To Tell You My Story is To Tell of Him (Travis’s Story)

Before I get into my actually testimony, I want to take a brief moment to explain why I’m sharing “my” story with you, why any of our team members are sharing “their” stories with you. It isn’t random. It’s not due to a lack of prior planning. We didn’t decide on the 29th of January to use February to share our testimonies because we couldn’t think of anything else to share. No, our team has been talking about this for quite a while now.

There are a couple of reasons that we, as a team, have chosen to take a break from our usual style of topics to share our testimonies with you. The first of those being that we wanted to better connect with you. We would like you to feel like you know us, and in the same way, we would like to feel like we know you. We want you to realize that we are real teens that go through real struggles. Although each of the members of our team strives to follow hard after God, each and every one of us fails at times. The second reason that we have decided to share our testimonies with you this month is so that you are able to see just how awesome and incredible and indescribable God really is.

I don’t know how observant you are, but if you look carefully up at the beginning of this post, you’ll notice that I enclosed the word “my” in quotation marks. The reason I did this is because even though in technicality, the story that I’m sharing with you may be “my” story, in actuality, it isn’t. It’s the story of how God has worked through me and in me, and thus, it is really more his story than it is mine.

So now that that’s all cleared up, let’s begin.

My name is Travis. I’ve been either involved in ministry or near it for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a pastor’s kid since the age of six, but even before that, I was an assistant pastor’s kid. So like I said, I’ve been around ministry pretty much all my life.

I was saved at a young age. In fact, regretfully, I don’t even remember the exact experience or date that led me to put my faith in Christ. I do, however, remember some of the events in the years to follow. I remember often being scared that I wasn’t really saved. There were probably at least twenty or thirty times that I crawled out of my bed at night to ask my dad if there was any way I could know whether or not I was saved.

Eventually, the fear faded away (thank goodness because it was terrifying), and I became more confident about my salvation.

When I was six years old, my family moved from our home town of Branson, Missouri to a small town in Illinois that was about 8 hours away. I would end up living in that town for the next four years of my life.

In 2009, my parents started to feel like God was calling them to the mission field. I remember my mom asking me how I felt about leaving Olney (the small town in Illinois) and moving to another country. At first, I wasn’t sure. Up until this point in my life, I had been living in the tiny bubble that is commonly known as the comfort zone, and I didn’t necessarily want to step out of it.

In Fall of 2009, my parents embarked on a short mission trip down to Johannesburg, South Africa to scout out the ministry and to see if it would be a good match for our family. They returned a week later excited about the ministry opportunities in Joburg and wanting to get involved.

Over the course of the next two years of my life, my family visited over 60 unique churches, seeking to raise the necessary financial support, as well as prayer support that we would need in order to move to South Africa. In essence, that means that I was at a different church every other week for two years.

During this time in my life, I wasn’t really close to God, but I wasn’t far from Him either. Looking back, I was pretty much in a state of spiritual apathy.

A little over two years after my parents visited South Africa for the first time, in December 0f 2011, my entire family stepped onto a plane that would change my life forever…

At first, I struggled. I didn’t really know anyone, there was pretty much no-one in the church my age, and I was obviously missing the family and friends that I had left behind several thousand miles. Unfortunately I didn’t only struggle emotionally during this time, but spiritually as well. I became more distanced from God than I had ever been before and I found myself doing and thinking things that I shouldn’t have been. And the worst part of all is that I was still talking the talk just fine. But I wasn’t walking it. I attended all the mission trips, Christian camps, and pretty much any other Christian events that were made available to me. I was involved in my church’s praise team (still am, actually). But my heart wasn’t right. I wasn’t living my life for God’s glory, but rather my own. And don’t get me wrong. There were many times that I tried to do better, to be better. But I did so in my own strength, and thus, I failed. It wasn’t until 2014 that I started to pursue God with my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

During 2014, I had to read three spiritual growth books in order to earn a camp scholarship. Among these books were Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan and I Am Not But I Know I Am: Welcome to the Story of God by Louie Giglio. These books changed my life. I started to get excited about my faith. I became passionate about pursuing God and I had a strong desire to do so. I went before God and I asked him to help me deal with my sin. To help me get my life right and to help me live for him.

To be honest, I still struggle. But things are different now. Because I’m no longer working against God, because I have the all-powerful, indescribable God of the universe on my side, I’m able to overcome temptation.

God didn’t stop there though. He didn’t just help me to overcome my sin, but he also started to lay on my heart a strong desire to do what’s right, and to follow after him with all that is in me. He is continually pulling me closer to himself, and for that I am so thankful.

If I told you my story
You would hear hope that wouldn’t let go
If I told you my story
You would hear love that never gave up
If I told you my story
You would hear life but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
To tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
If told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
If I told you my story
You would hear life overcome the grave

This is my story this is my song praising my Savior all the day long

~ My Story, Big Daddy Weave

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One Comment

  1. Esther
    February 12, 2016
    Reply

    Thanks for sharing Travis. May the Lord continue to use and bless you as you live for Him!

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