by Ian Acheson
I woke with those two words on my lips. I knew exactly what they meant because I knew who said them.
My life changed in that moment.
I knew then I was being pursued…
That’s typically how I start my story when I share it. No, not the stories I’ve written, but my personal story or to use Christianese, my testimony.
BTW, “It’s time” are also the first two words in my debut novel, Angelguard.
We make ourselves vulnerable when we share our written stories with others whether it’s our critique partners, in competitions or to the masses if we’re fortunate to be published or self-published. Increasingly with the interconnectedness the virtual world avails us, we are likely to reveal more of ourselves than authors of even ten or twenty years ago did.
Such vulnerability can be intimidating particularly for many of us introverts. But it also allows us the opportunity to share our testimony, how important our faith is, both to our writing and in who we are.
The evolution of Angelguard paralleled to some degree with a personal renewal in my faith. When I’m asked to share the inspiration behind the novel I try to share some of my faith. It makes sense to having been handed the opening line by the Lord.
I was reminded of the power of sharing our testimony in a recent message at church. The pastor¹ started with this verse from Revelation:
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.’ (Rev 12:10-11 NIV)
I’d never really seen that verse before. What great encouragement it is to know that our personal stories of God’s hand in our lives have real power in defeating the enemy.
“It’s okay to feel afraid when being brave.”
We should be ready to share our story of how we became a Christian. The pastor suggested a four-step approach to doing just that (the Four P’s):
1. Prepare it,
2. Pray about it. Prayer raises our antenna so we’ll be looking for opportunities to share,
3. Practice it. In front of the mirror, your loved ones, your prayer partner or small group, even cows in a field (this was the pastor’s first audience)
4. Pursue opportunities when they are put before you.
The pastor’s message was a wonderful reminder to me to dust off my testimony and seek opportunities to share it with grace.
When did you last share your story?
Ian Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian’s first novel, Angelguard, is now available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. You can find more about Angelguard at Ian’s website, on his author Facebook page and Twitter.
(Note: 1. Andrew Kubala, “No-one is you-er than you.” C3 Church Sydney Australia 10 November 2013)