“‘Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!’ However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”
I was giddy with excitement after my five-year-old self prayed to repent of my sins and trust Jesus as my Savior. I danced around the house and, along with my little family at 15233 Hawthorne Court, celebrated that I was now a part of God’s big family around the world. Twenty-five years later, I still celebrate, and with renewed thanksgiving. The Good News came to me, and I believed!
Four generations ago, God sent someone to my (maternal) great-grandma, Esther, with the Good News of the Gospel—the news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Esther believed this Good News and repented of her sins (Mk. 1:15). She walked to church with her children every Sunday. She would leave her Bible at home with a strand of hair on top, hoping my great-grandfather would read of God's Gospel and also believe. After several strands of hair fell off the cover of that Bible, he too repented and believed. I recall my great-grandmother’s long, creamy hair adorning the top of her head in a gently-wound braid and hymns and His promises adorning her lips as she rocked away the last year of her life.
My (maternal) grandma, June, saw her parents’ faith and heard from them the Good News of the Gospel. She repented and believed in her early teen years, then, much to her mother’s dismay, told her dance club she could no longer dance because she was a Christian. Whether an ignorant decision at the time, or one that came from godly conviction, she whole-heartedly gave her life to following Christ and His commandments. Her prayer for a husband who loved Jesus and her “implicitly” was answered and together they raised two daughters. Among many things, I recall my grandmother going to bed early with the softest feather pillow rolled up under her neck, and rising early to read the Scriptures by the soft flicker of the tea light warming her pot of tea.
My mom, Sharmon, saw her parents’ faith and heard from them the Good News of the Gospel. She repented and believed as a young child, and ran to her school with the Good News. They laughed and called her Bishop Ferrell. She grew in the faith God had given her and attended Moody Bible Institute, where she met my father. They married and are just finishing raising six children. My mother is endearingly cute when she talks about any one of her newest organizational tools. She is scheduled and organized to the core, yet earnestly endeavors to de-compartmentalize her life and live all parts as one whole in light of Jesus and eternity.
I saw my parents’ and grandparents’ faith and heard from them the Good News of the Gospel. And when I heard, I believed! Jesus saved me, and after twenty-five years more of life and learning, I see and know with joy that this same Gospel keeps me (Eph. 1:13).
I could walk you through my life thus far year by year, but it’s really pretty straight-forward. I grew up in a small church pastored by my dad, loved my family of four brothers and one sister with all my heart, and dreamed of having a family of my own one day. I wrote stories and penned baby names. I went to college, met my husband, married, and am now a mother of three. When I think about my life and testimony, there is no pivotal point in my story that stands out. What makes me pause and give thanks is the simple power of the Gospel in me (Rom 1:16). I heard what could have just been words on a page, but instead God came and made them living words of life. And every time I fail and mess up (all the more horribly and frequently as a mother it seems), He is faithful to remind me that He saved me as a sinner, I still sin, and it is still the power of His death, burial and resurrection that covers over all my failures. Jesus saved me, and I remember with a thankful heart each day that He keeps me.
One memory that comes to mind when thinking about my testimony is from when I was thirteen years old. Terror and the Taliban were at the forefront of the news, and my brother had just gone to war in Iraq. I sat at my desk one morning, gazing out my bedroom window at the rising sun. It was the blood-orange, looked-like-it-grew-ten-times-as-big-since-yesterday kind of sun that crept ever larger over the horizon. The colors it threw across the sky were breathtaking, and in that moment I saw and knew, all over again, that God was real and He was great. Did the Taliban (and any other group or person who spread terror) ever stop and look at the sunrise, I wondered? I was just so sure that if they would just stop and look at a sunrise like that morning’s, surely they would see God, stop all this hate, and worship Him. I knew my muse was wishful thinking, yet my heart and mind sincerely cried out why not?! And painful though it is that not every person will see and know the greatness of God before Judgment Day (Acts 28:26), the answer to my question made my salvation all the more precious to me. I was born a sinner with no good in me, but Jesus opened my eyes so I could look at that sunset and see Him.
The Good News of the Gospel came to Esther, and she believed.
The Good News of the Gospel came to June, and she believed.
The Good News of the Gospel came to Sharmon, and she believed.
The Good News of the Gospel came to me, and I believed.
“Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”
At Of Larks, we believe that each of our stories uniquely exhibits God’s glory, goodness and love. We have asked each of our regular writers to share her testimony or a story of how God has worked in her life to acknowledge God’s goodness and faithfulness, give praise and honor to Christ, and introduce ourselves to our readers.