Monday, May 9, 2011

My Testimony

..soo I have to share this because this is the first time I have actually written all of this down!
I have to turn in my testimony (it was supposed to be 500 words or LESS--oops) with my application for the missions trip I will be going on in July!  I am so excited words CANNOT express!!! Praise the Lord-- I have wanted to do this for SO long!
So thankful for what God has done/is doing for me.  So excited to see how He will use me!

I was extremely blessed throughout my childhood and teenage years to have a mother who strongly believed in and relied on Christ.  She made certain my older sister and I attended the small, southern Baptist church where we were members.  When I was fifteen I went to a Centrifuge camp in Panama City, and I was amazed at how the Lord moved and led me.  I remember praying a prayer with my youth minister in the moonlight on the beach one night, and I strongly believed in what I was saying.  Unfortunately in the years that passed after that I never saw an extreme change in my behavior.  I certainly had a conscience, and I always veered toward what I knew was right, but something always seemed to be missing. 
In the summer of 2010 I had one major life change after another.  I had ended a very unhealthy three-year long relationship, and I had finished the Master’s program to become a teacher.  I struggled with both of these things all summer long.  I thought I would never get married and I would never have the teaching job I dreamed of.  That summer I began to draw closer to God—I started keeping a prayer Journal and dove into the study Bible my mom had gotten me for graduation.  Little did I know—God had much greater plans than I could have imagined. 
In the middle of the summer I was introduced to “Mr. Right” after church.  On July 4, 2010, I hung out with him for the first time, and we quickly became inseparable.  It seemed that God had answered my prayers (and my moms), and I was set.  God placed him in my life at JUST the right time.  Ben comes from a very Christ-centered family.  I quickly began to realize that the “relationship” I had with Christ was not complete.  Over the next couple of months I could feel myself being PULLED by God.  There were so many directions He wanted me to go.  I had the desire to join a church, get involved, travel the world on mission trips, and become a part of children’s lives in the church. How could I begin any of this while living the life I was at this point?  God was calling me, and sadly I was still running in the opposite direction.
After months of battling with all of the emotions, Ben and I began attending Cross Church Fayetteville as soon as it opened.  On January 30, 2011, I listened to the sermon and wept.  We walked to the truck afterwards and I could feel my heart pounding.  I told Ben I was terrified of what would happen if I had died that day—and I was.  I was disgusted by thinking of the life I was living.  I had so many uncertainties.  Those uncertainties made me see that the prayer I prayed when I was 15 years old would not get me into the Lord’s kingdom when I passed from this earth.  We drove to his parents, and after speaking with his dad and explaining how convicted I had felt—Ben, both of his parents, and I got down on our knees in their living room, and I prayed like I have never prayed before.  I asked the Lord to take everything-the sin that has filled my life and all of the burdens—to rescue me and save me.  I put every bit of my faith in Him that day.
The Lord has completely transformed my life.  I know that I will never be perfect, but each day I wake up I know I have so much to be thankful for.  I know that God has a purpose for my life, that I was made through Him and saved through Him.  Without Him and His grace—I am nothing.  I am in awe of how my attitude towards life and its circumstances has changed.
I joined Cross Church, was baptized, and have been volunteering with Cross Kidz on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.  I am excited to experience my first mission trip with a team from church-this has been my passion for so long and I cannot wait to see where the Lord will take me and how He will use me.