A Testimony by Lydia
Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me. He is my Forever Friend, Sustaining Savior, and Loving Lord. I hope and pray that He is the best thing that has happened to you.
“Help!” There is a familiar saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” For me, one word can create a thousand pictures in my mind. As long as I can remember, I have never wanted to be known as someone who needed help. I have always wanted to be known as Lydia, a person who is able to help.
Also, as long as I can remember, I knew about God. But my ideas about Him were somewhat distorted. I saw Him as a supernatural being who kept a score card, was always waiting to rebuke me, and whose love I had to earn somehow. As a result, I tried to be perfect. Now, being perfect and having cerebral palsy just doesn’t mix. The trick I learned, to fake perfection, was to play it safe and not attempt to do anything I couldn’t do perfectly (in my own estimation).
The first half of my life was spent being very religious and extremely studious. On the outside, I was a strictly obedient child and a profoundly diligent student. On the inside, I was painfully lonely and afraid. I never felt good enough. “No one would ever want to be my friend or want my friendship in return, would they?” I never talked to anyone for fear of being laughed at, because of my slurred speech, or rejected, because of my “jerky” movements.
The turning point came when my only friend in high school became a Christian and asked me to go to a youth group meeting at a local church, not my own. This time loneliness won over fear and I went with my friend. It was through the youth group ministry that I met Jesus and grew to know who God really is: my Forever Friend who loves me yesterday, today, and forever; my Sustaining Savior who died for my sins, is faithful and just to forgive me when I fail Him, and helps me up when I fall; and my Loving Lord who gently guides me in His perfect way.
Before being someone who was able to help, I needed to ask Jesus to help me. So, that was my one-word prayer: “Help!” And Jesus saw all the pictures that word meant to me. I needed help with my sorrow in having a disability. I needed help with my fear of opening up to people and being rejected by them. I needed help to admitting to my failures and asking for forgiveness. Even before I finished my one-word cry for help, Jesus took all my broken images to the cross for me. I have been a Christian for over thirty-nine years, and Jesus continues to take my simple-worded prayers and answers them with other profoundly simple words of His own: “Forgiven,” “Accepted,” “Valued,” “Free.”
I am still not perfect, as many of my family and friends know. I still start sinking low whenever I take my focus off Jesus and put it back on me. However, Jesus tirelessly continues to grab me, before I sink too low, and pulls me back to where I can see Him again. “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears” (Psalm 18:6).
Because Jesus has helped me, I can be a help to you. Do you know Jesus? Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I hope and pray that He is the best thing that has happened to you.