This is part two of my personal testimony. If you haven’t listened to part one, you can check it out here.
When we left off I was a senior in high school and I had just rededicated my life to the Lord. I started regularly attending the High School group at my church and even started a new Christian club at my high school, since there wasn’t one that year. I was trying to change my behavior and let God give me an inside/out make over, but I was still clinging onto sinful behaviors. I was trying to missionary date an older guy I had met the previous year, and it didn’t work at all. Can I just take a second to say how bad of an idea missionary dating is? He was such a great guy and was looking for someone to eventually marry and start a family with, but I knew I wasn’t doing either of us any favors by letting things progress. He didn’t understand why God was so important to me. I broke up with him a few days before I graduated high school, and immediately I felt a wonderful freedom. Now there was nothing I hadn’t fully given over to the Lord. God provided for me to go High School camp that summer and after I gave my testimony I was able to minister to some of the girls in my cabin. It was that experience that caused me to realize my desire to serve in ministry. I applied to be a youth worker in the High School group, but because of my age (I was 18 years old) they told me I could volunteer in the Junior High group. I ended up serving there throughout my three and a half years of college. I learned many things about serving and dealing with people, even when they weren’t being so loving or Christ-like. It was a good place for me to learn many of the lessons God wanted to teach me, and I was beyond blessed to meet several different older sisters in the faith that spent time discipling me.
In my junior year of college I met a wonderful brother in the Lord through Facebook. Back then Facebook was only for college students and we were at the same university, so I could see his profile. Almost everything was similar, and on a dare from my friend I messaged him. His profile picture was Bob the Tomato, so I didn’t even know what he looked like! Several months and many messages later, we met in person. Soon afterward he asked me if I would consider getting to know him better in order to see if God wanted us to get married. He was serving on staff at a different Calvary Chapel, and we were both almost finished with our college degrees.
Once we got engaged we started struggling physically. We both had sexual sin in our pasts and bad habits started coming out from both of us. We could have been a lot better about guarding against these temptations, and we were at the beginning of our relationship, but eventually we gave into temptation and had sex before we got married. We got pastoral counseling and agreed to spend time apart from each other. After that we were limited all physical contact until our wedding day, but the damage had already been done. I remember reaching for my husband on our honeymoon and him swatting my hand away. I had to remind him that we were married and it was ok, but we spent our whole first year of marriage dealing with mistrust as a fallout of what had happened. I felt like if he loved me the way he should have, he wouldn’t have let things get so far before we got married, and he resented me for tempting him in that way. It was horrible, and could have been avoided. I know of a few couples this has happened to, and I wish we would be more outspoken as a church body about how this sin causes problems in marriages that haven’t even started yet. Don’t be deceived like I was. Just because you get married doesn’t mean all the problems from your previous sin together will go away.
It was really nice being married because we got to spend a lot more time together. Instead of going on a traditional honeymoon, we waited a few months and went on a 30 day trip to Poland to visit friends that were missionaries there. It was a very unique experience and God spoke to both of us individually that we would become missionaries in three years. In the meantime we worked, were involved in church, and tried not accumulate too many things.
True to His word, three years and 2 children later we sold almost all of our possessions and moved to Hungary to attend the Missions Training Program at Calvary Chapel Bible College, Europe. There were many different testimonies involved in that chapter of our lives, and getting through the program, but I am not going to try to include those here. Look for stories about that time in our lives under “Preparing to be a Missionary.”
Now our family of five lives in Athens, Greece as full time missionaries working with a national church doing various things.
With my own two eyes I have seen God heal souls and bodies, multiply food, and clear rainy skies over a small group of prayer warriors. I have witnessed miracles that only our amazing God could do. There isn’t anything particularly amazing about me. I’m not a super athlete or an amazing artist. I’m a plus sized individual. I have never been a popular person by the world’s standards. But I do know that God created me for a specific purpose, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God loves me and desires to create incorruptible beauty inside of me. These are the facts I rely on when satan starts to attack me with self-doubt. I know that everything good that is accomplished through my life has been authored by God Himself, and satan can’t argue with that.
I’m really looking forward to sharing more of my testimony with you in depth as we go through various biblical concepts for living as women of God.
Love and hugs,