So. Here it goes y’all. My testimony. I’ve told myself I would make this post for a long time. I then forgot about it, but yet again God is telling me “share your testimony.”
Highschool. Oh boy, what a bittersweet time it was. One things for sure though, I had an attitude on me. Never wanting to do school work, yet always wanting to be president in every school club. Always wanting to hangout with friends, yet never showing my parents respect. Between the bad grades and smart mouth, my mom was fed up. She went to the church and signed me up for bible camp. Handing me over to God because she was at her wits end.
After bible camp
I was different. I didn’t fall in love with Jesus and give my life to Him. Camp was fun, don’t get me wrong, but I barely listened to the sermons. I was just there for fun and to see all the cute boys, but I still came back changed. I was nicer. Still grounded though. Once I realized that I couldn’t do anything unless it was church related I started going to all the activities I could with my Maranatha peeps. I was up in church just about everyday so I could get out and live. Do something! Before I knew it, I was listening to the sermons. Making friends, and falling in love with the King of all Kings. The I Am. The Holy One. Jesus. I became infatuated with Him. The camps I went to were no longer forced, but I voluntarily signed up!
I fell in love with God, but wasn’t ready to sign onto a life with Him.
Although I was changing from the inside out, I still said “I’m not ready.” Not ready to give my all into a relationship with God. Still going to all the church events. The one that would changed my life forever, though, was now in full swing. Bible camp in Colorado. This was towards the end of summer, nearing my Junior year. I was stoked to go somewhere I had never been and to do things I had never done, like whitewater rafting (everyone must do this). Something even more powerful than being adventurous with your best friends and hundreds of strangers happened to me that week. Every single doubt I had about why I couldn’t official say “ok God this is it” He gave me perspective to. One that I remember best is saying I couldn’t be a Christian because then I’d have to listen to boring music. This may sound like the silliest thing ever to you, but it’s what I told myself. Well guess who came to bible camp that week? FLAME. Flame y’all! Yes, Flame the Christian rapper performed at camp. My mind was blown. God put a twist to every doubt that crossed my mind.
That was it, I gave my life over to God. He showed up in my life and showed out.
I became obsessed with bible camps and prayer conferences. Seriously, I stayed in church. In the word. In fellowship. I just couldn’t get enough of God. He continued to bless me with new genres. I met Lecrea, Canton Jones, Anthony Evans, Sarah Reeves, and more… without even knowing they would be at the event! God is cool. I talked about God every change I got. You guys, I was head over heels in love with Him. I cannot even begin to describe the peace I felt. I was content and happy.
During this time we lived in California
The longest time I had ever lived in one place. There were a lot of moments that I wanted to get up and leave because I was used to doing that my whole childhood. With only a year and a half left until graduation the opportunity came up to move to Alabama. My dad gave me the option to stay in San Diego or leave. You’re probably thinking “of course you chose to stay in Cali, who would leave that place?!” Welp, I didn’t. I moved to Alabama because all my family was/is there and I mean I never got to see them growing up so it was a must.
Packed my bags and rushed to get to Alabama for family, yet shunned them out of my life as soon as I arrived.
Not even a month in and I met a boy. A boy who eventually became my first ever real, real boyfriend. One I even lost my virginity to. Right after the act I actually called my friends from SD and told them all about it. They were surprised, shocked, and disappointed. They couldn’t believe me. The one who always talked about God and staying a virgin till marriage had lost my virginity. But I did. I expected them to be happy for me, but they were confused. Why was I was quick to throw away my spiritual relationship with my heavenly Father for a flesh pleasing relationship here on Earth?
Maybe because I was getting attention in person. Touching, talking, and everything else a relationship can have in person. I don’t know what exactly it was, but I was warned. From family members, friends, and people I barely even knew to leave. To exit the relationship and never look back. But I couldn’t. My infatuation with God became non existent while I became head over heels for my earthly relationship. (We’ll just call him boy to describe this boyfriend of mine.) Boy became my idol without me even realizing it. I was so quick to let God go.
Boy became my first boyfriend and also my abuser.
- Convincing me that my parents were no good.
- Making sure I stayed in communication with him at all times.
- Not taking no for an answer.
- Finding him messaging other girls in an inappropriate way.
Yet I stayed.
A couple times I tried to leave, but never got away. I was sure boy would eventually change and we’d get married one day. This may sound insane, but it’s true. These were my thoughts. I was in love.
It was time for us to pack up again for another move.
The family was moving to Japan and neither of us wanted me to go. For that, we tried to get pregnant. It didn’t work, but we lied anyway and said I was so I wouldn’t have to move and could live with him. (During this time it all made since and now talking about it, it sounds absurd. Maybe thats why I’ve waited awhile to share.) Thankfully, my parents weren’t going to let that happen. The whole plane ride to Japan was depressing. Even about the first couple of months of living there. I messaged and face timed boy every chance I got.
Eventually it finally hit me that I wanted and needed to leave the relationship with boy.
Being in a different country was the perfect opportunity for me to safely get away. So I thought. Without getting into too much detail (because it involves other people), boy found a way to harass me from a different country! I mean it was crazy the amount of things I had to face in Japan from someone who lived in the United States. After so long things cooled down and I tried getting back into church. All while still checking boys social media for whatever reason. I remember many people making fun of me and telling me I couldn’t go to church or get back into God after all the sin I committed. I fell right into that trap and continued to push God away. Again. Still, while checking up on boy every so often.
The time came for college. My parents wanted me to go back to Alabama since family was there and they were living out of the country. They needed to have all eyes on me to keep me grounded. Well, right after landing back into Alabama I called boy. Please don’t ask why because I don’t know myself. All I know is that he was my drug. I was addicted. I’d realize he was no good for me, put him down then all of a sudden not be able to live without him anymore.
- the protection order
- pulling a knife out on me
- the everyday fights
- always threatening to kill himself when I tried to leave
- breaking my phone and stealing my keys
- showing up at my job unannounced
- getting someone else pregnant
and much more, I still stayed.
If that’s not a drug I don’t know what is.
College Part Two
During college me and boy were very on and off. I took it upon myself to meet other guys. More like sleep around. I never officially dated, but I had sex. With different guys. I did get connected in a church after while, but I was still living with lust as my idol.
Time and time again I tried repairing my relationship with God and could never find the peace I first felt my sophomore year of high school. When I couldn’t find that peace I pushed God away. I believed that I would never find it again and that maybe Christ, our Savior isn’t for me. Then He told me “how can we be as close as we were before when you keep putting idols before me?”
First it was the lust. Now it’s the dream career. Chasing after boys I didn’t need. Depending on their attention to only being happy if I’m chasing my passion. Creating plans for my life without ever asking God what He has for me.
It was in a moment of being broke financially, emotionally, physically, and all the above that I finally decided to take time to listen to God.
I was failing in my business. In debt. Not able to provide for my family. Feeling stressed out from a broken dream. Frustrated with God for leaving me. Having my car break down. Getting a ticket. Looking in the mirror and hating myself. Feeling anxious and depressed over having to stay home all day inside as a stay at home mom. Complaining about everything. Goodness I could go on, I finally said OK GOD!!! Speak to me. Show up in my life. Help me and guide me.
And He said “this is the moment I’ve been waiting for.”
Even before typing this I had a meltdown, but before I would have let that breakdown affect me to the point of continuing to give up on life and Jesus but tonight, with God on my side I’m choosing not to let the meltdown define me. I’m choosing to always go back to Jesus. Keep Him first through everything. To listen to Him. To be happy in Him even if my dreams don’t come true or things don’t happen the way I want. It’s not about me.
No longer being scared to share my story. Turning my pain and my hurts into a testimony for those who need it. To live for God and GOD ALONE! Do you hear me?! God spoke to me so clearly in the moment of me crying out to Him. He said “baby girl, go back to where you started.”See the moment I gave my life to Jesus is the moment things started aligning and shaping up for me. The times it felt like He wasn’t there are the times He was there the most.
The bad relationship.
Following my fleshly desires.
Chasing after MY plan and failing miserably.
Were not bad things, but beautiful things because I can now share them with you. They’re beautiful because they built me up and strengthened me. My answer to the question I kept asking myself all those times “why can’t I get back to the way things were when I first fell in love with the Lord?” was answered. Because I was putting idols before God and letting my obstacles define me.
“I thought the storm meant that God has left me, but it really means He’s on the way.”
There’s two testimonies in this story. The moment I first gave my life to God, then the time I did again. And my testimony will never stop. Everyday brings growth. And most importantly, everyday calls for alignment. Stay in prayer, devotionals, fellowship. Stay in God!!