Katherine W.

Katherine W.

from KS
Story #526
My testimony…

It has always been a difficult thing for me to put into words because, in my mind, it has always been rather uninteresting. Only recently have I realized just how self-centered it is (even if it doesn’t seem like it) to believe that Christ’s work in me is any lesser than his work in anyone else. “My story” is Christ’s story, and remembering that puts everything in perspective.

I’ve heard someone refer to their testimony as a “brown paper bag,” and that is, in a way, how I feel about my own. I was raised in the Church, and have believed in Jesus as my savior for as long as I can remember. There was no drastic change in my life when I officially accepted Christ into my heart, but, as my mom later assured me when I was struggling with the validity of my faith, my attitude and actions reveal my true relationship with Christ, no matter how young I was when I accepted Him.

Growing up with constant Christian influence at home, church, and school (first private, then homeschooled for most of my education) really provided me with a solid base on which to build my faith. That foundation was, and is, essential to my faith now that I am in high school. This is a time when I am really making my faith my own, and without the faith I’ve relied upon my entire life, I’m not sure I would have made it through these past few years. That is not to say that there have not been some incredible high points in my walk with Christ, there have. Some of the best times of my life have been spent at camp and with my amazing Christian friends, growing closer and deeper in my faith, and encouraging each other in a way that only the body of Christ can. However, the times I see myself growing the most, as I am sure most Christians do, is through the hard times.

Probably one of the biggest earth-shaking moments in my faith was the summer after seventh grade when I received a phone call from my mom that one of my closest friends’ younger sister had passed away. I still remember the surreal, confused feeling of trying to grapple with that fact. I was devastated for my friend and her family and I can remember just questioning over and over why God would allow such a thing to happen to a family so devoted to him.

Looking back, though in my heart I wish she could still be here with us, I can see God’s plan working through my friend and her family. After her death, my friend’s family began a ministry in her name, distributing bibles to those who have none.I will leave a link to the ministry's website attached to this story in case anyone is interested in supporting this local ministry. Through them, God has taught me and grown me in my faith more than he ever had before, drawing me nearer to him every day. To this day I am still involved with this ministry, though not as much as I would like to be with the stress and demand of high school, and I still see God teaching me about humility and care for those who have less than I do. When I serve, I feel God stretching me outside just myself my plans and my agenda to take time for someone else and their spiritual need, and though it is sometimes uncomfortable, I wouldn’t trade these times for anyone in the world.

During this time in my life, I was also growing in my passion for art, and learning from my art teacher and mentor how to love art, and how to show Christ through my art as well. This teacher was one of the greatest mentors I ever had, teaching me through her actions what it really meant to be generous and kind. Whether she knew it or not, she was incredibly influential in shaping who I am today, both in my passion for art, and in how I view others through Christ’s eyes.

Throughout my middle school and high school years, I have felt closest to God when I am teaching him to others or speaking about him with my peer group. I love spending time with children during VBS in the summer, building the foundation in them that others built in me when I was young. Seeing the children so passionate about Christ bleeds into me as well, stoking the fire that dwells within my heart. One year, I remember helping at my uncle’s VBS at his country church for a week and watching him dress up in silly costumes while telling stories that helped explain the bible to the other kids in the group. That is one of my fondest memories of him, and it makes me so glad that I have that image of him preaching the gospel forever in my heart.

Recently, I’ve seen God really working with my heart attitude regarding tasks. I am a very task-oriented person, and I have a hard time letting go of assignments and prioritizing my time. Often, I find myself putting my to-do list above even the most important people in my life, but it became abundantly clear, after the loss of one of my old friends to suicide, just how out of whack my priorities were. The suddenness of it took my breath away. I cried for weeks, remembering all the times we would pass in the hallway and I said nothing, all the times I was too wrapped up in my own mind to even say hello, or to inquire about his week, or how he was feeling. I kept thinking of the difference I could have made if only I had responded to that little call to reach out, to invest a little in someone else’s life, even if it was out of my comfort zone. It is so easy to fall back into routine and not even notice what is going on around me, but I feel God speaking in my heart to reach out to others; to stop going around in my own little world, and instead reach out to other little worlds, and putting my own self aside to genuinely care about others. This is where I am in my faith right now, and I am excited to see what God will do in my life next.

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