My Story

A testimony is an account of something that has happened, basically any factual written or spoken statement. This is my testimony of how I became a believer in Jesus Christ. 

Before I knew Christ, I would have told anyone that I was a Christian because I went to church. I grew up going to church and as I got older, I became very involved. By the time I graduated from high school, my faith had become a social outlet more than anything else. Although I heard truth, my heart was hard, and I never absorbed this truth from those who tried to mentor me. 

I stepped onto campus for my first week as a college freshman, and found myself with no foundation. My goal at that time was just to have the fun college experience I had always heard about. I wanted to break free from being a "church girl" and sought to do this any way I could. I joined a sorority and looked for my identity in parties, a boyfriend, and being accepted by the people I met on campus. To be honest, my life seemed pretty good..... for the first 6 months. Then things started to really spiral. But even in the midst of growing chaos, I still didn't see that I was hurting myself with the choices I was making. Suddenly I found myself moving in with my boyfriend, getting myself into an abusive and unhealthy situation. Life continued to spiral, so I tried my best to do the only thing I knew how: escape. I attempted to run from my reality by turning to alcohol to mask and erase what was happening. But not even the alcohol could erase the consequences of my decisions. Although I laughed at the party, I wasn’t happy, and even though I would not have admitted it, I felt like I had lost myself. I was searching for my worth in the approval of one person and it just didn't hold up. By God's grace I was able to break free from this relationship. But by that time, I was at the lowest point of my life. I remember sitting in my bedroom, thinking: if I continue down this road.....well, I didn't want to think about what would happen to me. I knew at that moment that I had to change, while simultaneously becoming overwhelmed that I couldn't change a thing. I knew that everything I had tried had failed, and knew I had no where else to go. I sat on my bed and thought: "If God is so great, He will help me, and if He is real, now is His only chance to rescue me from this hell and show me who He is."

I reached far back into my book shelf and pulled out a Bible, one that I had not touched since high school. Searching for answers, I started reading in Romans. Answers I looked for, and to my amazement, answers I received. Through His words, God revealed how much He loved me despite my sins, despite years of running away from Him, and that He had forgiveness for me if I would just turn to Him and ask for His forgiveness. I was struck by Romans 2:1-4, and immediately felt the weight of my sin. There I was, shifting blame on others for the pain I felt, when I had done the same things to God! And yet, His kindness is what was leading me toward repentance....... I kept reading and Romans 5:6-8 hit me like a ton of bricks. That He forgave me while I was still a sinner and at my lowest point, blew my mind. I had to look up from the page, so many thoughts rushing through my mind and heart. I knew I had run from God, and made a mess of my life, losing pieces of myself along the way. But yet, in the midst of this, God sent His only Son to die for me. For me? I was completely blown away. Why would anyone, least of all the Creator of this Universe, die for me? In overwhelming gratitude for the reality that I didn't have to carry the burden anymore, because He had already paid the price for my burdens, I accepted the free gift of grace He was offering me by His death and resurrection, bringing me from a life of brokenness that deserved death to a life of wholeness in Christ that brings joy and freedom. 

In life after saying "yes" to Jesus, I am not perfect, nor is my life perfect. I struggle, and have to give over my selfish desires daily, asking God to replace them with His goodness. I have to daily agree with God on my sin and ask Him to give me His characteristics instead of my own. The difference in my life now is that I have a firm foundation to lay my hope in for my life and my future. Out of gratitude for what He's done to redeem my life do I want to tell others about Him. So what does it mean to be redeemed? I think this is a perfect explanation: 

redeem \ri-ˈdēm\: 1a:to buy back: 2:to free from what distresses or harms: 2a:to free from captivity by payment of ransom 2b:to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental 2c:to release from blame or debt: 2d:to free from the consequences of sin 3:to reform 4:to restore 5a:to remove the obligation of payment 5b:to exchange for something of value 6a:to atone for 6b(1):to offset the bad effect of.

Jesus has released me from the chains of bondage I once felt. Out of gratitude for what He's done for me, I want to live my life for Him. To put it into better words:
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. 
Psalm 116:1-2
God offers this gift to everyone who will accept it. Will you accept this gift too?
Natasha RedSalvation, Testimony