Lives wrecked by Jesus
‘The woman at the well’, who is documented in John, chapter four, met Jesus, had her life transformed by Him and then went back to her home town and told everyone about Him. As a result of her testimony, (“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”- John 4:39) many people from her village came to Jesus that day. Now we don’t know what that woman went on to do next. She may well have done mighty things for Jesus, but it all started with that encounter at the well.
In today’s post, I really want to encourage you to celebrate the power of your testimony and the significance of those ‘moments’ in your life where Jesus steps in. Earlier this week I stumbled across Katie Davis’ best-selling book ‘Kisses from Katie’. She spoke about her gap year and it got me to thinking about mine. When embarking on such a year, it’s easy to see it as a ‘one off’, a year before heading back to reality. Yet, for both Katie and I, God used those years to shape the course of our futures. Futures which couldn’t look more different from one another!
What about you? What have been your ‘moments’? That day, month, year or even decade that decided the direction of your next steps? It’s so easy to forget significant moments like those. But like every masterpiece of art begins with a simple brushstroke, every adventure begins with simple step.
Katie Davis was an eighteen year old senior class president and home coming queen when Jesus, as she puts it, ‘wrecked her life’. After a short overseas missions trip to Uganda, she knew that God had more for her to do in the country she had fallen in love with so quickly and so she took a gap year out to serve there. She figured that this gap year would be one year out of her life, a ‘box to tick’, so to speak (because every Christian seems to do a gap year these days, right?) Katie thought she’d go back to being a ‘normal’ American teenager once she’d returned from Uganda. But God had other ideas for Katie. Plans which mean that now, what was meant to be a tick box year is now a life’s call. Katie has adopted fourteen Ugandan children, started a non- profit organisation which houses, clothes, educates, feeds and disciples those it reaches and she has also written a New York Times bestseller. Was it easy for Katie to give up what was comfortable? No. She says-
“…it is not easy. But it is simple in that each and every one of us was ultimately created to do the same thing. It will not look the same. It may take place in a foreign land or it may take place in your back yard, but I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible.” (Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis)
Jesus wrecked my life in my ‘back yard’. I was twenty one, had just finished university and was, to be honest, a little bit all over the place. Although I had been brought up going to church with my mum, (another ‘moment’) I had spent the last couple of years ignoring God. But He had never let go of me. On a summer’s Sunday morning one day, I found myself sitting in the church I’d been a part of up until I left for university. A mixture of intrigue and boredom had led me there and even as I walked through the doors, I wasn’t sure why. But as soon as I sat down, I knew the Holy Spirit was working in me. I tried to suppress that work. There was no way I could be used by God now, I thought. I’d signed myself off as damaged goods.
But grace stepped in and left me face to face with Him. With Jesus.
I was invited to join the church on a trip to a well known Christian festival. Boredom and intrigue yet again, led me to say yes, and the way in which I encountered God during that week was literally out of this world. I couldn’t ignore the call on my life any longer and I told my pastor there and then that I wanted to live my life for Jesus properly (I didn’t entirely know what I meant by this!) and, to cut a long story short, my own gap year journey, my moment at the well with Jesus, begun with the church I’d only just about come back to.
Like Katie, this was more than a gap year for me. It was a year where God used people to train and disciple me, to minister to my brokenness and to encourage me to serve the church and the community, which I fell in love with doing. God used that year to prepare me for the rest of my life. I wholeheartedly echo the words of Katie who says, in her book-
“Jesus wrecked my life, shattered it to pieces, and put it back together more beautifully.”
Never doubt the power of your testimony and never minimize the magnitude of those moments.