The Value of Testimonies
One of my favorite Bible verses is found in the book people are still trying to fathom 2,000 years after it was written: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11 MEV). Testimonies seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years.
Maybe we’re too busy on our phones to notice, too captivated by electronic devices, or too swayed by the ability to produce motion-picture-quality video with a hand-held gizmo.
Yet with the demise of various groups and churches that provided forums for ordinary folks to share the story of how Jesus changed their lives, I think we have grown poorer in spirit.
For years, I ghostwrote testimonies for a couple Christian businessmen’s magazines. So when I had the opportunity last spring to do a developmental edit on the memoir of a woman from eastern Washington, I jumped at the chance.
To explain, a developmental edit involves more than reviewing a manuscript for punctuation and spelling errors. It involves research, rewriting and suggestions to the author on changes needed before it goes through a final round of editing.
To say I had a good time working on Kim Dotson’s story would be an understatement of huge proportions. Her writing crackled with intensity and color as she chronicled how God took a nobody and made her into somebody.
Kim titled her saga God Had a Hand on Me: A Memoir About Pain, Healing and Victory. It released this week in e-book form, and is available on Amazon for 99 cents until Nov. 21, when the paper copy will be available.
Bound for Failure
What a story it is, of how God creates something out of nothing.
The second of three children born to an Indian father and a white mother, Kim grew up in a broken home shattered by her parents’ divorce when she was in second grade. Not only did she feel abandoned by her mother, but she also had to deal with the taunts of racism no matter what crowd she was in; whites scorned her as Indian and Native Americans for being white.
A ninth-grade dropout and pregnant at 16, she was destined for a life of misery that only grew worse when her first marriage collapsed. She finally found a job as a waitress at the age of 20 and wound up re-marrying, to the first man who bought her roses.
Fortunately, at that restaurant job she also met an authentic Christian. A construction company owner, he was “Jesus with skin on.” The man treated waitresses and employees with courtesy, tipped well, and lived out his faith.
When talking with her older sister about her sister’s faith, Kim was ready to pursue a Savior who could salvage her marriage and heal her battered life.
A Changed Life
Unfortunately, Kim’s second marriage ended like her first, despite strenuous efforts to change her husband’s mind. He wanted nothing to do with a “holy roller.”
The rest of the story is nothing short of astonishing. God created an opportunity for Kim to leave her waitressing job and work as an emergency medical technician. What started as a volunteer position turned into a job.
Then, more doors opened and she earned her GED, enrolled in community college, and secured scholarships that enabled her to earn certification as a physician assistant.
Along the way, God led her to the man who has been her husband for three decades. Of course, there’s a lot more than I can convey in a short blog. It’s a story worth reading.