My Testimony


It HAS been a long time for me to post something, I guess life has been hard to stay caught up with, and getting adjusted to having a husband and a household to care for has been a little difficult for the "independent" self I had become during school.

Anyway, the real reason I was posting was to put up the testimony I wrote out and shared with my wonderful church congregation last Sunday night.
At first I was really nervous, and I was even while I was speaking, I think I probably talked too fast, but it was really good to be able to share-- and to be open and vulnerable about my life, my sin, and yet the glorious work of my Redeemer on the Cross, when He took all of that on Himself for me!

I had a couple good cry's yesterday, once during that night while I was trying to talk, haha, and then when I got home-- my husband and I continued on the conversation of sin and forgiveness in our lives, and well, the tears kept on coming. Even now as I think about all this again it makes me tear up! *ah!!*

Ok, so on with my testimony...Its really quite long, so I'll be surprised if anyone actually reads this through, but I know its been so encouraging to read others' testimonies in the past, so I hope I can turn around and do the same!

With every day that I live, I have become more and more aware of how much of a sinner I am!! (Especially now that I am married!) The Lord continues to humble me the more that I think about my past and how much He’s brought me out of the darkness of the life of a lost sinner.
To begin with the basics of my testimony…I am the eldest of four kids, and we were all blessed to be raised in a wonderful Christian home with my mom and dad. I was saved at the age of 4 at Calvary bible Church, in Sunday school class in which my mom was leading. She was able to pray with me, and we talked to Pastor Taylor afterwards, but as you know, 4 is quite a young age, and though I remember that day, I think the only thing I understood spiritually was the concept of heaven and hell, and that I certainly didn’t want to go to hell when I died.

From that point on, life was a blur, and being raised in a Christian home didn’t help—what I mean is, it felt like I always followed through “the motions” in my spiritual life. I understood what it meant to be a sinner, that to be saved was through grace and grace alone, not of my actions, but that it was a gift of God. I knew about John 3:16, Ephesians 2, and I had all the verses to memorize associated with bible impact ministries. In terms of the Word and what it said of salvation I knew it, and I believed it. We went to church every Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night too. The problem was, I didn’t really develop my personal relationship with the Lord during this time. I talked the talk, and knew all the answers to the questions in Sunday School—but my heart wasn’t pursuing Christ, to be like Him, or a deeper understanding of the gospel. On our own, our human nature does NOT seek to be like Him or to know Him more, Paul knew of this struggle too.. I related much to Romans 7:15 when I read it later--

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
And then on to vs. 19.—
19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

As I became older and entered into the world of a public high school, I am ashamed to say I lived the “mediocre Christian life,” and that sin that so prevails in our flesh had its hold on me. I had no desire to daily read the Word, and I sure wasn’t bold enough as to tell the other unbelieving classmates about my faith for fear of losing my friends--instead we had a bible study with other friends we knew were already saved!!

How horrible it is now to look back at that point in my life and realize how many people I let slip through my fingers if only I had been so bold as to tell them about Christ! I believe that this pointed to a horrible lack of my OWN faith. I think now, that if I only I could go back to those years, and live with the lessons God has taught me now, it would be much different.

I explain all this to show you that I do not know at what point in my life I was really saved and really understood the gospel. It was late in my high school years when God brought two very important things in my little world crashing down on me. The first thing that impacted my life, was the split of the church that I held so dearly in my heart (which was the problem! It was the people I held close in my heart, not the reason I should have been going there) I remember crying hard for a long time because of this, I knew God had a reason. The Lord taught me to stop putting people in my congregation on a pedestal and to put Him on the pedestal of my heart instead. I learned to love church for a different reason—the worship and adoration of my Savior, the preaching of the Word, and the encouragement we could be to each other as fellow believers.

God wasn’t finished with me yet though, during this same period of difficulty with our church, God chose to give my mom breast cancer. This is where God really began to strip me of all that I help close in life for that feeling of security. I had been there for my grandmothers same diagnosis, but my mom’s diagnosis hit home much harder. Living with her, and seeing her endure that pain challenged my way of thinking in so many ways—not to mention my mom was the greatest example of how a godly woman should handle trial during that time. Through the pain and tears, and much heartache, these events were part God’s will for my life-- the process of pulling a luke-warm Christian back to Himself. Because I had begun to realize by now that God wanted to teach me and build me up through these trials—I began to get more into the Word. I read a lot of the book of Job, and I wanted to follow his righteous example, the book of James was encouraging to read during this time as well. I learned that I can only trust God and God alone in the uncertainty of our days here on earth.

James 1:2 says:
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
On in vs. 12 it says:
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

These times did pass, and God had His way in my heart. We began going to a new church for awhile, and after being there some time, we began a new study in our Sunday school that covered many basics of the gospel, and much to my surprise I had a lot to learn yet, and my eyes began to be opened again. Memorizing the word was encouraged there as well and molded into the lessons, and that helped me tremendously. Not that I hadn’t memorized God’s Word before, in fact, I memorized a lot of verses to “get to camp” through the BIM program at the first church we attended, but this time, I memorized God’s word with my WHOLE heart. I memorized with a purpose, and it stuck with me. Being able to recall those verses at certain times during the day was so much more encouraging to me.

God also used a certain new boyfriend(--now my husband!!) in my life shortly after we started dating. Even before we were dating however, Ben encouraged me to study the Word more and more, and gave me a book that turned my view of my salvation upside down! “Living the Cross Centered Life” by Cj Mahaney, put the cross, God’s wrath that SHOULD have been poured on me but instead was poured on His Son, and the perfect humble attitude of Christ into words that I needed to hear. My desire for seeing others come to Christ, my hunger for the Word, and my love for my Savior grew, and through accountability, a new discipleship partner and the fellow believers in the body of Christ, I continued to feel a more renewed spirit and an overwhelming thankfulness to God my Savior for taking a hopeless sinner like me out of the darkness and into the light!! What joy and peace I have! What blessings He has given me that I do not deserve!

After I started regularly attending REAL group I was even more challenged through the genuine love from that group, and the encouragement and accountability they gave me!

It was so good to be with other fellow believers who wanted to pursue godliness and challenge one another as well. This is what really influenced me to come to Beth Eden on Sunday mornings, and the expositional preaching of the word was sweet to my ears!

You all know that through all this my “boyfriend” eventually proposed, and since our wedding, he has been such a wonderful encouragement to me-- my personal pastor and best friend!

I look back now and I am sooo thankful for the entirety of God’s working in each step of my life until now.

I am aware now that my resulting action is to share the good news to everyone I know, especially to those whom I am with at my work or at school! Psalm 19:14 says, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer!”
A verse I read later in my favorite book of the bible, which has become a life pursuit for me, is this: “As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Phil. 1:20 –21

To God be the Glory!