Below is a testimony by one of our youth – Madison McNeill – given at a Lenten Tuesday morning breakfast service. Madison is a delightful young woman who loves the Lord and St. Michael’s. She also loves tennis and playing competitively, especially with her father, Dan. I hope you are blessed by her story! – Justin
P.S. The other two youth Lenten Testimonies will be in June for Confirmation.
My name is Madison McNeill. I am a sophomore at Porter-Gaud and was asked to share my testimony so that is why I am here today.
I’ve grown up in a Christian household. My grandfather was a pastor, and my parents have made God a priority in our lives. I heard about Jesus through family.
At the age of six, on the way home in the car with my parents, I asked my dad if Jesus could come into my heart. I told him I believed that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again. So, my dad helped lead me through a prayer.
Two years later, when I was 8, I was baptized in a river off Pawley’s Island by our pastor, at the time, and my dad. Ever since, I’ve been growing in my faith by going to a Christian camp in Tennessee every summer. This camp, Doe River Gorge, helped me in my knowledge of God and his plan for us. Every year we studied the bible and I realized that God has a plan for everyone. Some of us know what that plan is, others are still trying to figure out. All we had to do was what he says, follow him, and be a good example for others. I also learned to appreciate the life God has given me. In my cabins, there would be girls and boys that were able to come to the camp through financial aid and to hear their own testimony made me cry but it also made me thankful, grateful, and joyful for the live we have.
My parents and I started going to this church a little over a year ago. I was invited by Fleetwood to come to youth group and Waffle House with him and my parents then followed. We had never been involved in an Episcopal church so the transfer from contemporary Presbyterian to St. Michaels was different. It took me a few weeks until I was comfortable going up to get communion for real wine. But my parents and I have grown even more since going here. My parents have become very much involved in the church and I’ve been able to come to a great youth group and bible studies with great friends.
Camp and church have helped grow my faith by adding a stable support in my life and my relationship with God. These are places where you can go and know that you will be embraced by people that love you and more importantly love God. The friends you make help you stay on that path that God has marked out for us. By building these connections, we are able to carry each other up together instead of someone bringing you down because they don’t have the same love towards God that you have.
Therefore, God puts people on my heart that aren’t Christians to help them find him. Often, while in church, I will hear the Holy Spirit hinting (not really straight out talking) but hinting to me to think or do something God would like me to do. I’ve learned that the Holy Spirit is inside of us, living in us even though we may not hear it- helping us become aware of our sin and turn away from it.
Being in relationship with God is something that is more important to me than anything else. I am a Christian because He is the source of all my joy. And without Him I would not be the same person I am today. I’ve received joy and peace from being in relationship with Him and can not imagine myself with out Him in my life.