My Christian Testimony


1 Cor 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Cor 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1 Cor 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

 I've met many people who were raised in church and have a beautiful testimony for the Lord and for the parents that raised them in godliness. I wish my testimony of coming to Christ were like that, but it isn't.

When you share the type of things that I am about to tell, you risk being judged and even ostracized, but I will take that risk if God peradventure would use my horrible past to show someone the way of repentance. (2Tim. 2:25)

I will try to be discrete so as not to harm anyone nor give place to the devil with some of the bleak details. I want to try to take responsibility for my sins, without dealing too much with others. (There are two sides to every story.)

My real father was a drunk, an alcoholic. He ran with other women. He beat my mother. Many nights I laid awake in my bed crying with fear, worrying that he might kill her, as I heard them fighting. I once saw him choke her with a necklace until it finally snapped and broke. He then grabbed the phone cord (dating myself here!) and tried to use that as his next weapon. There was another instance where he tried to run over her with the car. He didn't get her, but if I recall correctly, the porch suffered a terrible blow.

I don't think I knew then to even really pray. I can't remember. Much of my childhood memories are gone. I marvel when people remember a 4th birthday, a 5th birthday, a 6th Christmas. I can't remember. Well, I do remember one Christmas. Mom had pneumonia and really needed to be in the hospital and my father was gone out drinking, with all of our money. It was days before he returned. I still have deep emotions from these memories.

Our home had little religion or Christianity. My father had taught me Psalm 23. I think he thought that might save us if we were in a bind. After having his appendix removed, he showed us the scar and told my sister and me that he had 'the devil cut out of him' and he was going to be good now. (Amazing, huh? Definitely a botched operation.) My mother did her best. She tried to make things as good as possible for us girls, and there were some good times. I've always had great pity for my mom. She grew up without a mother and her dad died when she was 13, right in front of her. She was tough and did amazingly well by us girls.

She finally left my father. The last time I saw the home that I thought we would grow up in, it looked like a small explosion had went off inside of it. When he had found her Dear John Letter, he busted the coffee table in such a way that pieces had flown everywhere, leaving holes in the walls. I saw him twice more after that, then no more. There were other stories (about him), some much worse. Some too bad to retell. My mother did good in getting us away from him.

My mom remarried and my step-dad loved us girls, but still there was no real religion in our home. Things were better for the most part. It's in this time-frame that my memory can recollect more. There was one year that was very rough for me. Around the age of ten, a whirlwind of things happened that were quite painful. I lost 2 grandparents, my mother had a stillborn baby girl, an elderly widowed man whom my parents had trusted had accosted me, we had the final visit with my real dad (when he got up in the middle of the night and left us with our aging grandparents for days before returning), but by far, the most traumatic thing that happened was seeing one of my schoolmates get hit by a car. I think I was in shock for days.

I became rowdy as a teen, bored really. Certain types of behavior wasn't seen as sin, or even really wrong, it was more "you aren't old enough". That was really hard for me to grasp since some of the kids that I went to school with were "old enough" by their parents' estimation so I couldn't figure out what made my mother think she had it all figured it out.

My brother was born when I was 15 and I was so smitten on him that I settled down some. He was so precious. But as much as I loved him and thought 'babies are really neat', I determined that I didn't want to be a mother. I wanted to move to a big city somewhere and have a career. (Snicker. If you've read much of this blog or know me, you should find that hysterical!)

I finished high school but, I got married young, with a LOT of wrong ideas. I thought this would be part of my solution to my life's problems.I could 'party' now and he had told me he would help me get through college. Neither of those went like I thought they would. I thought we would party every weekend ...and he wanted to know what I had cooked to eat. Cooked?!?! Gee winkers! I thought we were going to live on cheese-crackers and sodas. Cooking meant I had to wash dishes. I had to wash dishes at home. I didn't want to do that. What was he thinking?

A few turbulent years went by and I was done with the fighting. I had accidentally became pregnant and miscarried the baby. I couldn't understand why I was feeling such a loss when I hadn't really wanted children in the first place and I had never seen the baby.  I felt guilt about losing the baby as well. I blamed all the fighting and the partying...and myself. I may have even blamed God too. I didn't totally realize the depths of this pain until a friend pointed it out months later.

But anyway, I filed for divorce, got my own place, and determined to live out my dreams- my way. I was an editor at a color lab and I enjoyed my job. After work,  I could come and go as I pleased. I could party. I could date who I wanted. Life was going to be good.

For the most part, things were going as I had planned. I had friends and places to go every night of the week. I had several male friends too, to whom it was clear that I didn't want a "relationship". (I was determined to remain independent.) I remember one fellow telling me that if I'd "settle down" that he would buy the pots and pans and I could cook for him. That again!?! No thanks.

Months went on and I began to have spells in the mornings where I couldn't remember the night before until midway through the day and even then it only seemed like a dream. I began to embarrass myself by doing ridiculous things to my friends. One night, we were all outside. I was in quite a stupor and they had taken my keys. I sat in one of their cars, laughing, while shoving pennies in their cassette player. (I was ornery.) I barely remembered it, and I bet they never forgot it.

That wouldn't be the last time that I made a fool of myself. Another night, I had agreed to stay with a friend who was having their car repaired. The deal was, I would drive them wherever they needed to go during the day and at night, they would fund the party. I liked to drive and I loved to party so this I saw as a win-win deal. Well, one night, after the partying was well under way and they had taken my keys, a friend of mine called asking me to come to their house. When my keys were refused, I proceeded to be odious to my friend's most recent guests, one of whom was expecting a baby. They, as I had expected, released my keys to me. I left, came back later, went to bed, got up the next morning for errands and was faced with another terrible foggy memory. I apologized to my friend and he said, "I told them you had lost a baby some time back and were having trouble getting over it." What was he talking about? I suppose in my inebriated state I had shared more than I remembered about the miscarriage. I couldn't remember. And I couldn't take back my words to his guests.  (It is with terrible regret and grief that I tell you that, but it was at that point that I began to question how much losing the baby really bothered me. But, as you've read above, there was more.)

I tried thereafter to be more conscience of what I was doing so as not to further my shame. I did okay, sometimes, but as 'okay' as I thought I was and as settled as I was in my thinking that 'this was the life', there was still something gnawing at me. There was a sense of emptiness and a knowledge that life couldn't go on like this forever. There had to be more but what that could be, I didn't know.

(It's also important for me to note that even though I saw and did some terrible things, that I was often around people who were much older than me and they tried to shelter me and protect me from a lot. They seemed to be determined to only let me go 'so far'. I often think now, that God determined how far that truly was. To this day, and forever, I will thank Him that He did not let me go as far as I could have and would have.)

One afternoon I ran into an old friend of a friend. He and I had never been really close but we had talked several times at parties. He approached me and began to talk about the Bible. I couldn't understand much of what he was saying but I did notice that there was something dramatically different about him. He gave me his number, told me where he lived and said that I should stop by sometime. Yeah. Whatever.

A few weeks later, I ran into him again. He still seemed so different. It was hard for me to figure that out and he was still talking about the Bible and quoting Scriptures. After refusing to take my sunglasses off at his request (you can figure out why), he almost insisted that I come to see him because he had "a few things that he wanted to share with me". I think a part of me thought 'those things' might be of a 'partying' sort, so this time I did go. From the moment I sat down, I was nearly spellbound. He began to quote Scripture after Scripture. He must have quoted entire books! What had gotten into him!?!  And why were these words so enticing to me? I started wanting to know more. I was shocked to learn that one of the children of Adam and Eve had murdered another. I didn't even know they had kids! (See?!!? No real former Bible training. None.I was a complete dunce.)

I found myself completely drawn back to him. (Well, not altogether him.) I kept driving right back across town to his apartment and I remember on more than one occasion he told me that I had to come sober. Once, he even told me that he would not talk to me anymore if I showed up anything less than sober. Fussy! Fussy!-I thought.  Hadn't I seen him drunk before? Hadn't he partied right along with me before? Hadn't I seen him in all sorts of conditions? I had. But not anymore. He wasn't like that. A few years before this, his parents had made him move out of their home and he had poured out his heart to me at a party. He had been fretful and upset, almost drifting. Now- he was a completely different person. I had never seen anything like this. And those Scriptures! They were making me realize that I had sinned against God. I was understanding why Christ had to die. The more this time with him went on, the more displeasure I found in the way I was living and the more pleasure I found in those Words. I was understanding that even though I had went to VBS with a neighbor as a child, and had said a prayer at the altar, that there was still something between God and me, and there was more to the Bible than just a few stories and words.

I came to a place to where my only thought was; "I don't know what he's got. But, whatever it is, I want it." I finally consented to go to church with him on a Sunday morning. I listened to the songs and he shoved a hymn book in my hands. I listened to the sermon, not totally understanding. At one point I felt like crying and I didn't know why. It was strange to me, but, it was good somehow.

I left the church knowing that God loved me. I felt His love while driving home. I felt His love when I got home. I felt His love when I got ready to leave that night and went to visit some friends. I felt His love when I went to bed that night. It was still there when I woke up the next morning. I worked with a girl who had once called me when I was sick and said, "Hey! I just wanted to check on you and let you know that I've been praying for you." I had forgotten all about that, until that morning. She worked in the other end of the building and I hardly ever even bumped into her. But that morning, I went in to find her.

I wasn't sure what to say but I just blurted out, "I need to talk to you. I went to church yesterday with a friend and I didn't get saved but- well- all I know is that Jesus loves me." That began the process of discipleship. I was so amazed that she was quoting some of the same Scriptures as my other friend. Then she told me of her past. She told me how Christ had changed her. I was dumbfounded. I thought she must have always been this nicey-nice little Christian girl. To my dismay, I realized that she had been changed, just like my other friend. I was confounded by this. Both of them?!?! Did they know each other? No. But, there was One who knew them both, and He knew me, she explained.

She talked to me at lunch and after work. I went home still pondering over all of this. I didn't go out. I didn't want to. I was exhausted. Perhaps the last 8 months of bliss and lack of sleep were finally catching up with me.

When I got up the next morning, "It" was still there. I went to work, talked a lot more with my new-found friend. I came home from work and had no desire to go out again. That evening I sat down in the floor with a Bible that had been bought for me years ago as a gift. I didn't even know why I still had it. When I had filed for a divorce, I had left almost everything. How had this ended up with me? Strange.

As I sat reading It, I came to the realization that I had a decision to make. I knew that if I did not accept this "Love" that I felt and surrender my will to whatever God wanted, It would leave me. I also knew that if I accepted this Gift, that things would never be the same again and my life would totally change.

Why had He sought me out? I wasn't looking for Him. Why did He love me? I now knew, that regardless of what I thought about the life I was living, it was wrong; all wrong. I now knew and felt the filth and shame of my sin, but there was a part of me that didn't want to feel it. "Bet if I went and got drunk that I wouldn't feel it," I thought to myself. I somehow knew that was a lie. I knew morning would come, the numb would wear off, and all of those feelings would come back AND I'd have one more night of sin to add to my long list.

Thoughts continued to swirl through my head. I was living the way that I had always wanted, supposed to be happy and having a blast, and now this had happened. I had discovered I was a sinner. Most of the people I knew were living just like this, so why was I sitting here feeling so bad about it!?! And how could He love me? He had just had His servants expose all of my disgraceful deeds as sin against Him. I couldn't run. What was I going to do with the knowledge of my depravity?

I could not refuse Him. I could not risk losing His love. I surrendered. I got down on my knees, alone in my living room and prayed. I acknowledged my sin before Him, asked Him to forgive me, and told Him to do what He wanted with my life. When I got up, I was different. I knew I was clean on the inside. The guilt, the shame, and more, were gone. I had peace in my soul for the first time in my life. I didn't know how unsettled I had been, until I suddenly wasn't anymore!

For the next few weeks, I walked somewhere between this 'newness' and figuring out how I was going to live in this. I don't know how to explain it really, except to say there was a bit of a 'process of elimination' that I went through.

Walking into work the next morning, I didn't expect anything different. I would talk to my friend again at lunch. I sat down to get started on my work and the girl beside me said, "You look different. What happened to you!?!?!" She leaned over and said, "Wellllllll, what do you know!? You don't smell like a brewery today!"
She wasn't the only person to pick up on this 'something' that had happened to me.

It only took a couple of days for me to begin to feel like I was a stranger on foreign soil. Suddenly my friends weren't seeing me as the bubbling brook of partying madness and I hadn't even said anything! It just didn't 'work' anymore. I remember one guy being at my house one night, as I tried to continue to live somewhere between,  and him suddenly becoming almost panicky. He said he had to leave, now. I asked what was the matter and he said, "You know what's the matter." And- I did. The Holy Spirit was there and I was grieving Him. I was torn between hurting Him and not wanting to lay this friendship down on the altar.

This was a moment of truth for me about the old cliche of having your cake and eating it too. The old life and the new life didn't mix. This was like oil and water and shake all you want, they remain separate. I struggled with God as He continued to impress His will upon me.

Within days, I told that person that I wasn't going to be available much anymore. My other friends either dwindled away or began to quiz me on what was causing this sudden change in me. I finally, at the encouragement of my new friend at work, began to share and tell them. Some of them began to avoid me like the plague (can't blame them, I got pretty zealous pretty quickly- had to to get on their nerves!) and others were very moved by this difference in me. I felt almost like a specimen in a lab. For many of them were just like me, in that they had not been raised seeing  conversions like this. This strange thing that had happened to my friend was now happening to me. I was in a lab. I was in God's lab. But I was more than a mere experiment for Him. He loved me. I was His child.

I became a bit of a recluse for a while. I threw out all of my secular music, listened to Christian radio, read and memorized Scripture, prayed, and went to church every time the doors were open, often traveling to revivals. I had found the Bread of Life. I had tasted the Living Water, and it was sweet.

I began to tell everyone about the Lord. I watched several, in tears, reject Him. I prayed for them. I knew if He could find me, love me, change me, He could them too.

Strange things starting happening that challenged me to learn more about the Bible. JW's showing up at the door. Other religions popped up here and there. I was taken to a few strange churches that I knew I wasn't supposed to be at. I had to learn why. (The study of Apologetics had to begin, but that's another story!)

Did things go perfectly after all of that? No. Have I been faithful ever since? No. But God has. He has remained faithful when at times I was faithless. (2Tim 2:13)

I wish I could tell you that I haven't sinned against Him since. I wish I could tell you that I've been a perfect Christian. I can't though. But, I can tell you that I didn't go back into that way of life again. I never went back to partying and running the streets every night. It doesn't work anymore. It doesn't hold for me what it once did. The only true joy that I can find is in Him. Those things are like band-aids on wide opened wounds. They might cover it up for a while, but they won't heal it.

If you've read all of this (bless your heart!), you either know me and were curious, or God led you here.

Can I share those Words with you that started stirring my soul? They are so important! They are God's Words to you, and to me.


Who is good? ~Romans 3:10~
As it is written, There is none righteous, no,not one.

Who has sinned? ~Romans 3:23~
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Where sin came from: ~Romans 5:12~
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

God's price of sin. ~Romans 6:23~
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Who paid The price? ~Romans 5:8~
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The only way out: ~Romans 10:9-10~
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus,and shalt believe in thine heart God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

~Romans 10:13~
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


 He loves you! (Jn 3:16)
If I can help you find Him or you have questions about finding Him, please write me at:
laptopmail(at)twlakes.net
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was saved over 23 years ago. God has given me 6 wonderful children whom I home school. I never moved to a big city either, we live in a very rural area in the middle of TN.
God has continued to prove Himself faithful through the years, while I remain amazed that He called me.
He is precious and I love Him, but why He ever loved me, is beyond me.
Luke 7:47-48  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.  And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.



11 comments:

becky said...

Beautiful testimony from a beautiful Christian mother! Luv you!Thanks for sharing!

Donna said...

Thank you Miss Becky. Love you too!

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say! That was a great testimony. You had me in tears. I think if you had time it would be great to learn how the Lord had his hand in bringing you to your new husband. I am saved and have had periods in my life where I have drawn away from the Lord. But I have been in a difficult situation the last 6 years, and the Lord helps me everyday. For one thing I don't know how I am still married. It has been very difficult, because my husband is not saved, and sometimes i just feel like he will never change and I should just leave but the Lord always helps me. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to move in my husband.

Donna said...

Praying for you Anonymous!
Prov 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again..

It is a hard place to walk where you are walking, but God is able to help you. He is so precious in those lonely places. James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.

(I've learned more of Him in those places than anywhere else.)

I have never let go of His precious hand, without bitterly regretting it, but I too have 'missed the mark' several times. (Romans 7:19) I pray God strengthens you and helps you to hold fast to the profession of your faith without wavering (Hebrews 10:23), but I know it is hard. I pray the Lord helps you to find His perfect will- and hold on to it. The old-timers would sometimes say "get ahold of that Live Wire"! :)

I pray the Holy Spirit moves upon your husband's heart and shows him that same peace and love that He showed me, and that he in turn accepts God's precious Gift.

With God, all things are possible.

If I could say one thing more, it would only be, don't despair or give up.

Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

You're not alone. God knows all about it.
-Praying for you!-
In Christ,
Donna


Joy said...

Even though I have heard your testimony before, its still touches and blesses me! May God richly bless you for sharing it! Love you Donna! You are a wonderful Godly lady with lots of wisdom!
Joy

Brenda Bell said...

Awesome!! God is awesome!! Oh how He loves us!!

Bre da

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. It was a wonderful surprise to be looking for a candy recipe and come up on a testamony of God's love and faithfulness. He has a really outstretched arm and your story and mine reveal it. I pray that someone else will come up on it and see what an awesome God He is.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony!! I've been saved since I was young but My sister is living the life that you described in the "old You". And this encourages me to keep talking about Christ and what he has done for me and what he can do for her. How something as small as letting someone know that you have been praying for them can stir up curiosity. God is so Good all the time! Bless you

Patty W said...

Thank you so much for being so real, so honest. What a testimony you have, and that the Lord's love is so healing... Jehovah Rapha..the God of healing. God is Love.. He is Peace, and He loves you unconditionally...Praise Him! What a wonderful life you have with the blessing of children and family. Bless you precious one..bless your family and bless your web site that so many enjoy... Thank you~~
Patty from the NW

Anonymous said...

anyone that reads this needs to pray hard for Donna!!!! I will not go into details but I will say this<the devil has consumed her!!!!! Again I ask PLEASE PRAY HARD FOR DONNA!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I would like to talk to this person who posted on April 7. Please reply again if you get this message.