One day, one story
Testimony. Relatively small word with a huge amount of baggage. Movie sized baggage. I think that all too often that baggage squashes a lot of us and keeps us from sharing our very real, very worthwhile testimonies. Even I have said it….“Oh, I don’t have a testimony, not like “the cross and the switchblade” or Tim Tebow, or Beth Moore.” Nothing big like that.
This is where I think Facebook could actually be good for Christians. Forget about having a screenplay-sized testimony….Try telling what God just did in your life in the last 24 hours. Or 24 minutes. Make it short. To the point.
You don’t have to twitter about it, speaking of it as it happens in a play by play. Most times none of us actually recognize a happening as significant until days later anyway. But put it out there. share.
Don’t be stingy with your testimony. God is alive. You are alive. God is in your life. Therefore, guess what? God JUST did something in your life. Period. If you tell me He didn’t, I’ll tell you you weren’t watching.
So what’s my testimony been recently?
Well last just week, 24 hours changed my life.
Or more accurately 24 hours changed my PERCEPTION of my life.
1 week ago today I was awaiting the results of a thyroid biopsy. I was at work. I was covering the front desk. The one place where you REALLY don’t want to get caught making a personal call. ahem….
But my cell phone was dead. And that’s the number the nurse had for reaching me. So I dug out the phone number, picked up the front desk phone….and made a personal call.
And got the “bad news”
Funny really. The cancer had been there for years. I just didn’t know about it. What is it about “knowing” that changes how we see everything? I don’t feel any different. But there is an endless refrain in my head right now (the is the uncensored truth I’m about to share here. Not a piously edited version)
“I have cancer. Holy shit! I have cancer. Does it show? Can I feel it? Is this really happening? I have cancer. Cancer. Cancer…….really? I have cancer. Did you know? Does that person know? Does it change how they feel about me? Holy shit! I have cancer”
I’m not kidding. That paragraph up there, or some variation of it, has been running through my head almost continually for just over a week now. Hopefully it will go away eventually. But for right now it is a constant buzz in the back of my brain.
Why am I blogging about this? Hang on. You’ll see.
So I told my boss. She came up front to sub for me so I could go to my office in the back, make medical appointments and call my husband. Did that. Set the appointment with Dr. Amy Chen for March 24th (which was then a week away). Called Martin. Told him the news. Managed to laugh about it. Told him not to tell anyone yet. Especially don’t put me on the church prayer list.
Then I went back up front and told my boss that we were going to have to wait another week to find out what kind of impact this diagnosis was going to have on me, on the staffing situation at work etc. I also mentioned that I had asked the appointment staff at Dr. Amy Chen’s office to keep me on a “hot list” and call me if anything opened up sooner and I would drive right over.
I managed to tell my mom in a way that made her laugh ( I hope).
This is the point at which I changed my mind about the prayer list thing. I knew there were loads of people who would want to know so they could pray. But notifying all those people by personal email was just too much to contemplate, so….I posted it on facebook. Yes, the support poured in. But that wasn’t the point. I allowed participation in my life and when God moved just a few hours later, I was able to post that too.
Just before the end of the workday I called the appointment scheduler for Dr. Amy Chen’s office back and they said that an appointment had just opened up for 9 a.m. the very next day. I practically shouted “I’LL TAKE IT!”
And then immediately got on facebook again and was able to post the praise that God had worked out the timing and moved my appointment up.
How is that a testimony? It allowed me to demonstrate, in a tangible way that I truly believe God watches over our real lives and makes these types of things happen. And it gets better….
When I met Dr. Chen the next day she was wonderful, professional, reassuring and very likable right off the bat. But it gets better…One of the things I had written on my form when I checked in under the “what do you want to talk to your doctor about today” heading was “U.S. Adult Nationals (figure skating) in 3 weeks”
So we got to the normal end of the appointment, just about the time you expect a doc to shake your hand and leave. We’ve covered all the normal stuff after all, she has other people to see. When what does she do? She sits down, looks at me and says, “So, you’re an ice skater. Did you know I skated when I was a kid?” Then she proceeds to tell me stories from her time as a child skater and eventually we talk about the scheduling of my surgery, how it will impact my work and my skating. It was such a huge relief to be able to talk to a surgeon about recovery and have them already understand about skating. What it entails, how to return to the ice without endangering the surgical site etc.
Once again, I got to put a post up on facebook that demonstrates, by example, that I know God cares about each of us and knew that Dr. Chen was the right surgeon for me, not just because she is skilled, but because of her personal background. We have a personal God.
These little bits of my life that get lived out in public ARE my testimony. The little things that will eventually add up and make someone who has known me say “why are so okay with this? Can you tell me more?” Whether they ask me, or someone else, the seed is sown.
To me “testimony” doesn’t mean telling people the GOSPEL in its entirety. It means living a life that causes them to one day ask for more information.
Live that life. One piece at a time. One day. One story. One Moment. One shared thought. Where people can see it, so that one day, they will ask for more.