Amelia’s story is pretty tame. Her grades are fine, her friends are good influences. Heck, her parents are even married. There’s no childhood trauma, no teen rebellion. She’s just Amelia, a young woman who loves Jesus. Boring, right?
Some might think so. I mean, in the arena of explosive youth group testimonies, she doesn’t draw a crowd. What’s there to say, really? “I met Jesus as a kid. We’ve been tight ever since. He directs my path, and boy, am I thankful.”
Yes! Tell it just like this. Oh, that the world were full of boring Amelias! We crave the sounds of their simple stories. Steady, sincere, soothing tales. And we don’t hear them nearly enough.
Not long ago, I sat in a circle of Simple Stories. One by one, they spoke of a faithful God and the blessings of obedience. They shared about peace, joy, and purpose. They brought out journals full of Jesus thoughts and answered prayers. Mature chat, no doubt, especially considering their braces and Hunger Games t-shirts.
“So,” I asked them, “Outside this circle, who knows the deal? Where else can you tell these sweet, sweet stories?”
“There’s not enough drama,” answered a cutie with braided pigtails. “Don’t take it wrong, Mrs. Ava, but unless you’ve got a Lifetime movie in your past, no one’s interested.”
Maybe she had a point. I thought about testimonies from church pulpits and Christian radio, extreme before and after encounters with Christ. These are the stories we gush about, cry over, “like” on Facebook. And who doesn’t rejoice when a tortured life finds hope? Praise the Lord! But isn’t there room for everyone? Could a circle of Jesus-loving girls get some airtime? Shouldn’t they?
I asked Amelia, a high school junior, about her boring inspiring faith walk. Here’s some of our conversation:
Me: Why is your relationship with God consistent?
Amelia: Consistency pleases Him. Straying doesn’t.
Me: Why pursue God now instead of waiting ‘til you’re older?
Amelia: He protects me from mistakes that cause regret, secrets, and consequences. He gives me direction. This comes in handy as a teen.
Me: How does God use your steady walk to help others?
Amelia: Hopefully, my friends see how to fight the battles of life and not stray. The secret is staying close to Him.
Me: Are you a goodie-goodie? The perfect little Christian girl?
Amelia: Not even close! Jesus saved me from sin like everyone else. My walk has fluctuated from hot to cold, but I’ve never desired to be anywhere else but in God’s arms. That’s the right place to be, no matter what.
You’re so right, Amelia. The right place to be, the right story to tell. No matter who you are.
How can a young man [woman] keep his [her] way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. With all my heart I have sought You. Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against You. With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies…. Psalm 119:9-14
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