“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
How amazing is that? I mean, really think about what is being said… “I have overcome the world”. We will struggle, there is hurt, there is sickness and pain, but it’s going to be okay. It really, TRULY is. That is what God taught me through all of my pain and struggles.
**This will be the last part of my testimony. In order for this blog to make sense, it would be wise to read the T-Part 1 through T-Part 4. **
Staying with the family helped to end the sexual assault. I was extremely thankful. Unfortunately, I didn’t think I needed to talk about what had happened to me – not even with God. I felt embarrassment, guilt, and shame. I knew God had known what I had done, but I still wanted to hide from Him.
When I finally returned to the United States I ended up back in my college town. Since I was most familiar with partying there, I decided to continue. However, I was convicted each time I made wrong choices. I would constantly be yelling at myself; “How could you do this to God?! Stop it! You’re so pathetic! You need to grow up! Ugh I hate you!”
Staying silent about the hurts I had became painful. I longed to tell someone about what had happened. I so badly wanted someone to tell me “It’s going to be okay. It wasn’t your fault.” I needed to feel “good enough”. I had been used and I was broken. NO ONE would ever want me… “God, how can you love me? I am such a screw up, such a failure. I am not good enough… I will never be good enough…”
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Rather than listening to what God was telling me through His word about how much He does love me, I sought out tangible love – or at least what I thought was “love”. While out drinking – any guy that would show any interest in me – I would go to them. It was like a magnetic pull. I thought they loved me. They would buy me drinks – that’s love, right? Then take complete advantage of my body, like they had dominion over it – and possibly give me a ride home the next day. That was the “love” I could find, and that was the only “love” that I could feel. That type of love seemed to be what made all guys happy…
(I was once told in a serious relationship (that took place before I gave my life to Christ) that in order for my boyfriend to love me, I needed to have sex with him. When I disagreed with him – as I thought I deserved to be loved – I was told ALL MEN think that way – and “good luck” to me finding someone who didn’t think like that. In that same relationship I was also told that alcohol was more important to my boyfriend than I was – my self worth was low prior to this – however after hearing those things from someone who loved me and I loved back – I believed it. I knew it was true. I was worthless.)
Continuing my search for “love” each weekend – I always came up feeling worse than before. I pleaded with God daily “Lord, please forgive me. Please forgive me for this mess I am in. Lord, I want to fully rely on you, I want to trust you – please help me do that. Lord, I love you. Please, let me feel that you love me too. God I’m broken. I NEED you. I can’t do this without you. I can’t live without you.” I finally cracked – I told God everything, I cried a lot – and yet felt so relieved to be honest with Him. It wasn’t long after that when He led me to a church that was close to where I was living at the time. He brought some amazing people into my life that prayed for me, and helped me to get on the right path, His path. Through strength that He provided me with, I was able to talk to someone about what had happened.
Shortly after finding this church, I was also introduced to the person I now call my husband. God truly blessed me with him! We talked a lot about God – and he really helped me to grow in my relationship with Christ. I knew that God was with me. I FINALLY was beginning to listen to God and His truth. I knew God loved me. I believed that He did – and I began to accept that love from Him.
Life hasn’t been completely easy since then; I still struggle. I am still broken. I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. I am not the picture perfect Christian (nor do I believe there is one). One thing I am absolutely sure of is that God was with me my ENTIRE journey. He never left my side, he did NOT abandon me and I know He never will. I was also not ready for God to change me. I was always praying He would change my circumstances. I didn’t realize that His love was a GIFT. I did not have to earn His love – and once I truly embraced that, I felt whole again.
“I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22
Jesus has already paid the price for our sins. We have been forgiven. God wants us to have a relationship with Him.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Reach out to Him. Hold on, and never let go! God knows your sin, and He is ready to forgive you. Repent. Turn to Him.
God is Love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
**The testimony part of my blog is complete (for now). I did not discuss much of what happened prior to asking God into my life. I may write about it at some point – however I plan to have my next few posts be more centered around what God is doing in my life today. If this blog has helped you in any way, or if you have any type of feedback for me I would be so happy to hear it! Feel free to leave a comment, or send me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I want to leave you with a link to a video that a friend recently shared with me. It is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen, and basically is a good summary of my life and journey with Christ. Please take the time to view it. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Click here to watch!!
Grace & Peace. <3