By COURNTEY INGLE
“Hey, can you share your testimony?”
“I don’t know, it’s kind of boring. You know the drill, raised in church, didn’t quite fully understand the magnitude of following God until adulthood, that kind of thing.”
What if I was looking God dead in the face when I said that?
“Yeah, thanks for your Son and all, I just don’t have much to say.”
Wow. Open mouth, insert foot.
I realized in that response, after a good Holy Spirit prompting, that I didn’t have an attitude of gratitude for the blessings I had been bestowed.
The truth is, the biggest part of my testimony is that I now truly understand salvation as an ongoing demonstration of God’s love in action, not as a one-time event.
Daily, I am saved. Constantly, I’m learning more about true salvation, more than just the Roman Road to Salvation. I’m learning that salvation means living in a constant state of surrender, trusting that you’ll be carried by the loving arms of a Father — just like when I used to fall asleep on the couch and my daddy would carry me to bed.
God’s hand was always there, and in hindsight, it was obvious.
I remember seeing a Bible on my grandma’s shelf and wanting to read it but not knowing how. We started going to church after my baby sister was born. I was 8. According to my mom, I had started asking about going to church.
I was being drawn to Christ and I didn’t even know it.
I remember taking a week to not watch TV after school in ninth grade. I’d go to my room, journal, pray and listen to worship music. I’d forget where I was. I felt a power there, a connection to the presence of my Savior. Realness. Tangible.
Fast forward to 2014. I was losing my job, one that I loved. I was about to be up a creek with a brand-spanking new mortgage and car note. My husband was in the process of looking for another job. I got a call out of nowhere to come work for a radio news organization in Jackson. My first day in Jackson, the official word came down that my former job at Southern Miss was being completely eradicated, and it hasn’t been replaced since. Total provision. Jehovah Jireh.
Hop again to 2016. My husband and I had reached a point where we wanted a baby. But nature was being wonky, everyone else was getting pregnant, and I was getting angry. One day, during a rage-and-sinus-pressure-fueled trip to Walgreens, I got a coupon for baby formula expiring December 30, 2016 — which was two months later. The day a doctor confirmed my pregnancy.
In August 2017, when I was 35 weeks pregnant, my father’s chains of depression and alcoholism were eternally broken when he passed away and was met with the arms of a loving Savior. Two things here — the pending birth of my daughter kept me from being consumed with grief. Also, finding my father’s little certificate of salvation and baptism he’d signed at a church event was like a little message from God saying, “He’s with Me; he’s not hurting anymore.”
In October 2019, that same little girl who’d pulled me from the darkness of my father’s death was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. Quickly, God showed His power to use evil for good, and through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we were paired with some of the best hands in the world.
Honestly, when I look back, it looks like Jesus was calling to me from the waves for the past 24 years.
“I’m here! Come to Me! You won’t drown! Walk to Me! Eyes up! Eyes up!”
I’ve definitely not been a perfect Christian. I’ve gone days, months, without praying. I’ve gone longer without stepping foot in a church. I’ve sinned, I’ve let circumstances overtake me, I’ve let my emotions lead me, and I’ve made some pretty terrible choices.
But I can honestly say, I’ve never felt abandoned by God. I’ve never doubted whether He was there. I’ve been a repeat prodigal, and He’s welcomed me with open arms.
But this time, I’m seeing the evidence of being transformed. And the thing about transformation is that it’s not temporary. A butterfly, once it leaves the cocoon, can’t go back to being a caterpillar. It has to fly.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11
Courtney Ingle and her husband, Jeremy, live in Crossgates in Brandon. They have a daughter, Taylor Scott, who is 4 years old, and a son, Jacob Leon, who is 6 months old. Courtney is a stay-at-home mom and homemaker and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.