My Teenage Testimony
My name is Jenna Fishburn. I feel compelled by God to share my testimony with other youth to whom God is speaking like He did to me. I am 16 years old, and while I attended church every week with my family, something really basic had been missing in my Christian experience.
Then one day a YouTube video by Amazing Facts caught my attention. The speaker made an appeal for people to give their hearts to Christ. The speaker pointed out how sinful we all are and unworthy, in our own merits, to be called children of God. He made an appeal for people to give their hearts to God. It struck me that if I were to die right then, I would not be prepared to meet the Lord in peace, to eagerly welcome Jesus when He comes again. I had been baptized when I was younger, but I never really committed myself to Christ.
The message I heard on that video really pricked my conscience. As the week went on, I became depressed as I evaluated my spiritual readiness. I earnestly prayed for God's guidance in my life, pleading that He would change me so I could really know Him and the power of His resurrection. I confessed my sins to God as never before. The burden of my sinfulness and unworthiness before a holy God was almost unbearable. It got to the point where I couldn't even sleep.
As I continued down the valley of despair, wrestling with God each day, I reached out to Amazing Facts and Pastor Lyle Southwell. I began telling him how I felt and asked if God could still love a sinner like me. As I waited for his response, I continued to pray for the assurance of God's love and acceptance.
A couple of days later the pastor's email response reassured me there are still people out there who truly want to lead others to Christ. He helped me realize that coming to Christ, asking for forgiveness and confessing my sins was easier than I thought. All this time I had been worrying about something as easy as just asking God for His forgiveness and trusting in His love and care for me.
So that night before I went to bed, I prayed to God asking for His forgiveness. I prayed He would bring about true conversion to my soul so I would reflect His character and be enabled to serve Him. I confessed my unfaithfulness and said I was counting on Him to change me to the fullest.
When I went to bed that night, I was able to go to sleep peacefully. It was the best night's sleep I had had in a week.
Now that I realize I can come to Christ whenever I fail Him, I continue to ask for His loving and unfailing hand to cover me and guide me. I know that I am far from perfect, but I have assurance in my Savior. Even if I fail Him, His grace and love are limitless. I know I can come to Him with anything even though I am unworthy of His grace and mercy. I realize there are challenges ahead, but Jesus says "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20). Satan makes that same promise to us! But, if I fix my eyes on Jesus I know that no matter how many times I may stumble, He is not willing to give up on His one lost sheep.
Two Scripture passages are especially helpful to me in this new walk of faith:
- "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Ps. 23:4).
- "Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Is. 40:28–31).
I know many young people share the experience I have gone through. Let us gain strength from each other by praying earnestly for each other in our struggles and challenges. Let's pray God will use me, and you, and the youth in service for Christ, to lighten the earth with His glory so that we may all be ready for His soon coming.
Jenna Fishburn, Forest Park Church (Everett, Wash.) member