Note on 8/13/2021: Satan discouraged me and I took my testimony down for a time. Just a while ago, Jesus showed me that He wants my testimony to be up again. I have edited some things and so this post is slightly different than the testimony I originally posted back in May, but everything I have shared here is my true experience. I know that Satan hates my testimony and me. He knows that God is powerful and He doesn’t want me to proclaim this, but I declare that Jesus saved me from the abyss of sin and that He is continuing to save me from it. Oh! How I love Jesus!
Hello everyone. 🙂
Today, I will be sharing my personal testimony of how I met Jesus and what my journey with Him has been so far. I hope that this blog post will be a blessing to many.
I was blessed to grow up in a stable home with a loving mother and father who have always had a loving, committed marriage and who have always been committed to their children and to God. My parents were not, and still are not, nominal Christians. They have always taken their faith seriously and they have instilled in me some wonderful values. The faith that they have followed has always been a love filled faith. God was never made to look scary and mean, but we were taught that He had high standards. I was raised in a home in which our faith controlled every aspect of our lives. Although I definitely didn’t have a perfect childhood, I truly had a blessed childhood, and am grateful for the good start I have had in life.
I wish I could say that the good influences around me led me to be committed to God throughout my whole childhood, but sadly, this is not true. Despite being sheltered from bad influences, there were seasons throughout my childhood when I did not even really try to honor God. I would be aware that I was not following God, but wouldn’t be bothered enough to change course.
The first time that I remember giving my heart to God was at the tender age of 7. I was inspired by the love for God that some adults at my church expressed during prayer meeting. I knew that I didn’t have this love for God, and I wanted it. I asked God to help me to feel a love for Him. He answered. I became convicted of a sin that I had been hiding from my parents and I told my mother about it and changed course. As I recall, I became more invested in my personal devotions and I truly loved God.
I wish that I could say that this loving relationship with God lasted ever after-but it didn’t. By the time I was 11, I was in a very dark place spiritually. I had an unhealthy obsession over something that very much separated me from God. Also, that year, I became germaphobic and I struggled with another maladaptive behavior as well. How red and charred my hands were! Others noticed, but I didn’t tell them why they were like this.
I was in rebellion towards God. I knew that I wasn’t following Him, and I made little efforts, at best, to do so. Even so, God mercifully found me one night, when I was in the midst of my maladaptive germaphobic and other issue behaviors. Of course, my maladaptive behaviors only hurt me, but I was powerless to heal myself and wasn’t even seeking help. God spoke to me that night-not in an audible voice, but with a very strong impression: “You don’t want to do this, do you?” “No,” I thought. “Then, stay in bed”. Terror seized me. My irrational fears were putting up strong resistance, but I did want to be free. I mustered up my will power and stayed in bed. Two maladaptive behaviors were conquered that night, and they have never come back in this fashion. This experience was truly a miracle of God. God sought me at a time when I was not seeking Him and He set me free from fears that were only hurting me. I love Him so much.
Even so, the unhealthy obsession was not cast off. I remember hearing a convicting sermon about Jesus’ soon coming. This sermon instilled fear in me, and I told the person whom I talked about wrong things with that we would “adapt. I don’t think that these “adaptations” lasted very long. Friends, you can’t play with sin. You can’t adapt your sinful lifestyle. Sin is sin and sin kills the soul.
At age 12, God shook me up through a startling, vivid dream. When I woke up, God impressed me with the grave seriousness of my sinful ways and also gave me comfort, hope and direction from His word. I told the person that I had been talking about wrong things with that I was not going to do this anymore. The other person was in full agreement that we stop what we were doing, and praise God- we did.
That year was a difficult one for me. My addiction to my obsession was a strong one. I had to pray earnestly and claim Bible promises consistently. Also, that year, I went through some very intense spiritual warfare.
The devil is not fake. He is very real and he is extremely selfish, wicked, intelligent and evil. No one may convince me otherwise. Although I have never seen him, I have certainly heard his silent oppressive thoughts in my mind. I have personally felt his dark, evil, intimidating and persistent presence. Every time when I have obtained victory from God, I have felt so much more peace and so much more love. The devil charms and harasses people-depending on which option suits his purposes better. He steps up his game when we are seeking God. Don’t play with the devil, everyone. Don’t play with him and don’t reason with him either. Cry out to God, and He WILL deliver you.
During my pre-teens and throughout my teens, some things happened which intensified my fear of healthy and intimate relationships with others. I didn’t feel comfortable being close to people and I didn’t know what I was missing. I felt comfortable in crowds because I could hide in them and be more anonymous, but I experienced a level of discomfort in small group settings where it was harder to hide. I was a friendly, social person, but saying the words “I love you” to anyone became very difficult. Through it all, God was my rock and my Best Friend. I didn’t trust anyone as much as I trusted Him. For the 3 years leading up to my wrist issues which began at age 15, I was an avid lover of my prayer journals. To this day, some of my sweetest memories are of the times when I was prayer journaling frequently (I still do, although not nearly as much. This being said, I still have an active, intimate prayer life with my loving God). I was so, so honest with God and I opened up to Him on a deep, intimate level. He knew me and I knew Him (and this is still true). This period in my life is a period which proves to me without a shadow of a doubt that God is real and that He is interested in all of us.
Fast-forwarding to my mid-teens. .. These were the years when I struggled with depression and an eating disorder and found God’s sweet deliverance from both issues. These were also the years when I developed the health issues that led to my diagnosis of Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome at age 17. These were difficult years, but God stayed by my side and He taught me some very valuable lessons about Himself. He showed me that I could hang on to Him even during trials.
Fast-forwarding to age 19…I was now a college student, becoming more productive after several difficult years, health wise, and seeking to move along in life. I was also filled with spiritual insecurities. I was committed to God, but there was still an area in my life in which I struggled to trust God fully. I had some intensely difficult seasons of deep spiritual insecurity and I didn’t always make the decisions that God may have wanted me to make. Even so, God was very merciful to me.
My college experienced spanned two different schools. It was during my time at the second school when God grew my understanding of Him, and of Christianity in general, by leaps and bounds. I would kindly ask that you all read the section of my testimony that can be found in this blog-post (you don’t have to read the whole post, but are certainly welcome to do so). What you will read here is what I currently consider to be the most pivotal part of my walk with God. I love Him so much!
As mentioned in this blog-post, I was re-baptized in October of 2019 (blog-post I wrote on this wonderful experience). My re-baptism day is one of the most memorable days of my life. I have no regrets for this wonderful decision that God helped me to make.
I would like to now fast-forward to the experiences I have had with God over the past many months. I was enjoying such a sweet, tender relationship with God. I was basking in His love and was so grateful for what He had done for me-and then God saw that I was ready for a refining trial.
For a time, Satan and Jesus played a violent tug of war over my soul. Satan was trying to convince me that it would only take the right circumstance and then I would have no ability to choose God, and yet I was horrified at this thought. God is the One who was my closest friend when some of my closest relationships were strained. He is the One who delivered me from horrible, terrifying anxieties, from depression and from an eating disorder. He is the One who has helped me to hang on through the ups and downs that Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome has sent my way. God is the One who gives me the power to be the victor over, instead of the the slave of, my own desires and impulses. He is my source of peace and sanity. Where would I be without Him?! I couldn’t leave Him. I wouldn’t leave Him.
Jesus fought back against Satan and I gave Him my consent to prevail…and He did so. He began to reveal to me the beauties of self sacrificing love and I saw the importance of this kind of love as never before. He also allowed me to become aware of a ministry called “The Voice of the Martyrs”. Through this ministry, I saw the goodness of God and the power of His self-sacrificing love as never before. I saw that people who have been through horrendous experiences for their faith in God have still been able to come out on the other side trusting and loving Him-in a deeper way than they had before. Through this ministry, I heard the testimony of Dan Baumann, and some of the the things he said come to my mind fairly often.
Mr. Baumann was imprisoned for his faith and suffered tremendously. However, he is still in love with Jesus now! I would argue that he is more in love with Jesus now than he was before being imprisoned! Mr. Baumann has written a book on his experience.
Note: For those with significant emotional struggles, I would offer a word of caution. This is a traumatic account. Also, I will not earn anything if you choose to buy Mr. Baumann’s book.
The biggest lie that God has defeated in my mind is the lie that if terrible struggles and disappointments come, we will not be able to choose God. Oh, no. As long as we have sanity, we can choose, and if we loose our sanity, God will, in His great mercy, remember what our last sane choices were and He will determine our destinies by this. If Jesus could choose the will of God the Father while in Gethsemane, and if so many people have and are choosing to risk their personal safety-even their lives, because of their deep love for Jesus, we can, by the grace of and through the power of God, choose Jesus under all circumstances.
We don’t have to be the victim of disappointments, unanswered questions and deep hurts. Trauma doesn’t have the power to automatically sever us from a loving relationship with God unless we give it permission to.
Note: There are people who may look like they have left God who really haven’t: they have only left the false picture of God that was all they knew.
I have seen how Job in the Bible never lost his connection with God even after loosing his possessions, all of his children and his own health…even after his wife told him to curse God and die. I have heard of too many examples of ordinary human beings who have been so in love with Jesus and have allowed Him to so sustain them that they would go to prison for Him, be ridiculed for Him, be disowned by family for Him, have their limbs amputated for His sake and even lay down their lives for Him. No. Trauma cannot destroy our loving relationships with Jesus unless we let go of His loving, strong and tender hands.
Another thing that God has done for me is to show me that the price of leaving Him is too costly. One thing that I have noticed is that when we leave God, we loose our nobility. We no longer live pure, clean lives. We debase ourselves and this is so sad to see. Whenever any of us are not living as children of God, we will automatically live as servants of ourselves. All of our love will be selfishly motivated.
“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.” Luke 6:32-34 (KJV)
” And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3 (NKJV)
Now, someone may be saying, “but I know non-Christian people who reveal true love in their lives.” God recognizes that there are people who haven’t had the opportunity to know Him for Who He Is who live up to all of the good that they know.
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another…” Romans 2:13-15 (KJV).
Note: The “Gentiles” referred to in these verses are non-Christians. Also, God’s law teaches us to love each other. I think that this verse beautifully sums up what God’s law is all about:
“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith…” 1 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV).
Only God can help us to love as He loves. I want to love like God loves, which leads me to another reason why I will not allow the devil to snatch me out of God’s hands. If any of us leave God, we will not have the ability to love others to the degree that we ought to and are privileged to. We simply won’t have the ability to do so. We will always love ourselves more-no matter how much we love anyone.
This was Jesus’ unselfish prayer for us. “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:19 (KJV).
Many times, when the devil tries to overwhelm me so much that I feel myself drifting away from God, I remind myself of my friends, I believe that God will help any of us when we pray that God will help us so that we can be a blessing to others. We have no strength to live for God on our own, but through His power, we can all do so.
“For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7 (KJV)
The reason why Jesus didn’t fail to fulfill His mission on earth- even though the devil tormented Him beyond measure in Gethsemane and even when one of His closest disciples denied Him while He was on His way to the cross, was because He was thinking about all of us: all of the people who have ever lived, who currently live and who are yet to live. His love for us was so strong and so selfless, that He clung to God the Father with all of His might and He went to the terrible cross and paid the penalty for the sins of the world.
I now know without a shadow of a doubt that following God is the right decision to make, that no circumstance is an automatic switch that turns off our relationships with God, and that we can allow God to make us more and more like Him for all of our friends’ sakes. We can live to love our fellow human beings to the maximum degree possible.
May God continue to grow all of us. I want the kind of love that Jesus has: the kind of love that is expressed so beautifully in this song.
I want to close this blog-post with the following appeal copied and pasted from this blog-post:
“…I invite you to just come to Him as you are, as I have. You may feel scared and ashamed, but Jesus’ arms are open to you. He will not refuse you if you come. He promises not to cast you out if you come (John 6:37). He promises to give you rest if you will come (Matthew 11:28-30). He promises to forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
If you don’t know how to pray, that is okay. Here is a sample prayer that you can use, but it is okay and right for you to talk to Jesus as you would respectfully talk to a close friend.
I want to know You. I know that I am a sinner and I ask Your forgiveness for my sins. Please give me a new heart and help me to be like You. Please help me to know You.
In Jesus Name Amen
I promise you that Jesus will hear your prayer, and that He will help you.
God says that He loves you (Jeremiah 31:3). He says that He wants to save you and that He can save you (John 3:16). He says that He has created you for His glory (Isaiah 43:7). He says that even when you have messed up, He still wants to sanctify Himself before those who have seen your messes, by living out His holy life through you. This will happen as He changes your heart (Ezekiel 36: 23-27). God says that there will be people from every people group in heaven (Revelation 5:9-10). I welcome you to hold your head high in humble humility. You have the privilege of believing what God says about you… and ultimately…. what He says about you is what really matters.
Blessings and courage. “
I quoted 1 Corinthians 13:3 and 1 Timothy 1:5 from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.