April | Testimony Tag

Thank you to Dollfaced writer  for tagging me in the monthly tag we create together! She does most of the work though. I just come up with ideas/questions. 

Dollface writes: “Hello everyone! I hope you had a fun St. Patrick’s Day and a great month of March! This month we are changing things up a bit (thanks to recommendations from Sister Amy and Brother Stuart), and instead of answering questions we will be opening it up to allow those tagged to share their testimony. This tag is aimed at honoring the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that is celebrated this month on Easter Sunday. (Whether you celebrate the holiday of Easter or not, I think all Christians can agree how important it is to remember the process Christ went through to give us hope and life).”

Go check out her testimony here!

Okay, here we go…

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
  2. Link back to the original post.
  3. Use the original featured image.
  4. Share your testimony in your own way, this is a tag meant for reflection and sharing the amazing gift God has given us of redemption.
  5. Nominate one or more people to participate.
  6. Enjoy the rest of your month! 
aaron-burden-76177-unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 

(I have NEVER shared my testimony with anyone other than my oldest daughter. I haven’t got to it yet on my blog. I’m getting there… slowly. I won’t share the whole story because it would include details about the man I am with right now and I haven’t figured out how or if I should ever share that. I will share most of my testimony though. This is really hard for me, but I’m gonna do it anyways.)

Here is the short and FIRST version of my testimony:

I am a preacher’s daughter, so I grew up going to Church three times a week. I come from a line of preachers. My father is a preacher, my father’s father was a preacher, my father’s brothers were both preachers, my father’s uncle was a preacher and both of my older brothers are preachers. There are even more preachers in my family, but I’ll stop there. Funny thing about some of us PK’s (preacher’s kids), we don’t always know the EXACT moment we first got saved. Yes, it’s true. Shocking isn’t it? It just seems like I was ALWAYS saved. I joke that under my father’s “Hell fire and brimstone” preaching, I got saved three times a week! He scared the Hell out of me on a regular basis. 

Growing up, my friends and I liked to “baptize” each other in the little backyard pool. I remember going to the altar I think when I was around 9 years old with a friend of mine. That night seemed different for some reason. Still, I don’t recall exactly what happened. At the same time, I don’t really remember NOT being saved before that. Like I said, it just seems like I was always saved, I had a VERY repentant heart and I took my faith very seriously. I was a total “Jesus Girl”. I LOVED going to Church, listening to my father’s powerful sermons, taking notes, highlighting scriptures in my Bible and I especially loved praise and worship. I sat on the front row as soon as I was old enough to hang with the teens. I was ALL in. 

When I was 16 years old, I had to move away from the love of my life. He was and still is the most perfect man I have ever known. Not being able to marry him and spend my life with him crushed me… no, it destroyed me. I was so heartbroken, I basically handed myself over to Satan himself in an attempt to be loved, wanted and protected the way I should have been all of my life. I almost lost my life and I truly felt like my soul along with my body no longer had any value. Thankfully, I was pulled out of that darkness at 18. I turned my life around and I married the amazing man who saved me. My happiness didn’t last too long though. Soon, I found myself unable to forget the past, my mistakes and the horrific abuse I had endured. No amount of love from the man I had married could fix me. I tried to numb the pain of my past. Instead of reaching out to God, I became addicted to things that made me feel better.

When I was 19 years old, my entire world came crashing down. I lost my first baby and that broke me. I didn’t understand, but I tried to deal. So did my husband. Neither one of us did a good job of coping with everything life had thrown at us. I became pregnant too quickly with my second baby, however, that got me to straighten up real fast and get myself together. I wasn’t much fun while I was pregnant and my alcoholic husband left me. I lost almost everything (including my mind), but I had a beautiful healthy baby girl.

At 21 years old, I was a very broken, confused, divorced, single mother who thought that I had ruined my life. The family drama I grew up in, the abusive relationships I had been in, and going through a heart wrenching, unwanted divorce (that I made happen) had left me in a very broken state and I was just a shell of the girl I once was. My Ex-Husband says he never cheated on me. So, I figure I had no Biblical grounds for divorce and I just screwed up royally. I began to believe that because I was divorced, nothing I did mattered anyways. I stopped going to church all together. I dated all kinds of men and I tried to numb my pain in different ways. I tried so hard to numb the pain… ALL of the pain. I doubted God’s love for me and I decided I was never going to be good enough. In my heart though, I never stopped loving my Savior and I never forgot what my father preached.  

At work, I was known as the girl who didn’t believe in making love to a man unless I was married to him. As you can imagine, I was bombarded with attention from male co-workers. Yes, people may have thought my boundaries were fun to laugh at, but at the same time they loved getting me to cross all the ones I did. Boy, did I cross them. I felt hopeless and I missed my Ex-Husband. I LOVED that man. Being with other men felt like cheating. I felt like trash around the “Holier than thou, I’ve never sinned in my life” Christians and I felt like a good person around my friends who could sin and not feel bad about it. I felt loved and accepted by the world. I didn’t have to impress them and there was always someone doing something more shocking than I was. I remember being at work one day and a wife of someone who knew my father was like, “You’re _____’s daughter?” I was so embarrassed because here I was behaving not the way I thought a preacher’s daughter should and I did not want anyone to know who I really was. I didn’t want to embarrass my father or make people think that it was okay to be a Christian and act like the world. Still, I knew I wasn’t being a good example for others to follow. 

I moved away from my parents and everyone I knew. I started a new life with my daughter. And I continued to try to numb the pain. I couldn’t get rid of the memories from my past. My abusive relationships haunted me and I made some bad decisions. I almost gave up on ever being who I once was. Sometimes, us preacher’s kids can feel like God’s unlimited grace and second chances are for everyone EXCEPT us. We are not allowed to make mistakes, we are supposed to be perfect. And when we do mess up, it will never be forgotten. 

 

 

*Photos on Unsplash

I felt so unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness that I had a very hard time listening to constant “Hell fire and brimstone preaching”. I became so overwhelmed that I almost walked away completely from my Pentecostal roots. I was always intrigued by the Catholic church and I was drawn to crucifixes. Even as a little girl and My father had been very upset once when I wanted something with a crucifix on it. I didn’t understand. Now that I was in my 20’s, I was even more intrigued. I had a crucifix hung above my bed and I wondered if I should try to get forgiveness from the priest, should I throw myself on the altar and see if a priest could get God to save me? Being raised Pentecostal, I knew very little about things like this. I was going pretty much on what I had seen in movies. I admired Catholics. They could do something and be forgiven. The way they could recite things over and over. I knew one lady who no matter where she was on vacation/visiting family, she would find a Catholic church and go every week. Most Christians I knew would skip Church and go later. They don’t have the commitment I so admired in my Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ. However, I thought that not even the Catholic church could help me. I was too far gone. 

 

 

*Photos on Unsplash

I was desperate for mercy. Thankfully, I didn’t walk away, I always kept Christian television on in my home even when I didn’t think it really mattered anymore. Finally, I found hope listening to teachings that were not harsh. The calm and encouraging approach drew me in. I had never heard acceptance taught in that way. I began to believed I could have the same grace the members’ kids got. I began to believe God loved me, no matter what I did. No one is perfect. No one. I began to have an open mind and I began to see things very clearly. If Peter could deny Jesus 3 times, Thomas could doubt Him, and Judas could betray Him after all they had seen, then how was a girl who had never seen Him, sat beside Him or watch him heal people, supposed to be PERFECT? Why are we expected to have it more together than the disciples? Instead of giving up, I found new strength through God’s unlimited grace and I found my way home. After being away from my parents and the church (my parent’s church) for years, I started going to churches where people had no idea who I was. I could just slip in and be a normal person. I had always wanted to just be a “normal person”. I hated the spotlight. I loved to volunteer and just blend in. I missed my family terribly, but I didn’t miss the church drama, the gossip, and the judgmental Christians. 

I finally had a very real “Come to Jesus moment” at 28 years old. I was so tired of addiction and the sin I was constantly playing with. I was DONE. In my living room, I clung to my Bible and I cried out to God. I pleaded with him and I cried. I had tried so many times to give it all up and I failed every single time. This day was different. I gave my life back to Him that day… I fully surrendered. I turned my life around, I stopped doing what I was doing and I changed. I had VERY strong convictions. I became extremely sensitive to sin and I wanted nothing to do with anything that even resembled something that could be misunderstood. I wanted nothing to do with anything that would hurt my Savior. I became overly cautious. I changed the way I behaved, and I was determined to be the best mom I could be for both of my daughters. I bought my daughters the cutest dresses and took them to Church with me. I taught them right from wrong. They are the one thing I did right. ❤

The one addiction I am not able to give up is my Man, no matter what he does. God help me.

 

 

I have decided that whether I go to Heaven or not, I’m going to be the best mother, daughter, sister and friend on earth that I can be. I will love God with everything in me. I will never change my mind about what I believe and no matter what, I will never turn away from God… ever.

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For this Monthly Tag, I am tagging:

A New Life

Bound By Love Productions

Vickie’s Book Nook and Meditation Corner

Ryan Callahan’s Blog

mycreatorscreation

And anyone reading this who would like to share your testimony. 

Please do not feel obligated to participate. If you do, I can’t wait to see yours. ❤

 

Amazed By His Grace, 

Purple Rose

26 thoughts on “April | Testimony Tag

  1. Dollfaced Writer says:

    You have an amazing testimony, Mama. People have no idea when they see how sweet and awesome you are every day, but you have been to hell and back. Life was never fair to you, but you managed to become the best person in the world besides Jesus 😊❤ the best mom, daughter, sister, and wife. Whether you believe it or not 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charity (Purple Rose) says:

      Oh wow. 💕

      I often feel so alone in my thoughts/feelings/memories. I do believe that sometimes the evil one comes at us preacher’s kids 10 times harder. 😓

      I find comfort in this verse:

      “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand.” ~ John 10:28

      😭🙏🏻❤️

      I’m a VERY private person and never talked about my testimony. This was huge for me. It was easier to do it in a blog. I haven’t really shared it much in real life. I struggle with who I was and who people think I am. I clean up real nice, I put on a smile, I hide my trauma very well and I can quote scripture. People have no idea what I see in my head at night. The memories of the past haunt me. Very few people in my life see my pain and witness my struggles.

      The PTS and anxiety is the worst. It has come at me like nothing I could have ever imagined and as soon as I’m done with “life”, I fall into a million little pieces. Blogging has been healing at times and I have so much support on here. I never saw that coming. I thought people would treat me like my parents, brothers and church members. I’m not a “black sheep” on here. It’s beautiful.

      I would love to read your testimony. I pray you can share it one day. I think you will be embraced like I was. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee says:

        John 10:28 is a great comfort to me, too. I cling to that and to similar scriptures, when a particular troublesome scripture in Hebrews that says it is impossible to return again to repentance, is thrown at me. Yes, I have been told that because I was a professing Christian in the past and then I fell away, I cannot possibly belong to Christ ever again!

        It used to worry me, a lot, after that scripture was pointed out to me. Was I doomed to hell forever? Had I committed the unforgivable sin, for doubting my faith for a number of years and sinning grievously during that time? But the Bible tells us that whosoever will believe in Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life. Don’t I fall into the category of ‘whosoever?’ Peter denied Christ three times, then went on to be a great, spirit-filled apostle. The prodigal son is welcomed with a feast and a fancy robe and a ring, when he learns his lesson and returns home. Thomas doubted, and John the Baptist, when he was in prison facing death, doubted. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son to save us. Am I not part of the world that God loves?

        Today, and for the past 17 years, I have been calling Christ Jesus my Savior and the Lord of my life. I love to praise and worship Him — in fact, praise and worship is my favorite thing to do. My favorite prayer is “not my will, but Thy will be done.” Today, and for the past 17 years, I often wonder how I could ever have been so utterly STUPID, as to lose my faith and fall into horrible, willful sin. Today, I would give up everything, including the rest of my life, to be able to go back in time and undo the worst of my sins. Today, I Hate Hate Hate the sins that I have committed. I am deeply grieved and ashamed of those sins. And yet, I am still the black sheep in my family of origin, and in the eyes of certain holier-than-thou churchy types, I cannot possibly ever be saved.

        But God’s sweet presence in my life, and the assurance He has given me, multiple times, of His amazing love for me, tells me that I am, indeed, His beloved daughter, and that I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever, singing praises to His holy name! And no one, and no thing, can ever take me out of His hand!

        As for sharing my story — I am getting there. After a ton of work, I am finally nearing the end of the first draft of my memoir. My title will probably be: Growing Up CrAzY, a Scapegoat’s Story of Survival.

        Although we have many similarities in our story, Rose, there is a lot that is undoubtedly different, as well. You see, my father’s church ministry ended when I was twelve, when my dad was arrested for coming so close to murdering my mother that I had believed, for several horrific, heart stopping moments, that my mother was dead. From jail, my dad was taken to a hospital emergency room, probably due to his very hard to control type one diabetes. From the emergency room, he was eventually transferred to the hospital’s psychiatric ward, where he was initially diagnosed with schizophrenia, a common catch-all diagnosis in the 1960s. A few years later, his diagnosis was changed to Multiple Personality Disorder, which suited my father much better. Truly, he was more than one person.

        My mother, on the other hand, spiraled down into a depression so severe that, a few months after my dad’s arrest and hospitalization, she tried to gas herself and the five of us kids to death. She tried this, more than once.

        So yeah, a lot of trauma. And my life kept going downhill from there, until I finally allowed the Lord to turn me around.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lady Quixote/Linda Lee says:

        PS: And Christ Himself talked about how the good shepherd leaves his flock of 99 to go after the one sheep that is lost, and rejoices when the lost sheep returns to the fold, more than over the 99 that were never lost. Truly, I am the Lord’s and no one can ever snatch me out of His hand!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charity (Purple Rose) says:

        Yasss!!! That’s right.

        Why people try to talk us out of believing we are saved, I do not know. It’s like they want us to go straight to Hell. Maybe it makes them feel better? All I know is that when you take away someone’s hope, they have nothing left.

        In Mark chapter 5, Jesus went where the ONE crazy man was and he delivered him. When we feel “crazy”, just remember that Jesus goes to those who need him most. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Charity (Purple Rose) says:

        That’s horrible! No one should say stuff like that to a person who is trying to live right. That’s why I say stuff like, “When you feel more loved and accepted by sinners than other christians… the church has a problem.”

        I do not believe that God would ever turn away a sincere, repentant soul. As far as I know, there is only ONE unforgivable sin.

        I can relate though, I have read the scriptures on divorce (a little too late) and I do not believe I was right to get divorced. That really made me feel like I could never go to Heaven and nothing I did mattered anymore,. I know what you mean about wishing you could go back and change things.

        This is a new verse I am going to write out and put in my bathroom so I can read it everyday while getting ready:

        “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” ~ Isaiah 43:10

        I have always felt “pulled” toward God. I have always felt… convicted and there were certain lines I could never cross. It was strange, I always felt different around sinners even though I was doing lots of things they were. I could never lose my conscience. I could never stop feeling convicted. I don’t fit in entirely with sinners because of the strong pull towards God. And I don’t fit in entirely with Christians who have sooooo many rules and judgmental attitudes. I was very loving and forgiving. I actually felt bad for the people they were condemning to Hell and I felt no need to be mean to sinners as I felt an eternity in Hell was punishment enough. I was looked at as “too nice” and made to feel bad for being so accepting and loving towards people who where not following the Bible. It was a hard spot to be put in. I believe only God can change a heart, only God can draw people to him and we are only called to, “LOVE”. Where is the love? Yelling at people and telling them that they will never go to Heaven… I don’t feel love there.

        I like that title! I did not know what a scapegoat was until recently. I think that’s what I was. Still am. But, I am addicted to learning about narcissism and the Jezebel spirit. It has been eye opening.

        Wow, that is a wild childhood you had! You are a true survivor. {{Hugs}}

        Liked by 1 person

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