Chris’s Story

22May09

My story begins about a year and half ago. That’s when the girl whom I loved more than I ever thought possible left me for good, and it really tore me up. The hardest part of trying to deal with the break up was the memories that kept surfacing. I began changing myself in ways that would separate my life from her memories and about six months later it was as if my eyes had suddenly opened to my attempts at coping; the new look, the new music, and, more disturbingly, a much angrier and more calloused view of life.

All my life I had been going to church, raised by my parents to be Christian; did the youth group thing and put on a show. I never gave up the belief, but I was not convinced that God cared enough to be active in our lives. I would show these people that you don’t need a living relationship with God to succeed… I seemed to be doing well in life. But it was all a face and inside I was dying. Then, about a month ago I met Shannon Culpepper. I learned that she was a Christian and worked for I am Second.

Upon returning to school, I was sitting in class the next day with my laptop, quickly becoming disinterested in the lecture. After accepting a friendship invitation on Facebook from Shannon, I was browsing her pictures and came across one of her standing in front of a bill board for I Am Second. I then felt compelled to visit the website listed on the billboard just to see what this organization was about. I was not too surprised to find it to be a ministry group, but I was intrigued to find that Shannon had a testimonial video on their website. I was not expecting what I saw, and immediately became transfixed. The classroom disappeared and it was just me and God working through this girl’s story to touch my own heart, and he did in the smallest and yet most deeply profound way. Hearing about how she felt empty, and called out to God each night to keep going turned a switch in my heart and I suddenly realized something that I had always known, yet kept buried under layers of self reliance: the fact that the only cure for my loneliness, the only filler for my emptiness was Jesus, and through him I would be whole again. It was a small mental change to see this truth, but it made an infinitely vast difference in my life.

Never underestimate the power of the small things.

Shannon didn’t do anything besides be good company that weekend, and that’s all she needed to do to unknowingly act as a catalyst for reviving my faith in Jesus. I have since reestablished a relationship with Jesus and have been feeling better than I honestly thought I ever would. I hope this will bring a measure of encouragement to people who think that they are no good at witnessing or evangelizing. You don’t have to be a preacher on a soap box, just be a good friend and live by His example. You will impact more people than you realize.

Thank you, Shannon.
Thank you, I Am Second.
Thank you, Jesus, for never abandoning me.

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4 Responses to “Chris’s Story”

  1. 1 Hannah Etheridge

    thank you for sharing. testimonies are just one way the Lord shows us how everyone has their struggles, and although they may be different, we all are in dire need of one thing: Jesus. Only He can fill our voids and compel us to reach out to others with His Love. thank you, again. 🙂

  2. 2 Laura Walthall

    Thank you for your story. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’m going through a similar situation. The guy I really thought I had something real and special with has broken my heart. I was just out on my patio crying to myself and wondering how much longer I can keep up the image of being strong and together when on the inside I’m more lonely than I’ve ever been. You’re right about the memories, they are the hardest part. I’ve been a Christian since I was a teenager, and somewhere along the way I’ve lost the fire I once had for Jesus. I’m visiting a church tomorrow morning with a friend, and your story just confirms for me that it’s where I need to be. It’s the only place I can find the comfort and strength that I need right now. A little prayer wouldn’t hurt either. Thank you again.

  3. 3 tere gonzales

    Chris,your testimony is an inspiration to me.it is truly a work of Gods love over and over to read it.I witness for Christ at work to a lost world daily- with words—i sometimes need to be reminded that because i am not speaking God is still working thru his children so that he will bring others to salvation.
    i read the following verse from the morning and evening devotional by Charles Spurgeon on may 24th—
    i was reminded of that again tonight–God bless you,brother.
    “whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” Philippians 1:27

  4. 4 MJ

    It is so very refreshing to find genuine openess and brokeness shared on this website…In the midst of all the world, there is this oasis of honesty and truth and it’s all about being transparent and letting people see you dont have to have it all together to be a real follower of Jesus..My husband of 32 yrs left me suddenly one day. We had been high school sweethearts and we had served the Lord for over 20 yrs together. I was a believer but had never had my faith so tested as I did these past years. I struggled with fear and depression and not wanting to live without him…but I KNEW where I belonged and threw myself at the feet of JESUS and held tight. He has more than held on to me these many years..and provided for every need and so much more as I chose to stay with Him and allow Him to heal me and bind my wounds. I am a whole person and he has given me several opportunities to serve Him by serving others in Missions, and as a Deaconess. No one wishes hardshipin their lives..but I wouldnt trade places with the person I used to be before I walked thru the Valley leaning on Him through it all. I am a much better and compassionate person now..I had an old friend tell me she had a hard time “liking” me at first because my life was so perfect, she couldnt identify with me…I have been broken and restored and so much more in HIS likeness now..that I can attract people to the One who has made this wonderful change in my life. My husband became a mentally ill alcoholic..WAS he a real believer all those years he led many to the Lord? or??? I will probably never know the answer this side of heaven…But I do know for certain, “As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord.” “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.” I had to die to self completely in order for Him to have the pre-eminence in my life. For I had made my husband an idol and looked to him first for all the security ,etc in my life….It was wrong and wasnt eve aware of it…No one can have that place of pre-eminence in our lives or we cannot be totally committed and available to Him to work out His purpose in our lives. I wouldnt trade where I am today for anything…Praise the Lord! 🙂


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