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My Testimony...

Where do I even start? First, I just want to thank God for saving me when he did, his timing is truly perfect...

Just a disclaimer, this post is longer than usual. So get a cup of tea and make sure you're comfortable, because you're in for a long journey...

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started. My testimony isn’t the most exciting or dramatic. To a lot of people it may seem mundane, but I know that God can use even the simplest of stories to reach his people.

I grew up in a relatively normal household, with both my parents and my older brother. Around the age of seven my parents got divorced. This was a significant time in my life because the dynamics of my household changed drastically. Finances became strained and relationships became tense. The effects of not having a father in the household were evident. That’s not to say that we didn’t have some good times, it just wasn’t the same as it was before.

My mother was working a lot more and my brother and I rarely spoke to one another. I felt as if I didn’t have anyone to talk to about what was happening, and to be honest I really didn’t understand what was going on. I was going through a lot of changes and this really affected my self-confidence. I didn’t have a father figure to assure me of my value, beauty and demonstrate how I deserved to be treated as a woman.

"I didn’t have a father figure to assure me of my value, beauty and demonstrate how I deserved to be treated as a woman."

Fast-forward to secondary school. That’s when my struggles with self-esteem rose to the surface. For most women, it’s in our teen years where we begin to care about how we look. We’re bombarded with images from the media of what the perfect woman is supposed to look like. A lot of us try everything we can to reach those standards and, when we can’t, insecurities are bred. I could never reach those standards. And the girls around me who could, were always the most popular, the most confident and received the most male attention.

Now at that time in my life, the last thing I should have been thinking about, was getting attention from boys, right? Wrong. That’s all I could think about. Because to me, at that young age, I believed that was what made you valuable, it made you important. That’s what I saw, and I hadn’t been taught any different.

But I couldn’t reach that standard. I couldn’t be like those other girls. I lacked so much confidence. I reverted into a shell. I was shy and didn’t really talk to anyone unless spoken to. I had friends, but only a handful and even among them I was quite timid. My insecurities were very prominent. It was obvious that I wasn’t comfortable with the way I looked, the way I spoke, and the way I dressed. I couldn’t be who I wanted to be, and that made me very unhappy. 

My insecurities were very prominent. It was obvious that I wasn’t comfortable with the way I looked, the way I spoke, and the way I dressed. I couldn’t be what I wanted to be, and that made me very unhappy. 

The only thing that gave me some sort of solace was reading. Not your average fiction books, but romance novels. But these books no matter comforting they were, distorted my view of relationships and men. I started to idolise relationships like the ones depicted in the books. Where the man was obsessed with the woman and, the woman was painted as a sexual object. This is what I thought love was.

So, not only was I lacking in confidence, I also now had a severely warped view of sex and relationships. I was just a mess. But I'm thankful that God stepped in when he did, because it was around this time my life began to change.

I was 17 years old. One afternoon, I was walking through the high street with my mum and I saw a group of women on the street singing gospel songs. They had drawn quite a crowd, and my mum and I were curious to see what was going on. A pregnant woman, who was part of the group was handing out flyers. She smiled at me brightly and gave me one. (She later turned out to be the pastor’s wife). The flyer was a for a church. This was the church my brother had been attending. Let me add a little clarity here. So, while I was messed up and insecure, my brother had been trying to seek God and understand more about Christianity. He had started attending this new church. It wasn't the regular Catholic one we had been accustomed to attending, it was a non-denominational, bible-believing church. He had been trying for a while to get us to go with him.

But, I grew up in a Catholic home. I had been baptised, and had completed my Holy Communion. I was your regular Catholic girl, I thought I already knew Jesus. What could this new church really do for me?

But that Saturday evening I had nothing to do, so I decided to go to the event that the church was advertising. That night was the catalyst to my change. They put on a play, about a young girl who was a preacher’s kid. She had renounced her faith and turned away from the church. She started to take drugs, hang out with troublemakers and have unprotected sex. Until one night she died suddenly. She died in her sin.

This play resonated with me deeply. I realised that even though I considered myself "christian', I didn’t actually have a relationship with God. And that if I died right then and there, I wouldn’t have made heaven my home. That night, I surrendered my life to Christ. The pastor’s wife prayed with me. She prayed that I would know God, that I would be changed and transformed by him. That every insecurity or hint of inadequacy I felt, would be replaced by God's love and assurance. I began to cry.“How did she know?” I thought.

I truly felt God's presence that night.

Ever since that Saturday evening 7 years ago, I’ve been attending that church, and slowly but surely God has changed me. He showed me my value, he gave me an identity, he restored my soul.

God sent his son Jesus Christ, to die for my sins, that I may be saved. He became the father figure I needed. He loved me the way I needed to be loved, he treasured and appreciated me.

He renewed my mind. The distorted view of the world I was once had, become clearer. The love he showed me, is the love I now know needs to be reflected in my relationships. Sex became more than just trivial act I had read about. But, rather a special moment created by God to join man and woman after marriage; to make them one.

I know this all sounds lovely, and it is. But the truth is God is still working on me. There are still small remnants of the way I lived and the way I saw myself before I knew Christ, in my heart. Giving your life to Christ requires you to do a complete 180 from the way you were living before and it’s not easy, it’s a long journey. I had been accustomed to living one way for 17 years and now God was changing my dreams and desires. But knowing that one day I will spend eternity with my Creator, who loves me unconditionally, makes it all worth it.

I hope me sharing my long-winded testimony has helped you in some way. And if you don’t already know God, I pray that you find him because, once you do you’ll never regret it.


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