A Few of My Testimonies (Great Is Your Faithfulness)

The seven-year-old girl eyed the pictures hanging up in the Sunday School room, skeptical. She climbed the stairs with everyone else and found her mom. “Mom,” she declared, “I don’t know if I believe in this Jesus stuff.  It seems too good to be true.” Standing in the lobby of the church, the girl’s mother was taken aback. “But, sweetie, you can’t go to heaven and see Grandma unless you believe in Jesus!” The girl was surprised by her mother’s reaction, and scared she wouldn’t get to go to heaven and see her great-grandma, whose was the only funeral she’d attended. That evening, the girl had a very serious talk with her two little sisters. “And so,” she concluded, “you have to believe in Jesus, or you won’t get to go to heaven.” 

Looking back at my life, I only see the grace of God in so many ways. Too many to count, really. Like the time I had suicidal thoughts, but my sister told me conversationally how much she heard it hurt. That people would call 911 after they overdosed just to get their stomach pumped and some relief. I was afraid of pain. Or this other time, when I went to grab something on the floor of my car, and I went into the ditch. I looked up and was headed straight for a telephone pole. There is no other explanation how I safely got back on the road with only a dent in the borrowed minivan I drove.

At night when I can’t sleep, I sing “How Great is Thy Faithfulness.” If that doesn’t work, I transition to “How Great Thou Art.” I can’t not see the mercies my heavenly father pours out on me. Like when I was headed back to the parking lot in my electric cart, unsure how I’d have the energy to unload groceries into my car. God would send somebody, who was just walking by, to help. Or when I was walking with my walker and reached the end of my rope before I could even get it back in my car. A little help here, God? Well, the lady that had just walked by me turned around to see if I needed help. So many times, I have seen the tangible provision of God. Now, I am in a unique position with my physical disabilities. People walk by me and can sense I might need help. They check, even if unsure. What about the people that look perfectly normal on the outside? Do they receive tangible help, too? The answer is YES. Undoubtedly.

God’s mercies are new and exciting each and every morning. I have verses and promises of God plastered all over my bathroom walls. “I, Anna, have received an unction from the Holy Spirit within me that will reveal, teach, and show me ALL the things pertaining to my life and that which I need to know.” And again, “I am who the Bible says I am, can do what the Bible says I can do, and I will have what the Bible says I can have. And I establish this.” One more of my favorites, “I trust with childlike faith my heavenly father, even though I may temporarily not know all the details and mercies God has set in motion on my behalf!” Thank you, Sallie, for these words I could handwrite on notecards and hang in my bathroom! 

Like everyone, I have my down days, weeks, whatever. In these times I wallow in self-pity and refuse to read or even remember God’s promises. But every time, when I come back, God is just like a loving parent. “You done now?” He seems to ask me with a hint of a smile. “Yeah, yeah,” I admit. “You are always good.” And really, once my pity party is over, I’m reminded of the goodness and faithfulness of my Good, Good Father.

We all have so many testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness. If you are a child of God, you have a story somewhere. Can I hear some of your best?

Be blessed, my friends!

Anna

A Testimony of the Beauty of the Gospel filled with Analogies =)

I’ve always known God loves me; I’ve been surrounded by it always.  I grew up going to church and praying every night before I fell asleep.  He was my best friend in school when I didn’t seem to have many others.  When I was thirteen and diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, he told me he’d always be here for me.  God has been pursing me ever since I can remember.  Even after I put my faith in him and accepted him as my savior when I was a child, he’s been going after me!

I was a sinner, “control” and “worry” being my most common offenses that often overtook.  When one gets too many tickets for speeding, they get their license taken away.  No matter how good of a driver or even a person you are when you get a ticket, it is still there until you pay it.  Even after, it stays on your record.  But Jesus took all my tickets and took them upon the cross.  I have no record of them.  There are tickets for all sorts of my sins on Jesus’s cross.  So many tickets stacked up and walled together that it makes the cross made of wood.  (I just made that up, but it makes sense, right? =))  I cast off my old self and followed Jesus.  Even though I had accepted Christ as a child, I was still acting of the world.  I was following the motions of a ghost.  When you are tied up, you are restricted.  So why, when the ropes are cut off, are you still acting like you’re restricted?  I was acting like a criminal, restricted for her crimes.  “But Anna,” the Lord told me, “you have been freed!”  At first, nothing changed on the outside, but on the inside I was becoming a different person.  God’s grace has been changing me from the inside out.  I am continually growing, and I realize the beauty of the cross.  Because God wanted me his daughter, he sent his most priceless possession: Christ.  Think of the most special person in your life and imaging them suffering of the worst kind and then being taken away from you.  Take that feeling and multiply it times a hundred, and that is only part of God’s devastation.  He did that for YOU.

God’s been pursuing you since before you can remember.  Did you know that?  It’s like a guy who comes up to a girl and says, “I love you SO much!  I want to spend the rest of my life with you and take care of you and try to show you how much I love you!”  Too often, the response isn’t a “yes” or “no.”  When the guy proclaims his love for the girl, she responds, “I understand” and goes on with her business. People, the gospel is the proposal!  Do you UNDERSTAND the gospel?  Or do you accept the gospel and let it TRANSFORM you?

The gospel is beautiful, and I’ve fallen in love with God, who proclaimed his love to each and every one of us. He is my passion, and I live for him!  I am passionate about the gospel and desire for all the world to hear it.  I encourage you to go forth and share it, as well!

Grace and peace to every person who reads this post,

Anna Olson =)^2