Thank God for Retakes

Yesterday I ended with talking about how the Devil wants to keep us from what God has for us…so today it’s storytime!

This past April, I was feeling really cool because I was stepping into a new place in my walk with God and feeling really grounded. I knew I was a different person than I used to be and felt like the things that once tempted me could never tempt me again. I was now what I like to call Youth Group Testimony Girl. If you’ve grown up in church you know what I’m talking about:

“I used to snort lines off of toilet seats, but now I’m here, PRAISE JESUS!” or some variation of that.

And that was me, I thought. God saved me and I was never going back. My church, House Of Praise, was doing a series called “30 Days To Live,” and there was a challenge put out to the congregation: If you had 30 days to live, what would you want people to know about you? What would you tell people? What would you leave behind?

I thought, “Oh my gosh, I need to write down the last five years. I need to tell my testimony!”

Suddenly I had this huge conviction that I needed to do this. I called a couple of friends and my mom and everyone agreed. So I started writing this book, and I even got a few chapters in.

Then, it happened: Epic Strugglefest 2010.

I faced (almost) everything that used to be a struggle for me and failed every test. And even though I was repentant and knew God didn’t care about my Mickey Mouse mistakes, I still let guilt creep in and stop me. I stopped writing my book because I felt like I couldn’t share my testimony. I felt like I wasn’t a good enough Christian if I could fall off so easily as Strugglefest. And that’s when I stopped working on something I really felt led to do.

After that I was in a really dry place with God. I was leading mission teams and going to conferences and watching people have these intense encounters, but all I felt was exhausted.

I came to my dad one afternoon crying and saying, “I don’t know where God is. I’m so hungry!” Prophet Dad said, “Kristen, just ask God what He wants you to do and you will hear Him.”

So I went into my room and asked God that question. All I heard at first was one word: “Write.” This was months after I stopped writing my book and I hadn’t even thought about it in a while. I kind of thought I heard Him wrong and was frustrated but I wrote down that word, and then God started speaking to me about some other things that didn’t make sense at the time…but I didn’t even care. He was speaking to me and I was stoked!

That night I had the opportunity to share my testimony for the first time to a crowd of people. I had no idea what I was going to say…this was the testimony I did not feel worthy to tell. But when the time came I just got up there and then suddenly I just knew what to say. Words were pouring out of me. Everyone went quiet. People on the street were listening to me. People were crying. I came off the platform and was confused at what just happened, but I knew God totally showed up, and it was through the testimony the enemy had tried to stop me from telling before. God is so gracious and gave me another shot.

And yes, I’m writing again. (Um, clearly.)

So there it is: You are a child of God. Don’t let the lies of the enemy about your worthiness condemn you and keep you from doing what you’re supposed to do. All have fallen short of the glory of God…that’s why Jesus came and died and rose again and made YOU an overcomer. What What!

PS: I know this post is way long, and has nothing to do with art. This won’t happen much I promise.


One thought on “Thank God for Retakes

  1. Linda H.Geerts says:

    I will never forget the first real time I had to give my testimony: when I first moved to the DR, there was a gathering of teachers (I can’t recall if it was a Bible study group or just a bunch of us hanging around, which we did often…) and we were encouraged to share our testimony with the group.

    Not feeling confident in my ordinary story, I was apologetic. So many others have more compelling stories to share with definitive lightning-bolt moments of change. Dave Irwin got upset with me. ! He said firmly, “NEVER apologize for the way your life has gone! God leads you every day, for His purpose! Don’t feel sorry that you had a good childhood with Christian parents and others didn’t; you are blessed!”

    I will never forget!

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