Recently, I have been writing posts on this blog knowing I should be writing about something else. I haven't shared my testimony here and it makes me a little nervous to just lay it out there to whoever wants to read it. But I realized the whole reason I decided to start this blog was because I wanted to let God use my written words for His glory to shine light in the dark world wide web.
But before I start, I wanted to make sure everyone knew that my story is actually His story. I used to tell my story because I thought I could make a difference in someone's life because of it. I thought of it as kind of like a cheer leading thing, "I made it, so you can too!" No. As great as that is, it defeats the purpose and shines the light back onto me. I now tell my story so that God can get the spot light. There is nothing good in my life that has come from me. Because of God's great love for me, I am free from the bondage of fear, sadness and regret. He can now, more easily, use me as a vessel because I finally let down and embraced Him.
As a girl, I always fought the idea of being a Christian. Like many people, I saw way too many folks who went to church and talked the talk but never lived it out. So my heart became rebellious towards God and my parents. I lied, stole, drank, smoked, swore, and tried to prove to everyone, especially myself, that I was not like the hypocrites I saw going to church. I was confused, hurting, and bored.
My story really began when I was 18. I became pregnant, during the summer before I left for college. I was a two-faced church-going girl who didn't know herself from Adam. I feared what my friends, family and peers thought of me. I was weak. I did what people told me to do. When a crisis happens to someone who is weak, they are blind. Lies attacked me and convinced me to abort. This seemed like the only way out. From that point, the lies consumed me, sending me into a tailspin of regret, hatred for myself, thoughts of suicide, and complete selfishness. I dove into college that September (2 weeks after I had terminated my pregnancy) and became heavily involved in the party life. It gave me relief from my thoughts and kept me distracted from reality. As long as people liked me but didn't get too close, I was fine. I had remained with my boyfriend, daddy of the baby, through that first year of college. We fought most of the time which just sent me into a deeper pit.
By the end of my freshman year, I decided something needed to change. I needed to get the hell out of there. I wanted to go back to Africa. (I had been to Rwanda as a kid to visit my grandparents who were missionaries.) My parents were desperate, so they agreed as long as I went with YWAM. I packed my bags, said so-long to my friends, ended my relationship with my boyfriend and left in a jet plane. I was all alone on my way to a foreign land; Kenya.
The Lord took me there to get me out of my comfort zone, to show me that there were real Christians out there, and that He believed in me. I accepted Jesus into my heart and decided I was ready for a different life. However, when I returned to the States, my habits came back, my old friends were still the same, but my heart was different. I jumped right back into seeking acceptance and love from guys and kept living life without thinking, just doing.
But God wasn't finished with me yet. He kept coming back for me and picking me up out of the mess I would get myself into.
Andy waltzed into my dysfunctional state (and his also), we grabbed onto one another and held on for dear life, hoping and praying that God would smooth out the rough spots. He did, and still is but its not always that easy. We've both had our share of rototilling the hell out of us. Andy is finding freedom in Christ as he battles sexual addiction and other lies he has been told. I have gone through much healing as I see and understand my freedom and forgiveness from my past. The Lord has given me Passion and Purity over my life, always taking every opportunity to confirm my identity in Christ. He continues to redeem and stomp on the enemy's attempts to destroy. Andy and I are becoming a strong team for the Lord. God has taken given me new eyes to see and new purpose in my life. I am not focused on my past anymore. I know there are bigger and better things out there for me and my family, to focus on my past would just hinder and allow the enemy a foothold.
My baby is awaiting my return home. Her name is Redeem because that is what He promised me He would do for her, for me, and for every one of His children. My heart aches for her and the joyous reunion we will have someday.
I hope my story encourages you and reminds you of His Redeeming Love. He quietly waits, speaks softly, and pours His love out lavishly. He is the King of Kings and has given us freedom from every burden we carry. Praise you, Father!
Here are some links to some folks who were a huge impact in my journey of healing and finding God: YWAM, HEART, Grace Chapel, my husband