Here’s my testimony! I’m Nicole, 17, and a senior in high school
This is my public witness to you all that I believe and know that Jesus has cleansed me of my sins. Like everybody else in this world, I am a sinner who desperately needs the grace of God. I know that the Lord sacrificed His Son to save me and make me His new creation. He has made something beautiful out of the dust. I love God with all my heart and I plan to follow Him my whole life. I know that I’m not saved through baptism or works, but through faith.
I didn’t really have that one moment where everything changed for me. This has all been a gradual process with many decisions, trials, and revelations along the way. In each period of my life, I’ve grown in my faith and understanding of God and His word.
The seeds of faith were first planted in me by my parents. I owe so much to them, but I’m most grateful for them because they raised me with Christian values and principles. They helped lay down the foundation of my faith that only grew with my own decisions. My faith took root with my upbringing, but at the point, I only believed in God.
I began to make conscientious decisions like reading the Bible by myself and just learning about God. As I slowly began to understand what it meant to be a Christian and my faith grew, I began to experience my first trials.
For some time, my faith was challenged as I had questions and doubts and struggled with depression. I felt downcast for a while, yet I managed to overcome my trials, with God’s helping hand. I had revelations and grew in faith as I truly realized what it meant to love God and be loved by Him. I realized what it meant to be a Christian and what it meant to give my life to Christ.
These past few years, I’ve tried to witness to others and bring them to Christ, but it’s been very hard. I’ve had debates or civil discussions with non-believers and atheists, and they always made me feel like I was not doing my job well enough. For some time, I also tried to be an example to one of my friends at school. For years, she seemed to be very interested in church and following God, yet she struggled with making the decision and committing her life to God. A little more than a year ago, I began to see changes in her that just made me inexplicably happy. She found the Lord and a church where she grew in her faith. I’m so happy to have a friend who now doubles as a sister in Christ. Sometimes, she even inspires or encourages me in my walk with God. I don’t take any credit in her transformation. It took a long time, and at times I was very doubtful, but it was God who worked in His own way and in His own timing. I learned to trust in His timing and I knew that He could use me in small ways to do good for others.
This last year of high school has been a lot more stressful than I thought it could ever be. I didn’t realized how much life could distract me, yet I have remained aware of God’s presence, mainly through His blessings and many small miracles when assignments are delayed or cancelled in my most stressful weeks. I’ve struggled at times this year, yet I have learned that even when it’s physically impossible for me to read and take notes every day, I can still connect to God through prayer. God does answer prayers and performs miracles. Though the miracles may be small, I know that God cares for me and is always with me.
The Lord has blessed me with my school and grades, and especially now in this time of applying to colleges. I’m excited and scared at the same time for college. I know that college can be a very dangerous place and a huge trial for many Christians, yet I will try my best to stay by my principles that my parents instilled in me and will rely on God’s strength to help me stay away from bad things. I’m excited for college because I cannot wait to make new friends and find other Christians and continue to grow in my faith. I may not know where I’ll be going, but I know God holds my future and has something great planned for me.
I’ve struggled for a period of time in my walk with God because I used to think that being on fire for God was solid evidence that I was saved. For a while, I was on fire for God and had this passion that continually fueled me. When that fire began to slowly die down, I worried. I thought, “If I’m not excited or happy in my relationship with God, I’m not truly saved or loving God.” I would have good times and bad times; I’d be on fire for God or I’d be back to worrying. It took me awhile to see the error in my logic.
Psalm 1 verse 3 says, “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its own season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” I now know that I’ve always been on fire for Christ, only that my fire has not always been visible. Sometimes you’re fire is burning bright, sometimes it’s a low ember waiting to catch fire again and glow even brighter. Those times when we are on fire for God is when we bear our fruits. Like trees, we do not bear our fruit all the time, only in its season, meaning that our fire for the Lord may not always be visible. When we are not bearing fruits and lose our fire, the fire is still slowly burning among the embers, and we still have leaves on our branches that never die. Like trees, we may not always be beautiful or useful, yet we are always showing signs of life. Our faith and trust in God will not go away, but there are always times where we will grow and fall back. Life is a rollercoaster: you learn something that makes you stronger and more committed to God in the low times, leading to good times with God. As long as we have roots that take up water from the rivers of life, we will be alive in Christ.
This and other revelations have made me confident and positive that I am saved and am excited to take the next step, baptism, and to take communion with my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you all for your time and for listening to my story.