Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Testimony

My faith has been something that I have been wanting to share on my blog for sometime. I went back and forth on whether it was right or wrong. What should I say? I'm not even that good of a Christian to be writing my story. I finally decided that I want to take the jump and write about my faith in this little space of mine. 

My faith story started back in high school. I don't quite remember the year, but I went to event every Wednesday with some friends. The name was called SWAT, but it's very similar to a K-Life or YoungLife. I would go and just sing some songs, listen to the Youth Pastor talk, and then hang out in the gym afterwards. It was fun but one night I felt CONVICTED. Hard core. I wanted to give my life to Him. So I grabbed my friend that I went to and told her that I wanted to give my life to Christ. She was less than thrilled, but went with me none the less. Then another older girl prayed with me, my "friend" prayed with me, and then it was suppose to be my turn to pray out loud. This friend was telling me to pray and the other girl was rubbing my hand but I still couldn't pray out loud. I told my friends mom and she was more happy for me than anyone. 

After that I don't really remember reading the bible or really changing my lifestyle. It wasn't until my senior year in high school and I went on college visits. One of my visits was Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. It was so much fun. I love the girls that guided me around for the weekend. The other visit was Henderson State University. Right across the street was Ouachita Baptist University and I really wanted to go there. I felt like it was the right place to help me grow as a Christian. There were some people that didn't think it was a good place for me to go so I didn't go there.  

Like most college students I didn't go to any church or do anything faith based. This time in my life was probably the most self-destructive time for me. I did a lot of things that I am not so proud of and still dealing with now. It was a lot of things that led me to those decisions but a lot of it was because I felt like I didn't have anyone I could call on. I didn't feel like I had anyone in my corner. I felt like I needed to do everything on my own. 

It wasn't until my junior year in college I was in Tulsa and found Bible Study Fellowship. I came back to finish up my senior year at Iowa State, and found a BSF in Des Moines, Iowa. I instantly joined and patiently (or not so patiently) waited for the fall semester to start. The first day was so awesome. They paired everyone in a group so each age demographic was represented. So I was the youngest person there and some of the women had kids my age or even grandkids around my age. It was so awesome because some were so wise and had been Christians for so long. 

I love going to BSF. If you have one in your area I highly recommend it because I learned so much for the Bible. The homework you have each week is intense but the knowledge is AWESOME!!! But one night I left and just cried in my car. I couldn't do anything but just cry over and over. That night in my car I just confessed EVERYTHING! Even things that I hadn't mentioned to anyone ever and pushed to the back of my mind so I would forget it. I was just talking with God. It had been the most honest and real talk that I have ever done with anyone before. Afterwards, I just drove around town just praying and sitting with what's next. 

After that I knew I couldn't be the same as before. I needed to change, but I wasn't sure how or what that even look like. I graduated college and would still occasionally pray. I would pick and choose what bible verses to read. I read my Bible from time to time. In OKC we found a church and small group that I loved and really started a semi-strong foundation. The small group disbanded and I just went to church as was on my own again. I wasn't sure what to do and if I was doing it right. (I'm sometimes a black and white type of a person. And studying the bible and developing my relationship with God is something that I wish we had a manual for.)

Phoenix and Charleston I haven't been able to find a church that we both like and want to continue going to. We haven't found a small group. I have found a community of online women that I can go to for anything. I'm so thankful for the Influence Network because I have a community there. I have people who I can email/text/call anytime I need anything and they are there to lift me up with the truth. 

A few weeks ago I got to go to the Influence Conference and I left changed. I will not go back to the person that I once was. I don't have to worry about being "found out" about of my past sins because they don't exist. I have clothed with God's AMAZING GRACE and the blood of Jesus. I'm still working on my relationship with the Holy Spirit in my body. I don't have do anything else. My value and my worth is not dependent on anyone here in this world. The Conference changed me for the better. The revivals renewed me in so many ways. I know now I say anything In the Name of Jesus and he has it. It's not always easy and I still struggle. I don't always get up to do my bible study in the morning. I don't always pray everyday but I have God's Grace!! I give myself and others grace everyday. 

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