He’s Not Done with Me Yet: A Personal Testimony

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

My earliest memory is being in the nursery at church. I went to Sunday school for my entire childhood and I owe my scriptural knowledge to every diligent Sunday school teacher. At six years old, I went down the aisle to ask Jesus into my heart as I was taught that Jesus was good and I wanted to follow Him with all my young heart. After my baptism, I specifically remember feeling different after being lifted out of the water.

I don’t want to go to Hell!

Right before I entered high school, my father came to know the Lord and we began attending a different church. The preacher was a powerful man of God who taught with authority and power in the Holy Spirit. This time I trembled my way up to the altar because I was more aware of my sin and wanted “fire” insurance from going to hell. During this time I was exposed to the movement and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life. I began to recognize the voice of God in my heart.

I’ll be back God

College was a new and refreshing experience for my independent spirit. Being sheltered as a child and teenager, I wanted to know what it was like in the real world. For a time, I put God on a shelf and foolishly thought that I’ll be back soon. My plan was to go from point A (keeping on the right track) to point B (just tipping my toe into the lake of the world) and return back safely to God. However it wasn’t long before I found myself at point Z (hopelessness) and far away from the comforts of love, joy, and peace that I knew as a child. My sinful decisions brought me back to my knees being both broken and empty. My Father in heaven graciously accepted me back and began the process of growing me up in the faith.

Learning a Different Path

Only one month after graduating from college, I became a wife to the man I loved passionately with all my heart. In our early months, I was exceptionally blessed to not find a job nor continue my education. Being unemployed and rejected from law school, brought me much pain and regret. However my free time opened up an opportunity to hang out with my pastor’s wife. Through her, I saw Jesus everywhere and especially in her role as wife and mother. The way she loved and respected her husband as well as paid close attention to her children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual growth left a permanent mark on my memory.

Trusting God in the Balancing Act

Trusting God in the balancing act.

Trusting God in the balancing act.

I leaned hard on God for Biblical truths in marriage and childrearing. It was during this time that I began to shift from just knowing Bible scriptures to feasting on them for survival. Through marital issues, children’s sicknesses and training, sudden loss of a beloved sister, and the discovery of a new career in writing, speaking and teaching—I began to see myself the way that God always saw me…precious and beloved. He used my marriage and children to prune away much bitterness, resentment, and rejection from my past. Although painful in the process, this cutting of my flesh freed me to become a better witness, disciple, and mentor for other women.

Grace to keep moving forward

Every two years I have a child graduating from high school and stepping out on their own. It’s been a time of reflection and vision as the Lord continually prods and stretches me out of my comfort zone. I’ve been heartbroken so many times that only my transformation into the next world will completely cover all the scar tissue. Yet at the same time, I’ve experienced the most incredible joy and expression of the love of Christ that I have no place for complaining.

I’m still walking down the aisle of life trusting in my Lord…one day at time. The Holy Spirit constantly reassures me of God’s control over everything in my life both good and bad. If there’s anything in my marriage, children, writing, speaking, or teaching that has encouraged any brother or sister in Christ to keep the faith—all the glory belongs to God.

It’s His grace that provides the strength to move forward until He beckons me home.

Interested in reading some more personal testimonies from our writers? Take a look at these two:

How I was set free in prison

God is my strength

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Schneider May 24, 2013 at 7:26 am

WOW! A powerful Testimony, Crystal! Thanks sooo much for sharing with us! Intend to read the other two articles listed, too. And share it with my Facebook pals.
You have become such a dear friend and sister in Christ to me, Crystal in the past year & 1/2. (Your advice regarding our son, Chris, so far, so good. He moved back home w/us May 4th. We’ve only had one disagreement, not an argument per se, but he objected to what I wanted from him regarding room & board. ‘Cause of his Dad, AGAIN not including me about decisions with Chris, he wanted to pay what his Dad & he agreed to. As the budgetor in this family, I SHOULD have been included in that conversation. Yes? Hubby Gary promised he would hold all conversations w/Chris that affect this household with me. Have my doubts…this has happened too many times for comfort over the years, Crystal! Grrrr~!
LOL! Please continue your prayers for our son?)
Oodles of God’s blessings for you, Crystal, and your family!
Love, your friend and sister in Christ, Jesus…Patty

Reply

Crystal McDowell May 29, 2013 at 7:29 am

Thanks Pat for your kind words and I will continue to pray for your family.

God bless!

Reply

Pamela Rose Williams May 24, 2013 at 10:28 am

Crystal,

I am so blessed by your testimony. So encouraging to remember that we are a “work in progress”. The Master Potter is all we need to be molded into exactly what He has planned. Thank you for sharing your heart. Blessings!

Reply

Crystal McDowell May 29, 2013 at 7:31 am

Appreciate it Pamela…I love the fact that God loves us no matter what…even when my work in progress seems to move so slowly!

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Josh May 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your testimony Crystal! What a testament to how God has worked in your life and continues to work.

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Crystal McDowell May 29, 2013 at 7:33 am

Thanks Josh for the opportunity to share my testimony. It’s good to reflect and remember.

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Derek Hill May 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm

This was a wonderful testimony Crystal! Thank you for it. I liked the “fire insurance” part a lot. We all have that when we have accepted Jesus. Indeed, we are all still walking down the aisle of life hoping and waiting for that one glorious day where we meet Jesus face to face! I can’t wait! God bless!

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Crystal McDowell May 29, 2013 at 7:34 am

Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who took out a fire insurance!

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Lisa Williams January 22, 2016 at 8:51 am

Awesome testimony! Thank you for sharing your spiritual journey. I am encouraged to continue on my spiritual path despise the hurt, loss and disappointments. I know God has an also plan for my life. He said he’d give me beauty for ashes and joy for sorrows. I will continue to keep the faith, obey his word and listen for his directions. God bless!

In Christ,

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