I think I’ve shared bits and pieces of my testimony but here it is in order and in it’s entirety (so far). Excuse any grammatical errors I wrote it exactly the way I would say it. I hope you guys can see how my God has written His story in my life.
Growing up I would say my household was secular. Religion wasn’t banned but it was separate, it wasn’t something we practiced or talked about. At a young age I was curious and something was tugging on my heart and my mind. I knew that there had to be something greater than this life and there had to be someone responsible for it. So I started searching, I went to every church possible, I studied different religions and I was still confused. But I ended up becoming best friends with a Christian. There was something different about her and the Christian home she grew up in, the love and security they experienced through Christ was what I had been searching for and wasn’t able to find in other beliefs. So I started going to church and learning about Jesus, who he was and what he had done. I didn’t know much but I knew Jesus was real and that I wanted to experienced God’s love. At 10 years old I prayed the sinners prayer and I was baptized by my best friends dad shortly after. I was so excited and on fire for The Lord. I wanted everyone to know Jesus was the way but I didn’t know how to explain or why I knew this. Also no one told me that horrible things still happen to Christians. I thought that once I was saved everything would be perfect. I thought that even when things went slightly wrong I would always be on the emotional high I got when I first came to The Lord. I didn’t know how to face adversity as a Christian.
So the first storm that came my way I completed folded. Now I was 13 and I was dealing with heavy things no child should have to deal with. I had my first experience with sex and saying it was unwanted would be an understatement. I was dealing with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, and extreme amounts of anger. Like I was really angry y’all. At everything, at everyone, even God, no scratch that ESPECIALLY God. I was like what the heck man?! Life is supposed to be sweet why would someone who loves me put me through this? I wasn’t so convinced by this Jesus dude anymore. I drifted away and I was so lost. I held my pain in good though, no one saw the hurt I felt. My mind was hell, I was wrapped in an array of mental illnesses and I could not escape. Throughout high school I was running from Christ but he kept an eye on me, he was always near. I was in and out of the church, not fully convinced but not unconvinced either. I was still searching for answers and I was always lead back to Christ but I wasn’t ready to surrender my life. I was still angry and coming into college of course I wanted to do my own thing.
Transitioning to college was especially hard because my parents were separating on top of everything I was already dealing with. I tried to repress all of the bad things, I tried finding satisfaction through my group of friends, drinking, and sex. Around the end of my freshman year I started going to a bible study called IMPACT and this lady, Jaye, our old advisor would not leave me alone. This woman was the definition of persistence man. I wanted to go to bible study and leave alone with my dirty laundry unbothered. But she would not let me! Jaye went through the Gospel with me one day and that’s when it finally clicked and this time I was surrounded by people who showed me what living for Christ looked like. That’s when I got involved on the leadership team, I was on fire again, but I was still toting my old dirty laundry. I was serving but I was still living in depression, I was still getting white girl wasted, and still hanging out with the same old crowd.
Something was changing in me though, I wasn’t comfortable living like this anymore, I felt dirty and like my life was a lie because it was. I always planned on leaving the old things behind but I was scared, I didn’t know anything else. I had to go through something so dramatic and horrifying that my old self died because I would never be the same. Almost exactly a year ago, spring break last year actually I was on South Beach really drunk and someone took advantage of that. I was raped and I remember vividly after I left the hotel room trying to find my friends on the beach, crying in the sand, crying out to God asking him why? After that I wanted to die, I didn’t denounce God because this time I had concrete evidence of Christ, I had experienced him, but still I couldn’t understand why I could go through what I go through if he loved me. So I came to the conclusion that Jesus was real but his promises didn’t apply to me.
Thank God I was surrounded by believers this time around. They wouldn’t let me drown. These women I barely knew invested in me and my salvation. I was real with them and they were real with me. Jaye continued to counsel me while Bryanna and Timeyin, a graduated student leader, stayed up with me through the sleepless nights, slept over so I wouldn’t be scared when I woke up from a bad dream, prayed with me and prayed for me when I refused to talk to God. They were constantly encouraging even when I was unresponsive. I remember we were all crunched in Timeyin’s bed one night and I woke up from a nightmare to them praying over me. God was speaking to me through them.
I finally realized God had not left me, he didn’t forget about me and his promises did apply to me. I experienced these promises and His love through the friendship I found with these girls. I was in awe of how God came through for me. I almost died by my own hands but he saved me like he always has. At that point I refused to continue living as a slave to my old life because I wanted people to experience His love the way I had, but I knew I couldn’t living the way I was. So I stopped cold turkey. I stopped drinking, smoking, having sex, just everything that I felt like was keeping me from Christ I trashed.
Not everyone’s transformation is drastic but mine was. I lost most of my friends besides people in IMPACT and it was literally just me and Jesus. It was horrifying and amazing at the same time. He gave me a new life. Nothing I went through before mattered anymore. I finally dumped my dirty laundry and chose Christ. I’m not going to lie and say everything is perfect and that I’m always happy. I still struggle with depression and anxiety and I still get counseling for the abuse I’ve experienced. Sometimes I have really bad days but it’s different now because I know there’s someone who loves me unconditionally. I know there’s someone who will always look out for my best interest and won’t ever fail me. Even on the bad days it comforts me to know that there will come a time that everything will be perfect, I know that I will have eternal life and I’ll spend it with Christ and that in itself keeps me going.