Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12As a teenager, I longed for something that was missing in my life. I grew up in a home where fighting and fussing was prevalent. My parents separated when I was thirteen. The time I needed guidance the most was when I was left to tend to myself. Life was bitter and unpleasant. Depression flooded my soul and I could not overcome it. I felt such a heavy weight set upon me that I didn't know what to do. I was overwhelmed at school and spent a lot of my time with the counselor. I couldn't concentrate on my schoolwork or social life. I cried almost every day. It felt like a war was going on inside my body and there was no one to turn to for help. Everyone thought I was going crazy, including me.
All of the dreams that I had lived for had shattered. I reached a
point of utter hopelessness. The things in life that had once given me
joy now only left me longing for something more. I really didn't see
the point of living. I felt like I had no family to turn to and my friends were nothing but troublemakers. I'd come home late at night hoping for correction, some sign that my dad still cared, but he never even acknowledged my presence. I can see now that dad was hurting so badly from losing his wife that he forgot to consider my feelings in losing a mother.
I was looking for a way out of my troubled state, so I decided to
visit my mom across the country. My dad was so upset he wasn't even home to tell me goodbye. I was only supposed to go for a visit, but, in the end, I never returned home to my dad or my life thousands of miles away. I went from not having a mom to not having anything to do with my dad. I couldn't have it both ways; those days were long gone. I envied teenagers who lived with both parents in what seemed like a perfect life.
My life was anything but perfect.
I stayed with people who openly cursed God, which didn't bother me at the time because I wasn't saved. They were also drug addicts and drunks. My state of being appeared to be getting worse. My mom spent most of her money on drugs; so much so that we went without the necessities of life. Due to the bills not being paid, we were forced to leave the trailer we called home. During this time, my brother saw me reading the Bible and dared me to go to church with my grandma. I couldn't refuse a dare, so I went one Sunday. I really didn't like it but I kept going because there was something different about the people, something I wasn't used to.
One Sunday evening, I acknowledged my lost condition. I finally saw myself lost without God. I received Christ as my Savior that night and perfect peace flooded my soul. That peace was what I had been longing for ever since I could remember. When I got home from church, I told my family what had happened and they actually thought I had gone crazy. They began to ridicule me. If I thought life was hard before I got saved, I was mistaken; it only got worse. My family made life difficult for me but Christ was right beside me in all of the trials, making them bearable. All around me was turmoil, but, in my soul, I had joy which surpasses all understanding.
There was a heavy burden placed on my heart for my lost family
members. I tried to tell them about God but it seemed to no avail.
Every night before I went to bed I would hug my mom for what seemed like twenty minutes and tell her goodnight, making the process as drawn out as I could. I was so scared she would die during the night and go to Hell. I remember many nights when she'd be out partying, leaving me home wondering if she'd make it home alive. Her drug friends would bang on my window in the middle of the night looking for different things. One time when I came home from school, one of her friends was sitting on our couch alone.
God's grace has always been sufficient for me. He has brought me
through so much which enabled me to trust Him more. I can honestly say that in spite of all of the trials, my life has truly been better since I got saved. God's been so good to me. I have seen many things in opposition to God and I have also seen God's miraculous ways of bringing people to Him. He's saved my mom, sister, and niece. I thought my mom was unreachable, but God is able to save even those who look hopeless.
When I was in the youth group as a teenager, we had to memorize Bible verses and tell them to our parents. This was a way to bring the Bible to my mom without her even realizing it. The Bible verses gripped her heart and she wanted to read more. One day she surprised me by coming to church and she fell under conviction and received Christ as her Savior. Life soon became sweeter with a Christian for a mom, but we still lived with her husband who is without Christ. I still have a lot of family members who are lost and seemingly hopeless, but I'm not going to lose faith in God. He has shown me how powerful he is and I'll never lose hope that He'll bring them into His saving grace.
I want to thank God for being so present in my life. He's been so good to me. I want to serve him as long as I have breath. I've wasted many precious years in the world, but I want to live many more for God.
I am a born-again child of God. I have been saved for 12 years and God has been so good to me. I've been blessed with a wonderful husband who loves the Lord. And God has blessed us with a precious daughter who will be two in a few months, and a sweet son who is seven months. I love my life and thank God for it.
If you would like to share your testimony, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can leave a message or comment on our Facebook page. I look forward to hearing how God has changed your life!