Monday, March 27, 2006

I'm An Open Book....

So when a faithful reader (who I’ve never met in person…all the more fun!) e-mailed me and asked me to share my testimony with him, I first suffered a brief flashback to my freshman year at Mercer University where my fellow students often wanted to witness and testify to me. One such student even sang a gospel song to me from the point of view of an aborted fetus in the middle of the cafeteria. Needless to say I was incredibly put off by their attempts. Fortunately my faithful reader clarified what he meant by testimony (“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth…”) in another sentence when he asked me to share how Christ came into my life. I am very happy to do so and appreciate his interest, although I warn you all that I don’t know how to shorten stories very well.

I always knew that I needed to “figure the God thing” out before I got married as I felt like it would be a mistake not to do so, but I didn’t want to wrestle with it in college as I knew I wasn’t going to quit drinking or having sex or doing other things that I knew were considered sins, and I didn't want to put forth the effort I knew it would require. I attended a very intellectual church (about 10 professors and a few students) comprised of Christians, but I didn’t really worship or know what I believed.

The year after I graduated from college, I taught elementary school and became friends with Lori, another first year teacher. She would occasionally invite me to7:22 (a Tuesday night service at a church over an hour away), and I would always decline. Finally she pulled one of those tricks on me that sneaky people do when they want you to do something you don’t want to do. She asked me what I was doing that evening, and I responded that I had an errand to run and nothing else. Gotcha! “Well great, you can ride with me to 7:22.”

7:22 is held at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, and I suspect there were 2000-3000 people in attendance that evening. There was a rock band. It was total culture shock as I grew up in a very quiet (non-joyful seeming) Presbyterian church. Seriously it was like a concert, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if joints were being passed down the rows. Out of sheer amazement and psychological curiosity, I went back a few more times. I ended up moving to Buckhead to take a job as a nanny, and I continued going to 7:22 some. I would attend social events with NPCC, but I still had never attended church there. I finally went, and although I didn’t really believe, I wanted to believe and have a relationship with God. I kept putting myself in the right places, and I guess God just kept pulling at me. And finally as my then-boyfriend pointed out, I was going to have to take a leap of faith. I wasn’t going to get an e-mail confirmation or be able to hold something in my hand that served as evidence that God existed and that His son had died for me. So I did take that leap of faith, and my life has been incredibly different because of it.

Fortunately I can now tell people all of the amazing ways God has worked and is working in my life. I am doing (and not doing) things that I never would have imagined. And God has blessed me beyond my imagination. I’m still really new at this “God stuff” and have so much to learn, but fortunately God continues to convict me in various areas of my life and has blessed me with some unbelievable friends. For example, the other day I was talking to my friend Jason about the challenges I've experienced as I’m trying to date in a Christian way rather than a worldly way (probably one of the most difficult struggles I’ve faced), and after a cookout Saturday night, Jason gave me two books he had picked up for my boyfriend and me about this very issue. How awesome is that? I could easily write so much more, but unfortunately my blog does not have a billable number.

p.s. I leave for Cabo in three days!! So excited!

6 comments:

Jameson said...

Ally,

That was a very touching and intimate post. Thank you for sharing with everyone the story of your re-birth. I wish that I had some interesting testimony, but there's not much you can do with " was raised in a Christain home, in a good Christain family..." Granted, I've had my struggles here and there, but have been blessed to have been brought up in such a great environment with such loving parents and sisters. Your walk with God thus far is truly an admirable one, and I wish you the best...You're an inspiration to me (if no one else) If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know! You're the best!

spam_price said...

Jameson,

Don't sell yourself short. Anyone without a testimony like yours would certainly be more than happy to have experienced a relationship with Christ sooner.

That being said, there is no greater testimony than the one you get to experience. It is God personally working through your life and there is nothing more beautiful than that.

Each one of us is given the light of the world to shine on a hill for the world to see. What is more interesting than this?

spam_price said...

Ally,

Indeed, thank you for sharing how God is working in your life! Amazing how strong the pull of truth is with this whole "God thing" isn't it??!

Ally said...

Two thoughts: The pull is amazing. And it's neat how that pull is stronger in different parts of your life at different times. Despite the fact that I'm so imperfect and handling various things in a less than Godly way, he continues to work on me, being patient and showing me His way through His word, other believers, and even ways as seemingly random as the internet.
When I look at how slowly I'm progressing as a Christian and even getting on board with trying to act in a Godly way, I realize what a faithful God we have and how much he loves us--like a parent with endless patience and understanding and unconditional love. On the note of progression, I must point out Jameson that the last year of your life alone makes a great testimony. The way God has worked in your life in the last year is fantastic....you might would have been content to continue at the status quo, but God had different plans for you and has seemingly pulled you into a much closer relationship with Him. Isn't it cool to think that God is thinking about you and has plans for you?!

spam_price said...

Ally that was a really great point! The sanctification process is a life long event and is never fully realized until we are made perfect in His very presence.

kimberly said...

Allyson you're awesome! I wish I knew you when we lived in the same town. Can't wait to hang out again and really talk.