II Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
When Brian asked me to share a 10 minute testimony with you guys tonight, I was so excited but thought wow, what is it that the Lord really wants me to focus on in my life.
It was just 5 years ago I graduated from high school and only 9 years ago, I was starting high school. But in these past years, I have seen, guys you have a choice! Right now you are making decisions that will forever change your life. As Psalm 1 says life has two roads. In Psalm 1 we see the life of a faithful person contrasted with the life of the faithless person. (read Ps. 1 – explain the chaff)
I have been extremely blessed to grow up in a Christian home. I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart when I was five years old. But there has been a couple major points in my life where decisions to really make Him Lord of my life were made.
I remember my Freshmen year of high school going on a mission trip to Mexicali with my church back in Merced. It was where thousand of youth from all over camp out in this huge dirt area and go out and serve during the day. I remember seeing thousands of youth, worshiping the Lord and lifting their hands up in worship, and thinking, I want that. I left deeply impacted from the kids, and the other youth around me. I was sooo excited to come home and tell my boyfriend at the time, all about it. When I saw him he spoke first about his spring break. All he talked about were all the parties that everyone had over spring break. About who slept with who, who got wasted and did what, and as he went on and on, I just thought Lord, I never want to choose that. I don’t want a life of that, I want the joy of worshiping you, the joy of serving you!
So, then I moved to Galt my sophomore year in high school. It was a hard transition at first because I absolutely loved my old city, high school, soccer team, friends, and did not want to move to some little town with cows, but wow as a song goes, “Father knows best”. He had great plans here.
I loved high school. I loved playing soccer, being on ASB, and just all the adventures of getting your license. It was a blast for me. Something, I really loved was a Wednesday mornings 6:45am, Caffe Latte, for G.A.G. time. It was our Girls Accountability Group. A time of studying the Word, and going through questions, “How has your relationship with God been this week? With friends? With family? With boyfriend/guy? An awesome time, to confess, to encourage, to pray together. Hebrews 10:25 was a group verse, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching”.
But I saw how different decisions affect your life. All throughout high school my closest friends were not Christians. I remember my best friend calling me and asking if I could come over, and going over there and holding her as she bawled because she had just lost her virginity, and she didn’t mean for it to happen. Meanwhile, I was always inviting friends to the church to youthgroup, they would come for the fun stuff, like winter snow retreat.
Then the summer before my senior, Kevin gave me a brochure about a mission trip to Europe playing soccer as a footstool to share the gospel. The Lord blessed me with the opportunity to go. And midway through the trip, our team leader challenged us to leave the trip with NO REGRETS!! We were playing games and then hanging out with the teams afterwards and doing a lot of relationship evangelism. He said, you guys could just sit and talk soccer with the girls afterwards, or you can share, why your really here. It’s up to you, but leave this trip, with no regrets, not wishing or thinking, I wish I would’ve been more bold, etc.
Well, I really took that into my senior year of high school. I knew I was going off to school down south, and realistically wouldn’t be seeing a lot of my friends hardly ever, so I wanted to leave Galt, Galt high with no regrets. The Lord was so awesome, and three of my friends came to know the Lord that year. Friends that I had been praying for since sophomore year, I saw the Lord’s faithfulness as they made decisions to follow Him.
But guys, it’s back to that decision to make Jesus LORD of your life. One of my friends who raised his hand in church one Sunday, then proceeded to come, then we graduated together, just five years ago, and now he’s dead. After graduating, he chose to get involved with the wrong crowd, got into drugs, selling and dealing, and he recently died from a drug overdose. Guys, choose life!
John 10:9-11 says, I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a
] He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Guys, you can have life to the full! Whether your just entering your high school years and have 4 years, you can either look back on as wasted or as lived to the fullest, or if it’s your last year, how do you want to leave, because the next time you come home, some of your friends, may not be living to share the One truth with.
After high school, I went and played soccer at The Master’s College. This was a huge growing, life changing time for me. I majored in Bible with a double minor in TESOL and Biblical counseling. It was so awesome to take classes to learn more about the Bible, to go to chapel 3x a week with 1000 people worshiping the Lord, to hear awesome pastors from all over preaching, to being on a team of girls who truly loved the Lord. To living in a dorm for 4 years of girls who at one moment, we would be pouring over Scripture, the next sliding down the steep grass hill behind our dorm on iceblocks, to thinking up songs to help us memorize scripture (cuz it was so hard for us) (“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” – Isaiah 40:31”) to trying to surf on boogie boards at the pool in between classes, to confessing our mess ups to each other, to camping out on the beach, then making it back for class at 8am, from adventures to adventures to adventures – making life long friends.
Just today, I talked with my bestest bud who is married in Colorado, she called to see how she could be praying for me. (but for those who are heading off soon, even if you don’t go to a Christian college get involved in a red hot group for Jesus. With brothers and sisters in Christ who will encourage you).
Guys, I also just spent the weekend with a best friend who was at my college, but then got kicked out, and she turned away from what she knew to be true. She lived the life of the world for the last year or so, and as we talked last weekend, she told me how every night, she wishes she could go to bed, then wake up and it would have been all a dream. That there are images and memories in her head from the parties, from the things she did, that she so desperately wants erased, but they are there. She said, that she wishes she could replace them with memories of fun times with the girls, and out serving.
Guys, make the choice to have no regrets!!! Granted were sinners, we mess up, I still have regrets, I could share how I wish I hadn’t kissed guys in high school. Yes, I have saved myself for marriage, but when you meet the one you’ve been waiting for, you wish you hadn’t given a single little kiss, but saved it all for him.
Guys, a couple years ago, I read a book called “Don’t Waste Your Life” by John Piper, and there a quote hit me so hard, that is not a quote seek to live by, it reads, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; Only what’s done, for Christ will last”.
So, choose no regrets! Choose to have a life to the full as we read in John. Choose to live a fun life filled with joy as Psalm 16:8-9 says, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices..”
Following Jesus can be tough at times, you may lose friends, have to make sacrifices, but it is sooooo fulfilling!
Shared June, 2006