Thank you so much for joining us on the first Testimony Tour of 2017. We are excited to share with you our stories of ‘How we came to know Jesus.’ You can continue with the tour by joining Natalie today from Milk and Honey Faith here.
At twenty-one years old I was married with two young children. That was a year that not knowing Jesus was probably when I needed to know Him the most.
My new marriage was based off of a faith that was created by man. I had married a man as part of an ultimatum. If I agreed to finally let our almost two year engagement come to an end, he would end the partying lifestyle that always ended with a result of him being gone for days at a time.
I was fearful and emotionally and mentally exhausted. A forceful wall of anger was being built around me to guard me from emotions I never felt before, and yet there was always an inkblot of hope inside of me. My hurt never turned to pain or hate (although with the years of hurt I had already bared in the relationship, my friends at the time thought it should have), my hurt sat there in a puddle of tears that was always brought upon by the pleading for change. Change that I knew was possible. Change that I believed could be at any moment.
After three years of marriage and going on to the fifth year of broken promises; I was on a constant rollercoaster of emotions and fears. Due to the exhaustion of it all my hope turned into a fierce warrior. There was no more time to sit in a puddle. It was time for a change and I just had to do it.
I had no idea how to change it all. I just knew it wasn’t a matter of taking control at this point, it was a matter of knowing it had to be me to start a change. Me just sitting there in hope was not effective.
Shock came to my family when after years of me declining invitations to church services and bible study groups finally turned to a “Yes, what time does it start?” came out of my mouth. I remember my sister not knowing how to even respond at that point. It was the first time my tone was not of annoyance saying, “Just stop asking already!”
Due to pride and fear of strangers recognizing my unstable marriage, I was not ready to attend to a church service yet so instead I attended a bible study class with my sister called ‘Freedom.’ The Freedom class with lead by two ministers that had been married for close to 20 years and had restored their marriage from addictions. Their testimony brought passion to lead a small group to teach that there is freedom and restoration from any form of addiction.
I felt like attending that class was meant to be because it was exactly what I was dealing with. I was dealing with a spouse that dealt with addictions in many forms.
I figured an entire plan in my head. I was finally going to understand every bit of emotion he was dealing with by listening to every person in the class as they expressed their journey of addiction and learn how to become a wife that can truly help him with compassion. That moment I truly believed God was on my side for the first time. I began to believe God had led me to a class that could help my husband and make him all better.
But God is a humorous God.
After 6 weeks of attending the bible study at the same time every single Wednesday, I gave my life to Christ in a class titled ‘Freedom’.
I was no longer walking into the classroom with a plotted plan to save my husband and marriage. I sat through each class listening attentively to every member expressing their journey of becoming free from addictions that started early in their childhood, or that left them homeless, or without a family. Their passion of knowing that Jesus was still their center, their healer, redeemer, and restorer was remarkable to me.
Their desire to stay free and follow a man named Jesus began to rub off on me. I wanted to walk into a room with a smile just as they all did every week. I wanted to walk out confidently and return with testimonies about how the ones in their lives that had the most unforgiveness towards them began to see a difference in their life.
I wanted to be saved, redeemed, free, and restored just like them.
Eight years ago in the ‘Freedom’ class I stood up from my chair and said the words of a salvation prayer that gave my life to Christ and I have been following Him since. Just like the old worship song, “Giving my life to Jesus was the best thing I ever did”; because of the peace I have in my life today, I truly do believe it was the best decision I ever made.
My prayer today for you as a reader is that as you follow along on the Testimony Tour, your love for Christ ignites. If you have not yet received Jesus as your Savior, I pray that you find hope and passion in the upcoming posts that will lead you to the arms of Jesus.
May the writings that you read in this upcoming week show you that Jesus is our redeemer. He is our comforter, healer, and peacemaker. He will restore and love unconditionally.
I pray that you take this scripture to lead you into a prayer of salvation.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 NIV
You may continue with the Testimony Tour here by visiting Lori Schumaker at Searching for Moments tomorrow, March 21st 2017.