Testimony Thursday by Guest Writer: Kathy Dunbar

My story, well, I suppose it is truly His story told through my life and experiences, isn’t one of those traumatic ones where I was radically saved from an addiction, lifestyle, or other hair-raising circumstance. As such, I felt I didn’t have much to say. Nothing to demonstrate his great and saving power in my life. I felt my testimony was boring.

Then one year …

I joined a ladies group with my church. The first meeting was an overnight trip with a group of women I didn’t know. Night one began testimony night; no warning, just a ‘so, this is what we’re doing over the weekend’ thing. I sort of froze. When my turn came I honestly wasn’t sure what to say. Suddenly the words flowed. They flowed for well over 10 minutes and when I finished I actually had some tears in my eyes and realized every testimony is powerful because it brings glory to God, and tells of His incredible goodness and love.

When someone would look at the life I had growing up they’d say we were the Cleaver family (you know, Leave it to Beaver). Two kids, a dog and a good home. My sister and I have been best friends from the beginning. Our parents were loving and provided well for us. We went on annual camping trips, were involved with gymnastics, swimming, tennis, soccer (my dad was a coach one year for each of us) and girl scouts. My mom went to a Lutheran church growing up, and my dad a Presbyterian one. When we were young, we started off in the Lutheran church, then later switched to the Presbyterian one around 4th or 5th grade. Flannel graphs and church events were a routine in our lives.

One night, driving home from a babysitter’s house, I vividly remember laying in the back of the VW Bug looking up to the stars (pre-seat belt days) and wondering if God was there. If God was there how would I know that I’d be with him someday?

The thought of eternity actually terrified me. I am told I would wake up in night terrors, inconsolable at the thought of death and eternity. I don’t recall them. But I do recall being afraid of death, eternity, and not ever wanting to read Revelation during my High School years. My mom tried to comfort me and kept saying I’ll be in Heaven because we go to church and I’m a good girl. It helped some, but fears kept nagging me.

Half way through my 7th grade year, we moved. Not like junior high is awkward enough on its own, but now I left the only friends I had known since Kindergarten. And I was popular, people knew me. Now, I am a nobody with frizzy hair and no friends. The fears became real and regular now. We joined a church that my aunt and uncle attended, after trying many different ones. It was to later be known as the summer that changed my life.

During one of the evening messages the pastor clearly said, “Just because you go to church, or your family goes to church, doesn’t mean you’re going to Heaven. You have to decide for yourself that Jesus died for you, so you can be with him.” I quote it because I still remember it to this day and can smell the pines, picture myself sitting on the log bench, and when I walked forward. After he said that, I KNEW that is what I needed to hear and do, to make sure I went to Heaven. I cried, had joy and felt secure about my eternal destination.

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]—yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 Amplified

It’s true, eternity is placed in the heart of every man I found my answer!

I was active in our youth group – went away to college – and struggled with the questions asked of me at the university. “How do you know God exists?” “Really, just one way to Heaven?” “Was the world literally created in 6 days?” “What proof do you have that what you believe is right?” I had 4 years of youth groups, leadership training and church camps under my belt, and yet, these stumped me.

KATHY DUNBAR

My parents divorced. That devastated me. I questioned it all at a much deeper level. Searched the Bible myself. Tried to connect with other Christians … it was hard. I moved home.

Then something clicked! Being back home was a challenge as I lived with my dad. My sister was engaged and getting married, and my mom lived in Phoenix. I went back to church. God showed up for me again. I don’t recall exactly what triggered it, I think it was a college retreat at Hume Lake, actually.

I knew God but hadn’t realized my NEED for God. I began to learn what a sinner I am (he continues with grace to reveal more and more of my sin yet without judgement). Jesus’ death not only guarantees Heaven, but that I’m forgiven, can have a relationship with the Lord of the Universe, and be in a permanent family.

KATHY DUNBAR

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 NIV

It was April 1, 1991 that I was baptized and proclaimed Jesus as my savior AND my Lord!

Since then I have been involved in church groups, leadership, Bible Studies, mission trips and various outreach and service opportunities. It is just how I did life. As I grow, and the Lord reveals more and more to me, I participate in these activities now because others need to know His love for them. He continues to mold and change me.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV

I have learned that I am in full time ministry, simply by using my gifts at work, loving others and listening to Him and following what He says to do.  I know the Lord directed my steps to my job and is using me there to be a light and encouragement in these hard and dark times. His love for me, his intention with me, his incredible kindness toward me, causes me to want to share that with those around me. He continually brings me back to desire His will and plan and He will do that for you.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV

A verse I have clung to:

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

Girlfriends – He is with you, he is mighty to save and He delights in you.

Kathy celebrates singleness as she loves Jesus, her family and the great outdoors. Her career in Higher Education has spanned over 33 years and was where the Lord placed her post-seminary. Kathy believes that the combination of the two have given her the direction, purpose and passion she was seeking. After working at two Christian Private Universities, God very clearly planted her at Fresno State where she has been actively involved in Academic Counseling since 2007. In her leisure time, Kathy enjoys time with her sister and her family, friends, her parents and being outdoors cycling, walking, hiking, cruising, taking day trips and just exploring God’s amazing creation. Connect with Kathy on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/auntiekathy37/.

We thank you, Kathy, for sharing your Testimony and the love of Christ in this month’s publication of Titus-two.com.

You are loved to Heaven and Back, Kathy ~~

LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary

2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Kathy! Absolutely beautiful and inspiring in every way & in every word. I am so blessed and grateful that GOD chose to bring you into my life. I love you beyond words, my precious and forever sister! ❤️

    Like

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