I wrote out this testimony when I was baptized in July 2012. This is my basic story, and though I would love to share more, there just not room enough here.
I grew up in a Christian home, was taught about Christ and Christian values, but I didn’t actually accept Christ until I was 18 years old. I came to Him out of fear for my eternal soul rather than love for Him, so even though I felt that my soul was saved from hell, my life itself didn’t really change. As I grew older, I became more and more depressed and isolated myself to the point that I cut everyone off and would shut myself up in my room, only coming out when it was absolutely necessary. Every once in a while it would seem that things would get better, but I always fell back into that depression. I couldn’t get free of it. Looking back on it now, I see that this was my life without God in it. Even though I had accepted what He could do for my soul, I rejected the rest of Who He is. Because of this, I was separating myself from Him and lived in hopelessness and despair, rather than joy and love.
My depression and the choices I made while depressed brought me down a path of self-destruction. After trying to run away from my problems again, I reached a point where I was just done. I didn’t know what I was going to do, which I now know is right where God wanted me. Through my parents’ help, He brought me to a place to heal where He opened my eyes and my heart to His incredible love and forgiveness. Since then, I have been His, every part of me.
For me, I just want to grow with Him leading me. I want to be able to sit at His feet much like Mary did and have Him teach me. I want to serve Him in any capacity that He chooses for me, and I will be obedient in that. I am learning that following Him is not always easy and quite often He will ask me to do hard things, but I am also learning that He wouldn’t ask me to do these hard things if He hadn’t already given me the ability to do them. I am finally out of that despair and hopelessness and my life is now filled with the joy I was missing before. My faith and trust in Him has grown exponentially. It may sound crazy to say this, but if I knew that I would be at this place with God beforehand, I would still go through everything that I went through before – simply because that was the path that brought me to Him.
I have two Scripture passages that have meant a lot to me. One is Job 23:10, which says,
“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.”
Even in spite of everything I went through, that verse told me that God knew what was going on. The other is Isaiah 43:1-4, which says,
“1But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. 4Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
He gave me this passage the day He claimed me as His, and He is constantly reminding me every day that I am His and He will take care of me.