Joyce's Testimony

When I look back on the last 25 years or so of my life, I realize that God sent me on a journey that I could not, in my wildest imagination, have conjured up in my mind. There were so many things to deal with…lots of “stuff”, and there were two ways that I could have gone while trying to handle it all. I could have thrown up my hands and said that there can’t be a living God because he wouldn’t allow these things to happen to me. Fortunately, I went another way and said, “I can’t do this without you, God, and I give up my control to you!” I think that was the biggest thing I did…just give everything up to Him. God sustained me and He continues to keep me going today.

I’m not an evangelist. I don’t feel comfortable seeking out others to actively proclaim the Gospel, but when the opportunity comes to me, I’m comfortable telling people my story, sharing how I’ve gotten through what I’ve gotten through, and how I continue to rely on God’s strength every single day. I have found that little acts of love can go a long way toward sharing my faith. In my line of business, I often meet people who, once we begin to talk, will tell me a story that will bring me to tears. Right then there is an opportunity to reach out with a hug, a kind word, or an offer of help. At that moment, the person can feel that there is something in me that I want to share. Letting light shine in the midst of darkness blesses me as much as it does the receiver of that light.

As a business owner, I am often in a very scary position in these tough economic times. I pray constantly for direction and guidance and He always gives me answers. During rough patches, I still tend to “give it to God” only to take it right back and try to be in control once again. But once I realize that I’ve done that, I’m happy to relinquish control and give it right back to Him. It’s like being in a tug of war, but there’s always one winner! God has always put people in my life along the way who have helped me and whom I’ve been able to help. Some of them stay around, some leave and go different ways and sometimes we meet again. But through it all, He has always been by my side.

To surrender to God and give up control can be a big challenge. Anyone who knows me also knows how difficult a concept this is for me because I’m naturally a control type person. However, when I surrender everything to God, I find that I am blessed with a sense of inner peace and comfort. Through a relationship with Him and through complete submission to Him, I am blessed with the knowledge of His love and protection.

There are opportunities each and every day to share your faith, no matter how subtly. You never know when you might run into someone who can benefit from hearing what you’ve been through, and vice versa. Sometimes identifying and proclaiming the realized hand of God and the many joys to be found in Him allows opportunity for personal spiritual growth and may even act as a catalyst for others. Our lives are positively impacted when we trust and submit fully to the loving embrace of our almighty God!