Tuesday, May 20, 2008

That Girl's Testimony

My name is Samantha. And here is my promised testimony (only a month or so later than previously predicted ;)

Growing up I was your average, everyday girl. I was a happy child with loving parents, a fun (if not sometimes abusive :D) older brother, and an extended family that was pretty close. We were not a church-going family. I first learned what death was at age five and was deathly (pun intended) afraid of it from that day on. I didn't want to cease to exist. It was scary to me. As I grew older, to put it bluntly, I grew larger. I hated the way I looked but I turned to food for comfort. Friends that I once had in elementary school were quick to abandon me in Junior High for more popular and pretty friends, and I, I continued to eat. In eighth grade I was so depressed that I planned to kill myself, going so far as to put a hanger around my neck, but it broke. I eventually for whatever reason (God's reason) just started to get a bit happier every day, I found some good friends, and moved on with life. In 9th grade I had a destructive relationship with a boy a smidgen older than me but still in my grade. He... was not a horrible person, but nor was he a saint. I was the typical dumb girl, thinking we were meant to be together forever, but it ended all too soon. But then drug on over the course of the next year and a half as a friends-with-benefits-maybe-one-day-we'll-get-back-together-thing (and yes, I am still a virgin, my definition of friends with benefits is that of making out excessively.) Sophomore year, was.... wretched. I spiraled back down into depression. I began drinking.
And yet, with God's good grace He had placed in my life a friend and a cousin that were instrumental in me being saved. My cousin, Grace, got me my first Bible in 8th or 9th book and I finally began exploring it in Sophomore year. My friend, Hannah, an avid church-goer and lover of Jesus introduced me to a series of books called My Name is Chloe by Melody Carlson. One night, in June the summer after my sophomore year, while I was re-reading the first book of the series and I got to the part where she gets saved, I felt a pressure to dig out my Bible. And for the life of me I can't remember what I read, but it just finally clicked. And by myself, alone in my room, I asked Jesus into my heart (and actually felt the Holy Spirit come upon me as soon as I had prayed my prayer.) Life has never been the same since.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
Toward home, a land that I’ve never seen
I am changing: less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along
Fast approaching is the day

I was pretty hush-hush about the whole thing until I told my cousin one day in July-ish. She told my aunt and her whole family was so excited (they are the only really strong believers in my entire family on my dad's side.) So they took me out for a celebratory dinner and I was forced to tell my parents why (they didn't handle it too well.)

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in You, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in You

As Junior year went on I kind of floated along how I would have normally until I went to a meeting for First Priority (a Christian club at my school). There I met Casey and became friends with her and slowly, painstakingly began to shed who I WAS. Even then though, I was having some severe issues with who I was until I came to another complete breaking point.
Hannah had moved on and I didn't know why. I told her to never worry about me anymore because I would be fine all alone (yes, what a pity party!) She had me over to her house and we had it out, crying, words, all of it. She forced me to open my eyes and figure out who I am in Christ. With verses and words of encouragement I began a long journey that leads me to where I am today. With key events in my life such as my baptism, Acquire the Fire, strengthening my friendships with Casey and Rebecca, leaving behind destructive friendships, I have grown into the young woman of God I am today.

There’s distraction buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it’s easier to stay
But I’ve heard rumors of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

If I could tell you one thing about what I've learned thus far on my walk with Jesus (well I can't really choose, but I do want to mention this) is that it never is perfect. We are never perfect. Temptations of old are never really completely gone. They lay dormant until the enemy chooses to attack us. But if we hold on, really hold on, to Jesus and chase after His heart for us, we'll make it through. The path we choose is far from easy, but its rewards are eternal. The world tells us how crazy we are. How many times have I been asked "How come you don't drink anymore?" How many times have I been told "You are so dumb for not cursing anymore, God doesn't care that much." And how many times have I been condescendingly told that what I believe is "nice?" Too many times to count my dear sisters. But even through it all, I'm firm in my faith, I know what we believe is true, and I hold onto all the promises God has for us. There is never a day in which I don't realize how different me and my fellow believers are from the rest of the world, and there is NEVER a day I'm not thankful for that difference. I LOVE God. I LOVE my life. I'm so thankful that He would save me. The GREAT I AM sent His Son to die for my sins. And you tell me my God isn't loving?

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in You, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I’ll be found in You

What I struggle with currently in my on-going battle and this amazing journey is the passion to save the lives around me, especially those of my parents, brother, and other extended family. My heart's cry (as many of you well know) is to share the love of Christ with non-believers. And I won't be stopped, can't be stopped, and will do all I can for the King that saved me. Isn't that the least I can do?

If you read this, wow. You must love me (: or at least love testimonies. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your love and prayers. Thank you my dear sisters in Christ. May we all rejoice together one day in Heaven!!

In His Love,

(Lyrics are by Cadia-Shadowfeet)


graffitigirl said...

Wow, there's so much I would like to just splash(for lack of a better word) into this comment box. But I'll start by responding to your comment. I trust you so I'm gonna pass you my address via a facebook message. By being friends on here, I've trusted you with things that are more important to me than my address. As parents they might not approve, but they don't know about my blogspot. And I've known you for like a month! Are we crazy? Make sure when you send me something that you also include the address I can send you something back to, ie your school address if that's where you'll be.

I always check comments on my older blogs! Wouldn't miss 'em. But do you ever go back to them to reread the comments? Because if you don't, I've responded back on a few of them. Like the post I put up that made you cry, that's one.

graffitigirl said...

Now for your testimony, first all you make mine look boring.

Suicide by hanger, eh? What needs to be said is that I'm really super glad God saved you! The worst thing I've ever done with a hanger is electrocute myself by accident but I obviously didn't die. That can go on the potential story blog list, that doesn't actually exist. So did you ever tell your parents about that because if not, than I would tell them if it's not too hard for you.

I did read it all, and I wish I could just talk to you in person but I can't. And I do love you, then you really made me smile by adding or you must love testimonies.

PS I noticed the change in layout!

Steph :)

graffitigirl said...

By the way, I've been wondering, have you read all of my older blogs that I've had posted since before you found me?

CaseyMay said...

Hey there honey. I love the new look, I must say I'm jealous ;)

Your testimony always inspires me Samantha and it has been such a joy to see you grow into the amazing woman God created you to be and as He continues to show His will to you day by day it only gets me more excited to see where He is taking you.

I pray your story inspires and touches many and that they too seek the Lord as you have and continue to do. I love you and thank you for all the times you have reminded my of who I am in Christ and for so much more.

I love you.

Anna said...

Wow, praise the Lord! :)

And I LOVE that song "Shadowfeet." It's sung by Brooke Fraser; have you heard it or just read the lyrics? Because it's worth hearing too!

Tracy said...

Wow. What a great story. It's so evident that God has had His hand in your life even before you knew Him personally as your Savior.

I like the new blog look. = )

BTW, I know I need to update my blog. Maybe tonight or tomorrow. Have a great day!

= )

Paige said...

Hey Samantha!
I love the new look of your blog- so cool.
Wow, your testimony is so, so, well, I don't know the word for it. It is hard to say how great it is when it is filled with such sadness, yet isn't that the point. God saved you and you accepted Him- that is what matters. All the rest is just stepping stones to Him. I loved reading your testimony. I am so happy for you.

Esther_B said...

This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! I found your blog from Google. I am an intern at the Acquire the Fire's Honor Academy. Do you know what you're going to do after you graduate? Have you thought about coming here? God has changed my life so much, and given me vision and purpose. The website is www.honoracademy.com
I'd love to talk about it more with you if you'd like. My Facebook is Esther Byington. God bless you!

Esther B.

graffitigirl said...

I ment to mention this before, that one day when I wasn't having the best of days you said for me not to apologize for having days like those because it's like apologizing for being real and honest. Yeah well, I'm not gonig to lose honesty here and I'm generally a pretty happy person, but if something were to happen and I were to become depressed or something, you can quit reading my blogs (not that you would) if you want but please don't do that if your asking me to be honest. Espescially because those will probably be the times when I'll need encouraging comments from people like you the most!

That's all, thanks.

graffitigirl said...

I want to hear from you more if you've got the time.

Dragonflysoul said...

what a beautiful testimony sweetheart :-). i admire your courage to share such moving moments of your life with us. i praise God for how He has moved in your life is such tremendous ways. and i have no doubt that He will continue to use you to do mighty things in His name. you are such an inspiration to all who will read this and to all you may meet.

thanks again for allowing us a glimpse into your heart and into the life that God has had His hand over from the beginning :-)

A Young Lady In Waiting said...

First I wanna say I love your new back ground!
Second I wanna say what a powerful testimony. I glad that the Lord has changed you and prevented your attempts at sucicide! You've give me to courage to post my own testimony, it might be awhile for me to get it all typed up and worded right but I plan to start working on it!

Many blessings!

Your siser in Christ

Mia said...

Such a beautiful testimony!!