Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Testimony - Part 2 - A Path Of Sin!

I'm writing my testimony in parts because it is so long. Don't forget to read Part 1 first!

"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." 1 Corinthians 9:27

I would love to be able to say that I have always been obedient to God's word and followed his commandments faithfully. But that is simply not the case.

Sarah age 17.
I became complacent in my relationship with Jesus Christ. I was not guarded with my faith and I allowed the devil to influence my life. I suddenly had new "friends". I began sneaking out and doing things I knew my mom would not approve of. Hey, I didn't even approve of them. But other kids were having so much fun and I wanted to have fun too, right! Wrong! I was miserable in my sin. I never got high, I got depressed. I never got drunk, I got depressed. I never had fun, I just hated myself for being rebellious, but I kept trying! I began listening to the wrong voice, the voice of lies and deception and corruption.

I realized that partying was not for me and quit after only a few short months. But sadly I was too late to protect myself. The devil had taken full advantage of my time under his influence, and a tragedy occurred that would scar me for life. "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary; the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."  1 Peter 5:8 Those scars ran incredibly deep and wide. I was shocked that just a few months of rebellion could cause so much damage, but it did. And my life will never be the same again because of the choices I made. I knew God wanted me back safe in his arms, but I was ashamed. Ashamed of my behavior, ashamed of my rebellion, ashamed of the damage I had done to myself and others, ashamed that I could walk away from my God who loves me so much and gave so much for me, his life in fact. And yet I had turned my back on him.

That guilt and shame threatened to consume me. I did not realize I was still very much under the influence of the devil. There were two voices calling out to me, but I did not like the conviction I was feeling so I listened to the one I thought was "comforting" me instead. I became depressed, I withdrew myself from the church and good influences in my life. I didn't want them to see me this way. Dirty and ugly and condemned. My mother was very concerned for me and sent me to counseling. I went to a Christian College hoping to cover my sins with my good deeds, but it did not happen. I was saddened that there was as much partying amongst the "Christians" as there was with non-Christians. Not everybody at the school was living this sinful lifestyle, but somehow they always seemed to find me and the devil would play with my mind that I could never get deliverance from his torment. I had sinned, and I would pay for eternity for the destruction I had caused.

Sarah age 18.
Most people didn't know how badly I was suffering. I always knew how to have fun, and I could laugh and tell jokes and "pray" just like everybody else. One day in college a girl approached me and asked if she could shave my head bald. I said why not, it will grow back. (I was too scared to get a tattoo! Thank you Jesus!) With my bald head I felt ugly and sinful and disgusting, just like I felt on the inside. But nobody recognized my cry for help. And when asked how I was doing I would always make a joke about how great life was. It wasn't!

When I came home after only one year at college I realized something had to change. I had wasted an entire year running from my past, from myself and mostly from God. I didn't want to live like this one more day.

But how would I find God after I had run away for so long, and buried so many things deep in my heart? I decided I was going to go to every church possible until I found him. I knew I needed to go to a church that preached against sin but also taught about forgiveness and hope. It sounds simple, right? Sadly it wasn't! I visited church after church and all they taught about was God's love. Yes I knew God loved me and that was wonderful, but what next? I was still being tormented everyday. I prayed, "God I know you are out there but I can't seem to find you. Help me to find you! I need you more then I ever have before. Please don't make me live in this torment forever!" And God heard my prayers!

He sent Dustin to show me the way!

~Did you know the devil is out to rob you at any possible moment? That is why it is so important to guard our relationship with Christ and not let anything get between us and the cross. The Apostle Paul even warns about staying close to God "lest I myself be a castaway".
~Have you taught your children about the dangers behind sin and the damage it can cause? Sin will take you further then you want to go and keep you there longer then you want to stay.
~Have you seen abnormal behaviors in your children? They may be warning signs that something is not right in their heart.
~Have you seen someone hurting but were afraid to approach them and "interfere"? You may just be an answer to their prayers!
~If you are that person crying out, I urge you to pray and ask God for direction! He will not leave you comfortless and will guide you to the resources you need to help you!

Thank you for following along with my testimony! Continue to Part 3 - Redemption - God's Amazing Grace! If you are enjoying this series please share with your friends!

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I'm so excited to have you visit Treasures of Faith! I hope you are encouraged and inspired by what you read! Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love reading what you have to say! We are here to encourage each other so please keep your comments kind! Have a blessed day! ~Sarah