Sharing Your Story
I have heard many stories through my life. Stories that inspire. Stories that make me sad. Stories that elicit laughter. Stories that confuse, hurt, or even shame me. A well-told story can be a game changer, and there is nothing quite like an impactful story told at the right time.
It is time to be bold and proclaim what God has done in your life. Share your story. Think about the different ways God has impacted your life for His good. What has He done? How did He change you? Who might be impacted by your story? Every story is different, yet every story can be boiled down to three simple steps.
First, we must answer the question of what was your life like before Christ? For me, I knew about Jesus, but I lacked a personal relationship with Him. Yeah, I did the church thing growing up, but we never talked about religion much outside of Sunday, and my family was consumed by the numerous activities and sports that we participated in. It was not until my mid 30’s that I really found out who Jesus was.
I was newly married. My first son was born, and as I was learning about fatherhood and marriage, I began to believe some dark lies that Satan was whispering to me. I felt like a failure. As a father. As a husband. Even at work as a teacher. These stresses began to consume me, and I was slowly falling into a dark pit called depression.
This was totally new to me! I had never been there before, and the feelings of hopelessness and despair began to spiral me into a dismal, chaotic place. To make matters worse, I was unable to get my stress out through any physical activity due to severe lower back pain that was torturing my spine. I tried chiropractic work, physical therapy, and even resorted to attempting surgery where they burned nerve tissue. None of it worked.
I came home from work one day, and my wife had a gift laying on the couch for me. I opened the package to find a onesie that said, “Big Brother.” That’s right, we were pregnant again! Except this time it wasn’t necessarily planned that way. Sure enough, our second child was born, and I thought God was giving me more than I could handle. I began to drown, and although I knew I needed help, I didn’t know who to turn to. That was when Jesus stepped in to save me.
On to part two of my testimony: How did you find Christ? Well, truth be told, I didn’t find Jesus. He found me. I was broken. Frustrated. Hopeless. That precious summer of 2012 Jesus stepped into my life and told me how much He loved me. I welcomed His healing touch. There was no specific moment when I threw up my hands and accepted Christ in my heart. It was more of just a gradual sanctification that led me to begin giving Him pieces of my brokenness.
God began to remake me into something new. I began to savor time with Him each morning, praying, opening the Bible, journaling, and reading Christian books to further my relationship with Him. Before I knew it, I began to enjoy fatherhood. My marriage began to heal, and my back miraculously felt much better. The icing on the cake was when God blessed me with the most caring group of students I had ever taught in the fall. It felt as if I was an entire different person!
It was winter when I decided I needed to celebrate my new life through baptism. On February 9, 2013, I was rededicated in front of my closest friends and family. Pastor Darren Wade led me in taking my confession of faith an immersed me into my new life. Before I had one foot in the world and one in heaven. Now I was all in! This is the most fun part of my story to share. Part three: What Christ has been doing in my life since?
God began to open door after door for me following that day. I joined the Saturday morning men’s Bible study group at Legacy. I began a prayer group with colleagues at work on Friday mornings. I started writing a blog for Christian teachers at www.theteachersdevotional.com. Then there came the morning when I felt called to pray for one of my students.
I had no idea why I was praying for him, but one hour later I found out. There was a knock at my door, and the same boy that I had prayed for walked tentatively into my classroom. He ducked his head shyly and asked me a question that I will never forget.
“Mr. Daniels? I was wondering … Do you think I could start a Bible study in your classroom on Monday mornings?”
I was blown away at God’s timing. Before I knew it, there was a small group of six or seven boys that infiltrated my room every Monday morning from 7:00 to 7:30 am. I couldn’t participate in their studies, but I savored watching them grow together, and as they took dynamic spiritual leaps forward, an idea sprung in my head. What if they could grow their small group into something so much bigger? What if they could reach out to the entire school?
That group of boys became something special at my middle school that fall. They started our first Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle, and since that storied day, FCA has impacted the lives of hundreds of Indian Trail students. All because of the courage of one boy who wanted to start a Bible study. All because Jesus was there for me at my weakest moment.
All for God’s glory.
Your testimony can be boiled down to three easy steps: your life before Christ, how you came to meet Christ, and how He has impacted your life since. Share your story with reckless abandon, giving all the glory to the Lord.