Stacey is a senior Applied Linguistics major and English minor. She loves running, cooking, and crafting! She hopes to work with autistic and special needs children in the future.
My testimony is a story all about God, who in His great love and mercy saved me, a wretched and undeserving sinner. Romans 3:23-26 says:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
I grew up in a loving Christian home and attended Christian school and church most of my life. I first heard the Gospel in 2nd grade. My schoolteacher Mrs. Susan taught a Bible lesson on Heaven; she said: “Heaven is a wonderful place where Christians will worship God forever. There will be no more sadness, pain or sickness. But the only way we can get there is by accepting Jesus into our hearts.” Fascinated hearing of this glorious Heaven, I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. So Mrs. Susan prayed with me that day. I don’t remember what happened during that prayer, except that while my eyes were closed, I saw a BRIGHT light—I thought Heaven was being unveiled to me and Jesus was literally entering my heart!
NEWSFLASH: This certainly was not the deal. When peeking, I realized we were only sitting by a window and the sun was coming out.
Although I believed in God and Christ’s death on the cross as a fact in the 2nd grade, I had no understanding of my depravity as a sinner, deserving of eternal punishment, or my desperate need for a Savior. So I continually pursued my fleeting, empty and sinful passions—running towards it like a kid to the candy shop, but falling on my face every single time.
After 2nd grade, my family stopped attending church for several years. Lacking full understanding of the Gospel and having many unanswered questions about God, I wrestled with doubts and uncertainties about my faith during this time. But I bear witness that God was extremely active in my life in these years. My parents pointed me to truths that I might know Him. Eventually, our family found a new home church, which faithfully preached the Gospel each week. It is within this church that God provided many Christians who shared the Gospel with me and displayed His transforming power in their lives. When witnessing how these saints overflowed with love and thankfulness for the cross, I too wanted a taste of their joy.
At the age of 16, I broke the trust of a school friend. Through the guilt and embarrassment of sinning against my friend, everything clicked. The Gospel truths I heard at church every week suddenly became so relevant to me. God opened my eyes to the truth of Romans 3:10, 3:23 and 6:23: I am a filthy sinner, deserving of eternal death and punishment. I realized that I not only sinned against people, but a holy and righteous God. Because God is just, I deserve eternal punishment in Hell for my sin.
My friend quickly extended me forgiveness for my wrong. I felt so undeserving of it, but it gave me an understanding of God’s mercy and grace in sending His Son Jesus to die for my sins—for the many, many that I had committed against Him throughout my life. Guilty and convicted by my life marked by sin, I placed my trust in Jesus Christ and surrendered my life to Him. I fully believed that God, because of His great love, sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die in my place (Romans 5:8). As I repented of my sin and placed my trust in Him, I was saved! (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God has been continually faithful to increase and strengthen my faith through seasons of trial and blessing over the years—all of which have carved the truths of God’s word into my heart and given me an understanding of His peace, which surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:4-7). Out of thankfulness in my heart for who He is and what He has done, I strive to plant more Gospel seeds so that others may know God and be saved—imitating the faithful example of Mrs. Susan who first shared the Gospel with me. Since the 2nd grade, I eagerly long for Heaven—where I will join other saints praising God for eternity!
PS: I encountered Mrs. Susan again one year ago at my mom’s Bible study. I was at a loss for words because nothing could express my deep gratitude for her service to God and to me. Mrs. Susan’s faithfulness to plant the Gospel seed during the 2nd grade gives me a glimpse of God’s faithfulness to save me; the Lord worked in this seed so that I would come to know Him 8 years later! Truly, PRAISE GOD for this!