Here is my story......
It has always intrigued me that my name means “worthy of love” because for the majority of my life, I never felt that I was worthy of being loved. I don’t feel that it is necessary to dwell on the reasons why I felt that way, because the ‘why’ doesn’t matter, the fact is, I felt as though I was of very little worth to anyone and that I served no purpose in life.
For most of my life, I had a strong addiction to pleasing people and that addiction caused me to do many things over the years that I am not very proud of. I would literally do anything, no matter the consequences, for anyone if I thought they would ‘like’ me for it. Drugs, sex, lying, the list goes on and on. I felt so terrible about myself and to feel better, I fed off of the attention I got from others although 99% of the time it was negative attention.
I wouldn’t consider myself as a child that grew up in church. I visited church with my grandmother, my family would go occasionally, and I went every so often with my biological father but nothing consistent and I didn’t get much out of it when I went. My main reason for visiting churches was to meet boys or hang out with my friends. My first kiss took place at a church and I went on retreats as a teenager not for purposes of the Lord but to hang out and feed off of the attention I would receive from the boys there. At 16, visiting church with a friend, I felt a strong tugging at my heart during an altar call. I went up front, prayed and thought I was saved. I say ‘thought I was saved’ because I went right back out and did the same old junk I did as before I went up to the altar.
I was on a fast paced track of destruction most of my teenage life. I look back now and know without a doubt that even though I was running from God, He was chasing after me and protecting me from so many bad things. I have seen things and been places and I often wonder how I made it out alive and the only answer I have for that is that God protected me even though I was wallowing in sinful ways.
I became pregnant at 19. That was a pivotal point in my life and in my walk to the Lord. Even though I was not married, God saved me through blessing me with a child. He saved me because He gave me something to live for and to love. I may have not loved myself but I definitely loved my son so that gave me the push I needed to make better choices and gave me a better outlook on life.
My husband & I were married shortly after our son’s first birthday. I wish I could say that we lived happily ever after from that point but sadly it did not begin that way. I would say that life went from bad to worse. Although, after my son was born, I gave my life to the Lord, I still was unable to see myself through God’s eyes but still through my own eyes and I was still as unworthy as before. Our marriage for the first couple of years was a nightmare and we were both very unhappy. We both considered divorce at different points during that time and there were things that we both needed to change but we were too busy pointing out the wrong in the other one to even realize the wrong we were doing ourselves.
During all of this turmoil, we found out we were expecting our second child. Although, I was very excited to be a mother again, all I could think of was being a single mom with two children now instead of one. I was not excited to bring another child into this unpleasant situation that we were living in. There was a point during my pregnancy that the Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and we, as a family, started attending church regularly.
Through doing this, many strongholds in our lives were broken and I started to focus on myself and the changes I needed the Lord to help me make. I began to understand God’s love for me and for the first time in 23 years, I knew that I was worthy to be loved.Through my own journey, I began to secretly pray for my husband and after months of tears, prayers, and more trials; God began to change him.
We made an agreement at that point; divorce was NOT an option ever again. God literally changed the both of us from the inside out.God transformed my husband into the man of my dreams and turned our nightmare into a fairy tale. Life is still life and we still have trials, but we now have a relationship with Jesus and we know that He is there with us through those trials. We live for HIM and not for ourselves anymore.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thank in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
A daughter of the King of kings, wife to an awesome husband, mother to 2 wonderful kiddos. Mandy shares her passion for teaching others to save money and serve the Lord along the way on her blog Serving While Saving : http://www.servingwhilesaving.com on Facebook and Twitter.
Each of us have a story to share and we would LOVE to share the story God is writing in your life! Your testimony matters. It may be the very thing God will use to minister to someone else. If you are feeling God tug at your heart to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via private message on our Facebook page. I look forward to sharing your testimony very soonBe A Blessing,