A Testimonial about my conversion into Christ's kingdom:
an incomplete, but short, review of my life, and what it took for me to put my complete and true trust in my, now, Lord and Savior.
I was born into a large family, I am the middle of seven children. Now I understand that is hard for most people to grasp, but I utterly cannot imagine what it would have been like to grow up with LESS!
We attended church every week, but looking back, I honestly can't remember ever hearing the gospel preached. I was baptized there as an infant; and I grew up believing that religion was 1)Believing God existed 2)Not taking God's name in vain 3)Going to church on Sunday 4)The God created everything 5)Praying before meals.
And that was it, that is what I believed.
And then it happened.
One, my grandfather, my hero, had a stroke and almost died.
Two, my parents moved in with my grandfather and I (It had been just my grandfather and me for two years)
Three, we switched churches (due to heresy)
Four, I went from public school, to home school (with ONLY one class at public school, Spanish)
Five, puberty (I was just going into ninth grade.
Now that may not seem like that much, but it was. Defiant by nature, and genes, it became a very trying time, for both my parents and I. It was a defining period of my life, and I was going about it the wrong way!
In June of 2005, I was re baptized. After attending the new church, the one of which I am currently a member, Living Water Community Church, I heard the True Gospel for the first time.
I know that Pastor explained to me what it took to be saved, I know that I acknowledged it, but looking back, I don't remember seeing fruit, live change, or really, repentance.
However, not knowing better at the time, I was baptized. And life went on.
My freshman year was tough, getting used to life having to visit my grandfather in the hospital, and then having to care for him everyday after school. Getting used to homeschooling, only seeing my friends one forty minute section of the day. And most of all, getting used to being under my parents rule again.
Sophomore year was a little better, at first. I got to go to school for Spanish, Math, and Science. I was happier, and more used to the whole "home school thing." But caught up in the American culture I believed that as a teenager, I had certain "rights." But I was wrong, and it lead to lots of bitter fights with my parents, rebelling, and arguments. Friends came and went, but pain was always there. And then it happened, my hero, my inspiration, my Grandfather died.
We knew it was coming, he was loosing his memory, and at 96, we knew it wouldn't be long. But there is something about getting that final call sitting in the library, studying with my Taiwanese friend, and knowing that your grandfather is gone forever.
Moving on was hard. Life without a loved one is never easy, and a lot of mistakes were made. For about a year, I lived a rebellious, secretive, wicked life style. And it was at the end of that year, April 24th, 2007, when I just couldn't go on anymore, I thought about taking my life. But by God's grace I didn't. God sent a godly man into my life, Mike Lowry, and he helped me to see things clearly. That day, with many tears, heartache, and pain, I came clean to my parents. It was the hardest thing I had to do up to that time, but, I felt relieved.
And it is in that moment that I count my true conversion. I was at the end of myself, no joy of the Lord like the collection of Psalms talks about. I had "believed in God." But, being a very headstrong individual, I did it all in my own strength. Never in the Lord's might. But in that moment, on that day, I was completely broken, sweetly broken, by the Lord.
Since that time I have been slowly being put back together, but in the right way, by my Father in Heaven.
Some instrumental verses for my life have been:
1 Tim. 1.12-15 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; 14and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. 15It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all."
1 Corinthians 6.9-11 "9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God."
It has been a very tough, challenging, and yes, painful experience. But I would not trade these last three years for anything.
One thing I have decided is, is that baptism is important. It is a public profession of faith. And if the first two times I didn't get it, "third times the charm." So Amazon River baptism, here I come!
Here's to three more, six more, a life more of good years.