On to my personal testimony....(Repost from August 5, 2012)
Weeeeell, I hope you have some coffee, a glass of wine, or my personal recommendation some sweet tea cause you're in for a long post.
I can remember when I was young going to church with my mama every so often. I never remember us having a set church or a real church family. We never went to church on Christmas, but usually went on Easter. Our family never had big dinners after church on Sunday. We never read the Bible together. I never knew what exactly God's love was. I had absolutely no idea what prayer was and why we used it.
When I got to high school I started partying, the usual. Then my junior year something terrible happened, to this day only a select few of my very closest friends know what happened. So I drank. Drank to forget, drank to have fun, drank to get through the day. I was 17 and drunk at school. My senior year came and I of course was still drinking. My best friend had moved in with me and found me at home in my bed after work, drinking tequila. This was a frequent happening. I would take alcohol to school in water bottles and drink during class. My parents never knew. I never got caught. Richard and I had just started talking and he was NOT havin' that habit. I remember we weren't even dating and he would yell at me to stop, tell me not to drive home. He wasn't being mean, even though I thought he was, he was just protecting me from myself. Then one day just after Christmas break had started a kid on the newspaper staff messaged me on facebook. I was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook my senior year so we had worked together a lot. He asked my why I was always drinking. He asked why I was in fact drinking that night. He asked how long of life I wanted to live. He asked where I thought I was going when I died. And then he told me something that shocked me, he said, "You drink so much you don't know if tomorrow will be here or not. You could kill someone driving. You could get alcohol poisoning. If you die, do you want to go to Hell?" Shoot, I didn't even believe in heaven and hell then. I thought that was a joke and that everyone went to Heaven. I was almost 18 years old and I didn't realize Heaven and Hell were real!
We continued this conversation well into the morning, probably until four or so. He told me at the end of the conversation that I should ask forgiveness for all my sins. I told him that would be impossible. How was I supposed to remember everything I supposedly did bad and ask God to forgive me? God didn't even want to forgive me. I was a drinking, slutty, 18-year-old, who didn't really care where life took me. Now why on earth would He want me to go to heaven when I died? Was this kid joking? I ended up telling him that I wasn't asking forgiveness, I wasn't wasting God's time when He should save room for people who really matter. Yeah, I was obviously not in a good place that year. Then he said, "Okay," and gave me a prayer to pray if I felt the need to change my mind. Yeah right, that wasn't going to happen in a million years. I was going to Hell.
Sure enough, I stayed sober the next couple days and really thought about what he said. Maybe there was enough room up there for one more sinner. Maybe I still had a shot. A couple days before Christmas I decided to tell him that I was ready. I wanted to ask for forgiveness.
At the time I was working at the hospital in the food service department delivering food to sick patients and new moms. A girl I worked with was the step-daughter of a pastor and had been a believer all her life. Her life was based around Christ. I told her what I had done and that I couldn't go to church. I was terrified to be judged. More terrified than dying and going to Hell. She convinced me after a very long talk that I should come to church with her the first Sunday after the new year. I told her I had nothing to wear but short dresses. So we took a trip to the mall so I'd feel more comfortable in a longer dress. I headed off to church that Sunday and then we had lunch at our favorite restaurant after. It wasn't so bad, there were a lot of older people instead of so many young kids. The next week I decided I would go to the other church.
So, that next Sunday I got up, got dressed, and headed to church. Let me tell you this church is GIGANTIC. Not an understatement. I was terrified. I had no idea where to go. Finally, the pastor asked me if I was coming to the youth room and told him yes. I found a seat and settled in. That day I felt like the message (it was about New Year's Revolutions instead of New Year's Resolutions,) really spoke to me. However, after church got out the drinking didn't stop. I still had the urge to drink.
For the next few months I continued going to church most Sundays. Then our pastor mentioned the bi-annual baptisms were coming up. Oh lanta, when was all this church stuff gonna stop. How much do I have to do here? Of course, they talked me into it. I went to a little meeting about what baptism means, blah blah blah. The morning of my baptism I was just different. I felt different. We had to write our testimony out for the assistant pastor to read before we got baptized and I remember all my family being there. Most of my friends came too. The pastor asked a couple questions and then dipped me underwater. I have never felt so clean and new in my life.
The guy that helped me come to see Jesus actually had his parents video tape us being baptized one after the other and they gave me a copy. I cry every time I watch it. I would never change anything I've gone through, although I know I've made plenty of mistakes, it all led me right here. Being able to share this all with you, in hopes I will inspire someone to take that leap of faith. I look back and see that my life is no where near perfect today but at least I don't have to be scared of where I'm going on judgement day. I love being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
email me, I would absolutely love to have you as part of this amazing family! Literally, if you need ANYTHING please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I want to hear from you, I want to pray for you, I want to talk to you about where God is leading you. It inspires me to continue pouring my life out to uplift others.
If you'd like your testimony posted (I would love to have you!) just email it to me at email@example.com you can include a photo and any social media, your email address, blog, etc. where someone can find you and encourage you if you'd like, if not I can just post your name and keep it as simple as that. I really hope that I can have a continuous amount of testimonies to help people so spread the word!
Thank you again for reading!