A Mother’s Testimony of Faith
I grew up in church. My mom always took me to Sunday school when I was little, involved me in the youth program in middle school – all of this which set a great foundation for me. Had I not had this foundation, I may not have found my way back when I was lost.
Then comes college. Ahh the freedom of college. It can be a blessing and a curse all at once. I at once had no curfew. I had the freedom to make my own decisions (which weren’t always good ones). I was physically grown, but mentally still a baby. I had a lot of growing up to do – but I was making decisions that would affect my future…the irony.
My parents would try to tell me that I was going in the wrong direction, but who wants to listen to their parents at that age? At an age when you live on your own and they can no longer ground you if you don’t listen to them. I know I didn’t (and now I 100% see where they were coming from). I can’t imagine the frustration of seeing your child go down the wrong road and not being able to do anything about it.
As I grew older, I grew further from God. I would occasionally pray at night before I went to sleep – if I remembered to, but that was it. That was the only acknowledgement that I gave God – an occasional “please do this for me, please do that for me” prayer.
It spiraled downward even further. Around the age of 21, I started questioning whether there even was a God, and if so, why did He let bad things happen? It didn’t make sense to me. A lot of why questions and the only “answers” I received were those of our mainstream society – a society that I feel purposely steers people away from Christianity. By only exposing myself to mainstream society and not church itself, I was getting skewed answers…which made the spiral go even further.
There was always something pulling at me though, always a void in my life that I couldn’t fill. I tried to fill it many different ways, some sinful, some not sinful, but nothing worked. No matter how happy I looked on the outside, there was always an empty spot that I couldn’t put my finger on. When I sinned (deliberately especially), I felt so guilty, like my conscience was trying to tell me something, but I kept doing it anyway. And I kept spiraling, and spiraling…
And then I met Matt (my now, husband). He is one of those rarities who never veered away from God. He lived on his own, yet went to church every Sunday morning because he wanted to, not because his parents made him. This was so new to me – I had never dated someone that went to church because they chose to – heck, I myself only went to church when my parents made me go.
He asked me to start going to church with him, which I did, but I wasn’t a big fan. I got bored, I felt like I was being judged (out of my guilt, not out of others actually doing this), and I frankly did not feel like getting up every Sunday morning after a Saturday night of partying to go to church that I didn’t feel like I was a part of.
I still felt that void…something just wasn’t right. I was irritable, prideful, jealous, a perfectionist, judgmental. I was unhappy but I couldn’t figure out why. I had my dream guy – the guy I’ve always had a crush on, I lived in a great city with a great job, did things I loved to do, had a great family. What was missing? I kept thinking “maybe once I get married it will get better, maybe once I have kids it will get better, etc…” But the fact was, none of those things were going to make it better – there was only one thing that would make it better – and I just hadn’t found it yet.
So my husband proposes. We get married and decide to move back to where we grew up – an area that is very Christian-based. At first, I was hesitant for that reason alone – I didn’t want to be judged for my sins, I didn’t want to have to straighten up my act just to fit in – but what I didn’t realize is – the Christian way is to not judge. The Christian way is to love people just the way they are – before they accept Christ and after. I later found this out.
So we move back, find a wonderful church where I felt so welcome. Then something hits me – I want to start reading the Bible – I’m craving an interest in this whole God and Christianity thing that I was raised in but had veered very far from. Then I want to go to church even more, I want to become more involved and become closer to God.
I still felt lost, however and confused about God – is He really real? And if so, why can’t I just wrap my head around all of this? Why am I still having doubts? So one day, I come across a devotional that talks about doubting and when in doubt, to ask God for wisdom, because “when you seek God, you will find him”. So that’s what I did. Every day, I prayed for wisdom…and did He ever give it to me!
God started speaking to me in ways like never before. Everything started to make sense. The Holy Spirit showed me that He IS real and got more interested in the Bible than ever before. The more wisdom I received, the more I wanted, and the more I wanted, the more I received. I then asked Jesus to come into my heart, forgive me of my sins and to let me spend eternity with Him. I got baptized not long after that. From then on, I knew where I was going to spend eternity and I wanted to become even closer to God before I got to eternity.
In the past three years, God has changed my life in so many ways. I cannot imagine going back to the life before I was “reborn” in Christ. I am now 100% certain that not only is there a God, but a God who loves us very much and is reaching out to the lost – wanting them to find Him.
God has blessed me with a wonderful, welcoming church family, a wonderful Christian husband who walks with me in my journey with Christ, a precious two year old daughter, and a son on the way. I feel, as a Christian parent, my goal in life is to share the gospel with others, and let the Holy Spirit work through me to share it with my children, so they can, in turn continue to share the gospel with others and spend eternity with Christ.
I thank God for my many blessings and for not only filling that void in my life, but making it overflow with joy.