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I needed God more than I knew. Underneath the surface of my life as a 19-year-old was an enormous ache—a guilt so embedded it paralyzed me in many ways.
Six years earlier, when I was thirteen, my two-year-old brother had drowned. It happened in the late afternoon. He had been watching me and some friends play baseball near our home. I yelled at him to go home, that I didn’t want him there.
He left and, without my mother knowing, got into our backyard. While playing with his toy trucks near the pool’s edge, he fell in.
I had always felt it was my fault and that God, my family, and the rest of the world should blame me.
I needed to be rescued.
At the age of 19, I suffered from a serious intestinal ulcer and was in the hospital for three weeks. God used the physical pain I experienced at that time to unlock my inner pain. One night in my hospital room, I poured out my story to my youth leader. As I wept, he told me about Jesus dying on the cross. He helped me hear Jesus say, Father, forgive him, he didn’t know what he was doing.
I felt a rush of forgiveness flood my heart.
Jesus gave His life to rescue me. I am forgiven and await the day I join my brother in heaven. Until that time, I am called to rescue others with the same truth that rescued me.
Since writing his story, Lon has shared it on Facebook—where more than 70 people have responded—and he has it ready to share in personal witness.
Have you written and practiced your story? One way to get started is to answer these three questions:
1. What was life like before you had a personal encounter with Christ?
2. What allowed you to see the reality of God’s grace?
3. What is life like now that you are living in the reality of Christ’s love?
– Keep it short—one to two minutes or less is good.
– Use conversational language, and avoid religious jargon.
– Add one or two word pictures.
– Limit the number of names, places, and dates.
– Include humor and human interest.
– Avoid naming specific churches or denominations.