When I first became a Christian, the term “witnessing” had something to do with a tract and explaining the Roman Road. Now, more than twenty years later, being a witness of Christ is the way I live my life transparently and authentically. It has nothing to do with living my life perfectly. People I come in contact with during my day see an impatient mom juggling kiddos in Costco, a graduate student late with a paper, an exhausted nurse grieving after losing a patient, a friend who has overbooked her schedule. Again.
My life scares me on most days.
“But God.” (Ephesians 2:4) God knows that I want to do my life myself and will give it my best try to keep Him out of my equation. He has designed my life in such a way that I have no choice but to lean on Him and lean hard. The result is that people don’t see me, they see His supernatural power in my life. Yes, at first they are impressed that I can accomplish what appears to happen in my life. I quickly and repeatedly give all glory and honor to my loving Savior, who gives me abundant grace and mercy to live this life that He has called me to.
When I interviewed for graduate school, one of the professors asked me how I thought I would juggle the demands of working full-time as a nurse with being a single mom and a graduate student. I stopped for a split second, thinking she had a point. This was crazy! What was I thinking? “But God.” I remember describing to the interview board how long I had wanted to be a nurse practitioner, my desire to help the poor and vulnerable without healthcare, and how I was helping my daughter see other people’s needs and ask God how to use us to meet those needs. I told them that the hardest part is taking the next step but I know that God is already there and He has already provided everything I need. I made it clear that I knew this would be an impossible feat but God had brought me through so much, He could do this, too. After the interview, I had peace that even if I didn’t get into the program, I had given all the glory and honor for what had been accomplished in my life so far to my Jesus.
Several months after I had been accepted to the program and I was sitting in my first lecture, my professor, who was part of my interview board, hugged me and with tears in her eyes told me how God had used my words during my interview to encourage her to take an impossible step in her life. You see, witnessing is not limited to unbelievers. Testifying of the amazing things that God has done is a reminder to me about the power and love of my Jesus and is also an encouragement to my brothers and sisters in Christ about what God wants to do in their lives as well.
I use to be scared of people seeing my messy life. What will they think of me? I have no control over what people think, but I do have control to my attitude and the words that come out of my mouth.
I choose to be a witness for Christ and of what He can do with the life I have given to Him to use for His glory.
I will tell the stories of my miracle daughter, my amazing fiancé and his precious daughters, my passion for ministering to human trafficking victims, my complete healing from physical and emotional trauma, and countless other miracles that have been performed in my life. My life is a witness of Christ.
Jennifer Nickell-Ogden is a beloved daughter of the Creator of the universe. He has provided her opportunities in motherhood, wifedom, nursing, running, yoga, and knitting. Occasionally, she sleeps, but mostly she drinks coffee!