I have a confession to make.
I see grace growing in my life.
I see an ability growing in my life to withstand loss and suffering. I don’t love it, but I can do it, and I do not fear it.
I see growing in my life, imperfectly but perceptibly, the capacity to be criticized and respond with unforced kindness and love.
I see in my life the beginnings of a genuine love and care for the one person I have never been able to love. Me.
I also see in my life areas of deep brokenness and darkness, with perhaps more clarity than I have ever seen them before. And yet they do not depress or discourage me, as I know one day they too will be forgiven, redeemed, and brought into the light.
I know this does not come from me, because it started at the very moment I ran out of me and seemingly had nothing left at all.
You might call it “conversion.”
You might call it “enlightenment.”
You might call it “sanctification.”
You might simply call it the dawn of “wisdom,” or even just a “change of heart.”
You might call it “God,” or the “fruit of the spirit.”
I don’t care what you call it. Heck, you can even call it “delusion” if you wish. It matters not to me.
But it is real, and it is coming alive in me, this nameless thing, this thing I do not wish to name, lest I make it into something it isn’t, or choose the wrong name and fail to call it what it is.
I do not claim to have arrived, or to be superior to anyone. Whatever this thing is in me that is growing, taking over, does not allow it. Just as I start feeling groovy about myself (which always happens when we start to believe we are growing), it pulls me back in, reminding me that I have nothing I was not given. It reminds me constantly that both God and I are, in some way I can’t explain, in every other person.
As I am able to love some I could not love before, to much more easily carry burdens I could never have carried before, I marvel in it, and rejoice in it, and thank the one from whom it comes. Because it brings freedom.
With each loss, each tear shed, each throwing up of the hands in frustration and holding them out to receive, I somehow end up with all I need, though it is nothing like what I thought I needed.
This is my “testimony.”
It’s not theology.
It’s not religion or dogma.
It’s not formal or forced.
Perhaps for some it won’t even be sufficient, but for me it is real, it is what I have, and it is enough.