It has been on my heart for the past several weeks to write out my testimony and share it here. Some of you might read this and already know a lot about me, but some of you might read this and not know me at all. Regardless, what I’m going to share now is the most important thing you have to learn about me, because it’s not really about me at all, it’s about the saving work of Jesus Christ. May He be glorified in the words I write now.
I was not raised in a home where we went to church or read the Bible. My parents are extremely loving, and raised me with kindness and good morals, which I will be forever grateful for, but they are not believers. I love them with all my heart and long for them to be saved, and pray for them continually.
As a little girl I was always a very curious and deep thinker, but I was also very shy so I kept my thoughts to myself. I can remember being about five years old and at the time we lived in Colorado. I was riding in the car with my mom and I looked out the window at the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and I distinctly remember thinking, “this world didn’t come from nothing, so where did it come from? Where did I come from?” and then concluding with the thought, “There is a God and He is real.” I couldn’t explain how I knew that, especially at five years old, but Romans 1:19-20 says, “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Now when I look back after having an understanding of Scripture I know that my understanding that there was a God and that He is real came from the fact that God does reveal Himself through creation, and even though I had no biblical teaching I still knew at five years old that He existed. This still leaves me in awe. Praise God that God reveals Himself in creation.
When I was six my family moved from Colorado to Northern California where we have lived since then. As I grew up my curiosity about God continued to grow. I desperately wanted to know why I knew that there was a God and since I believed He was real I wanted to know Him. In John 6:44 Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” What I know now, but didn’t understand growing up is that all through my childhood the Lord was drawing me to Himself. One of the ways He did was specifically through a Christian family that I met through dance classes. I took dance classes all through my childhood, and in those classes I met two sisters that were from a Christian family. We became friends, but shortly after circumstances arose that caused us to lose contact for a handful of years. All of this though was more of God’s incredible sovereign plan of drawing me to Himself.
In my early teen years dancing became my life. Ballet was my expertise and I threw all my energy and effort into dancing, because I felt like it was the only thing in my life that I could control and the only way I could express my emotions. I had come to a place where I was bitter and angry towards my mom. I still knew in my heart that God was real, but I blamed my parents, and especially my mom for not having an explanation of that knowledge. I felt that since my parents weren’t believers and didn’t go to church that it was there fault that I couldn’t explain my knowledge that God was real, so my heart grew increasingly bitter and angry toward them. All of the emotions I felt went into striving hard after whatever it took to better myself in my dancing, and much of that involved chasing after the perfect ballerina figure. My view of what was healthy and beautiful was completely distorted. I worked as hard as I could to try to stay as slim as I possibly could, though I never was full blown anorexic, I came dangerously close. Yet in the midst of striving after all those things I would never feel satisfied. In my heart I knew everything I was living for was vanity. At the same time that all of this was taking place God worked to bring the two sisters that I had met through dance classes several years earlier back into my life, and they started to become my best friends.
By the time I was fifteen my heart was completely hardened toward my mom. I didn’t want to spend any time with her, and took whatever opportunity I could to spend time away from home. I spent most of the time in the home of the two sisters who were my best friends. It was during that year that I started to go to church with my friends and their family. Over the course of that year of going to church I began to understand three things: 1. That God was holy 2. That I was a sinner and 3. That I could do nothing to save myself. This understanding led me to distress and depression. I knew I couldn’t save myself before a holy God, and I knew I was destined for His just wrath. I didn’t understand the gospel or what Christ had done on the cross. I talked to my friends about this and asked them, “How do I become a Christian? I want to get saved.” My friends gave me a Bible and told me to read it, and that it would help me understand. The year I was fifteen I read the Bible for the first time in my life. I don’t remember exactly what I read, but I do remember reading some from Psalms, and thinking to myself, “all of this is really great, but I’m not saved. God is holy and His wrath toward me is just because I’m a sinner, so none of this applies to me.” All of this led me to depression, because I had no hope. In the midst of this I labored even harder in my dancing, because again I felt it was the only thing in my life that I could control.
This all continued into when I turned sixteen. My heart became even more hardened toward my mom, I pursued dancing even harder, and I even began to plan in my heart more blatant rebellion. I had always been known to my friends as the “sweet naïve” girl, and somehow that just wasn’t going to cut it for me anymore. I didn’t want to be a stereotype anymore, and I was planning in my heart the things that I would do to show everyone that they were wrong about me. I wanted to prove to everyone that I was not so naïve as they thought. Thankfully, praise be to God, that it was in this very time that He saved me. I started going to a youth group with my friends where God’s Word and the gospel were clearly proclaimed. The youth pastor’s wife reached out to me the first night that I was there. After going there for about a month one night after youth group I wanted to talk to the youth pastor’s wife and ask her about salvation. I went with my two friends, and the youth pastor’s wife and asked her what I needed to do to be saved. She explained the gospel to me. She articulated the truths in Ephesians 2:1-9, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.[b] 4 But[c]God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast” The Holy Spirit worked in my heart so that I could see and understand Christ’s work on the cross. I finally understood that Christ had borne all the Father’s wrath for me, and that salvation comes through faith in His finished work. That night I repented of my sins and trusted Christ as my Savior, praise be to His grace.
One of the first immediate changes that took place after the Lord saved me was my attitude toward my parents. God began to change my heart of bitterness toward my mom to one of love and compassion, and I began to spend more time with my family and share the gospel with them. God worked in my heart an attitude of love, submission and gratitude toward my family. I can honestly say now that I love them with all my heart and am so thankful for them.
God also worked by changing my desire to throw all my energy into my dancing changed into a desire to throw all my energy into learning more about Christ and serving Him. He began to change my perspective on what true beauty is, and though it is still sometimes a struggle for me, He has continued to renew my mind in His truth and to teach me to be content with how He has made me. I still have so much to learn, and will until glory but I praise God for His amazing redeeming work in my life. I shutter when I think of what would have happened if the God didn’t intervene and save me when He did. He is so kind and gracious to save me even in the midst of my rebellion against Him! His love and grace are amazing. Glory be to Him.
What I’ve shared is only a glimpse of all the incredible things God has done in the last almost 5 years of my life. He is so faithful and I so look forward to continually putting off sin in my life and growing in Christlikeness by His grace!
I cannot end this post though without asking the question; do you know Christ? Have you repented of your sins and placed your faith and trust in His saving work? If you haven’t you are living in rebellion against Him, and if you do not repent you will be destined to an eternity of His just wrath. But His grace is available today! Romans 3:23 says that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but the very next verse says that salvation come to us as a gift through Jesus Christ. If you have not trusted in Christ for salvation I do pray you would think about these things, and for your salvation. If you want to talk to me more about these things please feel free to contact me! I would love to hear from and talk to you.