Saturday, September 22, 2007

First post and testimony

So, I've been thinking a lot about this 'blog'. I actually created it a while back and have been praying and thinking about it ever since. I have felt led to start this for a while but just wasn't sure.. What is the blog going to be about?... me & my family... my walk with the Lord.. random things (I'm sure)... I pray that it will be a light. I know that first I want to share my testimony.. that is where life began anyways so why not start there?

My family started going to church 'regularly' when I was around 9 yrs old. When I was 10, I started worrying about hell.. and going there (as everyone should). So, I talked to momma and daddy about it and they called the preacher. I remember the pastor and youth pastor coming over and talking to me.. and using those colored pieces of paper to explain the gospel. That's all I remember... then I got baptized. So, the years went by. We were VERY active in church. There Sun AM & PM and Wed night... you know 'those' kind of people who go every time the door is opened. I was really involoved in my youth group, even considered a leader in the youth group when I got older. I was a good student... for the most part did what my parents told me to. One night after revival I just felt sooo convicted. I talked to my parents again.. I just didn't feel 'saved' and we prayed 'the sinners prayer' at my kitchen table. I got baptized again.. this time I got it right, Right? I was 16 years old at the time. Well, I went on through out my senior high years... going to church, hanging out with my Christian friends, being a good girl, going to youth camp and mission trips... Let me say, those days I never chose the best guys to date... and neither did my friends). To make a long story short the 2nd half of my senior year I decided it was time to live it up. Party hard.. That's what all teenagers do at some point, right? No biggy, huh? (um, unless you die!) In college it got worse.. and that's all I will say about that. The first semester of my sophomore year strange things started to happen. For some reason some of my best friends just ditched me. We just didn't hang out much. I couldn't really understand why. Then my Grandaddy got sick.. very sick. He was immediatly put into ICU. At first they didn't know what was wrong with him... but he ended up having that flesh eating disease.. that is very rare. He had cancer and was having treatments so he was already weak... it was just a matter of time. I didn't 'go out' during his illness. I was too afraid that something would happen at the hospital.. and I would be too 'out of it' to make it to the hospital. So, I pretty much hung out with my family and at the hospital for those 3 weeks. Although those 3 weeks were so hard, God was doing amazing things in my life. He was revealing to me the people in my life that really cared... Him(of course), my family and my church family. None of my friends came to the funeral. At this time I was still going to church most Sunday mornings... but I had tons of excuses for missing Sunday night and Wed night. I mean I had to go some to keep my parents happy.. but soon I started going back more and more. About 2 months went by of me getting more involved with church... but my heart was still missing something. Another tragedy happened, a friend of mine (with whom I had been 'on again/off again' friends with and cared about) killed herself. During the week following I hung out with some old friends of mine... I mean, we all needed each other and I especially wanted to be there for one particular friend. But that week showed me a lot. I realized that I didn't want to live the lifestyle they were living. I guess being 'out of it' for a few months had opened my eyes. They didn't even really care about me.. Where were they when I needed them? Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom and be left with no one.. no one, but God. I think at the time I just realized that there was more to life than the way I had been living. God was drawing me... I remember going home one night and crying out to God alone, in my room. "I can't do this anymore on my own... I've made a mess of my life.. Please forgive me... I give it all to You." Rededication, right? Well, my friends and I unofficially parted ways. Over the next few months I got back in my Bible and started studying.. got involved in a Bible study. This question kept going over in my mind... 'Was that night alone in my room my TRUE conversion? or was it just a redidication?' I said a prayer at 16, right? and I meant it.. right? Surely... I just had a 'season of sin'. Or was there something more to that prayer? One night I was praying and finally I just asked God, "When did I truely, REALLY get saved?" I felt that God asked me a question in return... "Would you ever go back and do those things you did in high school and college now, after that prayer you prayed a few months ago?" I immediately knew the answer... 'NO! Of course not' So, that was it. I knew that after that prayer I said in Febuary of 2002 I could NEVER go back and do those things that I did before. Now, not that I was perfect by any means... but I would never do most of those things again. Obviously those 2 previous 'prayers' meant nothing! My true salvation experience was in Feb. 2002. I again went forward and publically professed my faith and got baptized... for the 3rd and final time. I've never been the same. And guess what? That's the thing... when you meet Jesus.. and I mean REALLY meet Him... you will NEVER be the same.

2 Corinthians 5:17~ Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Looking back I can totally see where God was pouring out His grace on my life. I did not deserve His grace and mercy, but I am so thankful for it. The Holy Spirit was drawing me to the Savior of the world. How awesome is that?

More thoughts later.. I will leave thinking about the awesome God who loves me (and you) so much....


Maryjane said...

That's a wonderful testimony Crystal! I've never read yours before. It's truly amazing what God can change in us!

Unknown said...

I think it is awesome that you put your testimony on your blog. I am unsure if I could be that bold because mine is pretty icky at points, but I do think there is something pretty powerful in proclaiming it to the whole world.

2 Cor 5:17 is my favorite favorite verse. Thanks for being bold in your faith!

Unknown said...

Crystal, I am so glad that you posted your testimony. It is a bonding of Christian Spirits when we share with one another, our Victories as well as our Valleys. Others need to see from where we have come & how God takes our previous lives & makes them New and meaningful. I don't have a blog, but I want you to know that we are not only related here on earth through family, but we are Sisters in Christ through our Lord.
Thank you for sharing.