This post is what most call a testimony of my life, when it truly began and what lead to me following Christ in salvation. A friend of my sister’s was called to post her’s on her blog and after reading it, I felt that God was pressing me to do the same. It’s not something I talk about much, as I am not yet comfortable with expressing this area of my life. I regard it as highly personal, but God calls us who believe to not hide His Word and His work but to share it with the world. On my current journey in Christ, I’m realizing this is a part of my spiritual life I need to work to overcome.
From my first memories as a child I remember being a part of a church. Along with my mom and sister, I was in church when the doors were open. We attended with my maternal grandparents and several relatives from my mom’s side of the family. I was raised as a Baptist. Looking back, I never questioned my mom or sister as to why my dad didn’t go to church with us. I just assumed some dads didn’t. All I knew was that my Papaw Carter was the godliest man I had, and probably will, ever know. As I grew and became more involved in the youth group, I was more focused on the social aspect rather than the purpose. I fit in somewhere, and was loved by a group of people who I knew as friends.
I was on a youth retreat with my two best friends at the time in Panama City Beach when I began to question what God was doing in my life. I felt like I had been an empty shell and that everything I had been doing was “playing at church.” I remember going to the youth pastor’s wife’s room and telling her that God was convicting my heart and her leading me in prayer at the foot of hotel bed. At that moment, I remember feeling a rush of joy and lightness, knowing I was now in God’s care and no one, or no thing, could take that away ever again.
For years following this I lived off and on for God, doing what I wanted at times, but ultimately confessing things and knowing God was convicting my sinful heart of how I was living my life. I was hurting Him because I was a born-again Christian who had turned her back on God. I was an angry Christian for many years. I blamed God for alot of issues in my life, that were actually the fault of my sinful ways and how I’d been living. I got resentful of what others had that I didn’t, and how others lived without any guilt (that I could visibly see) and I didn’t. I would beg God for forgiveness then five minutes later be back into the things of the world.
It took 12 very long years for me to realize how far I had strayed from God. I went through alot of really rough times, that most people don’t know about but God was right there with me, at times carrying me through without me realizing. December 2008 God made me realize I couldn’t continue with the way I had been living. I fell on my face with such shame thinking God could never forgive me and all the things I’d done. It was in that moment God embraced me once again with love and mercy. Without His mercy, I’m not sure where I’d be right now honestly. I was on a very slippery path that was leading me in the wrong direction.
I don’t want to sit here and say things are all roses now that I’m daily walking in God-because they’re not. That’s not how it works. God tests me, and I’ve failed several times and I’m sure I will many more times. But I know that now I lean upon Him for strength, comfort, love, and support knowing that He will faithfully do His work in me. I know that God’s got an amazing plan for me now, and He’s showing me little by little how He’s preparing me to do great things for Him. I look forward to reading my Bible daily, I love the church I attend, and the fellowship I have with other believers. God’s blessing me so much with His grace, mercy, and love. I have my bad days, and days that I pray for God to get me through because of temptation, but I know that if I boldly and faithfull ask in Jesus’s name believing He will do it, then He will.