i figured i would post a couple of the testimonies that were given with the shoes that we used as remiders of journeying with GOD. these testimonies were written concerning shoes that people donated to be a part of our worship service.
At first glance, they seem insignificant, even useless. They’re just a beat up pair of running shoes, not even fit to be given to Goodwill. When I was little, my mom would call them “grass cutting shoes” because that’s all they are good for. But listen closely and hear the story they have to tell.
Where did I get these shoes?
I bought them in San Francisco, Ca. The whole family lived there for a summer. Just before that trip, we paid off some major debt that had stacked up over the years. For Susie especially, it was a first sense of financial freedom. She accepted the summer of fun in the California sun as a blessing from God, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. These shoes were the first thing that I purchased for years that didn’t make Susie cringe when balancing the checkbook. Why is that relevant now? Without freedom from debt, following God’s call to be missionaries would be impossible.
Why did I get these shoes?
Over the two previous years before staying in California, I lost 70 pounds. A lot of that is attributed to a rigorous, daily exercise routine in which I wore out my shoes. These shoes were bought as part of a continuing physical maintenance program. Why is that relevant now? Without freedom from obesity, following God’s call to be missionaries would be impossible.
Where have these shoes been?
Frankly, they’ve been all over the world, but no place as important as Chattanooga, Tennessee on June 05, 2004. What happened there changed my life. Very few would be surprised to know that I was at an Audio Adrenaline concert. Very few would be aware that for a month before that concert, I’d been dealing with a call to foreign missions. I was (and am) working with Audio Adrenaline to raise funds to build an Orphanage in Haiti. The mission work was called “The Hands and Feet Project” after AudioA’s hit single. While pondering and praying over the logistics of a national fund raising plan, God was calling me to a more permanent position on the foreign mission field. During the Chattanooga concert, I accepted the call. I cried the whole way through “Hand and Feet” and have at almost every concert since that day.
Why are these shoes here?
These shoes are here because I have pretty feet. There’s nothing special about my feet. They stink; they need Desenex on occasion; I get an ingrown nail from time-to-time. But I am the Hands and Feet of Jesus. I bring the Good News to others and it’s my feet that make that happen. According to God’s word, that makes them pretty.
My name is Susie Austin and these are my shoes. I remember when I bought them. They looked awesome in the store and I got a great deal on them. The first time I wore them to work though, they HURT my feet so bad. I had blisters on my heels and it felt like a vice had been clinching my toes for hours! Luckily, I am not one to give up or waste money, so I was going to do whatever it took to break in these shoes. Many days and many miles down the road, they have become a staple in my wardrobe, a part of me. It just comes natural to pick up these shoes and wear them almost on a daily basis.
Last year, God began preparing me for a new challenge in my life. He began gradually breaking me into an uncomfortable area that He wanted me explore. Throughout, these past months as I’ve walked in these shoes, I have experienced “blisters” as my plans have been put on hold. I have felt the vice clinch my heart as I have had to make life changing decisions…I have had to learn to walk an uncomfortable walk in order to go where God is leading.
The funny thing is, kind of like these old shoes, I am not exactly sure when God “broke me in” to the peace and comfort of knowing that He is in control….but I know that He is. I now thank God for the assurance that all the uncertainty, all the searching and all the breaking in it took was worth it.
Now it’s time for a new adventure with God, I am ready to break in another pair of new shoes.