Hi everyone :) I am really, really sorry I have not been able to post the last couple days like I promised! I had plans of posting every single day, but turns out God said differently! I will try to do another guest post week for you sometime in October to make up for it, God willing. Since I ran out of guest posts as of right now, I decided I'd share with you all my own testimony. Now, last year, I thought my testimony was weak, and useless. I thought that, because I didn't go through like deep depression or drugs or anything beforehand, no one would think it a drastic change or anything, and it would not be as important as someone else who fought suicide or something. I'm learning now that everyone's story is significant in its own way! If you think your testimony will never make a difference to anyone, you are WRONG! Excuse my bluntness, but seriously, your story matters!! God has brought you through a beautiful journey that is completely unique, and I promise you that someone will be able to relate to parts of your story! Don't be afraid to share. I hope He speaks to you through this. Love you all!
Like maybe some of you, I grew up in a Christian home (and am growing up in a Christian home still). When I was four, my mom took me aside and explained the gospel to me. She then asked if I believed it, and I said yes. That day, I became a Christian, and that is actually my earliest memory, which is pretty cool!
Well, I grew up just like any other kid, pretty much. I knew I was a Christian, and I tried to do what my parents told me do and tried to not do what they told me not to do, but this faith was not really my own.
When I was ten or eleven, I started doubting myself all the time. I told myself things like, I'm ugly, nobody cares about me, I'm stupid, I'll never be pretty or liked, I'm worthless, I'm not good enough…the list went on and on. I felt so alone and I was really unhappy and miserable, because I didn't know who I was. There were people who would constantly be yelling negative things at me all the time, telling me things that weren't true, but I believed it. I was really insecure and everything I did was in an effort to feel loved, to feel wanted and accepted. I remember standing in front of the mirror, staring at myself, wishing I was blonde, green-eyed, had a different name, and didn't need glasses (See Why Me? Parts 2 and 3 for more about this period of my life).
I just wanted to be noticed, because a lot of the time I was left on my own. Wherever I went, I was always on the outskirts, silent, alone, hopeless. I dug myself into a hole that I didn't know how to get out of. Believe it or not, I actually went a whole year wearing only skirts or dresses, and kept my hair up every single day of those 365 days (I even slept with it up!)! That was because I hoped that when I stopped and wore jeans or wore my hair down, I would get some attention at least. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? I have no idea why it even made sense to me at the time! But I was so lonely I would do anything. I also tried to become ambidextrous, hoping that that would bring me friends and attention. I just zoned in on whatever people told me and let them define me. I was chasing happiness and attention, and it wasn't filling me. It never lasted long.
And then one day about three years ago, I started reading my Bible daily and I came across inner beauty- being beautiful on the inside, and how what was in your heart was worth more than what you looked like. I learned about what God said about me, and how it doesn't matter what other people said about me. I learned that God thought I was beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made, worthy, loved, wanted, chosen, forgiven, redeemed…That was when my faith truly became my own, and I rededicated my life to Him one night. I remember crying out to Him, giving Him my everything, my all. I needed someone who would love me no matter what, and that was God.
Since then, I have felt this joy that is just so big I can't keep it in me. In James 5 it says, "Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises." and if you know me, you know I never stop singing! But that's because the JOY OF THE LORD is inside of me and I have to share it with someone! I have felt joy, peace, love, I have heard His voice- He is real! I have experienced Him personally! Becoming a Christian is the absolute best decision I have ever made. I no longer think all those negative things about myself quite as much (I'm not perfect!), because I know what GOD says about me.
And because of everything He's done for me, I want to give Him my EVERYTHING back and do anything and everything I can do share the gospel with others and share His love, because I know what it's like to be on the other side. I know what it's like to be hurting, without hope, and I don't want anyone else to feel that way. And anything good you see in me is ALL GOD working in me- I am just as messed up as anyone else! And if He can use someone like me to touch people's lives, He can certainly use you, no matter how far gone you think you are. Please, please, just run to Him. It'll change your life forever, help you see in MUCH clearer lenses, and fill you with the JOY of the LORD.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."