Faith: My Testimony

I grew up "Christian" and what that typically means for some of us is we went to church, didn't know why, didn't know what the Pastor taught on at the end.....ever and didn't know why we needed to be there, we just did. So growing up I'd call myself a Christian if anyone asked me what I believed but I knew I wasn't truly a Christian.

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My mom, Dad, Bro, and myself. For some odd reason the parents decided to get this pro pic done while the eldest daughter was at school *shrug*

Not sure if my "church going career" lasted any farther than elementary school and the sporadic visits with family members.

 

Although this was true, It wasn't until I hit my 20's for whatever the reason that I truly decided to rebel against the idea of God and I didn't realize it at the time but at the heart of it, Christianity. Actually I know my reason for my rebellion. I wasn't sexually active, not a virgin because my virginity was taken from me at a young age but also not sexually active because I'd decided I would not have sex until it was with the person of my choosing and while I didn't have a true moral gauge of not being sexually active, it needed to be a special moment for me. Truly it was God's covering as I think on different situations and opportunities that sex could have but didn't happen. One day I took a look around me, noticed all of my "Christian friends" were sexually active and so I asked myself what am I waiting for? If God's people aren't waiting why do I have myself in standstill mode? I purposed in my heart that this lil situation was going to change really soon.

Even with this going on, there was something more going on in my heart. There was something about Christianity compared to all other religions that stuck with me. At the time I probably thought I'm drawn to it because for what's it's worth, it's the religion I grew up under. So initially I wondered why it seemed Christians didn't live out the faith they claimed to believe in. Then it made me flat out angry and I began to hate Christians. More specifically I began to hate God. And I made the decision to rebel against Him while at the same time feeling the need to settle rather He truly is real or not so that I can sin to the fullest without any regret or thought of regret. In reality, I was angry at God because I knew He was real but didn't seem to care about me or the things that happened to me so I rebelled. But at the same time I was rebelling against the idea of religion and crying out for the real thing.

I ended up getting involved with a guy and eventually became pregnant and had my now 16 year old daughter. I didn't have a huge standard as to who I'd "lose my virginity to" in quotes because technically I didn't have it to lose, but I knew it wasn't going to be the idea of who people thought I should be with.

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Picture of my daughter when she was first born. Due to experiences that I had with her dad, it was the hardest time in my life. But also the greatest time of God's grace in my life. God gave me the name Najah for her which means success in God. In the hospital I received much comfort froma social worker that attended the church I thought God was leading me to attend at the time. Never did go to the church but it was the all in the process of His drawing me and eventually saving me.

This guy seemed at the time to be a fit, look wise I found him attractive, we had similar careers I even loved his name. I don't think I saw him as perfection but did see him as a fit for me.  We also shared the fact that we were molested so there was seemingly a deeper connection happening, but truly it was only a relationship tied together by sex.

 

 

It seemed as if as soon as I started to get involved with this guy, God began to speak to me heavily. I remember asking why now?!?!?!?! But I was determined to do what I wanted to do and what I felt I was missing out on. I was angry at God for being molested and still carrying that pain so many years later, I was angry at him for things I'd experienced with my mom, just so many different reasons but I still didn't know who He was per se. It's that embedding in us that God exists even though we may try to convince ourselves He isn't real so we know while also needing to get to know Him and His plan. While I was involved with this guy, I remember one day I thought I was pregnant and purchasing a pregnancy test during a break at work. I did the standard God if I'm not pregnant I'll start going to church thing as I thought to myself what in the world will I do if I am pregnant. I wasn't pregnant and not sure if I went to church even once before I actually did become pregnant. I constantly had questions about Christianity that either Christians in my life couldn't answer or Christians in my life answered in an over spiritualized way and it would just piss me off. But what man could not or did not answer God did. I remember asking a friend why she went to church and she hadn't a clue. But while reading a magazine, a woman  being interviewed spoke on the church and I got my answer. A few other situations I don't remember the exact details of now but any question I had, God gave me an answer typically via a book or magazine. Oddly enough I still get some of my questions answered in the same manner. One day I was thinking about something I wanted to know, cannot recall what it was now  and I looked over at my mom's side table and there was her bible open to the page with the answer I needed. She always kept this large bible open on her nightstand and that night it spoke to me loud and clear.

God  would also speak to me, sometimes literally sometimes logically. I had a coworker that was a Christian married to a Muslim. She ended up converting eventually to her husband's religion and one day she offered to buy me  lunch and I was soo soo grateful I couldn't believe it. She then pulled out a pen and pad and marked it as her good deed for that day and I remember thinking that means nothing because it's not from her heart it's for the sake of noting her good did. And for those wondering yes I did take the lunch anyway.  Then another time she was in the back room ( we worked at a hair salon) preparing to pray. And often times this coworker would speak down concerning Christianity to me. She said herself she wasn't seeking to convert me but she'd often share "truth" with me. So it's like God showed me how not only isn't she a Christian now, but she never was. And he began to separate some of the falsehoods I knew about Christianity the Americanized religion vs. what it truly meant to be followers of Christ. In case that sounded deep I'm not seeking to be. I consider myself a Christian I just know to date not everyone that does truly is one.

Continuing on, she's preparing to pray by cleansing herself from inside of her ears to her hair and her nostrils. And didn't know it at the time but the Holy Spirit spoke to me as clear as day and said how can she become clean doing that when even the water she's using is tainted? I knew what I heard but didn't realize it wasn't my own thought at the time. Later realized it was God's because not only would I not think of that, I didn't know what was needed to get clean at the time. And I though to myself yeah how about that! So long story short, God would utilize this woman, my questions, and other circumstances to reveal Himself to me that not only does He exist but that He is a specific God. Not one that can be made up or chosen based on personal belief, but one who reveals Himself to His creation, draws and saves them. Did you know that Jesus actually made us? Blew my mind when I learned that...but continuing....

 

Fast forwarding a bit. In my time of rebellion I may not have known who God was but I couldn't deny He existed and I as pretty clear that hell existed and that I was headed there. My boyfriend at the time called me one day and told me he was thinking about selling drugs and asked if I'd still be with him if he did. I told him no he asked why I got into the harm it does to people and he went into how I'm not to judge him (huh?!?!) so after a wee bit more back and fourth I told him if we were to die in the same room at the same moment on that day, we'd head to hell holding hands swinging our feet in reaction to the flames....not exact quote. That lead into more debate/arguing but I share that because I was at the point of totally understanding the fact that I was a sinner and headed to hell. Thankfully God drew me so that will not be my destination in the end.

 

After I had my daughter I started to go to church. And she was about 3 months when I answered the alter call and was escorted to the back of the church and was asked if I'd like to receive home visits or attend a bible class I opted for home visits. I remember the nicest people on the planet coming to my house and going over different bible stories, but as true as I felt them to be I knew I wasn't there yet, knew I was not yet saved. There was a lot of building that God had done over the course of about 2-3 years at this point but I still needed to know some things. I remember asking a friend of mines what the deal was with the Holy Spirit and she couldn't answer me. I don't remember exactly what I knew about Jesus but I knew who Jesus was and that He was the savior that died for my sins. Essentially once God so gently and gracefully brought me to the realization that I was a sinner in need of a savior, that's when real repentance and real relationship began.

The same night that I asked my friend about he Holy Spirit,  I was sleeping in my mother's room when I received my answer plus more than I could imagine at that time. My mother worked at night so after I had my daughter I'd often take advantage of her comfy bed and slept in her room. I was awaken by the television that I knew for 100% sure I turned off. For some reason the fact I turned it off stood out to me coupled with the fact that I'm one of those people that cannot sleep with the television on. And so it was a Pastor on the television answering the question that I had about the Holy Spirit. And I remember being prompted to turn the tv off after the teaching and before the anointed cloth message....my how God will use anyone! (Not that I'd suggest sitting under this teaching God used a portion that was true) I turned the television off and I sat up in that bed confessed I was a sinner and repented that very moment. Said that I believed Jesus died for my sins and that I wanted Him to be my savior...again not exact quote and just like that I was saved and I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly I couldn't move. It was an amazing experience not only because I knew I was feeling God but because it was the exact opposite of anything I'd ever witnessed in church and often questioned the realness of it. I'm not here to judge or question anyones "God experience" there are believers that have never literally felt God's Spirit at all and would think I'm a fake or driven by a specific doctrinal belief. But the point being God showed me Himself, not man made religion He showed Himself to be real.

 

God hears those that humble themselves and I'd encourage anyone that isn't a Christian or question their faith to ask God to reveal the truth to you. In one sense I wasn't looking for God, He drew me. In another sense because He was drawing me I was looking for Him, specifically needed answers to questions vs. believing because it seems right or I knew two people that I had no doubt they were Christians but wasn't going to believe on the basis of their faith and God drew me to Himself and gave me the truth.

If anyone out there would like to know more about the faith or my faith specifically, this was actually a shorter version believe it or not:) Feel free to send me an email at faith215th{at}gmail{dot}com and for anyone not familiar with formatting emails in this way it's to avoid the spammers, be sure to format properly before attempting to emailing.

 

I look forward to chatting with you all more and no question is too big too embarrassing to bold. If I can help I will be happy to share what I know and consult God in prayer (as well as fellow believers) concerning anything I don't know or wouldn't have the answer to give you.

 

I will be adding another page as it relates to salvation as a whole as well, not just my experience so look out for that and in the meantime, do shoot me an email. God saved an imperfect me without judgment so I extend the same to you. Not the salvation part of course, the lack of judgment in my conversation with you.

 

Thank you for reading and I pray my testimony was a blessing to you,

Donna aka faith215