God is constantly moving in our lives. Being open and honest about your testimony is a powerful way to talk about your faith with believers and non-believers alike.
Our most recent guest on the Ask About My Faith podcast, Mary Rose Thill, shares how she has used her “prodigal daughter” testimony to have beautiful, encouraging, and transformative faith conversations.
Mary Rose Thill is a fearless creative thinker, an active doer, and an undeniable people person. She is currently launching an intergenerational leadership center at Crown College and works as a Business Marketing professor there.
Mary Rose’s Faith Journey
Mary Rose heard God’s call at 4 years old. Despite her strong faith growing up in the church, Mary Rose found herself drifting away from God toward the end of her college years.
After moving across the country to live with her then-boyfriend, Mary Rose entered her life’s most lonely, empty, and depressing season. She knew God’s voice but felt distant and adrift. But despite her doubt and depression, God’s voice managed to push through, and He was able to pull Mary Rose out of the darkness and into His light.
Mary Rose uses her testimony to encourage and uplift others, hopefully leading them closer to God’s loving embrace.
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Using Your Testimony to Speak into Someone’s Life
While traveling overseas with Crown College, Mary Rose was visiting a school they support along with a few of her students. Each of them was tasked with leading a devotional at some point during the trip.
When it was Mary Rose’s turn, she decided to share her testimony. She has a bit of a prodigal daughter testimony. She was very open about her college experiences and how nothing else quite compares to the love of God.
Afterward, a senior approached her and opened up about her current struggles with identity and depression. Rather than preach to the girl, Mary Rose spoke words of life and God’s truth over her. She shared how God sees her and is hopeful that it encouraged her. Mary Rose doesn’t know how it affected the girl long-term, but she trusts that God is continuing to work in her life.
God’s love heals and restores us, and it’s tempting to pretend things are always perfect. But the truth is, no one is ever perfect, and God likes to use our messy moments to speak into the lives of others.
“Many people are led to Jesus in that dark moment, that valley moment.”
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Your Testimony Ministers to Believers and Non-Believers
“You meet people all the time, Christians or not, who long for a breakthrough.”
Mary Rose was close to a gentleman while working in the marketing department at 3M. He was part of her prayer calls. After leaving 3M and starting at Crown College, she sat in the chapel on campus when she suddenly felt a nudge to message him.
It turned out that it was almost immediately after he was laid off at 3M. It was very sudden, and he was extremely distraught. Having gone through something similar before, Mary Rose used her experience to encourage her old friend and prayed with him.
All Mary Rose did was listen to Holy Spirit’s leading and then use her testimony to minister to a needy friend.
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Find Creative Ways to Share God’s Love and Your Testimony
During the pandemic, she worked at 3M, where they make Post-It notes. Like most of the country, she was working virtually through Zoom. She started using the many free Post-It notes she got to track all the prayer requests and how God answered them. All the requests would be on one side of a wall, and then when God answered the prayers, she would move them to the other side.
Mary Rose liked to keep it close, so it wound up on the wall behind her during Zoom calls. It wasn’t intentional; it just was. She would get asked about them all the time, and most of the time, she wouldn’t go into detail about them, instead just offering a clever one-liner explanation.
But once, she was on a one-on-one call with someone, and they asked Mary Rose about her Post-its. They had never met, and they haven’t talked since. Mary Rose felt the nudge to tell her the truth that the Post-Its were prayer requests. Instantly she could see tears in the woman’s eyes.
Their interaction was no longer a work call, but a conversation about faith and God leading us back into His arms. It turns out the woman was going through a prodigal daughter season herself. She felt distant from God and had a lot of unanswered prayers. Mary Rose was able to encourage her and support her.
They haven’t spoken since, but again, Mary Rose hopes God will continue working in that woman’s life.
Advice About the Power of Your Testimony
As always, we asked Mary Rose if she had any advice for our community, and her advice was profoundly simple. She encourages all of our listeners and readers to do two things.
Surrender to God and allow Him to soften your heart.
”God is going to use you and your story in the divine way He does.”
Second, ask God daily how he wants to use you.
It doesn’t matter if it is big or small. God knows exactly what each person needs at that moment, and He is ready to use you however you are willing to be used.
If you are eager to be used by God but feel uncertain or scared, try these two simple steps and see what God does. When you leave yourself open, you might be surprised by what God does.
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