By: LeeAnn Witzigman
“I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be ashamed.” Psalm 119:46
At a women’s conference last year, one of the speakers shared a beautiful testimony of healing and redemption from tragedy and devastating loss. She then went on to preach about her faith that God was going to recover all in her life, and she spoke that word of truth over us as well. A few hours later, I was waiting to get baptized and was praying over the women going into the waters ahead of me. One 19-year-old girl confessed she was struggling with sexual sin and that she had been baptized at this church a few weeks earlier and fell back into the temptation, which started a flow of repentant tears in the water. Something about her vulnerability caused my heart to weep and I knew her confession was my own.
A little while later, I entered the baptism pool and prayed a simple prayer that God would recover all for me. As I prayed those words, a blur of my 20’s swirled by and I longed to hold that young woman who got caught up in an evil trap and married a dangerous person. As I came out of the water, I knew something had resurfaced deep within me and I got excited for the moments ahead when God would bring me back to some of the years I couldn’t remember. That night, right before I fell asleep, God told me He would recover all for me and He would start by giving me back my virginity. I laughed with joy knowing that He went well beyond my 20’s to get back the part of me I’d given away so casually in my teenage years. Only He would dig to uproot and address the cause of the heartache that followed that regrettable encounter and sent me on a highway to hell for many years afterward.
I’ll spare you all the details 😊, but the next night God did exactly what He promised to do! And for two people who lived entire lives before remarrying it was an unforgettable moment in time … one that we didn’t even think to pray for, but God decided we needed anyway. I remember looking into Patrick’s eyes and telling him what the Lord had said and how it was actually happening, and he cried. So, I cried. And there was Jesus crying too. If we only knew everything that His blood has so willingly covered for us.
I’ve shared this testimony with a handful of women I adore in safe places but have kept it close at heart for a year now. But God keeps opening doorways for it to be shared. Two weeks ago, the same woman who spoke at the conference was walking out of church ahead of me. I knew the Holy Spirit wanted me to briefly testify to encourage her on how much her message meant to me, as she was scheduled to speak again at this year’s conference. After a few missed opportunities, there she was one step in front of me and the Holy Spirit was hot in pursuit. In a span of no more than 30 seconds, I told her I was praying for her and that her message last year became the prayer I prayed in the waters and God answered it in an overwhelmingly unexpected yet breathtaking way. Though the moment was short in time, it will linger for eternity. That’s how it is when we testify of Jesus. Something always remains.
As soon as the Holy Spirit spoke those words through me, I knew He was showing me the power and privilege of our testimonies. And I felt stirred inside of every proclaimed meeting with Jesus there is a prayer for each one of us to take hold of and cling to until it is answered in His gracious timing. The public confession of a teenage girl wrapped around the fiery faith declarations of a beautiful servant of the Lord just hours before, became a life-changing, hell-shaking, never-going-back-to-that-person-I-was kind of experience. There is tremendous freedom when we speak the name of Jesus and shout to the world all that He has done and is doing right now!
I encourage you to listen closely when your brothers and sisters are bearing witness of the Lord Jesus Christ in your midst. The very breath of God is carrying those holy words into your heart like an invitation to open and savor in the here and now. And when it’s you speaking praise and hallelujahs to elevate faith all around you, take heart to know that God is dancing upon your lips as He translates your testimony into prayers that open Heaven.