I was raised in a Christian church.
I absolutely loved worshipping God and feeling the Holy Spirit. Since I was a trained dancer, I would choreograph dances for Sunday’s service. It was a break from dealing with my broken home and a household that was struggling to make ends meet.
The best way I could describe it is just a feeling of overwhelming love and fire in my chest. I would feel a bright light was watching over me as I danced for the Lord. I didn’t care who was watching or how I looked, I was honoring my one and only God.
My pirouettes, pointed toes, and graceful arms had purpose. I felt so alive and so committed. I was completely in love with Jesus. He was someone I could come to for refuge. Someone I could count on.
2020 will always be the year I completely lost my way and was redirected. This year was a year of confusion, isolation, addictions, heartbreak, but most importantly, restoration. This is my complete testimony. A testimony to my faith. For many that are close to me, it will come as a surprise, but it is the only way I will be set free from a shameful past.
As I got older, the light inside of me started to dim. I started to worship other men and other things. I became occupied with my own desires. I wanted to do things my own way and to be accepted in my friend group.
Being sexually abused by one of my closest friends brought great grief and darkness into my life. I felt so worthless, I had lost all respect for myself. I stopped going to church, I completely ignored my faith and God.
It created a void inside of me, so deep that I had to fill it with other things – one of them being boys.
I quickly fell for my first serious boyfriend. We were a match made in hell. The relationship was abusive and manipulative. His need for control and my desperation for love only led our relationship into physical and emotional abuse.
I developed feelings of suicide. I idolized the idea of making all of my pain go away. I thought I was unworthy of true love and a beautiful life. Thanks to a committed and loving family, I was able to be hospitalized to get the help I needed. I was able to break out of that toxic relationship and focus on my writing.
It worked for a while. I thought I was finally happy and free from all the darkness plaguing my life.
Little did I know, the help I needed was much deeper than mental and physical restoration – it was spiritual.
You can put a bandaid on a wound, but that doesn’t mean it is healed.
I again fell in love with another boy just as quickly. I was trying to fill the void inside of me. I told him all of my secrets, all of the pain in my past – in hopes of this relationship being different. I was scared of commitment, but for some reason I trusted him.
He was like a god to me, but people are not worthy of being worshipped.
He had a troubled past with addiction, but I didn’t care. I went in blind because I was starving for real love. We both smoked weed together, but he introduced me to a different drug: molly.
Like outlaws in the 70s, we went on a molly trip together. It was a dangerous and exhilarating happiness that I’ve never experienced before.
It came with an equally dangerous come down of sadness the following day. But I had him so I felt safe. I felt like we were meant to be in each other’s lives for a long time. I thought I could help him through his struggles. I loved his family and the moments we would share together in times where my own family was at war.
I felt like I finally got the happiness I dreamed of. I fell for his kind words and our bond felt unbreakable.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
After a few months, he ended things. We both cried. He told me that he was not ready to be in a committed relationship; that he loved me but was not in love with me; that he had demons and addictions to figure out on his own; that I deserved better.
The heavy cloud of darkness and grief came rolling back into my life. This time, it came much worse than the others.
My mind became corrupted with self-destruction. I had no faith or hope.
I thought God must have forgotten about me because I kept coming back to the same place of disillusion.
The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” and I became terribly sick. This time, I eased the pain with drugs. I took Percocet for about a month and smoked daily. I became friends with people that introduced me to LSD, shrooms, and ecstasy. I didn’t care about my own demise. I didn’t care about the consequences.
I thought that if I was that unhappy and if I was already going to hell, I might as well try everything.
The faithful church girl became a slave to sin.
I opened doors for dark spirits to enter my mind and my soul. My entire personality changed. My demeanor was dark, the music I liked was destructive and hateful. I became extremely disrespectful to my family and isolated myself from everyone who would try to help me.
I started to believe in New Age Spiritualism. I was into crystals, chakras, and manifestation.
I thought this was giving me some kind of supernatural ability to heal my painful past. I thought this and the drugs I was doing was giving me power; that I was somehow more “woke” than normal people. I hated myself, yet I was obsessed with myself and called it “self-love.”
I thought I was being enlightened about the truths of the universe when I was really just opening doors for more wickedness and evil to enter my mind.
Instead of becoming more “awakened,” I became more hateful and proud. I was angry all the time. I despised people. I thought I was too good for everyone, yet I wanted to be praised for all of my so-called intelligence about the spiritual world.
The truth is, this path made me more confused than I had ever been before. I would often have demonic dreams of ugly shadows. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat. I had no peace. I felt this big huge shadow of shame latch onto me. I was afraid and paranoid all the time.
My ex and I had this weird on and off entanglement. I knew he didn’t want to be committed to me, yet I kept giving him access to my body. I was really hoping that one day he would magically want me. It was a pitiful and painful affair.
I would compare myself to other girls he gave attention to. I would constantly second guess the way I looked, my personality, and everything about me.
During a shroom trip, I finally cried out to God. Trying to see if He would listen to a lost sinner. As I was scratching my flesh that I loathed so much, I cried.
At that moment, I heard his soft yet stern voice within the depths of my soul.
“Surrender everything to Jesus and all will be okay.” This was followed by a feeling of warmth and peace that I’d missed so much.
In the beginning, it was hard for me to make this transition. A seed was planted in me, but I was not ready to completely surrender my old habits. I had faith, but not enough, as I had so much damage in my heart.
I came back home at the beginning of the pandemic and decided to commute for the following semester.
My mother, a woman of faith, prayed with me every night. She had been fasting and praying for God to reveal himself to me.
I’m ashamed to say, I hoped God would forget me. I would close my eyes during prayer.
Burying my face in a pillow, I pretended to fall asleep as she chanted his word. I felt ashamed for falling in love with a being I did not deserve. Why would He wash away the sins of such a lost soul?
A druggie, a misfit, a masochist. I was the Judas to a family of faith.
Night after night, we continued to pray.
I was finally willing to accept his light.
I opened up to the gates of forgiveness, I witnessed the restoration of a father who has not abandoned his daughter.
I thought, “God must have a soft spot for me, I am still alive.”
See, God is a gentleman. He is knocking at your door waiting for you to open your heart to him. Even through all the bad decisions and struggles, I put upon myself, He was protecting me and waiting for me to give him chance. He is a God of free will and that is what true love is about. Loving because you choose to love for yourself.
I used to think, “God, how are you going to use me now? I’m too broken. I have done so much bad. I have disgraced your name.”
But I felt him say to me, “It’s okay. I love you anyway. I love you enough to make you the woman you are.”
God revealed to me that there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous who don’t. So I surrendered. I fell back in love with my very first true love.
His love is so reckless and so out of this world, that He sacrificed his only begotten son for our sins.
He is the Shepard that leaves the 99 to chase after the one lost sheep and proudly places it on His shoulders to carry it home.
Jesus started to pursue my heart the way a groom pursues his bride. I was falling more in love with Him every day. I cracked open my Bible and let the Holy Spirit help me decipher the word.
The Bible says in Matthew 6:16, “Seek the kingdom and its righteousness and all shall be added on.” And I was seeking the kingdom. I was searching for my birthright of everlasting life and peace with my creator.
Somehow, I ended up at the childhood church I was raised in. I was accepted as the girl who was returning home.
I felt so much love and compassion in my heart. I was once again was able to worship God the way I did when I was younger.
The Holy Spirit moved me in a powerful way, it ignited the flame of fire and love inside of me once again.
I completely let go of my ex, for good this time. I have no ill feelings and I pray for him often.I hope he finds true happiness.
God has changed my desires and my appetite. I cut off the friends that were leading me down a destructive path. I am completely sober from all drugs and have stopped practicing New Age beliefs.
Now, I attend church weekly, I read the Bible daily, and I worship God any chance I get.
I feel like I finally filled the deep void that was inside of me for years. He turned my darkness into light, my sadness into joy, and my pain into passion.
I have found my identity. I am the daughter of a King. I am royalty. I deserve the good things that this life has to offer. God has chosen me to be a powerful witness and a powerful testimony for Him.
Jerimiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I now have a wonderful relationship with my family, an internship in Europe lined up, and most importantly, I have happiness in my life. It is crazy the good that God has for your life when you let go.
The answers I was looking for were inside of me all along. I had to go backward to move forward. I had to remember that Jesus was the only love I needed in my life.
Sometimes the right decisions in life aren’t the most popular or the easiest routes to take, but they are the ones worth the climb. I’m still not perfect. God didn’t guarantee me a life of no trials or tribulations.
In fact, the straight and narrow path is the hardest path to take, according to the Bible. But it is the path that guarantees you the victory. Even when things don’t go my way, I have faith because God’s ways are higher than my ways.
I still battle with things every day. I still have temptations. I still struggle with my self-confidence; with anxiety. I still have to deal with people in my life that have ill intentions.
However, the Bible states in Ephesians 6:10, “Put on your whole armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes.”
I am now fully protected by the grace of God. If it’s going to be a fight no matter what, I might as well fight the good fight.
So here I am, my full testimony from start to finish, thus far. If there is anyone whose heart was touched by this story, I implore you to give Jesus a chance. I invite you to let His light and love into your heart because there is not a day that goes by that I regret my decision.
See you in the Kingdom!