Tracy Glasgow's testimony brings to mind Chris McClarney's song, "Beauty for Ashes." It's a story of heartache, but from it God turns it to good. Not just good, amazing and beautiful when it's a life given over to follow Him. I love how precious our Father treats us, He never pushes us but just looks us in the eye and holds His hand out to us.
I'm blessed to call Tracy my friend, we crossed paths at high school rodeos and then we were reunited at church years later. I'm so honored to share her story and I pray that it helps heal wounds and urges you to seek out God in a deeper way.
My ever growing, ever changing, but always the same…. Testimony.
I was thirty one years old and had never actually sat down and wrote out my testimony on a piece of paper. I had told bits and pieces of it to people, but to be honest for a long time I hadn’t ever really been sure what mine actually was… My life up to that point had been lots of peaks and many valleys. It was one that seemed more like the Grand Canyon. There have been trials and tribulations and there has been love and celebrations. However, through it all, one thing has remained the same and that is my love for my Savior. Ever growing, ever changing, but always the same.
There are days I feel like I am still in my infancy in my spiritual walk and then there are days I feel like I could carry the weight of the world on my shoulders because I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I was thirteen years old at a slumber party when my Dad called and was making me go home early. As any teenager would be, I was angry and not wanting to miss the fun. Little did I know my life was about to change forever. I got in the truck and my Dad told me that my mom had died. Died? What? How? My Mom was sick, but not in the way most would think. She had a mental illness that she battled for years before this. At the time, my parents had recently divorced and my Dad had full custody of my two sisters and I. We were going to therapy, having supervised visits with my Mom… To put it brutally honest, going through things that a child should never have to go through. On that day in the truck my Dad told me, "Your mom took her own life." These words have forever changed my life.
My Mom was a believer, she loved the Lord and I know she was saved. She made sure we were in church. She played the piano. I have memories being in the church plays, being a lamb in the nativity scene during Christmas. One of my favorite things my mom wrote in my baby book is that during the alter-call one Sunday morning I stood up, walked right up there and set my pacifier on the alter. I gave my paci to Jesus and never had it again. I love that.
My sisters and I were so young when this tragedy struck our family. My Dad had taken on the daunting task of raising three girls on his own. Life had changed. My sisters and I had to grow up faster than most kids, my childhood sometimes feels like a blur. For a longer than I’d like to admit there was a lot of anger in me towards my Mom and towards the Lord. I would ask Him over and over why us? Why our family? Why my Mom? I wanted so badly to not be the girl that is growing up without her mother. I know that I am not the only person that has gone through tragedy and I know I am not the only person that has asked God those questions. What I later learned is that God sometimes brings us to a point of total despair and frustration so that we will give up trying to live this life in our own strength and cast ourselves wholly upon Christ. Fast forward to my sophomore year of college I had reached that point. I had been doing just that, living life in my own strength. The hurt, the anger and the sadness had been bottled up inside me. I didn't want to be a victim of my circumstances, so I had been putting on a brave face to show everyone that I was fine, but on the inside I was fighting a losing battle. A battle that I knew in my heart that could only be won by finding the courage, putting my hands in the air and giving it all to the one Person that could take it away. I had not been putting Him first in my life for a long time.
However, I had started going back to church with a friend and one Sunday morning my sophomore year, our Pastor told everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. She prayed that if someone in there that day had been struggling, had been trying to figure this life out on their own, that needed the Holy Spirit to give them strength and direction, to raise their hand… As the Pastor is saying all of this I had this overwhelming feeling inside me that God was telling me, "Wake up Tracy, this is for you." So with one eye I peaked up to make sure everyone had their head bowed and eyes closed. Then, I quickly closed mine again, took a deep breath and raised my hand. In that moment I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted and God said, "Okay, lets get started!" The next Sunday I didn't just raise my hand, I got up, walked to the alter, prayed the Sinner's Prayer and rededicated my life to Christ.
We are meant to "be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."-Ephesians 4:23-24
Paul tells us, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will."-Romans 12:2
Jesus encourages us to remain steadfast through trials. To have complete dependence upon Him for direction, purpose, fulfillment, and strength. To follow His plan for our lives. Life for me, got a lot easier when I figured that out. No doubt there are still a lot of days I have to remind myself to stop trying to control everything and trust that God has a plan and His plan is so much better than my own. And when He designed that plan it wasn't dependent on me being perfect, I’m not. I mess up, I make mistakes, but His grace is bigger than my sins. I truly believe now that God uses the situations that we go through to help shape us and prepare us for where and what He has planned for us for tomorrow. To become something different from what we were, better than what we were, and with stronger testimonies than what we had before.
I do know that even though my Mom cut short the good works that God had prepared for her to accomplish, I know I will see her again in His glorious kingdom. My anger is gone.
I’ve now been married for four years to an amazing Godly man and have a beautiful, healthy two year old daughter. God continues to work in my life daily. Through the trials and tribulations, and the love and celebration. Now more than ever I want and need my heart open to receive His love, His mercy and His unwavering grace. I want to be the wife the Bible teaches me to be and the mother that raises her children to love Jesus and to know that He loves them. I want His light to shine through me and into my home. In order to do so I know I have to continually work on my personal relationship with the Him. Last year I was Baptized - I wasn’t 100 percent sure if I had been before my mom passed away. I know that God had been working in me for a long time and that my story… my path was not straight, it was full of twists and turns and ups and downs and maybe even a little backwards. In His perfecting timing, God brought me to Lee Park Baptist Church in Monroe, NC to show my outward expression of my personal commitment to the Lord with my husband and daughter by my side - To continue my walk in faith and be an example of Him. I have been made new and I cannot wait to see where He takes me next.
So here is my testimony …. for now, but always for His glory. Ever growing, ever changing, but always the same.