My testimony

(in 8 sentences or less)

I was born into a golden childhood, the middle child of five, to parents who had released the legalism and liturgy of Catholicism and Lutheranism in exchange for rest in the grace of God. But I find that legalism - and the fear which comes with it - runs deep and comes naturally (much more naturally than acceptance of grace), and so the first years of my life were spent following Jesus only out of a fear of what might happen if I didn't.

But by the very same grace of God I found it so hard to receive, at the age of 17 the Holy Spirit began to call me, to invite me to know Him - and to follow Him because of who He is, not just because I feared the consequences of the alternative. That call was far heavier and more treacherous than I could have imagined - it stripped me of everything I knew, forced me to let go of what I loved, confronted me with every single one of my hidden idols, and battered me beyond my own recognition. But all the while I was awaking, and as fear's blinding lies disintegrated under the power of the Truth, I saw my God for the first time as He really is - as my Father, my Lover, my Savior, my Friend, my Lord, my King; as One who can be known, who even longs to be known by me - and I fell in love.

And that was only the beginning: He is still calling me to know Him, and the call is still heavy and hard, but every time I obey - every time I let myself fall, despite all my fears - I find that faith catches me, and His character is proved worthy all over again. It is my highest honor and heaviest burden to share this testimony of Yahweh with the world, to see other fearful Christians do what it takes to truly encounter their God, and to empower them to know Him as He is. 

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the LORD."
- 1 Corinthians 1:30-31