After we lost our daughter, Emma, in 2011, I heard Pastor Paul Sheppard speak of testimonies. He said we have to have a test before we can have a testimony and a mess before we can have a message.
When you are going through the fire, whatever that fire may be, know that God is with you. Your testimony is being shaped by the test and the mess that you are in.
I know when I’m in the midst of a struggle, it’s hard to see God at work. Oftentimes it isn’t until the issue has passed that I can look back and see God’s hand in the middle of my circumstances. Sometimes I have to look really hard and many times it isn’t until years later that I see what God had in mind for me during that time.
Your testimony is your confirmation to the world that God is good, that He works in difficult situations, and that He’s always there for you. It’s how you can relate to others who may be going through a similar situation. Don’t ever discount what you’ve been through. It’s through our messes and tests that we have the ability to be a blessing to others with compassion, empathy, prayers, and to walk beside them knowing how to help them through their own battles. We become the battle-hardened warrior that can walk with them, see the dangers in where they’re going, and the pot holes that may appear in their paths. We can be the shoulder to cry own, the wise person who’s “been there done that.”
Because I’ve experienced all that I have in life, I can be a sounding board for those who have had parents divorce, listen to children who have had a parent cheat and abandon the family, feel the pain of moms who have lost a child, and hold their hands, provide words of comfort, and show them through my own experience that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel.
Be a blessing to others BECAUSE OF your own experiences. Don’t stand back and watch someone fumble and fall. Pick her up. Dust her off. Lend her a hand and walk with her through the battle. You’ll be stronger for it and you’ll be a blessing to someone else who may need just what you have to offer.