Testimony

I was brought up in a very dysfunctional family dynamic. I don’t need to go into details as I’m sure many of you understand dysfunction. It caused me to search for something better at a very young age. At age 8, I knelt down and asked Jesus to save me. I had no clue what It meant to be a Christian. All I knew was I wanted to be rescued from the chaos. I wanted to be loved.
I was born with a dark brown birthmark that covered the majority of my face. I was very self-conscious and insecure. I spent most of my childhood and early teenage years in the hospital having reconstructive surgery. Because of all the dysfunction and surgeries I struggled socially and academically. School was very hard for me. I had a hard time learning and I was very withdrawn.
My family did not attend church regularly so the little eight-year-old girl that knelt down to receive Jesus had not been taught how to carry out her faith. Rather than chasing after God I chased after happiness in all the worldly ways. This left me completely empty inside. Life was void of meaning and I became very depressed. At age 17, I tried to commit suicide.
I wish I could say that the suicide attempt changed me immediately but it did not. I still had no clue what I needed. Around age 19 my sister invited me to church. I started attending regularly and I fell in love with it.
Through the years there would be a church split, a falling away from God, a divorce and a remarriage. I began questioning everything. How did I get here? Was I truly a Christian? How do I overcome this? Will God ever use me again? I was truly devastated by all that had taken place. I lost my witness. I lost my integrity. I felt so foolish.
One day I was watching Joyce Meyer and Ravi Zacharias was on with her. I heard things I had never heard before and was fascinated so I looked him up. That was nine years ago. I have been completely blown away. I had never heard of apologetic’s. I had no clue how to defend my faith. I always felt defeated.
I started to study for hours every day. It was so exciting to learn. I was 46 years old. It’s embarrassing to say that but it’s true. I was like a child soaking up every word like a sponge. I was finally more capable of defending my faith before atheist, agnostics and people from other religious backgrounds. I am thankful for RZIM.
I am still making my way back from a fractured life. Our Lord is so incredible. So merciful. So gracious and loving. I really did not know this. I was always going through the motions thinking that if I kept going to church, kept serving in the church, kept getting involved in outreach (all of which I loved) and kept trying to be good I would remain loved and excepted.
I went down many wrong paths. I chose the hard way and I have so many regrets but I am very thankful for the lessons. Now, I have more compassion, I am less judgmental, I am more merciful and understanding. I am a different person. Always a sinner saved by grace not wanting to abuse that grace. Thankful for the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Thankful that “He who began a good work in me, is faithful to complete it." ~ Philippians 1:6
Thankful that “Mercy triumphs over Judgement!” ~ James 2:13
Thankful that “God so loved the WORLD, that He GAVE His only begotten Son.” ~ John 3:16
Thankful that God changed me from a woman who wanted to please Him because I felt I HAD to, to a woman who strives to please Him because I WANT to. We have a beautiful God, who pursues us, chastises because he loves us, breaks us, remolds us ~Hebrews 12:5-6 and then creates a love in us that apart from Him we would not have. I am so grateful. Thank you Jesus, thank You for providing A way!

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Thankful that “He who began a good work in me, is faithful to complete it." ~ Philippians 1:6

So very awesome. Thank you for sharing. I am so appreciative of your courage and transparency. God bless you. You are a beloved child of God. His spirit will guide you the balance of your life as the spirit has done already. Your testimony will impact many, not only here. It has impacted me already today. In him. Kel.

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Sig! @sig
Your testimony is beautiful. I sensed God pursuing you all along. I had tears in my eyes reading about your sweet little 8 year old self seeking a Rescuer. He was there with you the whole time, Sig. So grateful for the way you’ve come through so much hurt and confusion… And now have such a testimony of His grace and persistence to keep you close.
I especially loved how, in your 40’s, you have dug into the scriptures, found a way to defend your faith … it’s never too late!
I also, was never taught apologetics…until I was forced into a situation in my late 20’s (and I was raised in the faith).
Thank you, Sig. Your story will give so much hope to those with similar experiences.
Every one has a journey to share- a road they’ve traveled- that can benefit the body of Believers. I’d give you a hug if I could. Bless you, Sig!

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@sig,

Thank you for your courage in sharing this testimony. I’ve heard it said that if you want to impress people, share your strengths. If you want to draw close to people, share your struggles. I feel drawn closer to you, my sister in the Lord, as I hear how God has worked in your life. It encourages me that it is never too late to love God, cherish him as our treasure, and serve him with all of our lives. I’m excited to be growing in faith with you.

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Oh, @sig, I’m so grateful to you for sharing your story. The love of Jesus shines through in a really beautiful way because it shows how he’s been working through your life, even from the time you were a little girl. It’s so exciting for us to see the power of God manifest in someone’s life on such a deep, personal level.

This line especially stood out to me: “Thankful that God changed me from a woman who wanted to please Him because I felt I HAD to, to a woman who strives to please Him because I WANT to.” I feel like this is what happens as we really discover how much the Lord loves us. It’s so sweet to read a testimony of how his love transforms us.

And @Sig, know that your RZIM Connect family loves you and that we’re so grateful to you for sharing. As @Keldon_Scott said, I’m sure that many - including those beyond RZIM Connect - will be touched by your story as well as the courage it takes to follow the Lord’s leading and click “publish.” :heart:

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Hey @sig! Thank you for sharing this! I always read your comments and wonder how thoughtful they are. Now I know that because of His amazing work of grace in your life, you are able to extend it to other. It shows sister! Blessings dear.
Sara

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Sig, thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us! It is so powerful! I felt such hope in reading it. I really identify with your words:

“Always a sinner saved by grace not wanting to abuse that grace. Thankful for the saving power of Jesus Christ.”

I have really appreciated your contributions in Connect and am looking forward to growing together with you in Christ.:heart:

By the way, I feel a special kinship with you because I, too, became revitalized in my faith in my late 40’s! It is so exciting to know that I’m not alone. God bless you!:blush:

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Dear @sig, You have such an amazing story of hope and redemption! I praise God with you for the way He has guided you to bring you to Himself. I too have noticed the tenderness and compassion in your comments previously and wondered about your testimony. Thank you for taking this step of boldness to share your story. It is such a great blessing to have you in this community. May God use your story mightily to bring hope!

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Thank you Sig. You offer such an important reminder that Jesus doesn’t love us in a one-shot, one deal kind of way; when we submit to Him in our genuine desire for His love and direction, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us and He will walk beside us through all the twists and turns, ups and downs, and messy mistakes we make. “Mercy triumphs over judgement!” indeed.

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Dear Sig, thank you so much for sharing your testimony with us. This is a really strong example of how God’s love can so miraculously change a person. HE heard your prayer that day and saved you and gave meaning to your life. This encourages me very much and I am sure that your testimony will be a blessing for many others. I wish you God’s rich blessing.

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Dear Sig
Where did I miss it? You received all of those accolades and I fell asleep twice trying to get through it. Where’s the beef?

Now that I got your attention, I want to tell you what a beautiful woman you turned out to be. Maybe physically but I know spiritually. What I’ve noticed about you is that you follow the convictions of your heart. In fact, you are heavy on using the heart as your emoji. Perfect. You are a person with a huge heart. Unbeknownst to you, Jesus is pouring out His huge heart upon others using you. I know that you are not even aware how much you are being used. Connect stepped up about double its tempo when you came along. I hope you stay here until Jesus calls us all to Him. Please realize, I know you are not as perfect as we all may be saying but what we are saying is that you are a valuable child of God. I’ve been immensely blessed with you around. Thank you sister from the bottom of my heart! :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:!!!

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Lol, Tim you always make me laugh! Yeah, I do love the heart emoji. I don’t even have to look for it because it’s the first one in the queue ha ha!
Thank you :heart:

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:heart:

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What a blessing to hear your testimony. Your words " I had no clue what It meant to be a Christian. All I knew was I wanted to be rescued from the chaos. I wanted to be loved" expressed thoughts I’ve never been able to articulate. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about your age. We are never too old for God to use us for His purpose. Look at Sarah who was 90 years old when she gave birth to Isaac. You have a very encouraging spirit and I know God is using you to bless others.
Blessings, Pam

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