Austin’s Testimony

Hey, my name is Austin. While I am a Christian today, I wouldn’t have always said that about myself.

I grew up in a family that attended church every Sunday, but always found it to be quite boring, and longed for the end of the sermons. I would’ve been thankful after I left church that I didn’t have to do anything else for God for the rest of the week.

From Monday through Saturday, I was 100% invested in my own happiness, which mostly found through the kind words of others. I was starving for the approval of others. For several years, I thought that sports, music, or being a supportive friend could win me the approval of others, but I rarely felt as though it did, and even WHEN it did, it just made me hungrier for more approval (in the same way one Lays chip inevitably makes you hungry for another no matter how mentally disciplined you are going into that bite).

Because I wanted God to make me happy, and never could imagine God being the one to make me happy, I became frustrated as the years went on and my heart felt empty. Nothing could satisfy me, and I spent a lot of time in depression. The thought of suicide was the most fulfilling thought I had, as I knew that if I died, people would at least take the time to say nice things about me at my funeral. Always feels weird to say that looking back, but it’s true.

When I was a sophomore in college, God started to pursue me through my friendships, and at a retreat organized by Cru, God began to change my life. All of the sudden, I felt horrible that I had always called myself a Christian but only cared about myself. It was pretty surreal. Anyways, I knew at that moment that God was seeking me out individually, and I recommitted my life to Him.

Although I find it hard to cry, I am brought to tears when I reflect on how personally God has approached me and led me to give up my reputation, my desire to do everything my peers were doing in college, and really my entire life plan. I don’t get emotional because God approached me personally about those things, but because in letting all of those things go, my life finally became rich. Sticking with the Lay’s chips analogy, the air in my bag was replace with substance. Stronger relationships, larger purpose, and a hope that feels naïve in today’s world.

My strongest desire now (aside from finishing up this testimony ASAP to keep it short) is to share my faith with others so they can enrich their lives and get their worlds rocked by Jesus just like I did.

10 thoughts on “Austin’s Testimony

  1. What an amazing testimony to the way God seeks out His lost sheep. He walks you past thousands of people to reach the one He wants to save. I will pray for you daily and look forward to more exciting stories as the summer progresses.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing Austin!! I was really encouraged to read your testimony and to hear all that God has been doing in your life! I was also greatly blessed by God at University and have learnt so much about him since I got there.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Kelvin! So glad you found this blog and found some encouragement from my testimony. College is a huge time of growth for faith, especially since your parents are no longer there to hold you accountable. Keep in touch and have a great summer.

  3. Hi Austin, That was very brave of you to share your awesome testimony with all of us! Thanks so much. I hope you have an amazing summer! We will be praying for you.

    1. At project they always talk about how there is healing through openness, so it was pretty relieving to get my testimony up. Also helped me process my life a little more in-depth than normal! Thanks for your prayers, miss you guys 🙂

  4. It is an interesting thing to watch you grow up…observing some of the things you talk about…and hearing you face your turn from God and back to Him. I am so proud and happy for you. I truly believe the only real peace we can have in this world can be found in God. It gives me hope for the future of our country to know there are men and women in your generation finding God is the answer. I pray daily for you and look forward to more about your time in Florida this summer. Grandma

  5. I’m adding you to the list of “testimony blessings” this morning, Austin! Thank-you for sharing your life and what God is teaching you–inspiring. Prayers for great blessing this summer both in you and through you and for the Christian community you all share together–MAB

  6. Austin: your Grandfather forwarded your blog to me. I just want you to know it is a real encouragement! As I am sure you are learning, “self” in all it’s forms and manifestations is insidious, and we will all fight it until we take our last breath. In an amazing exchange between Jesus and Peter in Matthew 16, Jesus delights in Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ, and then within moments, in a burst of pride and arrogance Peter declares his intention to “protect” Jesus and Jesus delivers a smackdown aimed squarely at Peter’s selfishness (“you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men”).

    All of this is an interesting pericope in and of itself, but would be incomplete without the teaching that follows next: Matthew 16:24–26 (NIV84) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?.”

    The bad news is that selfish desires will never go away (in this life). But the good news is that although the battle at times is wearying, self can be controlled (denied) with the aid of the Holy Spirit (it is, after all, the last but not least of the nine fruits of the Spirit). The best news is, of course, that we have an intercessor who clothes us with his righteousness and presents us to the Father as perfect, although everyone knows well we are far from it. I would surely be hopeless without Jesus and his atonement for my sins, all of which eminate from “self.”

    Camp out on Romans 12:1-2 a while, and you will realize the balance of your life is about being transformed (seminary word: sanctification), and it happens one day at a time. And hide 1 John 1:9 in your heart, so that when you stumble (and you will stumble), you will be reminded of the grace of God. And if it ever gets really bad, I mean that Satan nearly has you convinced you are or have fallen beyond God’s love, camp out on the beginning and end of Romans 8.

    Blessings to you,
    Brad

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