This past staff conference Andy (my metro team director) and I were asked to video record our “myCravings” testimony for the Everyone Has a Story campaign that will be running this year. If you’re unfamiliar with a myCravings testimony, basically it’s a testimony that is from the angle that each person has a driving force, a deep craving that defines them and deeply impacts the choices they make. Some crave justice, intimacy, meaning, destiny or other variations (these being the typical ones). The testimony focuses on how Jesus was the only way to deal with these “soul” cravings & how our lives were before & after.
Now you need to know this about me: I have typically tried to avoid sharing my testimony because the whole thing is pretty convoluted. When someone grows up in a Christian home and has essentially always followed Jesus, it’s pretty hard to explain the process of feeling confirmed this is the right decision as we grow in adulthood & maturity. Mine was even more complicated by significant events that, until the last 3 years, I dared not share with anyone.
So as Andy was sharing with our team the importance of a “myCravings” testimony this morning, he said this:
“Usually our testimonies sound something like this: ‘I used to generally sin, had general problems and I’ve found a general solution and my life is now generally better.’ Whenever we share our testimony, we’re essentially trying to fit our story into some sort of container. When I tried to fit it into this container, I realized I was sharing a story in a way that was actually the most true to my story & my life.”
I couldn’t help but nod in agreement. Going through this process of examining myself and my life and trying to understand what my own cravings were, I actually came to understand myself in a way I really hadn’t before. It occurred to me just how much my decisions are still impacted by this craving I have for safety & protection, that it impacts my life on a conscious and subconscious level even after Christ. It’s a big deal.
Why am I sharing this with you? I guess for one, both Andy and I saw this process as significant enough in our lives to share and was pretty important as well for us in finding what they refer to as a Dangerous Testimony in the Bursting Your Bubble training. As he pointed out, my testimony – when I tell it the right way – is a Dangerous Testimony. It freaks me out to be that honest with people, heck, to be that honest with myself. But realistically, how can we ask people to share their fears of taking the plunge into a life with Jesus, or share with us their very personal thoughts on God and spirituality if we’re not willing to even be honest with ourselves about what our own insecurities are, the ones that still drive us when we’re carnal. No, we don’t need to be obscene, but I think if you’re anything like me – you’re trying to fit your story into a neat category like “meaning” when it might be a related but more specifically “power” or honed in even further as “safety.” When we try to be neat with our testimony, we may just be short-changing our testimony and the person we’re sharing it with because they can sense our lack of sincerity.
So I guess my point is this: I’d strongly encourage you to spend some time investigating what your cravings testimony is and working out a few different ways to explain it. It might take some time brainstorming with your spouse, friend, or staff team to find the right way to describe it. Even today I realized that I need to find a better word for “safety” because it doesn’t really explain it right (and is pretty hard say “I found safety in Jesus” when He calls us to live such a radical life & never promises us physical safety).