21 January 2014

My Personal Testimony

I finished the sixth grade, walking out of my classroom for the last time, not even knowing I'd be in a different school by fall but fully expecting my summer to be different from any I had enjoyed to that point.  

And I did always enjoy summer, the time for growing things, running through sprinklers, swimming in lakes, camping, cutting wood to burn in winter's wood stove, building forts with the neighbor boys, spending as many hours out in the sun as Mom and daylight would allow.
My older brother graduated from the eighth grade that year, and at fourteen, the law said he could spend the summer earning money.  My parents said the same thing, which meant I had more hours to myself ahead of me than I had ever had before.

I, too, experienced an increase in responsibilities.  I don't have exact measurements, but our lawn at that house on those five acres with that tremendous well water was enormous.  Not only would I have the privilege of doing my share of the mowing, but I would also be sole manager the sprinkler system, which amounted to setting timers, and moving sprinklers around every hour by hand all day.

Summer was a great time for our latest pregnant mama cat to give birth; it gave me loads of time to play with her kittens, all of whom I loved.  

But I chose a particular kitten to name and to keep, and he stayed right with me all summer long.  He followed me everywhere.  He came--from far away, even--when I called.  He curled up to read with me.  He probably tried to help me pull weeds in the driveway.

Maybe he witnessed more of my conversion than anyone else, in fact, because to this day I don't remember if the humans in the house realized it when I sneaked a New Testament into my room, shut the door (but always opened the window), and spent hours within its pages.

From the time I was born, I owned my own Bibles.  The first was a tiny red New Testament.  Another was a red children's study Bible, the one all of us third graders had in common.  Another was a pink leather bound one, which I eventually gave away to a stranger in Africa.

Yet something drew me to the brown, hard cover New Testament that wasn't really mine, the one in which I ever so faintly underlined in pencil, hoping no one would notice, and if they did notice, hoping they wouldn't mind.

Thus if I could point to any particular time, or period in time, when my faith became my own, it would be that summer.  The summer all the years of Bible learning in a Christian home yielded a harvest in one little girl.

I don't recall why I picked up the New Testament; I simply recall not being able to put it down.  I don't recall not reading the Bible on my own before; I simply know from then on, the Bible became my daily staple, my guide in life.  

Which is what I believe every true conversion, whether dramatic or quiet, really comes down to:  making the Bible, and the Bible only, the rule of life.

By the end of the summer or the early fall, if I remember right, I asked if my parents would be willing to arrange baptismal studies for me, which they agreed immediately to do.  I guess I knew I had a lot to learn!  By the summer after that, my decision for Jesus was sealed by immersion in the waters of a swimming pool.

And I still have a lot to learn.  I still read and study my Bible every day.  I still believe it to be the fully inspired word of God.  I still cling to it when I'm frightened.  I still find in it my brightest hopes and sweetest dreams.  It's where I meet Jesus, and it's where I believe you can meet Him, too.


  1. OH, that's such a beautiful experience, thanks for sharing!! It must have been an amazing summer for sure (kittens, chosen kitten and all -- you know how I feel about that). So, who did the brown New Testament belong to and why do you think you wanted to use it? I'm sure nobody minded, right? So special!

    1. I think the Bible was one that always sat out on a little table in the family room next to the rocking chair. I don't know if anyone specifically claimed it....and I don't know if they minded! I don't known if they know, even yet! :)

  2. What a beautiful testimony! The Bible gets more and more special to me as the years go by.
    God bless~ Lisa :O)

    1. Yes, the Bible only gets better with time, doesn't it?

  3. I love this story of summertime kittens and a 6th grade girl soaking the love Jesus from Book of Books. Your love of Jesus shows to this day. I'm so glad you let him have your heart.

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