I grew up Catholic and went to church almost every Sunday morning. I hated it and remember many times saying to myself, "I will never go to church when I am older!" I am not saying that Catholicism is bad, not at all! I know some very strong Christians who are Catholics, but that wasn't for me. I didn't feel God there, I didn't learn things, I didn't understand God and all there is in Him. I didn't grow and I felt Him calling me elsewhere. So when was that elsewhere?
I prayed a lot when I was a teenager. Being a teenager was painful and I am so glad those years are over. I struggled in so many areas of my life. I tried drugs, I drank some, I was in bad relationships that cost me my purity, I fought with my parents so much, I cut myself often, and I was just depressed and unhappy. I remember one night lying in my bed praying, not able to take much more I asked God to just let me die in my sleep. I was done. I was finished. I wanted my life to be over. However, God had a different plan because obviously I woke up the next day and the next and the next...
I continued to struggle for a long time. I met a friend, who helped to change everything. She saw my life and how things were a daily struggle, how unhappy I was. She invited me to youth group with her my freshman year of high school and thats where I started learning more about God. I learned about how He loved me, forgave me, and wanted me. It was not always easy learning those things. I think we fight that, for some reason, because it all seems so unreal and something we've never known. It didn't fix things right away. If you take anything from my words please know one thing: Being a Christian doesn't fix things. Asking God to come into my life, my heart, didn't fix everything. All those things didn't disappear...a lot of them were still there for years. However, it did change things! I had someone to look to, someone to talk to ALWAYS. Someone understood and promised that if I looked to Him, He would lead me and help me. He promised to love me no matter what and that changed things.
I didn't ask Jesus into my heart right away. It wasn't until church camp, sitting behind my cabin, on a rock that I asked Him to come into my heart. I was tired of my life...tired of making bad choices and feeling absolutely horrible when it came to life. I knew that if something didn't change I wasn't going to make it. So, I asked Him to come into my heart. To change me and He did.
That same church camp, that same summer was where I came to the conclusion God wanted me to attend Tabor College - a private Christian college. After many obstacles and tears (because it was super expensive and it didn't seem as if I was going to make it there) I found myself at a nice, small, Christian college. I walked around often in awe of the fact that God had brought me to that place. I was so thankful. Little did I know the obstacles and inscruciating heartache that would find me there. I could write a book on the details (and I pretty much did in college - filling up about 12 journals), but I won't because its just too much. What I will say is I got myself into a bad relationship that left me wounded and broken. It left me feeling worthless and I cut myself a lot until my junior year when I had to finally step away. The pain and experience isn't something I can give words to. It was hard and I was faced many times when that feeling of, "I don't want to live, just end it now God!" But God had different plans.
I left Tabor with a lot of pain. I trusted no man and told myself I never would. My friendship with my best friend ended a few months before graduation because of my judgmental attitude (that relationship has now been restored to something new ---God is good!) and I had walls up left and right, front and backwards. I was guarded. Yet, about a year later a man came into my life who would change all that. Read about that relationship here.
Relationships are something you have to constantly work on. That's no different when it comes to God. You have to work at your relationship with Him. You have to go to Him and talk to Him. That means your testimony never ends. During my relationship with God there were hard times - so many hard times and in those moments I've had to go to Him... I've had to pour my pain out in prayer, I've had to cling to His words, I've had to lay it all at His feet. Not an easy thing, but its an important thing. An important thing I will surely have to do again and again in life because there will be hard times, but there will also be good times. In the end, I thank Him for both because He has shamed me with all things.
:: Theres so much more to my story, but I hope you've seen a glimpse of God in my words. I hope that I haven't offended anyone will my words. That is not what I intend to do ever! I just intend to be honest and open. Want to know more? Talk to me! Want to share your testimony or share anything? Talk to me! Have a question? Talk to me! Seriously, I'd love it. Want to know more about what my husband and I believe? Click here. That is a church plant we are apart of!::