* This is the testimony I gave at my church word-for-word on Sunday. I know that we were having some technical difficulties, so it was hard to hear me if you weren't at the service. So, I thought it would be a good idea to put it up on my blog as a blog post. My testimony is real, it's vulnerable, and it's embarrassing. But it is something I need to talk about. My testimony is the reason I am so passionate about Christ and about sharing what He has done in my life. This is the reason I choose to share it.
"Hello everybody. My name is Jenn. I am a worship team member and a college and career leader here at the church. I also help with morning worship and lead Bible studies on occasion.
"I wanted to share with everyone how I began serving here at the church:
"Since I can remember, I have been involved in music. The first song I ever played at church was “Jesus Loves Me” on the piano. I was six years old and remember it vividly because I was super nervous! By the time I was 15, I was the only pianist at the church my family and I were attending, and I was playing for the congregational singing every Sunday morning. I hated it. I had no fulfillment serving by playing the piano. I was doing it out of guilt because I felt that it was something I had to do.
"Finally, I met and married Garett, and we started coming to Crossroads Community Church in 2015. Within a month, I was asked to join the praise team. I don’t even know how anyone knew I could play the piano, because I don’t remember telling anyone! But Mark (the worship leader) approached us and asked us to come to one of the practices. I remember feeling appalled. I didn’t want to play piano for church ever again. But, once again, guilt took over and I decided to go to the practice.
"For three years, I served on the worship team at church with little to no enjoyment. I was complacent and refused to push myself any further than I had to. Some weeks, I wouldn’t even practice the music. I didn’t want to do anything else at the church other than the piano, because I felt that was quote on quote, “Good enough.” Garett and I would often get into nasty fights about it. He would tell me that I was not serving to the best of my ability. That I was a selfish person. That I was complacent, lazy, and not willing to use the talent God gave me. These might sound like harsh words, but he was right. I just couldn’t see it at the time. Worst of all, I would often yell at him for the amount of time he spent at church with his leadership role in the youth group.
"Then 2018 hit. I got fired from my job at JCPenney. I had little direction in life. I decided to go back to school, even though I had no job and no money. Needless to say, it was a huge mistake.
I began working at a factory in order to make money. It was the worst experience of my life. I was working 40 hours a week, and then going to school full time at night. The job was terrible. Most of my bosses were really mean. Everyone seemed to hate their jobs and hate each other. I often got sexually harassed which made me afraid to go into work. To top it off, I was failing at school, and my marriage had never gone through a worse period. We were fighting almost constantly. I was also battling migraines at this time as well, which stressed me out daily. I was constantly afraid of getting a headache. I kept searching for new job opportunities, but I couldn’t find anything available. For 1 year and two months I was stuck at the worst job I had ever had.
"Though this was a terrible experience for me, I now know I needed to go through all of this. Through this trial, I grew leaps and bounds in my spiritual walk.
"At first, I questioned and doubted God and all of my Christian beliefs, to the point of not even believing God was real. These were the lowest and darkest moments of my life. I just couldn’t fathom why God would put me in such a position, I had grown up in the church and even played the piano for Him! But somehow, every time I had a question or a doubt about God, I found an answer in the weirdest places. Those answers confirmed to me that God was indeed real. It was like He was speaking directly to me, answering every doubt and question I had. After around nine months of stubbornness, anger, and arguing with God, I finally began truly surrendering my life to Christ. The grip I had on my life loosened, and I let God take control.
"But what does this have to do with serving at the church? Because as crazy as it sounds, that job helped me to become a servant and to grow my walk with God.
"All those years ago, when I had the most time, I was the most complacent and stubborn, and I refused to serve beyond my comfort zone. It wasn’t until I had the least amount of time that I learned the importance of serving. I started saying "Yes" to things at the church, even though I wasn’t sure how I was going to fit another thing into my schedule. But somehow, I always managed. And through these acts of service, I was finding friendships, (something I never truly had) fulfillment, and joy. Serving at the church was the one bright spot in my life in 2019. My life began to improve as I finally became the servant I was meant to be, rather than taking the place of God in my own life.
"Friends, God indeed redeems. When I finally gave Him control of my life, He used it. And He still is using it. He is giving me the best gifts. He has given me this year as a time of rest. He gave me a high paying, part-time job at the Montessori back in January. My marriage has never been healthier. My migraines are slowly getting better. And best of all, I have so much time to serve and do all the things I enjoy on a daily basis. I am now a happy server here at the church. And I want to share everything God has done with my life to everyone.
"That is how my blog and podcast, called P40 Ministries came to be. P40 Ministries stands for Psalm 40 –
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord. – Psalm 40:1-3
"This is what I want to do with my podcast: share the love of God to Christians who were like me so many years ago. I want to help people grow in their Christian walk and understand the fulfillment through serving. I want to encourage people to dig into their Bibles, and not just be complacent in life. Because I understand how unfulfilling complacency really is."
So Friends, my podcast, P40 Ministries, is available on a bunch of different listening platforms, including Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts. I am currently going through the whole Bible from start to finish and also explaining it with the help from God of course. My podcast updates Monday through Friday at 6:30 a.m. and each episode is around 5-10 minutes long.