Hi, I’m Hannah and I am 28 years old.
Reading through all of this I am excited to be part of it, but also feeling utterly inadequate to tell my story. It’s something I have always struggled with – my story doesn’t feel worth telling. I fear that it seems prideful, unrelatable, or whatever other word the devil uses to keep my mouth shut that day. But a few months ago I hesitantly told my testimony to a new small group of women, and one amazingly godly woman – wise beyond her years – told me afterwards “your story gives me hope”. I cling to that now when I otherwise would want to keep quiet.
I grew up with wonderful Christian parents who had accepted the Lord shortly after my older sister was born and turned their lives around. I grew up going to church, AWANA, and knowing the name of Jesus. I remember asking him to come into my heart one bedtime with my mom when I was 5. I believed what I had heard of him, knew he loved me, and wanted to do what he asked. I was baptized at 8, understanding a little more the decision I had made.
This is a VERY common start to Christian testimonies. But from so many friends I hear “but I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t truly accept Christ until _____.” Those words cut deeper than people realize, because it quietly whispers to me “you didn’t know what YOU were doing either.”
Of course I didn’t realize the depths of love and of sin; the true power of Christ and what it means to lay down my life and pick up my cross. I don’t think I will ever fully understand it until I am standing face to face with my Savior. But I do think my heart belonged to the Lord that day and I have been walking with him ever since.
There have been mountains and valleys, times of doubt and unshakable certainty – but I hardly remember a time before Jesus was Lord of my life. I used to wish I had a rebellion and a subsequent powerful turning back to Christ – a story that was filled with power and transformation and radical proof of what he can do.
You know what that friend said to me that day with the small group of women? “Your story gives me hope. Hope that my son can have a story like yours. Hope that not everyone has to turn away from the love of God in order to come back to him. Hope that not everyone has to have a story like mine.” Her testimony is an incredible and beautiful one flowing with redemption and healing. But those words meant more than she will ever know.
However, even though my story isn’t made up of abuse, addiction, or loss I think there is still a story to tell and encouragement to share. I struggled with being enough, with trusting in God’s plan for my life and trust in his timing.
I wondered why guys didn’t seem to like me, what my purpose in life was, and how to hear from Jesus. There are so many little stories looking back now where I can see God orchestrating everything for my good.
Now, at 28, I have been married for almost 5 years. I am passionate about community, building up younger women in the faith (especially newly married women), as well as taking care of the bodies we have been given through health and fitness. I am learning what it looks like to be a Proverbs 31 women, how to be a prayer warrior and tap into the power that we are promised through Christ’s name, as well as my utter need to be filled daily with the Spirit in order to pour out to others. I am currently wrestling with Sabbath and what it means to rest in a way that refreshes every part of me. I am learning how to balance a healthy lifestyle with knowing my true worth.
But through it all of one thing I am certain: I want to be radically changed by Jesus and live intentionally serving others. My desire to create a kingdom community and to honor Christ in all that I do.