I WAS STUBBORN & FELT TOO SMART FOR GOD
Growing up, my family didn't go to church or believe in God.
When I was 17, my mum got diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was not expected to make it.
She did survive the operation and when she woke up she said she saw God and He said He would give her another chance if she would devote her life to Him. She recovered from cancel that had a 10% survival rate and got baptized.
By this age my sister and I were adults and weren't easily influenced by my mum. Over the next ten years they (especially Mum) would Bible bash us each time we saw them, and I used to get very angry with her - to the point where I told her if we couldn't hang out and do normal stuff without her taking about Jesus I wouldn't see her at all. So she toned it down but still brought things up here and there.
When I was in my early twenties, I partied hard going to raves, taking speed, cocaine, ecstasy, ice and weed and weekend use turned into daily use. I started having severe panic attacks so I quit drugs and smoking cold turkey. The shock to my brain brought on more panic attacks and insomnia and I was struggling to cope. I didn't want to go on antidepressant medication because I saw people go on that and never get off them.
An Indian friend from work saw I was having trouble with anxiety (I never disclosed my previous drug addiction to him) and invited me to do a meditation course from a foundation called the art of living. It was called Sudarshan Kriya, which is focused on specific breathing and pranayama exercises; it purposes to still the mind and reduces anxiety. During the five day course, we were praying to the Hindu angels and asking for spiritual guidance. I kept the practice up at home and it significantly reduced my anxiety to a minimal and functioning level. I was full of pride and thought I had discovered enlightenment. I told everyone I knew to do the course and expand their mind.
After this I became quite fascinated in spiritual things, and went to see a reiki master for guidance. Over the next few years I experimented in divination, channeling, reiki, tarot cards, yours boards and so on. I became a reiki master, with the intention of going on to practice professionally and help others. After each Reiki session I felt so calm and relaxed, like after a massage but the feeling never lasted. It was fleeting. In order to achieve this feeling again I practiced more and more, and over time I became really messed up. The panic attacks came back, I had recurring nightmares, I had no peace in my mind and I was overwhelmed with dark thoughts about whether I should keep living or not.
During this time I got married (amazingly) and went on my honeymoon. I decided on my honeymoon that I would do everything I could to get better and I was going to try harder. Inside my heart I felt deep emptiness and despair, and my mind was in a state if constant torment. I was inches away from heading to the psychiatric hospital and one night I cried, 'God if you're real please help me!' I continued to pray this way for another five or six months. I started sleeping better, getting about 6-7 hours of sleep instead of three and started recovering from depression, but I still felt the deep ache in my heart.
And then one Sunday, just like every other Sunday, I woke up and I had this thought: You should go to church. I immediately dismissed it, and went to make breakfast but this thought kept pushing at me. Seeing as I hadn't set foot in a church in about 13 years, I Googled church Eltham where I live and drove to my local church. I walked into the foyer and was terrified.
All these people were there and they knew each other and we're talking in groups; no one came over to say hello to me (maybe I scared them!). I went inside and as they started playing the music, I started bawling. I was sobbing uncontrollably. I didn't know why I was crying, but I couldn't stop.
Embarrassed, I went to leave and ran out to the bathroom. When I came out a lady asked if I was okay and I said that I wanted to leave, but she told me to go back inside so I did. Toward the end if the service they asked if anyone wanted to know God, they could come down the front or raise their hand. Before I consciously knew what was happening, I ran down the front and said I wanted to know God. Together we prayed for me to accept Jesus Christ into my life, and I felt an overwhelming sense of love that I had never felt before. I was of course still crying uncontrollably.
I didn't know what had happened so I went home and carried on as usual. My husband was vehemently against religion and church at the time, so when he asked where I was I told him I went to visit my grandma. I kept this up for about a month, "visiting grandma" on Sunday mornings until one day I confessed and told him where I had been. He absolutely lost his mind. The way he reacted was like I had just told him I'd become a stripper or a prostitute. He banned me from going to church and said I wasn't allowed to see anyone from there. He said if I kept going he would divorce me, as he had married a different person and I had changed. I was really scared but I told him I wouldn't stop going, which led to numerous fights. I moved back to my parent's house for a couple of weeks.
During this time he was alone in our house, and he told me for the first time in our relationship he questioned whether we could make it and he cried. I spoke to him on the phone and he said, 'I love you and I miss you. Please come home.' He then agreed to let me go to church.
I continued to go to church and joined a life group. For a year I soaked up everything they told me, and I believed everything they said as gospel because I didn't know any better (What I now consider an extreme ... out-of-balance-from God's WHOLE Word and the wisdom of His WHOLE Word ... Pentecostal church preaching spiritual deception about the "prosperity gospel.") and then I decided to leave that church because I didn't agree with the teaching and the way they were so focused on giving money all the time. I was told I had to give 30-40% of my income and if I didn't I wouldn't be blessed. I was also told I wouldn't get healed of my migraines because I didn't have enough faith.
After a unpleasant discussion with the group leader - where she came to my house and verbally abused me - I tried to give up and go back to my old life. (I didn't realize Satan would use other "Christians" so quickly to try to destroy my relationship with Jesus Christ, but that is one of Satan's common tactics so BEWARE of what you read and who you listen to. Just because someone considers themselves to be "Christians", or that a book, tape, or CD or writing off the Internet causes you to initially believe the content can be fully trusted ... doesn't mean at all that Satan can't deceptively use them or that source to inflict damage on young innocent born again spiritual sheep like I was at the time). Thus, as Satan and his demon helpers delighted in to see happen, I went out with some old friends, drank and hit the pipe. But it felt so empty and I just couldn't do it anymore, so I began a six month hunt to find a new church.
In this time, God lead me to a Christian inner healing and deliverance ministry. Because of my prior involvement in witchcraft, I had to have a lot of spiritual and emotional cleansing done in order to be set free. I had about ten ministry sessions over two years, each one God using to peel off layers of hurt, abuse and trauma. I had (willfully chose) to face things I had never told anyone, such as sexual abuse suffered as a kid, violence from various men, and an abortion I had when I was 20. Upon confessing that trauma to trusted ministry workers, God used it like He does to free people who are sincere enough with Him to be delivered and healed up from spiritual demonic strongholds -- spiritual and emotional and often physical bondages that hinder one's spiritual growth in Jesus Christ -- that I had been carrying due to a lot of stuffed, deep down hurt, pain and resentment I was constantly carrying around caused from years earlier. When I was in my teens and early twenties I abused drugs and alcohol to forget my problems but as I became older I couldn't run anymore.
Once upon a time I was a damaged, broken women who lived in despair and depression. And now, thanks to Jesus and His love for me, I have peace in my heart and hope for the future.
Jesus has turned my human weaknesses into His mighty strength - for His glory to be revealed both in eternity and now to be seen in others who are/were in spiritual captivity and need/needed to be freed from it just like I needed to be set free from it.
Now I volunteer at the inner healing and deliverance ministry, where broken people come for healing and to be set free from their demons and demonic strongholds. It has been prophesied over me by several people that I will be used by God to minister to broken women, sex workers, drug addicts and abuse victims. God is going to use all the abuse, trauma, pain and brokenness I have suffered to give hope and healing to others and to bring glory to Him and His Father and my heavenly Father. I just know it in my heart.
Now through my work I have started to regularly meet broken people, and have started inviting them to come to the ministry center. I haven't had formal training yet but I know that in God's time, I will be trained and will one day run my own ministry for broken people which will glorify God and also bring people to know God through their pain and suffering.
The truth is, I had to hit absolute rock bottom before I could accept God and Truth into my life (Hint: Jesus IS Truth; the only way to Truth; His Old and New Testament is Truth ... the only trusted Way from His perspective which is the only perspective that is going to count on the Judgment Day ... to discern by what the world claims to be truth or whether it's really deceptive demonic spiritual error/lies wrapped in colorful, fragrantly perfumeeeee wrappings). It couldn't have happened any other way. I thought I was too smart. I was too stubborn.
But looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me, because now I have a relationship with The Lord God and I know it will last for eternity by His keeping grace. I have been restored to wholeness by seeking Him first in everything and submitting myself daily to his Word and purposing to walk in obedience to His Holy Spirit. (Though I fall short often as other Christians do as well, yet there is forgiveness when we do if we'll ask for it because His Word promises it to us if we'll accept his mercy and forgiveness and any possible discipline that He may decree needs to be administered to help us walk more in greater obedience to Him -- like trying to first ride a bicycle with the need for training wheels.) I am purposely immersing my mind and spirit in His trusted Word, because it's the only writing God has given to mankind that will feed our human spirit (as can prayer of course) and keep us discerning the difference between spiritual deception and trusted Truth:
(Old and New Testament - established, mainline Protestant Christian translations, as in the original King James translation and other time-tested translations like it - that may be a little easier for some to understand. BEWARE of the "latest" Bible translations that are veering too far off from what God purposed for humanity to have available, because there are newer "translations" coming out of the "Bible" all the time that God wouldn't ALLOW to enter heaven they so twist and distort what God wants people reading; meditating on - being fed spiritually on and to be taught about God from and how humans are to believe and respond to Him. Demonic spiritual deception comes wrapped in harmless looking wrapping paper and warm pleasant looking smiles, and it's getting slicker and slicker - meaning ever more subtle yet very discernible when you purpose to allow the Holy Spirit to have a chance to reveal it to you, which means you first must have a hunger burning in your being to know what REAL spiritual Truth IS, and what ISN'T, and then take full responsibility for what God reveals to you about it, because will be probably the greatest measuring tool to determine how God will reward/withhold reward/punish everyone upon their Judgment Day with Him).
Of course, I still have bad days sometimes, (because Satan never stops attacking true believers, yet I realize that God uses Satan's attacks against us to grow us up to be more Christ-like as we remain on this side of heaven), but mostly I am quite happy and I feel peace in my heart that I never knew before.
For ages God wanted me to share my testimony but I wasn't ready. I felt too embarrassed (a common tactic Satan uses to keep born again saints silent - to keep them from telling about the goodness of Jesus Christ to others). But every time I have shared it, it has served to either build people's faith or encourage others who are struggling with life.
God bless ... because He loves to impart blessings (especially spiritual blessings in the form of being used to help other spiritually bleeding, painfully festering, hurting people ... which lays up for us eternal rewards in heaven both for us and them ... to those who will walk with Him in Truth, to the glory of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I can't encourage you enough to not live another moment without Him. He's patiently waiting for you to make that decision, and see if you really mean it. He'll even help you "mean it" if you purpose to be used of Him for His glory until your time here on earth is over, and you don't let Satan convince you to turn your back on Him indefinitely (or BETTER, never at ALL).
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.
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Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)