Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Testimony

Before diving into the journey with you, I felt it necessary to tell you just a little about myself, more specifically, about my testimony. I grew up, like many people these days, in a Christian family. Perhaps, it was this fact and my own stupidity that led me to believe that I was a Christian. Then again, there was the other time that I did one of those pray-a-prayer acts where you "accept Jesus into your heart," and everything's ok after that! For a long time, I was stuck in this quick-sand of sure failure. I would go through the motions so often. I would feel guilty or know that I was not a Christian at times, and then I would cry, confess sin, acknowledge Jesus as Savior, and believe, or so I thought. After a while when I was around 10-12, God made the amazing decision to rock my world. God had been working on my parents hearts to have more children and let Him decide upon the number, and they were ready to commit to doing this. When I heard about it, I was ecstatic and overjoyed! However, miscarriage upon miscarriage upon miscarriage wreaked our whole family. When I heard about the second one, I distinctly remember running up to my room between sobs and getting down on the floor and telling God I still loved Him. But, this wasn't true. If anything, my heart went further and further away from Him. I was frustrated and angry with God and my heart became hardened. Around this time, my rebellion towards God had begun to really manifest itself. As any man knows, getting into the young teen years is a dangerous time for young men. Lust can become a real problem at this age, and it became an all-consuming desire for me. I do not want to go into any specifics or delve deep into my sin at this point; one thing I do know, however, is that God saw all of this, and He saw it all as direct rebellion against Himself. Three years later at 15, God decided to directly alter my life once again. All throughout my life, I have struggled with anxiety problems. Worry has always been part of my nature. As a young kid, I remember worrying about family members arriving safely home at night or getting to sleep on time. But this time, it was something different. I worried about being saved. The worry wasn't something that I just thought about every once and a while; it was something that completely consumed me! I remember trying to do homework and not being able to because my heart was pounding so quickly, and I had butterflies in my stomach. At other times, panic and anxiety would shake me to tear upon tear. I was a mess. However, God, who is a merciful, gracious, loving, great, all-powerful God, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness, was working within my heart during this time. I can't exactly pinpoint a specific time when I can say with confidence that I became a Christian, but I can remember one time right around this period. I was reading an assignment for school, and it was a clear presentation of the gospel and why the Son of God would need to come down from heaven and die on a cross. After reading this article, everything seemed to click. It made sense to me why Jesus would have to come down from heaven. Before, I thought that I could have gotten on the cross and died for sinners. After that moment, though, I knew that that was impossible. Only God in human flesh could made atonement for His enemies on the cross. Following this time, my life has changed. I have been able to walk away from some of the lustful practices I did before being saved. Also, I have a desire to be in God's word. Since then, there have been times when I let the doubts and worries of the world crowd in and make me think that I somehow am not saved. But, I can say with confidence that these are all lies and temptations to sin from Satan because I actually am a child and sheep of God! I hope daily to grow in the knowledge of God, and, even more, to grow in the likeness of my perfect Savior. I hope my commitment to memorize the entire New Testament only helps and assists that process!

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