Testimony is something God's taught me alot about in my Christian life. I've seen loads of people give theirs, but there is always one that stuck in my mind and changed my life forever.
Last November in a pub in a Putney, a friend of mine named Becky Smith went to the front and shared something that can't have been easy to share. You could see it in her face that it wasn't easy, but she said she felt God telling her to say it, so in turn did. I went in that room that day expecting a bit of worship, but of prayer, and to be honest felt confident in my faith. Felt like I 'was in a good place' (have since learnt to never have that feeling as God will chuck a massive issue in my face soon after!). Her testimony changed me, it made me begin balling, I felt weak. I'd been a porn addict since I was like 13 and her testimony was attacking right at the heart of that issue. Anyways, I fell on my knees, trying to resist God, trying not to have to sort this out, I was ashamed and didn't want to look weak. In the end though I forced myself forwards for prayer. Now while this didn't solve the issue, something like this doesn't always go away in a day, I'm happy to say I've been clean of porn for over 40 days now, thank you God.
Anyways, what Becky taught me is God gave us testimonies for a reason, and it's the difficult issues that are indeed the hardest to tell. But these issues are the ones that unlock people. Becky's testimony unlocked me and countless other people in that room. What she did is the heart of servant hood. She sacrificed her own pride, her own standing with the people in that room in the hope her words might touch and change just a few hearts in that room. In my experience, God really rewards bravery like that. Ever since that day, when presented the opportunity to tell my own testimony I try not to shy away from the big details, and try to help my friends do the same. I've seen one of my best friends, who would admit himself is not a confident public speaker, go up in front of our church and share some extremely personal stuff, I was so proud and God rewarded him big time.
Now this week came a new chapter in the life of Davey, my volunteer year for church (FP Impact) started. Day two of training came about and I was presented the opportunity to share my testimony. Now in no way can I tell my whole testimony in 5 minutes, so I picked a tough area which God has really changed in my life. That area was male relationships. The men in my life as I have grown up have never been too loving, I've never been given hugs or given words of affirmation. This lead to me finding it difficult to make deep male friendships, and having real ease making deep female friendships. I never used to share my life with male friends, though was happy to do it with girls/girlfriends. I prayed on this and God had since healed the issue. I have a few good male friends now, in particular Rob and Tom, who I've connected with more than any other guys in my life. Now, this stuff isn't easy for me to share, but I hoped it would unlock the room a bit, and after I felt that people were able to be a bit more honest, and the worship time after was quality. Now just a few days later, imagine the scenario. Your asked by a guy you just met to share your testimony with 20 African boys, tired after a game of football really wanting to go home. Not the easiest atmosphere, but God's taught me that testimony unlocks people. So I loaded my testimony shotgun up and gave it to them. They were a slightly more rowdy and responsive audience, but they listened still, and one boy seemed to be intently listening.
Anyways, testimony is a journey for me. I would love at some point in my future to be involved in a Christian testimony school, helping train people on how to have shotgun testimonies rather than water pistols. Every single time I have seen people bravely step out with their testimony, making themselves uncomfortable and nervous just for the chance to change one persons life, God has rewarded it big time, so it is something I will continue to push into and learn more about.
If you want to talk to me about any of this, want help with your testimony or just want to hear mine, please get in touch :)
Thanks for reading,