I met her at my old church. We were both about to graduate form high school and looking for some kind of direction. We met once a week with one other girl and our female youth pastor.
We would share our praises or prayer requests every week. It seemed I was always sharing something “more sinful,” darker, more difficult. She always seemed fine. Her sins were nothing compared to mine.
Yet, one day we were asked to share our testimonies–tell each other how we met God and what He had done for us. She froze. She fumbled. She wouldn’t talk. Then, after a few moments of silence, she said something that totally shocked me…
“I don’t really have a testimony,” she began. “I mean, I’ve always just known God and I don’t have some crazy, wild past or conversion story. My testimony is boring.”
I let her words sink in for a moment. Then the anger rose up in me. No, I wasn’t angry with her. I was angry that any believer would ever be made to feel that their story with Jesus was somehow useless or immaterial.
I exhorted her and told her that I would trade my testimony with hers in a heartbeat. The pain I suffered at times, the loss I’d experienced–I would snap my fingers and take her story in an instant.
I told her that just because God protected her from the pain that many experience in childhood and early adulthood doesn’t mean that her testimony was somehow less powerful. Over the years, I have continued to meet people who downplay or are embarrassed to share their testimonies, calling them “lame” or “uneventful.”