My Salvation Testimony



Paul wrote, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’ – and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of His great patience even with the worst sinners.” 1 Timothy 1:15-16
 
- Intro -

For the majority of my life, I had been running in fear. I was completely visible but still internally running away from love, from myself and from the truth. It was always out of fear that I won't be enough; that I won't be accepted as I am, with my extended resumé of flaws and past mistakes.


I don't know how many times I heard "life is all about perspective" or "self-love is key", before I realized true life-altering change was beyond me. I tried everything...trust me, EVERYTHING. But I was still lost without a map, broken without glue, and on the brink of giving up on life without hope.


- Lost -

I was sexually abused as a kid, then emotionally abused growing up into my teenage years. To say I had trust, coping, and identity issues would be an understatement. So, in high school, I got expelled for fighting and skipping school. I honestly thought I ruined my life, at 15. That same year, I attempted to commit suicide; because I genuinely thought I knew enough about life to decide it wasn't worth it anymore...


However, there was a bigger plan at play for me because some time later, things started turning upwards. I guess when you hit rock-bottom there's really nowhere to go except up, right? Either way, I set a goal to go to summer school and graduate on time to escape the city and go to college. And I did it.


- Adulting? -

When I got into college, and decided atheism was the best option because nothing else made sense. For one, if God was real, then why were so many people suffering? For two, if God might not be real, then why would I spend my life missing out on freedom, "just in case"? Living on the tamed side was never my style, and it didn't seem worth it.


Eventually, I got the itch to run away and escape again so I dropped out of college. Over time, I packed up all my things and moved across the country. It was exhilarating at first, but then all the problems I was running from came knocking on my door again with a bill I couldn't pay. I was living with the wrong crowd and wound up marrying a family friend’s roommate; out of fear that they would kick me out and leave me homeless, if I didn't.


Later, I found myself all grown up, but still believing I was more trouble than I was worth. Again, I attempted suicide. It never occurred to me to ask why it never worked out; but what I thought was yet again, life didn't make sense:


How can I love myself? Not after the things I did and the things that were done to me. And if I couldn't even love me, how could I expect someone else to? And if that's the case, then what's the point? What's the end goal here? Because it seemed like one big endless circle of the same routine of heartbreak and running, but not really getting far enough. I would start fresh just to burn it all to the ground, then rinse and repeat.


- Broken -

I may have thought I was too afraid to end my life, but looking back now, I lived my whole life always on the edge of death. Because I didn't truly care about myself. I understood what it meant when they said, "there's a difference between breathing and living." I was dying slowly and I didn't have anything to anchor me and pull me back to life.


Years later, I found out I was pregnant. The fears of not being enough crossed my mind again, but I also knew in my heart I had a good support system. I wasn't alone and I had a pretty stable life; good job with a decent savings. I felt like I could raise my child the way she deserved, and so I let love conquer my fear. But there were complications and my baby was born extremely early.


The day she was born I finally understood what unconditional love was. I knew that there was nothing in this entire world that could stop me from loving my daughter; nothing I wouldn't sacrifice for her. I had found the anchor pulling me back to life, by the sound of the heartbeat of my tiny human.


When she passed, it literally felt like life was ripped apart from me. Beyond that, I think it's impossible to describe the depths of brokenness you reach when you lose your child. At some point, all I was left with was a numbness; an empty void with the complete awareness it can't be filled.


I went back again to living my life the way I used to hoping to feel something. Distraction after distraction didn't move me. So, I tried grounding myself; stabilizing and growing roots some place to make it feel like home. It's crazy how deeply cold and dark it feels to finally achieve what you thought would fulfill you, to only find out it feels worse now.


- The Silver Lining -

I was on the floor of my apartment, laying completely still for the first time in a while. I laid there long enough to allow all the things I was running from to catch up to me again. Exhaustion had taken over and reality set in that I couldn't run this time, so I prayed. It wasn't very good, or even moving, but I just prayed for an out because I had no way to do it myself.


The next day, my mom sent me a text with an invitation to a three-day church retreat outside of the city. I accepted without even processing because I was convinced a little getaway was the remedy I needed, right? Well, when I got there I realized a day late and a dollar-short I was at a church retreat; for some reason I thought spa in my mind.


Anyways, I wanted to leave. I was out of my element, surrounded by people I didn't know and definitely didn't have much in common with. But, one thing led to another and I ended up sticking it out. On the last night of the retreat, we had service with a missionary preacher and I'll never forget what happened.


- Saved -

It felt like he was speaking to me and only me, among hundreds of us. He said, "Some of you are running from God because you're afraid to give up your freedom. But when you were out there living free from all the 'rules and control', what benefit did you receive from that? The same things that cause shame and fear, what benefit did you gain from that?" Romans 6:20-21.


I can honestly say, for the first time in my entire existence, that made sense. Like I said above, those other decisions were always made because the alternative didn't make sense, but this hit me like a tidal wave of truth. I spent my whole life running, chasing "freedom" just to always end up at square one again, or worse, and with nothing to show for it. I was done.


And at that moment, I accepted Jesus into my heart. He sent the person next to me to ask me to say it out loud and when I did...I felt the same feeling I felt when my daughter was born. I felt unconditional love anchoring my feet to the ground. I felt a wave of peace and protection blanket me, and I felt like I was finally home safe where I was always meant to be.


I was scared to leave the camp after that. I didn't want to go to my real home because I thought I would lose that feeling. I stalled as many times as I could, until I was at my front door just staring at it. It felt like if I opened it all my anxiety and depressive thoughts would come flooding back and take me captive; but it didn't.


- Loved -

I opened the door and instantly my body started shaking uncontrollably and I just started crying for hours with this inexplicable peace and relief. God showed me He was real and told me He would never leave me, no matter where I go; He showed me a flashback of my whole life and how He was always right there with me. He showed me all the times I was about to give up on life, and how He was there with a different plan in mind. He showed me all the times I showed loved and helped strangers and how close to Him I already was. He showed me that my daughter is already with Him, in peace.


I called my mom sobbing and telling her God is real and that I finally understand everything she's said about Him; the stories in the Bible are real, Jesus is real, Heaven is real...it's all real.


- The Point -

Like Paul said in the beginning quote, I have felt like the worst sinner of them all. But the point is even at my worst, God still loved me and welcomed me with open arms. He found me and saved me, when I was lost and wasting my life away.


I'm not saying God will instantly make all your problems go away; or that you'll never feel sad, anxious, or even lonely at times. What I'm saying is, He fights for you when you don't have any fight left. He strengthens you and is your strength when you feel weak. He grounds you and pulls you back to life when you feel lost and everything else feels meaningless. He loves you, especially when you don't even know what real love is, yet. And most importantly, He changes you into the person you were always and truly meant to be. God is and always has been everything you've been looking for.


- The Gospel -

He is the Lord God that sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be sacrificed for our sins, so that we may be forgiven and holy. He is the Lord God that resurrected Jesus Christ on the third day by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those that believe in Jesus Christ are all God's children.


So, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then think about everything I wrote. If God had that much mercy and patience with me, how much more should you believe He will do the same for you? If He can still love me despite all the things I've done, how much more should you believe He will love you, too?


- Outro -

My prayer is for everyone who's feeling lost, broken, and/or empty in any way. I pray that you open your hearts and see for yourself what I'm talking about. I pray that you change your mind about anything keeping you away from God, (which is to repent) and sincerely invite Jesus Christ into your heart. I pray that you receive the courage to say out loud that you accept Jesus, no matter where you are and again, just see for yourself. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Thank You Lord Jesus. Praise and glory be to our Lord, forever. Amen.

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