My testimony: it wasn’t the fear of hell but of separation from God

Dear friends,
I want to share some of my story with y’all. It is not something I take pride in, but I hope it can be a blessing to you. It is a story of how God can change a young heart from being at enmity towards God to being adopted by Him and called a child of His.
I was born into a wonderful, godly family. My parents prayed earnestly that each of their children would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I always had a great love and respect for my parents and I never doubted their love for me! :heart:

From a very early age I felt the holds of satan on my life. I didn’t care what consequences came by my action as my parents disciplined us with the “rod of correction”. But even with the rod I remember many times my dad just choosing to not discipline me with it and instead, he, sitting in His chair, would just start praying for me or open up God’s word with me which often times was more painful for me. I know he knew there was more going on in my heart. I was a horrible, fit throwing, and rebellious child.
When I was about 5 yrs. old, it got to a climax point in my life. I’m not sure what brought it about, but I clearly remember going completely wild one evening during one of our family devotions that my father lead us in before heading off to bed. I know I was possessed by a demon, terrified at myself because I had no control over myself. My family gathered around me and just started crying out to God to rescue me. I was a mess, drooling uncontrollably and felt like a wild cat had climbed inside me. Mentally I was all there, but I knew it wasn’t me. The more they prayed the worse and more devilish I got until finally after a long spiritual battle, I was physically and spiritually exhausted and their prayers had won the victory! I remember laying on the floor kinda stunned at what had just happened, but even then I didn’t want Christ to rule my life. I enjoyed living in my fleshly desires and even as a child, I knew that if I gave my life to Christ I couldn’t live that way anymore. I really admired those that had a walk with Christ, but I didn’t see the need to give my life to Christ if it was just so I could escape hell and be in heaven forever. I had heard several sermons about hell, but none of that bothered me, I was so cold hearted!

I’ve always loved being around people and interacting with them, but when I was about 6-7 I became more controlled by my desires to please man. I wanted to look the part without actually having to be a Christian. One day I told my dad that I was saved and at our church when you had given your life to Christ you would stand at the front of the auditorium so people could come by and rejoice with you. Since I was still young my dad offered to stand by me… I cried that whole time. People thought I was crying because of joy, but I was crying because I knew I had just told the church a big huge lie! I hadn’t repented nor had I asked Christ to be my Lord and Savior.

My family is very close and my parents strove to connect with each of us kids which, when you have 15 other siblings can be a very big task, but they were and are committed to having that unique, personal relationship with each of us! So sometimes they would take us out for ice-cream or do something fun that was along our line of interests.
After my false profession of faith, I was so scared that my dad would take me on a date because I didn’t want him to bring up anything about salvation. And to my sinful relief, he never did during that period. His life spoke Christ and the topic of salvation haunted me — God was at work! I felt like I couldn’t get away from it even though nobody (that is, except the HolySpirit) was talking to me about it.

By now, several months had passed and I was realizing the emptiness of the path I was taking. I started considering what it would be like if I ended my life because I didn’t think I had purpose in life. Yes, I had grown up “knowing” that God created me for a purpose, but I sure didn’t believe it. I didn’t know how ending my life would help anybody anyways so I tried to put those thoughts aside. Looking for meaning and purpose for my life, I was now 7 years old. I never shared much of my thoughts with people as I tended to be a very private person with my thoughts and emotions. It was after a Wed. night service after my parents had already tucked us in bed that there was a knock on my bedroom door, it was my dad. He came in and just started telling me about this guy who was lost out at sea and all alone, then someone came along and saved him… (I can’t remember the whole illustration He gave), and then he went into what a savior was and the story of redemption. After he shared that with me, he got up and walked out without saying anything else or asking me if I wanted to be saved. I couldn’t sleep that night! It wasn’t the fear of hell that was bothering me, it was the fact that if I died not knowing Christ, I would be eternally separated from God my creator. I always envisioned God being like my dad and when I thought of the hope, freedom, and relationship He offered me, I knew that that’s what I was created for, I would have purpose and meaning! And I felt the yearning in my soul to make God smile. I didn’t care what anybody else thought of me (as in that being the driving force of my life), I wanted to know God! I don’t know why I still waited longer, guess I thought I needed time to grieve the dying of myself. :woman_facepalming: It wasn’t until the following Sunday that I (along with my dad) went forward after the invitation was given and there, at the altar, I asked Christ to forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with his blood and I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Saviour! I was able to be baptized a month later — the longest month of my life!

One of my very favorite sayings in the Bible is “But God”. Because my life would be a different story as I’m sure all can testify to if it weren’t for the “but God” intervention!

Since that day God has taught me so much! He has placed so many wonderful people in my life to learn from as well as many opportunities to invest in others. I have such a burden for people and want to spend my life sharing Christ with others and sharing the hope that they too can have. Currently the Lord has allowed me to teach children’s Sunday school which has been great! I don’t know what all the future holds, but I know who holds the future!

Thanks be to God! :pray:

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Dea Charity, thank you for sharing your story with us. I am happy that how you always wanted to love Jesus in different phases of your life. I am sure that God will reveal himself to you more in the current phase of your life. I pray for God’s faithfulness upon your life in its entirety.
God bless!

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Thank you so much! God is so good to reveal Himself to us during different times!

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Thank you for your shared transparency. Your presence here is awesome. You have gone through things that have shaped U for the balance of your life in a very good way. Thank you for connecting in the way that it is intended. God-bless

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Thank you Bro. Keldon for your welcoming spirit towards me! I’m truly blessed by those the Lord has led across my path and I hope to give back in whatever way I can!

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You are a most precious soul, Miss Charity. My humble prayer for you right now In Jesus name is that He will cause your heart to ever increase in love and longing for Him and to never stop growing (with ever increasing joy!) in the image and likeness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May your heart love Him so much that to do His will becomes your “food” no matter the cost.

Adoneinu baruch aht akhot! (Our Lord bless you sister).

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Praise the Lord! I so appreciate your words of encouragement and prayer! :heart:

This reminds me of the verses in Psalms 34:8-10

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

May we find Him to be our complete sustenance and realize the abundant riches found in Him alone. In Him we lack nothing!

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A very precious testimony from a very precious young lady - thank you for sharing that, Charity!

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Thank you Bro. @jlyons for your kind words!
I’m thankful for the oppertunity to share what God has done and pray it can be a blessing!

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What an amazing testimony @CharityLinzey. May God bless you and guide you in your path according to His will. I can see it already. It is beautiful.

Your brother in Christ.

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Thanks @Danageze for reaching out to me, you’ve been an encouragement since I recently joined the connect!

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Hi Charity, That’s such a beautiful testimony of God’s goodness! His loves chases us all the time. What a beautiful heart you have! :heart: God bless you immensely! So proud of you for glorifying His name!

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Hi @CharityLinzey! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I felt so blessed to be able to read how God has worked in your life. I can think of people who have faced similar battles, and this gives such hope to know that God is always working, never ceasing, so that he can change us from glory to glory. I also love the steadfastness of your parents, both to you and to the Lord. Your dad has clearly done a great job as a role model if he inspires you to love God as Father more. I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts recently. God bless you.

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Charity, thank you so much for sharing your story, for being so open about your experience with rebellion and finally salvation! I have many children as well and know how difficult it can be to tend to each of their needs spiritually, although I think we are doing ok in that area :wink:, and your testimony speaks to how your parents faithfully prayed for and loved you as you struggled and eventually had the desire for God! Praise God for His love and that you could see it through your earthly father! I am glad you have peace and joy and are spreading those blessings to others around you. God bless you sister! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Charity, it is beautiful that even at such a young and tender age you can recall the truth of a rebellious heart, and that as God called you at a young age, you now minister to children, and see how important it is that ALL be told of his sacrifice offering that relationship to youngsters now. May God bless your ministry as you continually put seeking him first in your life :heart:

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Thank you @Shalom8 for the kind words! Yes, I’m so very thankful for the immense love of our Lord!!

Hey @artownsend, you’ve been an inspiration to me since I’ve joined the connect! Praise the Lord, I’m so thankful the Lord can use my story to be a blessing and I’m grateful that He’s not done with me yet!

Thanks @gchop for allowing your light to shine as well, I’ve been encouraged by you already and really appreciate your encouragement to me! I love the quote “God loves us just the way we are, but way to much to leave us that way”! Thankful for His redeeming grace!

@Ladymanz, I actually hadn’t made that specific connection with teaching children until I was writing out this testimony! God knows how to use the vessels He molds for His use and in His time. I love the kids I work with and feel like I’m learning so much from them as well!

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Good morning Charity, thank you for sharing with this family your young journey to salvation.
Amazing God, outstanding Father and family, and OH what a beautiful testimony of His Mercy, and Grace.

Charity , in Christian thought, the highest form of love, signifying the reciprocal love between God and man that is made manifest in unselfish love of one’s fellow men. … Paul’s classical description of charity is found in the New Testament (I Cor. 13).

Providence not coincidence is always my take on things and your good name and it’s TRUE meaning listed above, revealed here on connect and elsewhere, with those children, you have given much evidence to, may be the reason you went through those things at such a young age. Satan our enemy mimics God, is not a respecter of anyone and will seek, kill, destroy at any age. He tried to kill Jesus.
Herod tried to destroy Jesus before He was two but God thwarted that plan and He did the same for you.
God has kept you and called you perhaps for such a time as this.

I am glad to say real, genuine Charity is common here on connect but very rare in the world.

Your full impact for the Kingdom is yet to be seen, may God direct you as you progress along your journey here, as you share your future encouraging input, and wisdom.

Love in Christ
Mike

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Dear Charity, @CharityLinzey

Your testamony is almost terrifying when reading about the enemies attack on you and your level of awareness at such a young age. When you were five years old and struggling with darkness, I wasn’t much older. Those are the magical times for many children, even in hardships. I was contemplating the mysteries of creation with my brother under a star lit night, while you were activly, and with acute awareness, engaging in spiritual warfare. It brings the reality of our enemies relentness attacks into focus. His evil has no boundries.

Peter 1 5:8

’ Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roring lion, seeking someone to devour. ’

Thank you Charity for sharing this most difficult early childhood. Isn’t our Lord amazing beyond anything we can imagine!? Already, He had instilled within your heart, ( in all of our hearts ) even as a child, awareness of Him. We know Him so easily as children.

You have such a beautiful spirit. I’m thankful our Lord gave you such an astute conscience: but of course He did : slightly_smiling_face: Keep fighting the good fight Charity.

And praise to our Father in heaven we will never have to fear being seperated from Him, EVER. We have that complete assurance because of our Lord’s love and sacrifice.

Blessings,
~Sanah~

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Thank you Bro. Mike @mgaplus4!

Truly God has shown His mercy in not giving me what I do deserve and grace in giving me what I don’'t deserve! He promises to do that with anyone who comes to Him for salvation! Jesus has taken our punishment therefore we can receive both of His mercy and grace. :heart:

I think what you mentioned here is so imperative as we endeavor to reach the world for Christ!

It’s easy to get discouraged as we see the “storm clouds” rolling in, but may we not faint because of it, rather see the urgency in the situation to share the message of Hope before the storm comes. Now is not the time to become lackadaisical, now is the time to move forward and to redeem the time!

Thanks so much for your encouragement to me and I know many others!

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Wow, @sanahdalah15, it’s so fascinating to see how God didn’t leave either of us alone in our journeys!! :astonished:

We see even in the animal kingdom, the “animal of prey” often seeks out the weakest and most vulnerable for His prey and it’s the same in the spiritual realm. I’m grateful for the prayers of others and the intervention of our great God! He, our Creator, knows exactly where we are and what we need. :pray: :raised_hands:

So true… and I’m so thankful that the grace of God reaches even beyond that!! :blush: :bowing_woman:

Sanah, I never cease to be amazed at the love and goodness of our Lord. Thanks for your encouragement to me, and rejoicing together in our awesome Savior! May we never get over what He’s done for us, but continue to search Him out and share what He’s done with all those we come in contact with as we seek to live out the Christian life. :point_up: :raised_hands: :pray: :grin:

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