My Testimony

Our testimony is a very powerful tool that God uses to weave our lives into the lives of others. He has given us this amazing transformational experience in salvation through Jesus Christ so that we can bring others into his kingdom. So it’s very important that we are living in a way that honors Him and brings glory to His name and draws others to us and to Him. We have to be able to share our story when given opportunities to do so and, as the Bible says, to give a reason for the hope that lies within us. As promised, here is my testimony:

*This is going to be an abbreviated version of my life’s story…I could write so much more, but I’m going to hit the main points for the sake of time and space.*

I was raised having to go to the Catholic Church with my mom and my grandma and my brothers until I was 14 years old. I went through all the rituals that they require including CCD classes, confirmation, first Communion, etc. However, I still believe to this day that God was shielding my heart and my mind during these years as nothing about this religious system made any sense to me whatsoever. I always disagreed with the thought of having to go into a box and tell a stranger my “sins.” I didn’t even understand what sins were. I don’t remember ever hearing the Gospel and the only thing I knew of Jesus was that he hung on a cross in front of the church. I never knew why. When I was 14, my mom finally started giving me a choice to not have to go with her, and I took that first out as fast as I could and never went back.

That was around the time that I started getting a lot of freedom and abusing it. Many of my friends had parents going through divorces and they had a lot of freedom too, which meant that we were doing a lot of stuff that we were not supposed to be doing. I had several years of lots and lots of drinking and partying, eventually leading to having sex with my boyfriend, who broke up with me on my birthday. Let me back up for a minute. When I was 12, my grandma who I lived next door to all my life and loved so dearly, passed away. Within the same week, I had gone to my friend’s house and was raped by her older brother. This was an extremely traumatic time in my life (I was in junior high). Because the guy was a high school football player, word spread fast and I had all kinds of people coming up to me at school saying the most horrible things to me. All of my so-called friends deserted me except for one. I was left to endure this for what felt like an eternity and I literally for the first and only time in my life wanted to die. I never really had any help to deal with any of this and my self-esteem plummeted, so I believe that is more than likely what led to the behavior in high school that I later exhibited. 

My dad was an alcoholic my whole life. He was absent emotionally and a lot of times physically as well. My mom was also absent a lot due to always being overcommitted at work. She also was involved in an affair that came out and ruined our family completely when I was 17. I had been dating a guy for a year and we had gone to a high school dance the night that it all came out. My dad was at the lake and he called me around 11:00 saying he was headed home with his gun loaded ready to kill both of them. Thankfully, by the time he got all the way back to our house, he had come to his senses and decided not to do it. My mom completely abandoned us all to be with the man who is now my stepdad. She left the night she got caught and she never looked back. **These are painful experiences and memories and I do not tell any of this to slander either one of my parents in any way. I love both of them dearly and have good relationships with each of them today, but it is part of my story and so I feel it’s important to share completely. All glory be to God through Christ for forgiving me and in return teaching me how to forgive others, no matter the extent of the pain caused.**

I had had a big part in raising my brothers anyway due to both of my parents being absent a lot so I felt completely torn during this time and didn’t want to pick a parent to live with, so my boyfriend and I moved out on our own and I took both of my brothers in and tried to fill the role of their mom. I was only a junior in high school and I was still trying to finish cosmetology and all of my other subjects along with now running a house and being like a mom to two teenage boys. After all, the only thing I ever knew in life that I wanted to be was a mom and I had learned a lot about what I was not going to do and to be from my parents. Well, long story short, I ended up getting pregnant at 17 unbeknownst to me as my dad’s first girlfriend put me on birth control and it made me have a miscarriage (I never knew until we got involved in our abortion ministry and I was given a pamphlet on all the various forms of birth control that they are actually chemical abortifactants and if you do get pregnant, they will kill the baby…a heartbreaking thing to come to grips with and a very compelling reason as to why we go out and stand for life and try to wake up other ladies to the truth of what happens and plead with them to choose life).

Shortly after I graduated high school, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. It was literally the happiest day of my life! The next couple of years were extremely difficult, as right after I found out I was pregnant, I started to work but the father of my child never did. I should have seen the red flags but I didn’t. I only saw what I wanted to see. I thought that a baby would change him, but the only one of us it changed was me. I continued to work and got us into a nicer home and thought that things would be okay but he still would never help pull his weight. Instead he spent all of his time drinking, doing drugs, corrupting my brothers (who lived with us a lot of this time), etc. We went through a lot of very hard times and it was very exhausting to me. I worked up until the day that I had my daughter and when she was born, I finally knew a love like I had never experienced in my life. I knew that I would live the rest of my life trying to be the best mom that I could possibly be. I loved being a momma.

Fast forward 2 years and I had my little baby boy, and I was so excited again. Yet things never changed with their dad, so now we were going on 6 years of a very unhappy existence. I received no support from him whatsoever and had to go back to work myself to be able to provide for our little family. I hated this. It broke my heart to have to leave my babies at daycare. I never wanted to have to do this but I had no choice. When my son turned one, I finally had my breaking point and I left their dad. I filed for divorce that day and never looked back. I truly tried to give him chance after chance, to work on what we had, and to be the dad that they deserved him to be. He never became that man and is still absent from their lives today, even though they are grown.

After a year of being away from my ex-husband, I met Will at my job. He had just been hired on as a driver and we connected right away. We started dating right when hurricane Rita was about to hit our area (2005), and I could tell that he was a good man, so different from any I’d ever known. He had a daughter who was six, and my babies were now four and two. We evacuated together for the hurricane and we never left each other after that! After a year, we were married, and he treated me the way that I always wanted to be treated by a man. Not only that, but he loved my babies as his own, even though he endured much toil and trials from within and without.

We had a very hard time on both sides dealing with the kids, dealing with the exes, and just the normal day to day life being a new (blended) family. About a year into our marriage, we were experiencing a lot of stress and the kids were going through some really emotional times with all the back and forth and drama that was going on. I wanted to put them in counseling so I looked up a counselor in our area. I found one and she was a Christian counselor but I didn’t know what that meant. I didn’t care either, I was just glad she was close by. So I took the kids for the first session and the counselor talked to me for a little bit and talked to the kids and we all really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. We set up weekly sessions with both kids and she asked if I would be willing to have some counseling with her as well so I agreed because she was really nice. After a session or two, she asked if Will would be willing to also come. At first he refused, then he decided he would. So we went together and even though he was hesitant at first, she pretty quickly won him over as well.

I remember her asking me how my relationship was with the Lord. Well, this took me off guard because I didn’t really know what she meant. I told her, “Well, I believe in God but I wouldn’t say that I have a relationship with Him.” So she proceeded to tell me that it was around my age (26) that most women typically start trying to figure out what their purpose is and tend to get curious about the Lord and faith. She invited us to the church where her husband pastored. We did not want to go because church was “not our thing,” even though Will and I had had the discussion and both said we believed in God but we didn’t think we needed to go to church or anything like that. However, again, to “be nice” to the counselor, as she had been so nice to us, we said we would give it a try.

So we went to the church and the pastor, her husband, was funny, so we didn’t think it was that bad and decided we would go again. After about the third time of us attending (and always sitting in the back), he gave the Gospel message and it hit us both like a ton of bricks. Neither of us knew what was happening in the heart of the other, as we sat side by side, heads down, eyes balling, completely broken at the recognition of our sinfulness against a holy God. For the first time in my life, I understood that I was in desperate need of a Savior…and I met Him that day. We left the church in complete silence. We got in the car and it wasn’t until we were halfway home that we spoke our first word to each other. Will said to me, “Babe, I just gave my life to Jesus.” I looked at him and I started crying again and I said, “So did I!” He said, “I don’t know what all this means but I feel like we should pray together.” I said, “Yes, let’s!” So we pulled the car over and we prayed together for our first time and we told the Lord how sorry we were and how much we wanted Him to be a part of our life. He was so faithful to instantly come into our hearts and our home and our lives and to radically transform the broken people that we were, to take all of our hurt and a lifetime of pain and trauma and bad coping mechanisms and to give us a hope and a future and a purpose. 

We spent the next 10 years trying to find a church and a community where we really belonged, where it matched what we read in the Bible, and I’ll say that our journey has been incredible, exhausting at times, discouraging, joyful, and everything in between. The Lord has grown us and shown us so much throughout these years, and it’s been mostly through digging into His Word for ourselves and nurturing strong relationships with Him, both individually and collectively, that we have learned to be the salt and light He’s called us to be. He has never left our side, He has been faithful to teach us and lead us, He has helped us to have a strong faith that has been bold, never silent. From the moment of our salvation, we have been on fire for Jesus and we have tried to share Him with everyone around us. This has never changed. It’s been nearly 15 years and we love Him just as much now as we did the day that we met Him, if not even more.

We have continued to experience much in the area of trials and testings in every area of our life and walk, but He has been with us through it all. He has been faithful to answer our prayers and He is a good, good Father. He has filled in the gaps and He has restored our souls in all of those areas of pain and loss, abandon, and neglect that we had experienced in our early lives. And He has blessed us abundantly by redeeming the years that the locust had eaten and filling our life with such tremendous joy and love, as our children are all now grown and we are very much involved in their lives and we have received the greatest privilege ever–being Meemaw and Peepaw (or as Hogan says, “Babaw”).

We have spent our Christian walk up to this point and always will be trying our best to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love everyone around us. We are not perfect, but we do have great love and great faith, and it is all glory to God alone. He gives us much work to do for His kingdom and He has opened up many avenues for us to serve Him and draw people to Him. It is a privilege and an honor to partner with the King of kings and the Lord of lords and to try to bring others to His kingdom, and we look forward to all that He has in store. I want this to be the legacy that I live and that I leave behind, that I loved my God and that I loved people, that I may one day hear from my Daddy in heaven, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Amen and amen. Thank you for taking time to learn more about who I am and why I’m so passionate about my faith and shining the light of Christ to others still in the darkness. I’ve been there for so much of my life and I want everyone to know that what He did for me, He wants to do for you. Today is the day of salvation, my friends. Today and every day hereafter. ‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. I pray you will make the best decision of your life and join me on this journey. I’m always here for any of you. God bless you all!

8 Comments

  1. Alma says:

    Sister what a beautiful story of grace and redemption! God is so good! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful testimony! I feel very blessed to know you and your husband, and I hope that we can one day meet personally. May God continue to use you and your husband and bless you both in your ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, He is so awesome!! Thank you so much for reading my story and for leaving such a kind comment. 💖💖 It would be wonderful to meet in person one day! Since we’re both Texas girls, I’m sure we can make that happen! 🥰🥰 Thanks again for stopping by and I pray He uses you to the utmost in your podcast and service to Him as well! Blessings and love!!! 😘

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  2. ChallEngEr says:

    Powerful indeed…the beginning sounds similar to mine..I also could not understand as a child why I should confess through a person….and I was a child at this stage….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I had several other ladies who follow me on Instagram who said their stories are very similar, too. I do praise God for all that He’s done in all of our lives by allowing us to still come to faith in Christ outside of religious systems and traditions and for shielding us up to the point He called us. He is so good!! 🙌🙌🙌

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      1. ChallEngEr says:

        Indeed!! So grateful that He shielded our hearts and preserved us for His use!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes amen!!! 🙌💖🤩

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  3. Wow, so amazing what God has done in both of your lives. He is so good and so faithful. Blessings to you both. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, sister!!! 🙌🙌🙌 He is, indeed…a wonder-working God! Thank you for your comment and for reading! 🥰💖 Blessings to you as well!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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