Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What's Your Story?

     What's your story?  I know you have one.  How has God worked in your life?  How have all the pieces--good and bad--worked together to bring you to Him?  As I was flipping through some old journals tonight, I realized that I haven't shared my testimony through this format.  Now seemed a good time to do that.

I encourage you to share your story with someone today.  You never know how much they may need to hear your story of God's faithfulness.


     My grandparents had been high school sweethearts before they got married.  My mom and dad had also been high school sweethearts.  I thought that was so sweet and so romantic.  I was sure that would be my story too.  From the time that I started dating, I looked at every guy I met to assess if he would be the guy I would end up marrying.  I was a girl looking for that special someone. 
    All through junior high and high school, I never felt like I really belonged.  Even when I was with my closest friends, I felt like I was on the fringes of the group.  I so desperately wanted to belong, to feel accepted just as I was. 
    By the time I was 17, I began seeking God.  My family had fallen away from regular church attendance, I had started to miss it.  I heard of a new church that was starting, and I felt completely drawn to that.  It's something I can only attribute to God.  I went the first day they had service.  By myself.  As a 17-year-old girl who did not know a single person there.  That could only be God pushing me there!
    I got very involved and felt accepted.  I got baptized pretty quickly, although I don't think I truly understood what that meant at that time.  I remember meeting with Pastor Randy Smith.  Over a Coke at McDonald's, he nervously shared with me that he had never baptized anyone before.  I told him that it was okay because I had never been baptized before.
    So I had this dichotomy in my life....a new found faith and a near obsessive desire to be loved and accepted.  Although I've always been a "good girl," my need to fill that emptiness inside me was so strong that I found myself doing things I never intended to do.
    I was 21 when I got married.  Brad seemed to be a good guy, although he had more red flags in his past than you can imagine.  He loved me, and I loved him.  And I thought that would be enough.  In retrospect, there were so many things that I overlooked before we were married.  It didn't take very long before our marriage fell apart.  I saw a personality emerge in him that I did not know existed.  There was tension, manipulation, and emotional abuse almost from the beginning.  What made it even harder for me was that he had a deceptively charming public face.  I didn't think anyone would believe me... and I couldn't talk about it anyway.  I didn't believe it myself most of the time.
    When we got divorced was the most emotionally difficult time of my life.  I was broken and so ashamed of how I had been treated and where I had ended up.  How could this be my life?  Divorced at the age of 23.  My family and close friends were completely supportive of me.  But in so many ways, I felt more alone than I ever had been. 
    This is when my relationship with God really started.  I look at that part of my life as "Just me and God."  I began talking to Him because I didn't know where else to turn.  This is when I first started reading my Bible regularly and beginning to memorize Scripture.  He began to show me how that longing I had always felt, that emptiness inside, was Him calling my name.  I now know that the only thing that can fill that void in my heart is God Himself.
    Eventually I began to feel human again.  Even after getting divorced, I really felt like I was meant to be married and to be a mom.  The desire had changed though from trying to find someone to fill my holes to trying to find who God wanted me for my partner, my friend.
    I am so blessed and very grateful that God allowed Todd to come into my life.  I was damaged goods when he met me, and he never gave up on me.  There were many, many times when he got blamed for something Brad had done years before, but he stuck by me, telling me that he wasn't like that, and we would work through it.  I don't often give him enough credit, but I would not be the Christian woman I am today without his love and support.
    One of the best things Todd and I ever did was find a church where we both felt like it was home. 
From the sermons, Sunday school, Bible studies to all the people we call friends, God continues to work in me, showing the next step and the next step. 
    I have come so far and learned so much since that time.  I just always wanted to be loved and accepted for who I am and to feel like I belonged.  I found what I was looking for in God.  He promised in Philippians 4:19 that He would supply ALL our needs.  He supplies my need to feel loved and accepted, and I know that I belong to Him.


No comments:

Post a Comment