The Miracle, Even For The Hopeless, Of Being Forgiven, Cleansed, & Made New

March 23, 2013

Friends,
My friend at Israeliteindeed posted her salvation testimony yesterday and though she’d shared with me some of it a few years ago, I have never read a more incredible testimony as what she now posted. I wept through most of it, feeling so sad about the enormous pain and ruin sin causes, but also feeling so grateful to the Lord for His forgiveness toward all who genuinely cry out to Him for it. As I read, tears were rolling down my cheeks, and while thinking too of those I’m interceding for, I felt overwhelmed once again with God’s love, and that hope He ignites, when He reminds me, “See? Even the worst of sinners can, through Me, be forgiven and become completely new creations.”

Here is her testimony:

New post on The Grace of God that Brings Salvation

My Salvation Testimony

by israeliteindeed

I was adopted at age 4 out of a bad situation. My birthmother had married an abusive alcoholic who wouldn’t keep a roof over our heads. He had dedicated their marriage to satan on their wedding night. After living through a nightmare and having 3 children in 3 years, my birthmother had a nervous breakdown and gave up the 2 youngest children for adoption. I went to my adoptive parents with a terror of men, chronic nightmares about the devil and violence, and emotional issues.

My new mother was a teacher in a Christian school. She made sure I had a good educational foundation and she invested time and love in me. I still remember her reading the Proverbs to me when I was very little. I didn’t understand all the words, but I was drawn to them. When I had nightmares as a child, I would turn on my light and read the Bible. Something about the wonderful Word of God comforted me. I owe much to my mother.

My parents took me to church several times a week. I learned about Jesus in a time when an 80 yr.-old Sunday School teacher could easily control 20 small children all by herself. I remember the little painted wooden chairs we sat on, and Mrs. Hahn’s white hair and wrinkled face, and how she illustrated Bible stories by sticking felt people to a felt board. I easily believed everything I learned of Jesus, but…

Unfortunately my father had issues of his own, and my rejection of him didn’t help. Our relationship started badly, and by the time I was a teenager, I hated him. He was very religious, but he was also physically abusive. I despised him for his hypocrisy and resented my mother for being so submissive to him. I began to rebel against God as a teen attending a Christian school. Most of the other students seemed to be Christians in name only just like me. Amazingly, though, I had a best friend–a pastor’s daughter–who seemed to have a true heart for God. I admired her and wanted to be like her, but I just couldn’t. My own heart was darkened. Jesus had failed me (so I thought). I knew He existed & died for my sins, but I declared to my mother at 17 years old, that I had

***no intention of letting Jesus tell me what to do.***

I was angry and bitter. I was sure I could make myself happy once I got to make choices for myself. I thought Jesus was my Savior even if I didn’t listen to Him, because this is a message I had heard. It was a comforting lie, very easy to embrace.

I began dating my husband when I was 16 and he was 17. We lived in sexual sin and more guilt piled onto the burden I already carried. Even before I married my husband, I was weighed down with shame that I tried to blame on everyone else. It was my parents’ fault, my boyfriend’s fault–it was never my fault. And though I was calling all the shots in my life now, I still wasn’t happy.

After marriage, our lack of a real foundation in Christ caused our relationship to suffer. I was sure my husband didn’t love me because he didn’t worship me the way I thought a husband should. I didn’t realize a wife was to be a helper for her husband, not a god to be worshiped! I really had no idea what a marriage should look like. In my mind, my mother had been a doormat, and I had no intention of being so. I tried to control everything and was chronically depressed because of my false expectations and selfishness. My frustrated husband withdrew from me and spent more time at work. Still searching for that elusive happiness, I decided that having children must be the magic “fix” for my sorrows.

At 20 years of age, I had my first baby, and a second baby followed a year after. It didn’t take long for this self-centered girl to realize that having children was not the best way to keep life revolving around ME! My little children needed me so much, and they forced me to look outside of myself and focus on the needs of others (God is so wise!) I did my best to do this, but I secretly resented it and felt sorry for myself.

I then decided that a career must be the thing that would make me happy, and I handed my kids over to a babysitter and went to work. Problems got even worse at an alarming rate. My friends were all bad (birds of a feather flock together!) Men flirted with me, inflating my ego and increasing my resentment of my husband. Women listened to my complaints and told me,

“You don’t deserve that. You deserve to be happy. Follow your heart.”

***I had no idea how satan was setting me up through the evil counsel of evil friends to my evil heart.***

I began to entertain wicked, adulterous thoughts–always justifying myself with the lie that I was the victim, and thinking I was hurting no one.

My thought life led to grievously wicked actions that only brought me into more bondage. But as I got more disillusioned, Jesus began to show me that the wages of my sin would only ever be death.

Because I returned to work in a medical facility so soon after my 3rd baby was born, she got very sick and nearly died. She was in the ICU with half a lung functioning, and a nurse told me if she didn’t turn around soon, her heart would stop. This thought terrified me. Completely selfish, I couldn’t see how *I* could handle losing a baby. It wasn’t fair. A relative urged me to read the Bible, which made me even more angry. Why was he talking to me about God when my baby was dying! He said Jaime would go to heaven; it was ME he was worried about. I was frustrated and angry at God, but in desperation I promised God that if He would heal my baby, I would start living right. He healed my baby and I forgot my promise. After all, this was about ME, not HIM. I was the victim. I treated God like He was one of many gods in my life. I would pull Him out and pray when I was in distress, but otherwise I preferred Him to leave me alone.

I must leave the details of my bondage to sin out, as they will edify no one. But suffice it to say I did things that broke my husband’s heart and endangered my family. And all this time I thought I was a Christian. After all, “we all sin every day,” right, and He just overlooks it all because He died on the cross?–That’s what I thought.

I sank lower in sin than I ever thought I could. And one day while I was trying to get drunk so as to dull my guilty conscience,

The rest of her testimony can be read here: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/my-salvation-testimony/

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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