Hello dear readers!
I've always been a bit nervous of sharing my testimony with you all. After all, it is very personal to me! There are many things that I do not feel comfortable sharing with you here, and so please bear in mind as you read that this is only some of my testimony, focussed especially on the time I came to know the Lord as my saviour. I have already shared this through the other blog I write at, Violets and Daisies. However, I felt it was time I at least shared with you all here what I have already put out publically. :) God bless, and my prayer is that this would encourage you in your faith, and maybe challenge anyone out there who does not yet know the Lord as their saviour!
My Testimony ~ by Violet
I grew up in a Christian home where I learned about the Bible and went to church. But for ages I was just going along being a “good” child by doing what my parents wanted without really caring about God. I had the mentality that “I don't know enough about God, I'll think about Him later”. Then we moved from one city to another and I went through a really depressive phase where I felt I had no friends and so began making up imaginary book character friends and talked to them in my head as a substitute. I also suffered from nightmares that upset me, and only fuelled my depression. At this stage, God was something I all but ignored completely.
Then I went through another phase where I became angry and easily lost my temper completely. I would slam doors, shout at others, and then go off in a huff to cry but not so much tears of remorse as a “sorry-for-myself” feeling. My way of dealing with my sinful attitudes was to rely on myself rather than God. I read my Bible, but more to make me feel good about myself, and I prayed occasionally, but superficial prayers that meant nothing to me.
However, God soon stopped me in my tracks!!! Over hot drinks and biscuits, as the elders of my church visited our home, I was convicted of my sin, through a passage in the Bible which I can't remember now (I think it was in Hebrews?) but I still stubbornly persisted in following my own way and ignoring God. However, over the next few weeks, the Holy Spirit continued to prod my conscience. We were on holiday, and I was reading some books that were certainly not what my parents would approve of. I hid those books from my parents and read them, satisfying my sinful appetite but again and again the Holy Spirit would minister to my soul reminding me that these books were not pleasing to God. I was in tears for a good part of this holiday, as the realisation of my sinfulness before a holy God continually hit me and yet my inability to stop sinning kept overwhelming me. I began reading my Bible, and searching the scriptures like never before.
Shortly after that holiday, I woke up early before anyone else on a sunny Sunday morning, and I just knew that I had to get right with God. Looking back now, I think God had already been working on my heart in such a way that I was a Christian before then, but that was the first time I fully realized and prayed to God about it.
It would be nice to think that everything went well from there. And it kind of did outwardly, for a time. I even got baptised, which remains a really special time for me. But you see, I was very much a “doubting Christian” - even though I had been baptised I was uncertain as to whether I was truly a Christian. Everyone outside thought me to be one, and looking back now I know that I was saved, but I still doubted in God's saving grace. One day, filled with shame and sorrow at my own doubts and the façade I felt I was putting on, I cried out to the Lord “Oh Lord, if I really am a Christian, please help me not to doubt You!” Around this time I did a speech at school about suffering from a Christian perspective – now I know that the Lord was preparing my heart for the hard times ahead. And you know what? Very soon after I prayed that prayer the Lord answered it! I faced the hardest times yet, and the Lord had to put me through just about the hardest trials I would ever have imagined, but when I went through it all, I was left with such a feeling of peace and assurance that yes, I was saved!
When I went through difficult times, it was so tempting to blame God, to want to give in and to believe that “if there's a God, this shouldn't be happening to me.” But I have learned so much through suffering that I wouldn't know otherwise, such as that this attitude of mine was completely wrong: instead of blaming God, I should be rejoicing for all that He had given me, that in reality I deserved to be wiped off the face of the earth right now and subjected to eternal punishment. Even as I wrote this, I was hit again with wonder at the way the Lord has worked in my life, and all the ugly sin that still remains, yet encouragement that He has never abandoned me!
Times will be hard – the Christian walk is not easy: in fact it is the hardest and narrowest! But I have learned now that the Lord is faithful and hears our prayers, and if we call upon Him, He will not leave us to our own devices. My prayer is that you, also, will come to know the Lord as I have come to know Him.