The following is a reflection by Nate Ferris ’14, who delivered this testimony during Olivet’s Baccalaureate service on Friday, May 9.
Thank you for this incredible opportunity to share briefly how God has used my time at Olivet to shape and mold me into the man I am today. This is an honor, and I am humbled as I stand here.
What makes my testimony so beautiful is the opportunity to reflect and share on how faithful God has been throughout my life. It is my prayer that as I share my testimony, each one of you will be encouraged to dwell intentionally on how faithful the Lord has been in your lives, as well.
If I had to sum up my entering Olivet as a freshman, I would use the following phrase: “Excited, but slightly lost and confused.”
Up to that point in my life, I had accepted Christ and understood logically how that was the most important decision I could have ever made. However, at the same time, I don’t know if I always felt or believed that was the most important decision. I found myself putting my confidence in the things of life that I could control, such as my own talents and abilities.
When sophomore year came around, for the first time in my life, I had been completely stripped of all my confidence. There were many days I lived in confusion and sadness. I eventually found myself in Kelley Prayer Chapel, on my knees, broken and crying. I finally learned to forgive certain people in my life for how they had wronged me. More importantly, I learned to forgive myself. The Lord showed up in my brokenness. I experienced Him, and I knew without a doubt He was the one true God, the only way to live life. My confidence from then on was placed in Him and Him alone.
I am forever changed. My heart longs to care, to show compassion, to love, to forgive, to pray, to read my Bible, to worship. My focus every day is no longer to live a life for myself, but to live a life for Christ — and because of that, to live a life for others, as well. I want walk hand in hand with the people around me, sharing in their struggles, being vulnerable before them, and providing a caring heart in the time of need. It is my desire that my days be intentional as I continue to learn what it means to love and live a life for Christ. I want to be a better witness to those around me.
To close, I share a reminder from Paul from 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (The Message): “We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”