcast, God reminded me of his Holy Spirit in us. When I was distracted with my problems and pain, I didn’t always see that each day God was with me, helping me to grow in trust, teaching me how to get rid of fear, bringing me closer and closer into ocean deep faith until I started to swim freely and enjoy the pleasure of God’s endless love. “I knew your desire to go ocean deep and I blessed it. I love you,” he told me. And my heart grew a million sizes.
I think most of us know logically that God’s love is life changing. But experiencing it is really something else. Have you ever heard that your greatest ministry will come out of your greatest pain? This was another thing I’d long heard that I understood with my brain but not my heart. But it’s absolutely true for me. It’s not the pain that gave me something to talk about, but the life changing experience of tasting the goodness of God.
Maybe it’s just me but I feel like if I’m truly honest I’m needy about something everyday. It could be something to do with my job, or a relationship, or future dreams, or past hurts. But then I go to God every morning, first thing, read his word, and honestly pour all I am out to him. And he meets me, teaches me, satisfies my soul so accurately, in the way he knows I need. Then I’m so excited, so overjoyed and love sharing parts of my quiet time via posts for The Yay Project.
I always think it’s so cool that a personal reflection can be so relatable. It’s like we just know that what God has done for one, he’s willing to do for another. So I pray that this encourages you to testify more, and testify boldly, in your own life. God’s work stands alone.
He doesn’t need us to use big words or fancy language. All he needs us to do is be willing.
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. (Psalm 66:16)
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. (Psalm 107:2)
Let’s do this and do this together! Online, in person - let’s make God’s goodness known.
But let’s say you’re in ankle deep or waist deep faith and want some practical steps?