A place of writing and reflection…
This week’s Testimony comes from a new friend, Faith. Her story is one of miraculous change, healing, and forgiveness. I pray her testimony touches you as getting to know her has touched me. It’s a wonderful reminder of how God takes brokenness, and brings us to a place of restoration when we are willing to let Him work in us.
My testimony is something I have gone back and forth with on writing.
On one hand, I feel there may be someone out there who would benefit from reading my testimony. On the other hand, this is going to be hard for me to come out with the decisions I made when I was younger. Either way, I will write what God calls me to say, nothing more, nothing less.
I was raised in a Christian home, where we went to church every Sunday, and we attended a Christian school as well. My parents were loving, attentive to my needs, and always wanting the best for my sisters and I. We were a close family, vacationing together, going on trips to support my sister’s activities, and as we got older my mother home schooled us because of the lack of good education in our area.
When I turned 14 years old, it was time; I wanted to go to high school.
My mom and dad agreed I could begin in the next semester, and there I was, happy as could be that I could spend time with my new boyfriend at school too! I was in a relationship with this boyfriend for about seven months, and only three months in felt like an eternity. I was head over heals for him, he was “the one”.
Or should I say, the one of many.
From this relationship on, I journeyed on a long road of heartbreak and bad decisions, almost as if the domino effect was in motion the moment I lost my virginity.
My next boyfriend smoked cigarettes and drank, and desperately tried to keep me away from his bad habits. One day, I stole a cigarette from him, and he caught me. He was upset and refused to buy me cigarettes because he was 18 and I was just 15. My next boyfriend was even more of a bad boy, he smoked cigarettes, weed, and he drank. I wasn’t thrilled about him smoking weed, in fact I begged him to quit. If he loved me he would quit! Then to “show him“, I smoked. I knew that would bother him, which is exactly why I did it. He would “see” that his behavior rubbed off on me, and then maybe he would change.
Wrong, again. We dated for about a year before he decided he would join the military, and after he left me I began my downward spiral to once again “show him” I didn’t need him.
Smoking weed only led to partying more often, getting wasted every weekend to the point of throwing up and later that week thinking, “Hey last weekend was amazing, let’s do it again!” The more I partied, the more I got into doing different drugs. I did cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. “Crystal” was my drug of choice.
The first time I did crystal, I was so stoned I could barely stay awake for my friends’ birthday party, so she lined up some meth for me.
After that, it was this monster inside me that always wanted to be fed and it always cried for more. I always said I could quit if I wanted, which I believe is what every addict says. I really thought I was in control of the uncontrollable. The more I did crystal, the more vindictive I became. I didn’t care if my actions hurt someone else, it pleased me, and that was all that mattered.
I began dating my dealer, and he was 10 years older than me, at 16 years old, probably wasn’t the best choice. Not only was he my dealer, but he was married, and had two children. He told me over and over that he was leaving his wife for me. I waited for him for a year, and finally he left her for me. We dated an additional two years, before I realized this man was just as much of a wreck as I was, and it was time to move on. I felt like I hadn’t slept for the almost three years I was doing crystal, and I needed a break from it all. I broke up with him, and decided I would never do crystal again.
The partying didn’t stop there by any means, just because I had left one drug behind, didn’t mean I didn’t replace it with another.
Alcohol was the next one to take my life by storm, and it lead me down to making more poor decisions where I thought I was doing what I wanted, and that was good enough for me.
I was 20, and I began dating another man, and we weren’t dating for longer than three months before I went for my checkup and heard terrifying news. I was pregnant. I cried and couldn’t believe “this” was happening to me. I didn’t want his baby. I continued to drink excessively and pray that it would make the positive test just go away. But it didn’t. My friend made an appointment for me to have the pregnancy terminated. While I was pregnant, I received word that my own sister, had slept with the man who got me pregnant. I was in shock because we were trying to make our relationship last despite my moving to a new city. I was so angry with her for her betrayal during this extremely difficult time.
I grieved for months over the loss of the pregnancy, and the loss of my relationship with my sister. I prayed for forgiveness, but never truly felt forgiven. I was a prisoner to the decision I made, and it would be the main reason I would lash out against others. No one understood what I went through, and no one could tell me everything would be ok, because from here on out, nothing was ok.
I became numb to my actions and continued to tell the bottle I needed its anesthesia in my veins to comfort my lonely insides.
After another series of bad decisions, I decided to make the move, and begin school for the career I knew I was born to do. As soon as I moved for school, I received word that a man I dated right before I moved was killed in a motorcycle accident. I was devastated. I began to take my problems back to alcohol again and for the first few months of school, I was a wreck. I couldn’t shake the fact that I had lost someone close to me in my life. I began acting out again, and once again found myself in the same predicament I had three years earlier I was pregnant again.
I was so numb, I did the unthinkable yet again, and this time I felt ok with my decision.
My justification was, “it was right for me” and once again “I don’t want his baby“, a lie that would haunt me for years to come.
Shortly after this abortion, I reconnected with a man I had dated previously, and we dated long distance for about a year. I still drank, trying to bury my head in the bottle some more, hoping for healing, or more numbness, whichever came first. After a year of dating, we moved in together, and I knew I wanted to marry him. He knew my whole life, and loved me regardless of the decisions I made in the past. I love that about him, no matter what I did, he has never judged me.
During this time, I had my hormones tested for any irregularities. Sure enough, I found out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
My whole life began to make a little more sense, the depression, anxiety, irregular and painful periods now explained quite a bit to me. At that point I was told I might not be able to conceive again. What did I do?
The man I was dating and I were together for a year and a half before I got news once again I was pregnant.
At that moment, I cried tears of joy, and had a smile from ear to ear. I prayed that if I could get pregnant again I would do it differently, and I would be the best parent I possibly could to my baby. The pregnancy brought up many different emotions because I had never carried a baby past seven weeks; I was so scared this baby would be taken from me because of my past decisions to terminate two pregnancies.
She wasn’t taken though, she was healthy, and she was mine. She was beautiful, and I didn’t want her to experience any of the pain in this life that I had because of choosing to follow the ways of the world.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child, that my husband and I got married. We struggled getting along, and I felt like I was being punished for having a child out of wedlock. We argued so much, about everything, and I had nowhere to turn. I began to drink again, never to the point that I used to, but just enough to “take the edge off“, and help me calm the anxiety that came with our fights.
As cheesy as it sounds, I was watching The Bible Series, and my eyes were opened.
It was all so obvious how sinful I was, and what I had become. I fell to my knees, begging Him for forgiveness. I needed my Savior, my King, my God to pick up my drunken, adulterous, angry, selfish, murderous, lost, beaten down self up off the floor. This was not what God intended for my life.
Who am I?
I looked in the mirror and could barely recognize myself.
I was weathered through the trials in my life and my relationships, and I felt the Lord pull me close and for the first time I understood what it meant for Jesus to die for me. The entire time I was thinking I was not that bad, I really was, and then some! All the wrath that I deserved for all the terrible things I had done, was taken out on Him; He died for me.
That was a moment in my life I will never forget.
I was immediately baptized and felt the Holy Spirit navigating His way in my life.
No longer did I turn to alcohol to comfort me. My God’s embrace was enough.
From age 14-26 I prayed, “Please Lord, forgive me for giving myself away outside of marriage. Please help me stop smoking weed, crystal, and doing cocaine. Please help me stop using profanity. Please save me from my constant drunkenness. Please forgive me for having two abortions. Please forgive me for sleeping around. Help me stop hating my sister for her actions. Heal me God! Help me! Get me out of what I am doing.”
God answers prayers.
Maybe not at that moment you are praying them, and not every prayer, but He does answer them.
I am now 30 years old, and profanity is no longer a part of my every day language. I no longer drink to cope with life. I don’t smoke weed, or smoke crystal meth, or snort cocaine. He has healed relationships in my life I never dreamed were possible. Instead of trying to do all this on my own, over time He was helping me and molding me just as He wanted me to be.
All the glory of my transformation goes to Him and Him only. I can’t take credit for anything other than choosing to follow darkness instead of Him. He rescued me.
My husband and I are learning to be kind to each other, and put the others’ needs above our own. Believe me it’s not easy, but without Christ in our lives this would be near impossible.
My God is the only one who truly was with me in every darkest moments of my life. The days I thought I couldn’t go on because battling depression, He was there. I love Him so much for pulling me out of the dark, out of so much pain, and loving me.
I have since forgiven my sister, and we are in the process of rebuilding our relationship. I thought it would be so difficult, but honestly, God has taken my anger from me, and I no longer feel anger towards her.
When my kids are a little older, I want to be able to counsel women with unwanted pregnancies. I believe my reasoning for having abortions was because I was scared. Scared my whole life would change and I would disappoint my parents most. I can’t let a young girl make that decision without fully knowing the consequences. I can’t sit by quietly as women are told they have “a right” to kill a human being because it is their body. I believed that is the lie that the father of lies whispered in my ear. It was everything I needed to hear to justify my choice and I ended up carrying out his evil plan against my poor precious children. I know they are with my Father in Heaven, and I know one day I will get to see them.
Until then, all I can do is be there for another girl who may have the devil whispering sweet sounding words in her ear.
Copyright The Faithbook 2014
Image stock photos curtesy of sxc.hu