Are you one who is hesitant to share personal testimonies? If so, is it because you are afraid of speaking publicly, afraid of what others may think of you, or because you were taught at an early age that it was wrong to do so?
I distinctly remember my grandmother saying on numerous occasions that we should “never air our dirty laundry,” and I heard my mother say the same. There was something about those words that for many years made me feel too ashamed to talk about my indiscretions, the mistakes of my past, and of all the obstacles I had overcome.
My thoughts regarding this changed slightly when I became involved in mentoring, but even then I was hesitant to completely open up and speak about my past. Things began to shift a little more when my mentor and dear friend heard me speak at a career seminar. He knew of my past struggles and felt that my presentation would have been a lot more powerful had I shared some of my personal experiences.
A later discussion with my mentor on the same topic shifted to God and he reminded me of how the bible was filled with testimonies; with some of the most powerful stories that any of us will ever hear. He also reminded me of how many times “declare” was used throughout the bible. This discussion led to the story of John and helped me to understand exactly what God expects from each of us. He wants us to share the news of His blessings, His grace, His mercy and how it all has changed us. He wants us to be witnesses to what we have seen Him do in our lives.
Even then, speaking and sharing my testimonies did not come easy. I was still insecure and focused on what others would think of my past. Who would listen? Why would anyone care? I needed a strong “Why”…a reason to step out on the platform and reveal my all.
I began to look at it as a way to thank God for all He has done in my life and the lives of so many others. Because of my gratefulness to God I was able to push past the fears, take the platform and unveil my scars to help others heal. My gratefulness for all that God has allowed me to overcome became my “Why” and sharing my testimonies became a way of life.
What about you? What is holding you back from sharing your powerful testimonies…all the things that God has blessed you to overcome…the stories that someone out there needs to hear?
Unless you give a testimony about what God has done in your life, your story will never be told. When you share your story with others, you’re thanking God for His goodness. Also, you’re not only letting others know what He has and continues to do in your life, you’re being a model by showing them what His true will is for all of our lives…to show gratitude in all circumstances, even those that cause us hardship and pain. God doesn’t want thanksgiving to be just one day out of the year. He wants us to make it a lifestyle. The way we live everyday of the year.
Teresa L. Holmes