I praise God for His grace and mercy in me for my salvation throughJesus Christ by His Holy Spirit.
I remember Christmas Eve was the first time I walked in to thischurch eight years ago. I was pregnant with Valerie and it was the veryfirst experience of winter in my life. I remember suggesting to my husbandWilliam that our family, with my son Dixon, should go to achurch on Christmas Eve even though I had no idea who God is backthen.
Pastors, elders, and many people greeted us that night. And so westarted attending church on Sunday, fellowship meetings on Friday, andother church activities regularly.
For those who got to know me later on, it was not hard for them tosee that I was very stubborn, sensitive, cranky, and way too straightforward.
I was not approachable most of the time. People who knew aboutmy difficulties prayed for me over the years. I feel I was like a porcupineand I often released some of my spikes whenever I felt threatened.
I would use words to hurt people when conflict happened. A year ago,the mustard seed sprouted in me without notice and God started toshape my life by His wisdom. He picked out some spikes from me everytime I was ready to hurt someone. His shaping work hurts but Healso walks with me through this process. He changed my words fromdishonoring Him to a different loving version which always helped thesituation from getting worse. God surprised me with the words Hespoke through me as I knew it didn’t come from me.
It took me a long time to realize that God is changing me for His glory.
Now I am still a porcupine but with a smooth and shiny skin insteadof spikes. I still have my personality but it doesn’t hurt people as muchas before. I know God will continue to shape me with more challengesin the future as He prepares me for His kingdom to come. And this isonly one of the many huge changes God has done in my life.
I praise God with all my heart for Jesus Christ because His bloodcleansed my sins so that I can be reconciled to my Heavenly Father. Hissuffering brings me humility; his resurrection gives me eternal life. Ipraise God with all my soul for the Holy Spirit who opens my eyes tosee and strengthens my faith to believe.
My testimony today is not only to proclaim my faith in Jesus Christin public but also to encourage those who struggle to believe like I did.
Don’t be afraid to knock on the door. Because “For everyone who asksreceives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the doorwill be opened.” (Matthew 7:8, Luke 11:10)As we are remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ asour Savior on Christmas Day, this special occasion also marks my newbirth in Christ. I want to take this opportunity to thank Pastor Tim, PastorChua, and all the elders for my baptism this year on Christmas. Andof course to all the mustard seed farmers and angels that God sent to meover all these years. I know all of you have been so patient with mewhen I did not know how much God loves me. Now that I am part ofthe body of Christ I want to serve with the best of my abilities in thechurch of God as a way to thank Him for the precious salvation He hasgiven me.