Updated: Jul 7, 2021
By: Leslie Wittenmyer
Let me begin with the faith chapter, Hebrews 11:1, 2 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
I am by no means an elder of the church. But I do believe I have obtained a good testimony. I would like to share it with you here.
In my mid- to late teens my mom had an encounter with the Holy Spirit that introduced me to church. By March 2004, I was seventeen, I gave my heart to the Lord and was baptized. I did not fully understand my commitment, although I thought I did. But life went on.
I graduated high school, began college, and quit going to church. After graduating college, I moved to little Ol’ Rockingham, North Carolina. The five years I lived there was my biggest adventure and time of learning and growth personally. Towards the end of my fifth year, I was in a relationship that was not going well. I tried to express how I felt and was told it was complaints and that he could complain about me, too, but didn’t. He continued to ignore me and look through me like I wasn’t even there. He made me feel like the loneliest person in the world.
Let me share this with you. When I moved south, it was just me and my sister. She eventually moved back home to Ohio. There were 540 miles between me and my family. I felt like I had nobody.
Little did his aunt know what was going on. She invited me to go with her to church. I decided to go because it was better than sitting at home being ignored and feeling alone. One of the songs the praise band team began to sing was “Not Alone” by Kari Jobe. I immediately began to cry. Then the pastor of the church gave his message. It was about no matter where you were, God was with you. I broke down and cried like a baby. In that moment God took away my loneliness. I began to go to church every Sunday. Eventually I also moved back to Ohio, where I have had the biggest adventure time of learning and growth spiritually.
Since then, God has placed me in the church I am now attending. How my faith has increased! Let me share this story with you. I had memorized this scripture: Matthew 10:29-31 (NIV)
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
In doing some research I found out that the Hebrew word for sparrow (tsippor) also meant small birds. In Old Testament times nobody cared for small birds and they were considered a nuisance. But God loved them so much He would not let one fall to the ground outside His care. How much greater is His love for us?! A couple days later the man I was dating broke up with me. I was, again, heartbroken and confused. My sister convinced me to go to the lake to go fishing (she knew how much I LOVED to fish). I was there for an hour pouring my heart out to the Lord and getting even more frustrated because I had the same worm on my hook that was there an hour ago and hadn’t caught a thing! I put my pole away and laid down over the rocks and looked up into the sky. Two little birds flew over me and that scripture immediately came to my mind. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. That was God promising me that He would take care of me.
Just when you think “OK God, I know You love me and will take care of me” He shows His heart and love even more. It was a little while later I had received a phone call from a lady at church. I had no clue who she was. I looked in the church directory to see if I could find her picture and recognize her, there was no picture. She wanted me to meet her at the dollar store because she had something for me. I met her and, to make a long story short, she gave me a quilt. She was making a quilt for her friend’s birthday and God told her to give it to me. She didn’t know who I was so God showed her who Leslie Wittenmyer was. Once she knew who I was, she began to pray for me. When she was finishing up and putting the back on, she was going to use material with purple flowers. God stopped her. Do you know what God told her to put on the back of that quilt?! Birds! I didn’t know this lady and she didn’t know me. She didn’t know my story or how I came to love birds. All because of her obedience to God, she helped my faith to increase.
I know that God will take care of me. I know He will provide. My walk with God only continues to grow more intimate and more beautiful. Through the hardships and pain, through the joy and laughter, His love shines for me. Thank You, God!
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch. The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’S hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you deserted, or name your land desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will you God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:1-5 (NIV)
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