Feb 9, 2021

My testimony

 Praise the Lord! 

Good afternoon everyone. Since I do not trust myself to speak on my own without much blabbering I decided to write it down. It may sound like I am reading from some notes. But bear with me, this is my attempt to actually speak from my heart.

A testimony is nothing but one's own personal witness of how they found the Lord Jesus Christ and how their life has progressed since. So, here's mine with a flashback to my childhood. 

Born and raised in a Christian family I had the privilege of being raised in the faith at a very young age. My parents and grandparents were great role models and godly influencers of my life. Papa, Amma, Pautimas they were the best of their kind. It was a blessed childhood. 

We were showered with love. Everything was done in love. There was abundance of kisses, hugs and expressions of love around. We were never beaten or yelled at. Amma called me Queenma; Papa called me Queenie makkaa. Very loving folks. They lovingly corrected us with scriptures. 

Every matter brought by me to their attention was weighed down in godly light. Bible says this Queenma, the scriptures are clear on that Queenie, were the frequent responses from Amma and Papa. If someone said something or did something wrong to us, we had to forgive. 

If we said something or did something wrong to anyone, knowingly or unknowingly, we had to apologize and reconcile. We never heard of our elders talking ill of anyone else. They only said things about others that they wouldn’t mind telling them in person. This transparent nature instilled in me the same transparency. 

Spreading rumors', gossiping, backbiting, lying, disrespecting elders, saying anything bad of ministers of God and even having strong political opinions were discouraged. They would have a scripture for every situation. Like ' Do not defile the king even in your inner chambers', 'A gossip betrays a confidence', 'God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble', 'do not get weary of doing good', 'love one another', 'Without holiness no one can see God' , 'be doers of the Word, not hearers only' etc.  

They taught us to strive for holiness and told us that the infilling of the Holy Spirit is essential to live a holy life. Every discussion around the house led us to godly matters. Amma and Papa did a lot of sitting around and talking to us, which we kids truly enjoyed. They gave us the freedom to openly share our opinions. In fact many a life's decisions came from these talks, like who we would like to marry, where we would like to live etc. 

In our home, anyone who came in contact with my parents got saved; like house-maids, carpenters, neighbors, their kids, etc. many. I saw that my parents and grandparents did that only by loving and living. Not by preaching.

Me for the most part was a good child though I had my bouts of complaints every now and then. I did not like it when they corrected me with scriptures in-spite of it being completely the other party’s fault for the happenings. I felt that they were always taking sides with my offenders.  It took me a long time to actually apply these teachings willingly and on my own.

Now I know that that is what we as Christians are called to be. The only thing that should offend us is when someone offends our Lord Jesus CHRIST. The only thing that should sadden us is when our friends do not know Jesus. The only way we have to behave is to love. Our duty or calling or responsibility or purpose in this life is to follow Jesus and love, genuinely love, people around us so that they can see and find Jesus through us.

I told you I understood the full meaning of my parents' teaching much later in life. Yes, when I got married. For the first time in my life it felt like I was a fish outside of water. It was suffocating. If not for the godly instructions instilled in me by my parents, I would have quit and walked away. But because of God’s unfailing love and mere mercy I did not. 

The experiences taught me to fully depend on God. For love. For comfort. For guidance. For counseling. For instructions. For provisions. Even for a friend.

True I have many friends. But God has been and still is my ultimate friend. I am always talking to God. If not about anything in particular, I thank Him. I keep saying I love Him. I enjoy the formation of clouds with Him. I tell Him to quickly pick out my outfit for the day. I request Him to hold the bus for me, to save a seat for me. Please!

I ask Him to solve the logic for me, to meet the deadlines at work. To come shopping with me. To help me buy the right thing for the right price. When I try it on, I ask Him how I look in it. Isn't that what a friend is for?

So as you can imagine, the communication channel is constantly flowing. I can't say I have always been like that. Somehow through life's experiences I have arrived here and I enjoy this abandoned dependency on Him. 

I hold the scriptures to heart. If scripture says He will never leave me nor forsake me, I take His word for it. If it says to rejoice in the Lord always, I try. If it says give thanks, I do. He knows my every desires, He holds my every tears. I share my every secret. There is really nothing that I haven't bared to Him. Happy moments, sad ones He is part of it all. 

And God for His part almost always reassures His love for me. By His promises. By reminding me of songs that explain His love. Even showing me Isaiah 62:4 that has my name in it - Hephzibah - which means God’s delight.  He even let me experience His very presence, this beautiful sweet smelling presence once, in a very realistic dream I woke up sobbing from, with tears of joy. 

The same marriage that suffocated me once now refreshes me. I can honestly say I have found my best friend (next to God) in my husband. Not that we do not have conflicts. But love prevails. Last December we celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. Praise the Lord. 

God has blessed us with three beautiful children. All three of them have a personal relationship with God and spend hours reading and meditating His word, taking part in and leading Bible studies and adhering to godly instructions. They are not ashamed to stand up for God when situations arise. Isaiah 54:13 has this beautiful promise which I have claimed for my children.  "All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace."

Indeed they are taught by the Lord so far and will be. Praise the Lord.

That is my story folks! Thanking God for this opportunity to stand as His witness in front of you all today. 

I would like to end with this scripture: நாம் நிர்மூலமாகாதிருக்கிறது கர்த்தருடைய கிருபையே, அவருடைய இரக்கங்களுக்கு முடிவில்லை. புலம்பல் 3:22

It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:22

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