Testimony of the good life with God by Stephanie Morrison
I’ve spent most of my adult life seeking purpose, meaning, and a remedy to complacency. I started my walk with God in 2007 at the age of 30 and for the last thirteen years I’ve still been seeking, but with much more success than the previous ten years. Or maybe I don’t mean ‘more success’ but rather a much clearer (or better) understanding.
I’ve always been a big reader – well, I was more of a reader before son #2 and #3 but I still get in a few of pages a day along with some scripture. Starting in my late teens, I was intrigue by books, courses and seminars in the self-help industry. I regularly had a book on the go that was sharing a method or perspective on some way to live a better life. A life that was measured by the success of my will power and self-motivation. Some books were better than others, but overall, I did gain a lot of knowledge about methods and perspectives to help me shed some bad habits and reach for my dreams.
The real trick is to turn that knowledge into a different life and the reliance on myself wasn’t so effective for me. Sure, I could change for a bit, but I seemed to revert to my old ways in time. The biggest revelation I can share about my walk with God so far is that depending on myself is not the way to go. Human nature, or the ways of this world, are a bit too strong for me to break the complacency trap and break out of the mold that I was in for too long.
Now, I follow better direction, straight from the Word. I don’t lean on my own knowledge and understanding but trust in God with all my heart. I do not rely on what I think to be true but am always relying on God to show me what’s right. I look to Him, praise Him, and acknowledge His work in the matter and depend on Him to direct my paths. This is my paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5-7. This ‘method’ has given me a much better life than I was able to achieve in my self-help era.
Books are still good and I read many other books than the Bible, but I read the Bible the most and everything I read now (which is mostly Christian-based) is automatically compared to what I read in God’s Word.
At the Beginning
After about a year of checking out the church thing and getting to know the ‘real’ God (not the God that is casually portrayed in common secular settings and media) I made the decision to be baptized. The church I was attending at the time had the full submersion hideaway pool hidden under the stage and the baptism experience was as memorable as the baptism purpose. To prepare for this I wanted to proclaim my journey thus far and here is what I had to say:
I came to intellectually explore Christianity and its concepts and ended up responding to Gods desire to be totally involved in my life.
I’ve spent too many minutes, hours and days being angry or sad and feeling so alone in my struggles. I was beginning to lose hope that I could change my negative reactions and bad habits. I was constantly seeking out information on how to get a handle on my life, so when a friend invited me to a weekly bible study group, I thought some Christian teachings could provide some positive insights for living.
So began my lifelong walk with God.
I soon started attending Sunday services and accepted Christ as my Saviour on a Sunday morning.
I’ve been able to break free of some bad habits, harmful reactions and purposeless thoughts that couldn’t seem to be rid of before despite my own deep desire to change.
Now that I get my strength from God, I don’t feel so weak and now that I always feel God with me, I don’t feel so alone. I’m excited to be on this lifelong process of change and to grow in my relationship with Him.
~written for my Baptism on April 13, 2008
The Story Continues with God-Help
Now that I’ve progressed beyond what God does for me, I see His bigger picture of the work He has for me in this world. Of course, I don’t see the whole picture, but I know with unwavering certainty that out of my walk with God, He accomplishes His plans for the world.
I may have been stuck for a bit too long in the stage of seeking what God can do for me. I think this is a stage every new believer needs to go through to get to the better stuff of a life with God. Even a stage we may revert back to throughout our spiritual journey.
After a time of experiencing spiritual dryness, I shifted my vision to be more focused on what God wants for the world instead of what great skills can offer. I’ve done a lot of exploring around what my ‘purpose-driven’ life is and have come to know myself in a much more authentic way. I’ve got to know some of my spiritual gifts and how my experiences in life can be a benefit in doing God’s work. But I also know God may have a plan for me where he’ll equip me with new skills I never imagined having or desired.
I can say that He did that very early in my walk with Him, when He equipped me with the deep desire to educate my boys. My reasons for homeschooling are a whole other story, and that story even started years before my life with Jesus, but as I look back on that I can see how He was gently drawing me to His ways, even back then. Through my homeschooling years, He has been my teacher to show me how to best teach my children.
My story of God-help is perfectly explained in these words from Jesus:
I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me.
That’s some truth I can stand on.