I am a former Mormon. I grew up in the Mormon church, served in the Relief Society Presidency, the Young Women's Presidency and other positions. I have been a Christian for about 15 years now, went to seminary, and am currently on the pastoral staff of an Evangelical Free Church--quite a switch, huh?
I don't know how long of a testimony you would want, or what focus you would want it to be. However, I'm speaking this Sunday (11/14/99) at Utah Lighthouse Ministries, so I'm going to be composing something for that.
When I was a brand new, baby Christian, newly set free from a lifetime in Mormonism, Jesus told me that I was a “little white bird in a cage.” And he showed me a mental picture of this little bird alternately cowering in the cage and then flying against the bars, wanting to get out. A friend told me to ask the Lord, if that was what I was then, what would he make of me as he who began a good work in me would bring it to final completion on the Day of Christ Jesus.
I asked and he said “I will make you a bright, shining soaring songbird.”
Out of that picture comes the following poem as I realize that more and more I can “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Only in the reflected light of the Lord can I arise and be that “bright shining, soaring, songbird.” And out of this story comes my screen name:
I came into His arms that night, a little one so lost.
And he took me softly, gently, never mentioning His cost.
He found me as a small white bird, all cowering in a cage,
And promised me I’d sing His song, when time had come of age.
He promised me that I could hide in the shadow of His wings,
He began to show me miracles...and everlasting things.
He promised me I’d sing His song, but oft my notes went sour,
He listened to me cry and grieve, then shared His Spirit’s power.
He brought me from captivity, into His world of light,
And angels flew about me, as they fought a mighty fight...
The little bird had left the cage to soar on wings of dawn,
The music of the universe rang upward...on and on.
I learned to listen carefully, sing the harmonies he led,
He whispered to me gently...that for this sound He’d bled.
He taught me chimes of majesty and softer notes so sweet,
He raised me from a place of shame, into His holy seat.
He tenderly taught me chimes so clear, and melodies divine,
The rhapsodies He sang to me, became both His and mine.
To soar on wings of majesty, on breath from far above,
A shining songbird’s canticle, the melody of His love.
©Bonnie Julian (SoarSong@aol.com)