My Story

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I accepted Jesus in my heart when I was two years old.

Some of my earliest memories are my days spent at church. When I hear the lively praise songs that our church would sing, it carries me back in time. Sweet memories. But what truly shaped my heart was the faith that was lived in our home. My parents were sincere believers, and my older brothers were excellent examples of godly young men.

I remember as a youngster, crawling behind the couch to pray, or dancing in the living room to praise music. There was no doubt in my mind that God was God. Jesus was Jesus, my Savior, my King. My mom kept a diary for me when I was too young to write yet, and when I read it I’m amazed at how God truly was my First Love.

That was my childhood.

But then, when I was ten years old, we moved from Florida to Alabama.

Not long after the move, doubt started to attack my faith. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly allowed this doubt to creep in. Perhaps it was the popular sci-fi TV show I watched that stretched my imagination in new ways, perhaps it was the fact that my older brother was turning his back on God, or perhaps it was the fact that I was eleven years old and could no longer have that “childlike faith.”

I think it was all of those things and more.

I was lonely. I had few friends. And even though I was surrounded by a loving family, my heart was aching for so much more. My diary from those years shows my discouragement and loneliness, even though I hid my spiritual struggles.

People simply thought I was shy and reserved. I was. But that wasn’t the true me.

My mind grappled with God. Who was He? I was pretty certain He was there, but I wasn’t so sure that He was good. And even though I knew all the Bible stories and did the “right things,” I didn’t know Him.

There are some questions that we can’t have answers to on this side of heaven, and I grappled with some of those. Silently I wrestled in my soul, crying at night in my room when no one knew, or sobbing in the bathroom with the air vent on to drown out the noise.

I’ll never forget those days and months that turned into two years. Besides the spiritual struggle, I was also at the age where a girl is adjusting to becoming a young lady. Even though I didn’t know it, hormones were only adding to the confusion within my body and soul.

At one point I remember feeling as if the whole world was spinning and there was nothing holding me down. Another time I felt out of my mind.

I kept my struggles to myself, until I finally couldn’t bear it any longer. That’s when I asked to speak with Mom in private. We sat on the bed in my parents room, and I poured out my heart, “How do I know that He is God? How do I even know who to pray to?”

Mom must have been shocked. I can’t remember the moment clearly; it’s mostly a blur of tears. But after talking, Mom went downstairs to talk with Dad, and I was collapsed on her bed sobbing. Opening up didn’t come naturally, and the walls around my heart had just been smashed. I felt completely vulnerable.

And that’s when a new work began.

I continued to read the Bible. I wanted to believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But how could I overcome this crippling, numbing doubt?

The day came when I declared to God that He was my God, even if I didn’t have all the answers. His grace carried me, even when I didn’t feel Him.  In the middle of my struggle, I cried out to God and told Him that if He revealed Himself to me, I would spend the rest of my life declaring to the world that He is God.

Since then, He has been revealing Himself in countless ways. He’s brought friends that have been His outstretched arms, showing me His love. He’s allowed me to visit Israel, and to walk where Jesus walked. He’s led me to conferences that have ignited the passion in my soul. And He’s spoken to my heart in the solitude of my room, in the calm of the evening air, or in the spray of sunshine that warms my skin.

The list goes on and on.

If I had never sunk so low, I wouldn’t appreciate the joy that overflows my soul today. Sometimes you have to lose something before you realize how much you need it. If I hadn’t gone through that spiritual breakdown, and almost emotional breakdown, I wouldn’t realize how deeply I need my Savior.

So when you see my smile, don’t let it fool you into thinking that it’s always been there. It’s a testimony. Every time that someone tells me that my name suits my personality, it’s a praise to God.

I’m nothing without Him.

And I won’t settle for less than Him. Oh, I’ll fail. I have, and I know I will again. But the overarching hope of my heart and the vision of my soul is Him upon the cross, bringing redemption. And it’s there that I’m crucified with Him. And I’ve risen with Him. And now He has filled me with His spirit and I am born again.

Like a child.

I still don’t have all the answers. I still struggle at times. But I’ve been set free, to the point where I’m breaking down my walls once again to share this story that I haven’t shared in the past.

He’s my Father. Yahweh. The One who loves the world so much that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

That’s the God I live for. That’s the God I’d die for.

“We love Him because He first loved us”
{1 John 4:19}

Feel free to share my testimony with anyone that it will bless.

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8 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Many, many of us have a story similar to yours. We all had doubts and misgivings, and turned our back on Him. All the more astounding when we finally turn and bump right into Him! My unbelief lasted way longer than yours, but God can still use my past to work his will. Keep up your good work of writing, sister. He is definitely working through you!

    1. Thank you, Mr. Len! It’s encouraging to read this comment from you! Thank you for sharing some of your testimony as well. May you have a very blessed week, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thank you for your commitment! I don’t even need to read your story to know we are sisters in Christ. Your stand for Israel, for I-am-N, and your pro-life stance show who you are.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Florence. It’s always wonderful to meet another sister in Christ!

      Keep standing for Him. :) God bless! ~ Joy

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