Category Archives: Testimony

When Your Walls Fall Down

By Kristen Entwistle

When you were a kid, did you build towers with the big cardboard blocks?  Maybe you built the highest tower possible, or maybe you were the kid that ran around knocking down everyone else’s towers.

When I was a kid, I liked to build walls around myself.  Enclose myself in so that the walls were all around me.

And I’ve done the same thing with my life.

Maybe, like me, you’ve built walls around your life.  You convince yourself that they keep your heart safe.  You convince yourself that the higher your walls, the safer you are.  You convince yourself that the thicker your walls, the less people can see of the real you, and that’s a good thing.  Because if they were really to see your sin, your hurt, your brokenness, your pain – they wouldn’t want to know you.  They’d run in the other direction.

I used to think that my walls were my security, my protection from the world, from the hurt. 

That if I had higher, thicker walls, no one could see the real me: the ugly, torn, and worn girl who does not see herself as beautiful; the girl who struggles with feelings of worth and inadequacy; the girl with the life-shortening illness; the girl who is alone; the hurt, broken, sinner in desperate need of a Savior.

When we build up our walls, we end up pretending.  Pretending to be someone we’re not.  Pretending that those words didn’t hurt; that being rejected…again…wasn’t painful.  Pretending that it’s all okay on the outside but falling hopelessly apart on the inside.  Pretending that we don’t struggle with things, too.  Pretending that our past isn’t as checkered as the flag at the end of the race.  Pretending that we don’t have secrets we’d rather keep hidden.

Take a few minutes and listen to this song, from Tenth Avenue North, Healing begins:

So let ‘em fall down,

There’s freedom waiting in the sound,

When you let your walls fall to the ground.

We’re here now.

This is where the healing begins,

This is where the healing starts. 

When you come to where you’re broken within,

The light meets the dark.

So you’re telling me that if I let my walls down, let down my guard, let people see the real me, the messed up, broken me – that it will bring freedom?  Oh, more than that, dear friend.  It will bring healing.  Healing from the heartache, the guilt, and the pain.  As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your sins from you (Psalm 103:12).  All of your scars, all of your sins – they are forgotten to Him.

The walls you and I hide behind aren’t doing us any favors.  They aren’t helping us or anyone else.  In fact, when people see the real you – the struggles, the brokenness, the weakness, the imperfection – they see the grace of our Savior.  They see a God whose power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).  They see that they are not alone in their struggles.  They are reminded that He is faithful.

And letting your walls down reminds you that you are not alone.

Your Testimony

 

By Kristen EntwistleYour-testimony-300x150Sharing your testimony is a phrase that we throw around a lot in Christian circles.  For a long time, I didn’t think that I had a testimony.  When people shared their testimonies at summer camp, retreats, or from the pulpit, they were always testimonies that were so heart-breaking yet so powerful and moving that they spoke of a great God.  I didn’t think there was any way that I could measure up to that.

It was at a Christian summer camp in middle school that started to change my mind. Our group traveled into the city to a park, where we were asked to share our testimony with some inner city kids.

The guy before me pulled out one of those perfect testimonies
that left my heart in pieces on the floor
and my hands raised to our eternal God. 

His story: being misdiagnosed at birth with the very disease that I have.

Well, that put my “testimony” in the trash.  I took the paper out of my pocket and ripped it up.  I don’t remember what I said.  The one thing I remember is that I told them that I had Cystic Fibrosis (CF).  I’m pretty sure I started crying at that point and sat down.

But I still was convinced that other people’s testimonies
were better than my nonexistent one. 

It wasn’t until my senior year in college that God showed me how very wrong I was.  My pastor at the time asked if I would be willing to share my testimony during the service one Sunday.

I said no.

He kept asking, and eventually I said yes, just so that he would quit asking.  Having no clue what to say, I prayed and then sat down and started to write.  And as I wrote, I found myself being honest and vulnerable and I saw God’s hand in my life, leading me from before I was conceived until now.

I thought that I was just a person with an early expiration date that couldn’t do anything for the Kingdom.

I thought that my struggles were my own and that no one else struggled with them too.

I thought that God could never use a person so broken as me.

I thought that that I didn’t have a testimony to share.

I thought that my testimony was about me. 

But here’s the thing:

Your testimony is not about what you have overcome in life, though that is part of it.

Your testimony is not about what you have suffered in life, though that is part of it.

Your testimony is not about you, though you are the vessel through which it is brought to others.

Your testimony is about a God who has known you from before you were born.

Your testimony is about a God who has brought you through the fire so that you can be refined.  Your testimony is about a God who has been by your side and who has loved you even when you have walked away from Him.  Your testimony is about a God who sent His one and only Son to redeem the world.  Your testimony is about a God who chose you: a broken, beautiful, bold child of God.

So no matter how broken you think you are, no matter how far you have strayed, no matter how boring you may think your life is, God has done something in you.  He has redeemed you, and He is working out your testimony in His time.  You may not be able to see it right now.  God’s not done with you yet.  But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a testimony right now.

So share your life with people, share with them the God that has redeemed you.  Share with them the power of our great God.

Share with them the God who knows you and loves you no matter what. 

Because you are a testament to God’s great love, and that is a powerful testimony.  It’s your testimony.  

*This post first appeared at brokenbeautifulbold.com*