My Testimony: Kayla MilliganMay 24, 2021
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian household. We were in church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.
I honestly enjoyed it. I was always in Sunday school, children’s choir, Awana, and I also attended a Christian school. That was my life and all I ever knew.
I attended church camp every summer and fell absolutely in love with it. Camp is my happy place that’s for sure.
But, my story starts when I was around 5 years old. My mom had been talking to me and asking me if I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart. She asked me if I wanted to go to heaven one day and I told her no because I wanted to stay here with my grandma. I was obsessed with her at the time lol.
I tell you this story because this made me realize that I did not understand or comprehend what salvation was at that age.
Then, my mom told me that I came to her one day and told her I asked Jesus into my heart while I was in my bedroom.
As I started to get older in elementary school, I realized I never remembered that event happening at all. I began to doubt and be fearful about whether I was saved or not.
So, every time I was in a church service and at the end when they said to pray this prayer if you want to be saved, I prayed it. Every time. I told myself “just in case” or “this is the last time.” But I continued to pray it because I was so scared I wasn’t saved and I wanted to go to heaven one day.
Fear and doubt consumed me daily and I had no idea how to be set free from them. I continued to just live the perfect “Christian” life as I tried to ignore the doubts I had about my salvation. Of course, trying to push these thoughts off to the side only made it worse.
Then one morning, on June 26, 2013, I was reading my daily devotion from the Jesus Calling Kids Edition book. I'll never forget it. The title of the short devotional was “Nothing Surprises Me” and let me tell you, that was probably one of the first times I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me.
Just by reading the title, it shook me to my core. God wasn’t surprised by my doubts, struggles, and fears of my salvation. He knew what was going on all along. He was right there with me. He had been there all along. This didn’t surprise Him.
I was so nervous about what everyone would think about me. Everyone assumed I was already saved and this good little Christian girl, but I still struggled with my salvation. I was afraid of what my friends, family members, and people in my church would think.
But, God wasn’t surprised. He had been waiting for me with open arms, and I heard Him speak to me for the first time that day.
The Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and basically told me “call your mom into the room right now.” So that’s what I did. I called my mom into my room and I let her know what I had been struggling with for years and never told anyone. God gave me the courage at that moment to finally open up and tell someone.
After I was done sharing, my mom ended up telling me that she struggled with the same exact thing when she was a kid. She had been “saved” when she was little, and as she got older she always doubted and was fearful of whether she was saved or not.
It is amazing to me how God allowed my mom to go through that, so years and years down the road, she would be able to help her future daughter through the same exact struggle one day. How amazing is that? That’s just how God works.
Through tears in my eyes, I prayed to God and I told him I was tired of doubting and being unsure of my salvation. I believe that you died on the cross for our sins, you were buried, and rose again three days later. You died so you could take our sins away. I accept your free gift of salvation. I believe that you are Lord. From this day forward I am going to be your disciple and live for you. I ask for forgiveness for my sins and that you would wash me clean with your blood.
Let me tell you, the relief I felt after I said amen was unreal. I felt like a new person that day. The burden was lifted and I could finally see myself as a child of God.
It wasn’t about me saying the right words the right way and not messing up. It was about my heart and me finally understanding what the Gospel was. I was tired of living in fear and wanted to ask Jesus to come into my life and make me new, and He did that day.
I know that this is a big issue in the church that a lot of people struggle with. At the time, I had never heard of anyone else struggling with what I was going through. Now, after going through it, I’ve talked to countless people who have experienced the same thing as me.
If you are doubting your salvation, or confused by what that even all means, just know that you are not alone and there is hope for you. Speak to a trusted leader or pastor that you may know and get it settled. Don’t continue to live in fear and worry.
I finally decided to make my faith my own. I didn’t rely on my parents' faith or anyone else.
I started to take my relationship with the Lord seriously around 10th grade. I give credit to my amazing youth group, pastors, and leaders, for making me eager and hungry for the Lord and His Word. They truly taught me what a follower of Christ looks like and how I can grow deeper in my relationship with Him.
I started to fall in love with God for who He was, and not just for what He could give me. I started to see him as a friend instead of a genie in a bottle. I started to want to glorify God in the way I lived, and not live as the world tells me to live.
You see, when you begin to follow Jesus, everything changes. Since 11 year old me accepted Jesus on June 26, 2013, I have not doubted my salvation. I am secure in Jesus and I trust Him with my life.
In July of 2018, one night at camp, I surrendered my life to the Lord. This was me telling God that I take my hands off of my life and I give him full control. I will follow Him wherever He leads me or tells me to go. I know His plans are best for me and I want to follow them. I want to live my whole life honoring and glorifying His Name.
The Lord has given me such a big heart for mission work/international relief/humanitarian aid/orphan care in foreign countries, and I hope in the future to pursue this desire that the Lord has given me. I want to spread His love and the good news of the Gospel unto the ends of the earth. I don’t know exactly what that looks like yet, but I’m willing to do and go wherever the Lord may call me to go.
This was just a brief summary of my testimony and my life so far. I hope it encouraged you and even helped you to realize you are not alone if you struggle with any of these same things. <3
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