Steinmetz, Kendall

Testimonies make me uncomfortable.
There! I said it!

They’re the living Gospel.
I love seeing God’s faithfulness and graceful redemption.
But. Testimonies. Make Me. Uncomfortable.

Like at summer camp, when bedmates go around one by one, disclosing every struggle you aren’t trained to politely reacting towards . . .uncomfortable.

Then, those people turn to you, pleading eyes misty with emotion, expecting an equally insightful testimony. But I just have to stare back with my signature I-Can’t-Believe-You-Told-Me-That-Just-Play-It-Cool-Act-Natural grimace, with nothing enlightening to offer in return. That situation. . . uncomfortable.

When I would begrudgingly reveal my lack of testimony, it felt as though every Never-Miss-A-Day-of-The-Bible-Reading-Plan churchgoer and their Not-A-Hair-Out-of-Place mothers kept telling me, “Oh! Well, Kendall! Of course you have a testimony! You just have to pray a little harder! You just have to listen a little more! You just have to” . . .
I’ll tell you what doesn’t make me wanna pray a little harder, is when unasked people tell me to pray a little harder . . . .

But here I am now, typing away at my testimony. Ish.

Now, I could pull one of those over-sharing moments and together we use Freudian techniques to decipher the hallowed depths that are my past. But, I shall spare you, for today, at least.
Instead, on a silver platter, I offer a snapshot of the character before you.

I’m a really great starter. I have innovative ideas and a bucket of ambition to go with it. I’m independent to a fault and run around trying to please everyone. I’m a workaholic who needs to start sleeping before 3 a.m., and as much as I will compliment every little detail about someone, I do not want you to hug me.

I’m also a crier. I have a plethora of emotions and feel them at all times.
I can be fickle.
Perfectionist should be my middle name.
I can’t college algebra for my life, and I’m late to everything—always.
I get stressed out and cry and fret way too much if so and so didn’t like my ______ or why didn’t this person say hi back.

Needless to say, I am imperfect.
And I’m all too aware of that.

The aching in my heart to be enough and feel loved is always poking at my side.
I’ve turned to guys, worldly accomplishments, beauty, and tangible materials, but no way would I turn to God. I put God in a box where He could only love me on my terms – when I was finally perfect.

And this is where my testimony would usually halt.
Say thing I struggle with: Check.
Tell how in God I can overcome this struggle: Check.
Mention how now, because I have God, this problem is solved: Wait. Hold on.

But. No, God, I’m missing that part of my testimony.
I’m still working on that.
I still search for acceptance in guys, beauty, accomplishments, worldly success, and materials. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a long way, but like, I still have a long way to go. So I would just tell those bedmates and mothers that God wasn’t done with me yet. I was still waiting for my testimony to “finish.” (Cue “pray harder” speech.)

But that’s the difference in my testimony: It is a work in progress.
 And I’m trying to be okay with that.

See, before a couple of days ago, I truly thought I had to have my life figured out before I could say how God had changed me. I know He’s changed my life, but it’s more than this problem here and that struggle there. Those summer camp bedmates knew what areas God had changed in them and just how He did it.
I was still waiting for that. I felt unfinished.

I want everything done efficiently and with greatness. Cross it off and move down the list. I hate putting my name on something unless it is flawless. So to reveal a personal problem that wasn’t yet resolved baffled me. I couldn’t share struggles until God brought me through it, beat the antagonist, and tied on a bow.

Until I finally understood:
God isn’t finished with me yet.
Nor is my testimony complete.

I’ve been viewing my testimony and my relationship with God as one big,
“Hold on. I can’t tell you because it’s not done yet. Don’t pay any attention to the girl behind the curtain” sort of thing.

BUT NO! That’s exactly what a testimony is! A work in progress!
His work is never done in those over-sharing bedmates….or me!
I have rough edges. I still struggle. And that’s okay.

The best part is that God still accepts me while He’s at work.
I bring my worst to God and He still brings His best (His son).
I go around, trying to find love everywhere else but God and He still chases after me when I fail. I mess up, realize my mistake, and instead of turning His back, God hugs me tighter!
God loves me through the process and asks me to trust Him while He works.

God gave me victory over my imperfection through Jesus, something I could never do, even on my most workaholic-ly efficient weeks and best hair days.
My “perfection” and acceptance is found in Jesus Christ alone, not in anything else.
That’s the testimony.
God offers me unconditional grace. All I have to do is put down my schedule and surrender to it.

My testimony isn’t finished.
This David has not defeated Goliath—yet. Perhaps my story won’t ever “end.” But, I trust God will continue to use trials for my growth, showing me the joy in imperfection.
This is what I shall take back to those bedmates.
Here I venture out, joining the oh-so-uncomfortable cry fest, holding out my unfinished testimony for all to see.

Say thing I struggle with: Check.
Tell how in God I can overcome this struggle: Check.
Mention how now, because I have God, this problem is solved: Pending.

Connect with Kendall!
Instagram: @Chasing.Modesty

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