*This post contains some mature subject matter, if you are young, please ask your parents before reading this testimony*
"We began pouring from our hearts words that we were feeling but that seemed to be gently cascading from our mouths with no effort of speech. About our love for her, about Gods love for her. The room seemed to be a hazy glow all around us. We felt a peace a calm a warmth, and a part of something we didn't understand."
I was born the first of two children in my family and into a Christian home. I received awards for attendance in Sunday school, believed the pins and posters that said Jesus loved me, and loved Him in return. I wrote songs to Jesus with my Dad, and sang them in church, and made all the old ladies cry. I was a cute little kid that loved Jesus.
Then I got older, as we all do, and I began drifting away. I never once lost the belief that there was a God, and I often prayed when circumstances seemed rough (ie: boyfriend problems, not getting to go to a party). We didn't have a lot, but my life was very privileged. I was loved, my parents were still together, and I always had everything that I needed.
But I felt trapped, controlled and unable to spread my wings, so at 18 I lied to my parents, and moved out of province and in with my boyfriend. It seemed the "logical" step, everyone else was moving in with boyfriends, or partying the nights away, my parents were just too overprotective and too old fashioned, they didn't understand what it was like living in today's world, and I wanted to be a part of this world. A few months later after telling my parents the truth I had to make a devastating call to them....I needed to come home. Now! My mother not questioning why immediately set out on a 2 day drive with my Aunt to come rescue me. Little did they know what a rescue it was. My boyfriend, who was an alcoholic had in a fit of rage during an argument tried to choke and then suffocate me with a pillow, my only escape had been to "play dead." I stopped kicking and fighting and pretended to stop breathing, and he finally took the pillow off my face. During it all I couldn't help but think, this is it, I'm actually going to die here, but thank the Lord my savior had other plans for me.
I was still young, stupid and in love. I longed for him to be a different person and believed that it was a once in a lifetime thing, and that it wouldn't happen again. We started seeing each other again, and continued a long distance relationship. Then, one day, I had another difficult thing to talk to my parents about...I was pregnant. I was only 19, but I immediately loved this baby, I was scared, yes, it was a stupid move, yes, but this was my baby, and I couldn't wait to meet the growing life inside me. My parents were once again disappointed, but by this point I was getting used to their disappointment. I stayed at home for a few months, planning the wedding that was to take place, but it wasn't feeling real to me. Then 2 weeks before the big day, I made another difficult phone call, to my boyfriend this time, and called the wedding off. We stayed together though, and I once again moved away and back in with him. The emotional abuse continued, and added to it was devastating sexual abuse, but there was one big difference this time, I had fallen in love with the child growing inside me, and that love was almost starting to take over. In June 2002 the most precious little life was brought into this world, and I would never be the same. Mama bear began to take over. I wanted out. My child was not going to grow up in this environment, she was not going to see this and think that this is what love was, I wanted more, MUCH more than this for her. So, as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I was out.
I moved back home, got my first apartment and spent a wonderful year raising and loving my little girl. Then it was time to go to work, to be sucked back into the world. I partied and dated and tried to get back what I thought I had missed out on, and got caught up once again in what everyone else was doing. I was living a very ungodly life. It was one of the most unfulfilled periods of my life, I was spiraling downward and though I would occasionally attend church with my mother, to me, God was nowhere in sight. It was about looks, money, and men. After a few years of this life, I began to feel drained, I was killing my self confidence, my heart and my soul. Something was missing, something I couldn't quite put my finger on, I wanted something more, but I didn't know what. I gave up on worrying about "guys" decided to change what I thought I was looking for. I prayed that God would allow me to open my eyes past my usual type and try something different. Then I met him. He was taller than I normally liked, and there was something different about him. There was a calm when I was with him, which didn't help because I was looking for excitement, but it was oddly comforting and scary at the same time.
He believed in God too, but was as broken as me. We somehow seemed to balance each other. He moved in after a week, and we were engaged within 2. Then one night our mutual brokenness was revealed to us. We sent my 4year old daughter to bed, and after a dozen attempts to get out of bed we threatened that a monster would get her if she got out again. She was immediately quiet and went to sleep, then some time later we were startled by screaming like we had never heard before. The fear in her cries was enough to break any heart. We ran to the room and opened the door. "There's a shadow, in the corner, it's going to get me" She cried. We both dropped to our knees in shame "We're sorry" we said. "We lied, there's no monster, we're so sorry" She looked at us both and said "I miss God" and then it began. We began pouring from our hearts words that we were feeling but that seemed to be gently cascading from our mouths with no effort of speech. About our love for her, about Gods love for her. The room seemed to be a hazy glow all around us. We felt a peace a calm a warmth, and a part of something we didn't understand. She looked at us again. "My heart stopped beating" He had calmed her. He had taken away her fear, He had shown us His amazing love in the moment we least deserved it. We felt a squeezing around our arms like an embrace from Jesus himself. He was there, He was with us, and we would never be the same.
The next few days were a roller coaster. We could literally see God in people, and when I took my daughter to daycare the presence of love and light I felt in all those children was so overwhelming I could barely stay in the room. After three days I had to beg Him to lessen it, it was just too much for me.
Shortly after while at church our pastor announced that there would be a baptism the next week. My then fiance looked at me and said he wanted to be baptised but that he wanted us to do it together, I agreed but said we couldn't be baptized before we were married because we would still be living in sin. It was decided. That Saturday we were married, and the next day we committed our lives to God together. I was about 3-4 months pregnant at the time. Our life since then has been a blur. We've had many ups and downs, and will have many more. We have given God control of all aspects of our life, including the number of little blessings He brings into it, and so far the total is 5 including my stepdaughter. 5 blessings in 5 years. We are His, and though times are often difficult, He has given us the most amazing testimony to remember His love and presence in our life.