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A Small Piece Of My Personal Testimony.

Yesterday, I received an unexpected message here on EP from someone who had seen some of my previous stories in this group and wanted to express their appreciation for the things that I'd written. Afterward, they shared their personal testimony with of how they came to know the Lord Jesus through Salvation. After reading it, I was so touched and inspired by the incredible grace, love and restoration that Jesus has brought to both of our lives.. and when they asked me to share my own conversion story, I began to write what at first, I was happy was in "private".. But after having finished it, I have decided that there are no parts of my testimony that I should ever be ashamed of.

What Jesus has done in my life has been nothing short of miraculous. "Hide it under a bushel?" No! :) So I have chosen to share it here, openly, with all who are interested in reading it. It isn't a life story.. but it is the gist of what has brought me to the place and person I am today, and the reason why I live every single day of my life with gratitude for my salvation and for my Savior. Christianity is not about perfect people -- it is about a broken, flawed, and lost humanity that Jesus loved enough to give His life for. I am but one of those people..

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,a to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." - Isaiah 61:1-3

My Personal Testimony:

I was born into a Christian home. My father was a pastor and I was fortunate to know about the Lord practically from the moment of birth. I was consecrated to the Lord as a baby and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior at the age of 5. I still remember how overwhelmed I felt to know that He loved me. I tangibly felt His presence, even at such a young age. My mom had helped me to pray the prayer of salvation and afterward, I crawled into my dad's lap to tell him the good news and we cried and prayed together that night. To this day, it was one of my best childhood memories.

Later on though, and to put it bluntly, I went prodigal. I internalized my unhappiness and it built up inside of me over time and resulted in an explosion of rebellion. I had been cheated on by my husband, lost a child, gone through a divorce, and I think I just decided that since I'd been a "good girl" all my life, I deserved better than what had happened to me. Being a "good person" hadn't worked to bring me the "happiness" I thought I was entitled to, so I was ready to just live life my own way, doing whatever made me happy, no matter who didn't like it and in spite of my Christian beliefs.

However, after a few years of that, I found myself at my lowest point and in a drug induced fog one morning, God reached out to me. I had a "vision" of His love for me. I saw myself standing in a dirty prison cell, covered in dust and mud, scrawny and miserable. And then I heard the Lord say to me, "Why have you let yourself become this way? Don't you realize you are royalty? Don't you see that you are my child.. the daughter of a King?" I broke at that moment. The prison doors flung open and for the first time in years, I felt free, loved and alive. And the even greater irony of the words the God spoke to my heart in the wee hours of that morning, is that my name actually does mean "Crowned One" or "Daughter of the King".

From that very day, I stopped my constant drinking and occasional drug use. I had thankfully never been addicted.. it was purely recreational for me, but I lost all interest in any of it at that point because I had made a strong connection that had instantly healed the void I'd been trying to fill with chemicals and alcohol. I had finally seen myself the way that my Father saw me. For about 3 years, I had avoided anything that reminded me of God, Church or Christians. Not because I was angry at Him or at them, but because I was ashamed of my own lifestyle. However, that night, God showed me His heart. I realized that He wasn't angry at me or quick to "judge" me at all for straying. Instead, He was heartbroken about it. He just.. missed me.

I'm in tears just remembering it.. but someone was open with me about their own conversion experience so I wanted to share mine openly as well. The failures of Christians, ourselves and others can have an impact on us and on the world around us. Everywhere we look, there will be a reason to doubt God or question His followers or His existence.. but not even that can prevent us from experiencing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we know the meaning of grace because we have fallen and were saved. Yet no matter how long we are believers, we may fall again. We almost certainly will. So take it from someone who knows it from first hand experience. Even when you run away from Jesus, He doesn't ever turn His back on you. Even if you hate Him, His heart aches whenever your heart aches. Even when you reject Him, His arms will always be open in your direction.. and even though others may do it time and time again, He will never kick you when you fall down. In fact, if you let Him, He will be the Hand that lifts you up again and turns the ashes of your pain into a beautiful testimony.

As I look back at my past, I thank God everyday for this simple fact: There really are no throw away people.. and Jesus really does love you -- just as you are.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
Intelligently Intelligently 31-35, F 19 Responses Apr 10, 2012

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And his father said to him, you I have had with me always, and all that I have is yours. But your brother was lost to me and he has returned.

God bless you.

Wonderful story! I am a Christian myself and grew up in a Christian church. Though I strayed away from my religion as a teenager and young adult, I completely changed my heart and my life around when I was at my lowest. God punished me for my sins in the past (consequences I live with today) which enabled me to cry out to God, turn to Him, and accept Him as my savior. All God wants us to do is to accept Him and obey his laws, the greatest gift of life!

Beautiful testimony, thanks for sharing. I can see by your words and knowledge of scripture that you're a powerful women of God, with much to offer this world. I pray that God richly blesses you and guides you into fulfilling His plan for your life

I'm surprised I haven't seen this yet, but later is better than never.

This is an amazing testimony, and it's amazing how Christ loves us so much. Like you, I experienced something similar in the midst of my divorce, only it was during a sermon one Sunday. The very subject was on the Kingdom of God and on that day (like you) I understood my place as a child of the King, who made me an joint-heir with Christ himself. That completely transformed my understanding of who I was, and who my brothers and sisters in Christ are along side me.

But the thing about your testimony that stands out to me is the fact that Christ isn't afraid to come to us in our sin-stained state and speak to us through his Spirit. He doesn't want us to be in that state, we are better than that. He intercedes on our behalf with the Father and wants our walk with him to be close, even though we constantly sin.

So thank you for sharing your testimony, it greatly encouraged me! God has a will for each of us, and it's greater than anything we could hope for! May the Lord bless you as you follow his leading :)

Yes, I think we all go prodigal growing up

Thanks for sharing this!

"For about 3 years, I had avoided anything that reminded me of God, Church or Christians. Not because I was angry at Him or at them, but because I was ashamed of my own lifestyle." I was exactly like that too for a few years... I know just what you mean. Thank the Father for never giving up on us and lifting us out of ourselves.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

Amen!

I do!

I started to read the Bible many years ago and feel like it helped me in some areas of my life. For one. It helped me get sober.. and that was awesome because I had been an alcoholic for serval years prior. Two> it taught me how to be a good person to others and that was awesome because I grew up around mean people and didnt know how to care for others. so it changed that in me and made me a much better person. So the Bible did a lot for me



But then there are other things about the christian life that do not make much sense to me or seem to be contradictions... and I also feel the Bible sometimes

imposes rules upon people to live buy that are not realistic or easy to live up to.



so I go back and forth with this > the Bible did me good with this and that > but I am not sure about the other stuff.



There are some good principals of goodness in the Bible that are really cool and I like to stick to them in my daily life. But there are other things that puzzle me or seem like fabrications or false promises or some sillyness or some kind of demand thrush upon people that seems unreasonable. So for me. I have this back and forth thing I go through. I wrestle with the whole thing quite a bit.



So inwardly I feel like I am a Christian > but not a traditional religious Christian.

The thing with the Bible is that people often take it out of context. Here is how I understand the Bible:

1.) The Old Testament contains the creation of the world and the history of Israel, the wisdom literature and the prophets. All the Old Testament was written chronologically between Genesis and Nehemiah, with the wisdom literature and prophets taking place during that time. According to Paul in the book of Romans, the Old Testament was written so we could learn from it. New Testament Christians are not under the Old Testament.

2.) The New Testament is what Christians are under. We are to follow the principles laid out in the New Testament because as Christians we have a new nature from being born again through the Holy Spirit and (as I can testify) we should have an internal desire to obey them. External rules can't create lasting change, only an internal transformation can do this. The Law was never meant to create this change, it was simply a measuring stick to show us that we can't meet God's standard of holiness. That is why Christ had to come, and he met the Law perfectly and died in our place on the cross of Calvary. In the Old Testament, all they had to do was believe the promises God made, now for those of us on this side of Calvary, we need to believe the gospel (the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) and confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That is when we receive the Holy Spirit and are born again. Only then can we have that inward desire because God gives it to us through his Spirit.

I hope this helps.

Thank you intelligently, for such an inspiring testimony. I have been a Christian since I was five but am having a really hard time. I have lost 2 loved ones in the last couple of years, one recently, and am very depressed. I have even thought about killing myself. I know that is not God's will, but it just seems like I would be so much better off with Jesus than in this horrible world. Please write me with any advice, and any other Christians on this sit too.

Hi Christianwoman. Reading your comment, I was reminded of a period of my own life that mirrors many of the difficulties you're going through now. I'm formulating a message to send you privately but wanted to thank you for your comment. You're in my prayers. I don't know the plans that God has for you, but I know that they are plans for your good and not for evil. Never forget this. As Joseph in the Bible proved, sometimes it is the very darkest moments of our lives that give birth to our brightest destiny.

Thank you intelligently. I look foward to your private message.

Thank you so much for your courage in sharing your story. It sounds like an echo of what I went through. So much of my life, I lived being a "good girl" and then one day tragedy struck. My christian friends turned their back on me...most of them, and I realized, "being the good christian" I was was not getting me the happiness I wanted. I turned my back on God for awhile, but it felt painfully, lonely and empty without God and when I got sick and tired of being a rebel, I realized that God was still there for me after all this while. One thing one can always count on is the warm loving arms of God when life feels cold and His putting the pieces of you back together again.

Hi Hannah! What a beautiful testimony you have, and yes, I can relate so much. For a long time, I was striving "in my own strength" to be a "good Christian". It wasn't until I completely destroyed everything good in my life that I finally and truly understood my relationship with the Lord. He didn't die for us because we were good enough, or could ever be good enough. He died for us because we could -never- be good enough in and of ourselves. Sometimes, it takes coming to a place of brokenness to understand that. I'm so grateful that the Lord loved us enough to reach out to us even in our darkest moments and bring us back to Him!

well i would show you my whole life that has been lived without God and show you that i've been compelled to change many a time and have not lived comfortably with and without god in my life. Well i am confused by what you claimed before, why do you think i found after thinking heaivly as i never said what i found at all lol. fact of the matter for me is that i found God to be lackign in every single way and that if he has been planning out everyone's lives then he has alot ot answer for and i dnot buy the answer that we can't know because we can't understand as wasn't it supposed to be, that when man ate from the tree of knowledge we became like Gods in knowledge, and in knowing good and evil and beyond all that and no longer being ignorant as we once was and all that was left aws the tree of life, immortality, to be truly like God.



therefore i contend that we would probrably understand him more than Angels would and going by this, none of his actions has made sense. a divien being that claims to care about all of us and loves all of us, yet punishes us for the sins of a few and had foreknowledge of such and willingly allows us to go to Hell. if Satan is somehow able to break Gods arm and force some of us to go to hell despite what God wants, then that just breaks the belief further as it futher shows that God isn't as powerful as it we're all led to believe and would have no need to worship him then. however if he is as powerful and omnipresent and aware of everytihng. then he knew of all that would happen, with the fall of man, and the rise of satan and he allowed it to happen. for a greater purpose? surely not, if there was some greater purpose that he was striving towards, i can think of a million better ways of going about it rather than it involving the suffering of millions upon millions of humans. this is all just what i think anyway. i hope that you can respect that. :) and sorry for rambling lol and if i caused offense.

Just briefly, you seem to have not taken into account that mankind had a new beginning starting from Noah.

You haven't offended me at all. You're not ashamed of your beliefs, and I'm not ashamed of mine. In fact, if I wasn't so sure of my beliefs, I certainly wouldn't bother laying out my faults publicly via stories like this one in order to possibly reach others who may be going through some of the same issues in their lives. One thing I have learned about God is that any kind of comparisons we attempt to make between Him and anything or anyone else is that He simply cannot be compared. There is no way to compare His ways to ours. There is no way to humanly comprehend His plans, His thoughts, or His divine will. He requires our faith and He leaves it to us to come to Him. I suppose the difference between myself and an agnostic would be that I reach out to others from a heart to see them discover healing, peace and eternal hope. Agnostics simply say "Your way is alright but that's not my way. We can just let bygones be bygones." You may be right though in saying that one can experience the love and presence of Almighty God and still decide to reject it at some point. Lucifer and a third of the angels in heaven did exactly that and they were holy angels. If they can do it, surely humanity can do it and does do it every single day. This is why I feel so incredibly grateful that God didn't let me live (or die) in my sin. I don't view Him as a spirit that exists to do my bidding if I pray the right prayer. That would be witchcraft. Instead, I see him as my rescuer, literally my "Savior", and it humbles me to understand His love for me despite the harm I've caused myself and others through selfishness. I choose God because He first chose me and I praise Him because He is worthy of that praise, no matter what any man may say. So far, I haven't encountered anything in my life better than His love.. better than Him and until I do, I'll likely go on sharing my testimony because I know that people are hurting and need to know that there is a better plan for their lives. So in closing, I'll quote a very apt portion of Scripture. :) "But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:15

I find this story really interesting. Whats more, i admire your courage in writing down your experinces, so often do people hate others for having different opinions and views, however despite my own being different from yours, i can admire you and respect your beliefs.



for me though, it is interesting, but the time that i felt the feelings you felt due to your belief in god, was when i actually stopped believing in God and turned my back upon him so to speak. there are times that i have tried to reconnect with my faith, however when i have it is short lived as i quickly feel that feeling of being trapped and being a prisoner and can't help but feel i give up something that is precious to me and an important part of who i am as a person. but thats just me.

The true freedom of salvation, and the moral of this story is actually the understanding that NOTHING I do can stop God from loving me. He never stopped loving me and it wasn't until I stopped "trying" to be good and truly understood the concept of divine grace that I was able to see myself not as a screw up or a throw away, but as a child of God. My own children could do their worst and it would never stop my love for them. If you haven't experienced God's love, that's why you feel trapped. Love is not a prison -- instead, it is the key that sets the prisoner free. When anyone (even Christians) try to serve God in their own strength, they end up feeling tired, worn out, and yes, "locked up" in a sense. True freedom in God is found in experiencing His love for us, even when we're our worst -- even if we never change. Love is what saves us.. not trying to "connect to faith". Religion, my friend, is not salvation. :)

It is diffcult to explain my situation, and to do so would probrably involve me having to explain the time from when i had faith, to when i lost it, to when i gained something new lol. and i am sure that it would be boring unless you want to hear it of course ;) but what i mean is that..i did find that love once, and it was good, but after a few days, questions upon questions came to me and i needed answers to the questions i had about God and there was nothing that satisfied them and i could not worship someone whom i couldn't trust was a benevolent figure. As well as this, i couldn't help but feel that i had lost something, given up my own strength in praying and accepting his love rather than drawing upon my own strength, drawing upon my own love. if there is a god however, i dont think i could ever reconnect with him or accept his love, due to a change in my thoughts of him after thinking about it heavily.

If man (any man, including you or I) could figure out God by "thinking on it heavily" then by definition, He couldn't possibly be God. That is to say, God (by definition) is beyond the scope of human comprehension.. so here is something for you to consider. What you found after thinking on it heavily was the antithesis of God. It was finite and incomparable to all or anything that is God. I pray that you do meet Jesus Christ in a personal and sincere way. Whether you realize it or not, He has a plan for your life, just as He has for mine. When we seek Him, He has promised to reveal Himself to us and with that in mind, one must wonder.. if you didn't find God on your search.. is He *really* the One you were looking? Or is it possible that you were merely looking for a reason to dismiss Him so that you could live comfortably without feeling compelled to change?

thank you so much for posting this. you don't know how much I appreciate it. Thanks a lot. . . ^_^

beautiful words of encouragement, one christian to another! i actually consider joyce meyers to be my spiritual mother on television...have you ever watched her? talk about bringing this angel back down to earth:) c

Joyce Meyer is the fulfillment of scripture as follows.
New International Version (©1984)
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

are u a fan of joyce meyers? just curious

Not a fan of any false teacher, male or female.

There are a lot of false prophets and false teachers on TBN. :( It grieves me so much.. and yet it validates and fulfills Bible Prophecy.

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Amen Intelligently, thanks for sharing ;-) I enjoyed your writing and I'm going to come back to it again. You hit on a few points that I think we all need to be reminded of now and again. I know I did. That were are each a child of Royalty, missed when we go astray ... so true yet I think few of us actually see it that way.



Thanks again! :-)

Always a plus when someone appreciates your work :)

I'm sorry, I don't understand. What work are you referring to?

Quote (you): Yesterday, I received an unexpected message here on EP from someone who had seen some of my previous stories in this group and wanted to express their appreciation for the things that I'd written.

Meaning the work you put into your words/stories was appreciated and someone took the time to tell you it was appreciated :)

thank you so much for posting this. i really needed to read this tonite ~ ( there is a reason you wrote this)~ God bless you dear........!!

amen

Reading this after all the dogma from those of the Roman Catholic religion is a breath of fresh air so soon after the Resurrection Sunday, would like someone like yourself to contribute more especially to assist the large number of teenagers that do post here,as you are aware these are dark times spiritually and the true light of the Gospel as you have experienced is life changing and needs to be made clear to anyone who will listen.

Thank you so much, churinga. I do feel as though so many people have lost sight of real relationship with Jesus as a result of all the "religious junk" that has taken place of that in their lives. Maybe I really should contribute more to this group.. now that I'm Facebook free, I have more time to do so. I hope you're well, and thank you for your [always welcome] input. :)

facebook is kind of phony! i only go on to play the fun games like CafeWorld....who has time to catch up on when friends go to the bathroom or brush their teeth? lol...i'm so happy 2 have found experience project online...do u feel the same way? c