It was His love that drew me deeper into his Word as a ten-year-old, and it was His love that made me pursue a deeper relationship with Him through prayer and journaling as a young teenager.
There was a time when I thought the story of my faith journey was a bit lackluster. I had given my heart to Jesus during bedtime prayers when I was five years old. I still remember the joy of that time, and I could tell there had been a change in me. Everything seemed newer, brighter and more alive!
I was bubbling with excitement about how much Jesus loved me and how much I loved Him.
It was His love that drew me deeper into his Word as a ten-year-old, and it was His love that made me pursue a deeper relationship with Him through prayer and journaling as a young teenager. During my teen years, I never lost sight of His love and His Word, though I experienced some hardships that tested my faith: loneliness, sorrow, betrayal, temptations and fears. Sometimes I wavered, sometimes I fell, and many times I could not understand what God was doing.
But I always trusted in His goodness and provision when I was in need. I marveled at His forgiveness when I obstinately chose against His will, and I counted on His guidance as I struggled to make sense of His plans.
On a missions trip to Mexico my freshman year of college, our group leader asked me if I would be willing to share my testimony. I sheepishly but hastily refused. The leader laughed a little and told me that the only other PK (preacher’s kid) on the trip had also declined to share that night. I guess our leader thought it was ironic, but it got me thinking about why I had hesitated to share my story.
I realized that it was because I didn’t feel I really had a story. I was grateful for the goodness of God in my life, but there wasn’t much razzle dazzle to my testimony.
I now understand that it is a blessing to share with others that I have always had Jesus as my Friend, and that there is no trouble He cannot see me through. The story of His grace and gift of salvation is the greatest story there is to tell!
I can share that when my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I was completely enveloped by His comfort and compassion. He heard me cry, He held me close, and He healed my heart.
When my mother became ill, hospitalized for almost two years and near death countless times, I could feel myself buoyed up by the prayers of the saints in my church family. Even when I railed in anger at God and failed to see His blessings and miracles throughout the ordeal, He never left my side or abandoned me to despair.
The Lord has been with me, lighting my path since I first trusted in Him as a little child: He has been holding me up when I fall, and chasing me down when I hide.
My name, Rachel, means “lamb,” and I have always loved the verse from Isaiah 40:11–“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart . . . .” The verse describes the Lord in my life, always caring for me and holding me close. To tell people that this great love is what I have known since I was five years old is a joy and a privilege.
My journey has not been trouble free, and I have made colossal mistakes and failed countless times. But knowing Him all these years has meant I have never faced any of these trials alone. That is something worth shouting from the rooftops!