My Testimony

    I don't have some awesome ten-page testimony to give. I have never experienced any dramatic life-changing revelations. I don't have an exciting story to tell of doing a 'one-eighty' in my life. No, my testimony is quite different. But it's my testimony, and I feel compelled to share it with you. 

    I was brought up in the church and raised by Christian parents. At age nine, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, and was baptized. For me, it was simply the right thing to do. It was what I was taught to do when I was old enough to understand that I had sin in my life that needed forgiveness. I was brought up studying the Scriptures, learning about God's love, and being captivated by the amazing stories in the Bible. Accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior was the next step in my spiritual growth that I decided to take, the same day as my older brother. 

    My life did not change dramatically after that. I continued to attend church, and learned more and more about being a Christian. I was content, and at peace in my life, despite my shortcomings and life's little disappointments. Then came the day when my faith was tested and stretched farther than it had ever been before. My parents divorced. The world and life as I knew it became utter chaos, and as a young teenager, I was at a complete loss. Except for one thing. My 'ever-present help in trouble.' Looking back, I can see each and every person that God used to lift me up and encourage me during that time in my life. He never left me. He was there when I cried, He was there when I was overcome with helplessness. He was there when I needed Him. 

    About a year later, my mother and I moved from the state of New York, to Iowa. I had been torn by a divorce, and was then uprooted from my home to a strange place and completely different culture. But God was in Iowa too. I never felt abandoned or forgotten by Him, as He led me every day, placing the right people in my life at the right times to help me cope and grow. Another change occurred when my mother remarried. I had known the man for some time as my horseback-riding instructor, and also as a loving Christian man. 

    Life had certainly changed for me, even though it was not of my own will. I learned through it all, that even though at times I felt as if nothing made any sense, that even though happiness seemed out of reach, that sometimes life seemed too hard to endure, God was holding it all together. He could see the future, and knew where I would be today. 

    I am not a perfect individual. I am far from it. But I stuck with my faith, and was blessed for it. As a child, I had a love of horses. That love introduced me to my riding instructor. That riding instructor became a source of strength, later becoming my stepfather. That stepfather made it possible to move to Iowa. I had been raised in a deaf church, becoming a skilled signer. By moving to Iowa, I was given the opportunity to work at a mission for the deaf. If it had not been for my love of horses, and later, my parents' divorce, I would not have the opportunity to share in the mission to spread Christianity five days a week at my job. I don't know about some people, but I can clearly see how God took a little girl, placed her in a church to learn about Him, shaped her interests and talents, and carried her through her hurt and fear, to bring about the woman I am today. 

    My hope and prayer is that God may use me to share the Good News with others, so that they might experience the peace and joy that I have found. That they might accept Jesus Christ, whose blood was shed to forgive our sins, as their personal Savior, and walk with Him each day. 

    I believe in God the Father. I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the crucifixion of Jesus and the salvation that was offered through His sacrifice. I believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and will return soon to take His people home. I believe that one must accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and follow His commands in order to spend eternity with Him. 

-Rachel Burkum

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