Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Abridged Testimony

Today I had an assignment due in my Missions, Evangelism, and Discipleship class. I had to write a 2-page paper on my personal testimony of how I came to know Jesus as my Savior. I decided to go ahead and share my paper on my blog as well. In reality, I could write a whole book on God's work in my life. So this blog post is really my super abridged testimony.

My Life Before Christ

When I was six years old, I sat in my living room with my parents and asked them questions about Jesus, heaven, hell, etc. That day, I prayed to “accept Jesus into my heart.” To be very honest, I do not remember that conversation. I only know about it because my parents have told me about it. I do remember getting baptized by my dad shortly after that conversation though. The only evidence I have that I truly knew Christ at that age is that I remember thinking rude thoughts, and disrespecting my parents, and having convictions about how wrong those were.

When I was eight years old,
I had just moved from Dallas to Houston. My dad and I were living in an apartment while my mom was still living in Dallas waiting for the house to sell. That year was very rough for me because I was away from my mom for several months at a time, and it was the first (and last!) year I had ever attended a public school (I had always gone to a private Christian school). One day, by myself in my room, I thought to myself, “I really don’t want to go to hell. How do I know I’m not going there?” The idea of hell became extremely real to me at that moment. I prayed over and over again that the Lord would save me from an eternity of hell so that I could live in heaven when I die.

To this day, I have no idea of the exact moment I came to know Christ. At such young ages, I was more concerned about being a kid than knowing God. But at that time, my parents had a really rough marriage. I remember as a kid I would be so angry at my parents for the hurts going on. Being so young, I did not fully comprehend the struggles my parents went through, but I was very aware that they were going through struggles. I believe that on multiple occasions my little family of three almost fell apart. And because of that, I was driven to prayer a lot. But I did not realize the greater impact of my faith until I became a preteen.

How I Came to Christ (Or How my Faith Became Real)

I believe God works in my life in slow processes (sometimes excruciatingly slow). So although I do not know the exact moment I came to know Jesus, I know that He knows that moment.  He has allowed me to remember the first years of pursuit that originally drew me to him.

When I was about ten or eleven years old, my faith became real to me. By “real” I mean my own, not just a belief I inherited from my parents or believed because my friends did. It was at that age I became more receptive to personal convictions from and talking with the Lord. I was not very good at making friends at that age. That loneliness drove me to seek time with the Lord. Although I was lacking in friendships, I realized that I actually had a friendship with my Savior for eternity.  

My family struggles also caused me to draw nearer to God. He convicted me of my role in my family. Although I could not heal the hurts in my family, I could love them the same way God loves me. He convicted me to love and respect my parents and to daily pray for them. I did not exactly follow these convictions as much as I should have. In fact, I failed at them a lot more than I succeeded. But I came to know Christ in my family’s struggles and heartaches.

My Life Since I Came to Christ

The biggest blessing since I have come to know Christ is the incredible healing He has done in my family. Through my family’s ups and downs, God has given me a great relationship with my parents. Seeing the slow process in which he heals causes me to love Him even more. In fact, he blessed me with such a good relationship with them that I was able to trust them when I fell into temptations.

When I fell into sexual sin, my life was wrecked. I was ostracized by my best friends and my church. That sin left me in the deepest pit of loneliness. For over a year, I struggled with the worst depression I had ever endured. For a while, I felt abandoned by God because of my sin. But the Lord proved so faithful to me and reminded me that even in my sin, He sent Jesus to die for me. He rescued me out of the habit of that sin and provided me with healing from it.

Since I have come to know Christ, I have had a passion to tell others of the healing they can receive. My desire is for a deeper relationship with my God and to tell others, especially the broken-hearted, about the love of God.  

Since I came to know Christ at a young age, the majority of my testimony of God's work in my life is really after I came to know Him.