I remember the last time I bore my testimony, I spoke of a spiritual conviction being separated into 2 components: what you know and how you came to know it. And I posed that the latter is the more powerful. Because stating what you know is an independent declaration, but recognizing how you came to know it solidifies the spiritual deliverance and poignancy of it. I said that I do believe in declaring what we know, but more than that, I believe in writing down how. Then it is sealed.
Today, I felt the pound in my chest to again stand up and declare the most sacred piece of my testimony. A knowledge I only share verbally on rare occasions because it is connected to the most raw parts of me.
I stood up and walked down the aisle, steadied myself behind the podium, and began on how my relationship with my Heavenly Father and my relationship with Jesus Christ are each very distinctive to me. My relationship with Heavenly Father is much like that of a daughter and her dad. I respect Him, I am close with Him, I talk to Him often and request His counsel, but there are times when I don't understand, and I feel at odds with Him.
But my relationship with Jesus Christ is so special and extremely personal that I do not often talk about it. That is what I'd like to share.
I began that every year at Christmas, I look at all the roles Christ has been titled - Savior, Redeemer, Master, Servant - and I choose the one that He has been most for me over the year. The year 2013 was a year of white-knuckling through some pretty daunting questions, and my relationship with Heavenly Father wasn't always prime as I struggled and pleaded with Him for answers. Yet Christ stepped in as the role of my Advocate repeatedly. Calmed my mind, validated my doubt and my injustices, and stood between me and Father to explain my heart.
Then I went on to say that there has always been a different prevailing role of Christ in my life. And that is Brother. When I was a young teenager, I felt such a bond with my younger brothers that I concluded I could form the same intimate bond with my Divine Brother if I desired and worked for that. And the bond I have built with Christ is now far beyond. As a woman who is far from her entire family, experiencing moments of fearful isolation, where roles of protection are far gone, I have felt Christ come to me in every moment I've needed a protective, shielding, and loving Brother. My knowledge of Christ as my Brother is the most real and tender bit of me.
As Sunday went on today, I felt increasingly weighed down by haunting memories from the past when my walls of protection were jeopardized. I knelt down by my bedside to spew out my mind to Heavenly Father, and I was flooded with a new component of my testimony.
I know that Christ is my Brother. And I have many transcendent moments of how I came to know that. But tonight it became clear to me why I need that particular piece of knowledge.
I know I need the knowledge of Christ as my Brother because I have either severely lacked protective roles in my life or been deeply betrayed by the ones I've had. And this has drawn me to a defenseless and frail place, wishing I could have a shielding person to step in. But my life has been so designed to spur me to seek a form of protection from above. Thus I know Christ, as my Brother, because He is the one who has protected me so far. The only protector that I need. The only one who is fully capable of shielding me in the vulnerable and courageous life I plan to lead.
So He is where I will continue to turn.
So He is where I will continue to turn.
"Jesus says, “I want you to follow me so fully, so intensely, so enduringly that all other attachments in your life look weak by comparison."
Looks like it is 3 components that seal the deal. What you know is important for the present, and how you came to know is a constructive discovery from the past. But learning why you must know is what propels you into the future.
To my Brother,