I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Testimony Extravaganza!!

So, I wanted to share how I came to know the Lord, and have my sins forgiven, and also wanted to hear how you know Him too. Hopefully we will be a blessing to each other, and give glory to the Lord!

I grew up in a Baptist home with a loving family that taught me a lot about God. The church I grew up in was very fundamental, and taught the Word of God. Our preacher was a short guy, not much taller than us kids, and was SUCH a nice man. I loved him a lot.

I had always hear the Gospel as a child, in my home and also in church and Sunday School. When I was seven years old I did make a profession of faith (that I understood Jesus had died for my sins and I prayed for salvation). Afterward, though, I would say I was hard-pressed to have genuine sorrow for my sins, and rarely felt sorry for the things I did wrong.

Fast forward ten years. As a teenager, I would think about my salvation experience, and my life, and decide it wasn't worth the effort, and pride-swallowing involved to mention to someone that I wasn't really sure about all that 'forgiveness stuff'. At that point, I was a leader in our youth group, knew all the answers to spiritual questions, could say all the right things, but just had a gnawing inside me that something wasn't right, that something was missing.

So, being the prideful creature I am, I went another ten years without ever mentioning to anyone my feelings of doubt in my relationship with Jesus. I struggled with a desire to pray (I had none), I struggled with keeping promises (I broke them ALL the time), I had no guilty feelings for my sin, never felt a need to confess them because of it, and basically knew I was not saved and didn't want to admit it.

I had been struggling with my emotions for quite some time (years actually), and had really had enough of myself. I don't know how the Prince put up with me- I was a ROYAL pain. He would work all day and I would miss him, but when he got home I would be mad for no reason. I was not a nice person to be around when we were in private.

But I had everything under control. At church people would never know. But I was a very controlling person. I would guilt him into doing things my way, or letting me do what I wanted. He must have been miserable. It shames me to admit it. But Jesus has changed me! (More on that in a minute.)

Well, in 2004, God brought things to the forefront of my life, and basically forced me to deal with the issue. We were on deputation at this point, to go to the mission field, and I KNEW I needed to make sure of my salvation before we left.

We were in a lot of good churches that summer, and the Lord really convicted me about the way I had been living my life. I knew I had been lying. I knew I had so much guilt weighing me down, and I knew my pride was the one thing stopping me from admitting I did not belong to God's family.

See, growing up in a Christian home, it was easy for me to learn the lingo, to know what to say and when to say it. I knew the answers to all the questions, and had a lot of scripture memorized. I had even been a Bible Institute student and gotten good grades!!

But it all came down to me not knowing Jesus personally.

When I was taught as a child that it was not good to be part of the world, I must have convinced myself that I had never been. That I wasn't like those people who needed saved. I probably had sin, because everyone did, but not enough to actually need Jesus. My pride had swallowed me whole, and clouded all my thoughts and reasoning.

Praise the Lord we went to Deaf camp that summer.

The Pastor on Tuesday night shared his testimony, then his wife's testimony. I was shocked. Her story was identical to mine. She thought she had been saved as a young child, then when she was on deputation to be a missionary to Germany, she got saved after hearing a Pastor's wife's testimony. That was what I needed to hear. I wasn't the only one this had happened to, and I could do something about it!!

After the service, I spoke with her. We went outside and sat on the porch. My guilt was crushing me. I was very ashamed of myself, and was sure if she looked at me too long she would know every bad thing I had ever done. I knew what I had to do.

I prayed. I cried out to Jesus to forgive my sin. I knew there was no good thing in me, that He was holy, He was God, and He was the only One who could forgive my sin. I repented of His laws I had broken, and asked Him to come into my heart and save me. I thanked Him for the free gift through His death on the cross, and then cried for quite a while.

It changed my life.

And my eternity.

I am so thankful that God is a patient God, that He is merciful to me a sinner, and that He still hears and answers the prayers of those who seek His forgiveness. Now I am moving to South Africa to tell other about the gift Christ has given me. How could I do any less?
This tells the story so well.


Now, write your own story on your blog, then copy the URL (web address) of your specific post (not your general blog) and put yourself in the Mr. Linky. Then we can all check out your story!! Thanks for joining me!

4 Comments:

  • Rebekah

    This is a great idea! I've started my testimony on my blog before but never finished it. I just haven't taken the time to sit and write it out. I probably won't get to this anytime soon but when I do I'll come back and link!

  • Megan (FriedOkra)

    Julie this is really a moving story and I am so thankful you posted it. I feel guilty for not writing my testimony but it is just really not all that easy a story to relate... in many ways it's like yours... in many ways I still deal with guilt and wonder if I'm really THERE yet. But then also I know you never really get there, it's a journey. Anyway I think you are wonderful and God is wonderful and I'm thankful for you and your story, as it spoke to me about you, and about our God.

  • Wendy

    Yes, it's true, my name is Wendy and I don't have a blog!! (I'll pause here so you all can collectively GASP in DISMAY##).

    But I am Julie's FIRL, and I love her dearly, so I can tell you it was a bit of a shock when she told me her testimony. Here I had been friends with her for years, gotten a lot of sound, biblical counsel from her, many biblical blessings, and yet she wasn't actually saved. I think that really says 2 things..

    #1-- GOD promises His word does not return void!! So even though she wasn't saved, the word she was using to counsel and read, was working in both Julie's life and those she interacted with.

    #2--- "And the Oscar goes to...." Julies is a SCARY-GOOD actress-- I never knew or even had an inkling...

    I'll make my testimony as brief as possible-- God saved me at the age of 25 when I was in the midst of the worst depression I had ever experienced. I was raised in a pretty dysfunctional home (alcoholism, abuse, divorce, etc.), and had spent many years seeking peace through everything BUT God. I tried (not necessarily in chronological order--lest you think I was drinking at the age of 6!), smoking, drinking, compulsive spending, co-dependent relationships, one-night stands, self-reliance, food addiction etc. over the years to stuff down those horrible feelings and memories, but none of it worked for long. I was in therapy on and off since I was around 10 years old, but that wasn't a permanent fix either.

    Oddly enough, at the time God saved me, my life was in the best shape it had ever been in! I had quit smoking, mostly quit drinking, had a live-in boyfriend (now my saved husband), a good job, was debt free, and from the outside looked like I had it all together. What a lie! I was still the same old miserable me on the inside.. you see I thought if I got all my ducks in a row on the outside, everything would magically fall in place on the inside. So, when that didn't happen, I was majorly depressed.

    I went to a church service as a last ditch effort, and basically told God on the way there, "if you're real, you'd better do something TONIGHT, or it's all over. I can't take anymore!".... You see, I BELIEVED in God, but had never heard about this personal relationship with him. I was raised in a United Church of Christ, and subjected to 6 years of Catholic school, so I was well "churched", but didn't know God.
    But, I digress....

    Anyhoona (that's actually MY phrase you know-- see a future blog entry from Julie about plagiarism..), I went up for prayer during this service, and God met me there! He spoke directly to my heart, and I was encompassed by so much overwhelming love that I literally fell over on the floor. I know that sounds kinda crazy, but that's what happened.

    I believe I accepted Jesus right then and there, but I did follow up on that after I got going to a good church and heard the biblical precepts of salvation. Once I heard the plan all laid out from the bible, I was right on it! I asked Jesus into my heart as my Saviour--knowing I was a sinner was not hard for me, nor was repenting - being so sick of my life as it was.

    So, when Julie said she couldn't wait to hear what God had saved us from.. all I could think was the utter desolation of my life without Him. Now, even though I may struggle here and there, I know I am never alone, I finally have a Daddy who loves me, and I get to walk this incredible journey with Him every day! PRAISE GOD!

    P.S.. That really IS the short version. Julie knows it to be true.....

  • Janice

    I did it !!! It will probably be edited a hundred times, but for now, its there!!!

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