For one of my classes at school I was asked to write my Personal Testimony. So in Honor of Father’s Day I wanted to share it with all of you. Enjoy:
I believe that one of the most important things in someone’s life is their personal testimony. Some people may say “well, I don’t think my testimony is very good and nobody can learn anything from it”, but I disagree completely. Everyone has a testimony, whether it be going through a hard life when we were younger or having a good life until something bad happened. The key part of the entire thing is how you came from those hard times and put God in your cockpit and how that changed your life for the better. A lot of us may think that nothing bad has happened to them, so it is hard to say things changed for the better. In my case though, God used something bad in my life to strengthen and mold me into who I am today.
My story starts when I was younger. I was born and raised in a Christian family with Christian values that all of us strive for and need on a daily basis. There were hard times growing up like with any other family, but the major difference was that we got through them because we kept God in the forefront and he got us through it.
I grew up in the church and that meant you could find me helping out with the puppet ministry, helping with VBS, playing in any of the sports the church had to offer, and pretty much anything else that a kid could do at the church. I loved God and He loved me, so I was on fire for him at a young age. Looking back on those days today it was in Gods plan for me to continue working with children, then fulfilling my calling with leading the youth as Youth Pastor. Seeing those days now just shows how he was shaping me to be the person I am today and the person I will continue to become. Some may think that this is where my story ends. I am working full time in the church with the youth, married and still on fire for God. But there is much more to my story than just a young child on fire for God. I was faced with one life event that had the potential to bring me in a complete one-eighty and turn me away for God for good.
When we are faced with our worst fears, it is God’s strength that gets us through those long days, not our own. Fear is the root of evil; evil can take and mold it into something that may not have ever been before. I try to tell this truth in some way to my youth every time I see them. I feel the calling God has on me to lead youth is for a many reasons, but one of the prime reasons is to relate to them in these teenage years where everything can change in a split second. I am a good candidate for this because that is exactly what happened to me. On February 26th, 2001, I was 14 years old, it was a normal weekday for my freshman year of High school. I had a test in biology that I had studied all week for, my musical theatre class was practicing for the upcoming show, and my lunch was packed to the top with all good eats, it was a good day. Classes started at 7:30 a.m. and like any normal day my sister and I were running late. We kissed our parents as we left with our dad saying “You guys are going to be late, Again” in that loving, but stern tone. Normally my dad would have already been gone for work, but he didn’t have to get there as early to spend the morning with my mom, something you can do when you are one of the owners of the company. We arrived at school with minutes until the bell rang, as we were walking the stairs from the parking lot up to the building I began to think about things, my family, parents, and the biology test that I had first period. The one thing I focused on the most was my parents and how much they love us and shown us how we should be. I shrugged it off just as a thought I always had before I had to go to that long day of school.
Fast forward to third period I had gym glass. The speaker came on for me to come to the principals’ office. I was confused what it may have been about, of course all my classmates’ oooed and said that I was in trouble. After I changed back into my clothes and walked to the front office I wondered what it was all about. As I got closer I saw my sister sitting there waiting to go in. What did we do? Were we getting into trouble for being late and they were taking away her parking pass. That would be the end of the world and we would have to ride the bus we both said. We asked the secretary why we were there and she said she could not say. We waited and waited. Finally we see my aunt, uncle, a family friend and our mom coming up. We were puzzled. Our lives in the next few minuets would be forever changed. My uncle was the first to speak. He started to tell us that something had happened. Everything raced through my mind, what could it be? He then said that my dad had been in a fatal crash and that he had gone on to see God. To write those words today takes me back to that day and how nothing like that could have ever been foreseen in my fourteen year old mind.
As the days, weeks, months passed it became clearer that he was not coming home. I could say that this pushed me further to become the person I am today. That is not the case. In the months that passed I walked away from the friends I had had before the accident, walking away from helping the ministries at the church thinking by doing that I could change things and let my dad come back. As this happened I slipped further and further into the crowds, people and things my parents had told me about. I turned into a person that was more about himself and keeping himself “safe”. As I did this I began doing things i shouldn’t be doing and just not thinking about the choices I was making. I wondered why God had done this to me at this time in my life, when I was growing into the man I was made to be. God was still in my mind and beside me, but listening to him was the furthest thing from my mind. This went on through my sophomore and junior year of high school. On the inside I was struggling with all of these things and doing all of these things on the weekend, but during the week I was a normal kid getting good grades, doing sports and just appearing to be a funny happy student. I even was picked to be a foreign exchange student for a few semesters in Australia and New Zealand. My life was going as planned on the outside but on the inside it was total turmoil.
As junior year passed and summer was starting up I had this feeling that I was trying to be two different people and leading two totally different lives. I came home one day and just sat down on my bed and started crying asking God what I should do. I asked him for his strength and prayed to forgive everything I had done since the loss of my dad. I asked him to show me what I needed to do to become the child of God he made me to be. I asked why this had happened to me. As this happened I was filled with peace about everything. I knew what I had to do. I was to get rid of those friends that I had been getting into so much trouble with, I had to stop trying to be someone I was not, and I was told that it was my father’s time to go to be with God. That summer before senior year was hard. I had the temptation of those friends, the situations and everything that comes with evil trying to take your joy away. That senior year was a new start. I rekindled the friends I had let go so long ago. I got back into helping at the church. My family life was about the time I had with them and not taking it for granted.
My life was smooth, easy living. Then the roller coaster went down the track and life took over. I could have been sour and let that totally take over the choices for the rest of my life. Although I didn’t listen to God at the lowest part of my life, He still allowed me to go to him, broken, and put my life back together. That day on my bed, that is what I did. I went to him when I was at the lowest of the low and He has helped me to fulfill my calling and become the real person I was meant to be.
I do not think you have to have such a disastrous thing happen to see this in your life, but it does show God’s love is there for us even when we are not there for Him. I try and stress this every time I talk with my youth. Whether they are going through things at school, home, or just daily life we must keep God in the forefront and keep Him with us. This will help all of us out whether we have something big going on or something so small we think we can do it ourselves, keeping him with us in our hearts makes things run so much smoother.
From the Heart of Keith Davis