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Give your testimony.......



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Author Topic: Give your testimony.......
macsmom
Member posted 05-14-2001 05:51 AM
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I accepted Christ as a young teen. I was raised in the Methodist church, but actually learned about salvation at my cousin's vacation Bible school. I don't really have a big "coversion" story, since I was pretty young. I have seen the Lord work in my life in many instances. I could go into some, but now is not the time, since my 11 month old is pulling the garbage out of the can!! I am very interested in hearing the testimony of other Christians here on the Mothering Board!!


boobybooby
Member posted 05-14-2001 12:01 PM
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Hi Macsmom! This is exciting, I'll go next...
Two dear friends of mine died 8 years ago in a murder/suicide. Thier deaths put me into an immediate state of shock, ultimately landing me in a place where I began to question the purpose of living and dying. I started attending bible studies and church services, as a guest, with another dear friend. I had sooo many questions, I was very skeptical, being raised by non-christian parents (though they were baptized and attented churh as children.) My father (who is Catholic) told me 2 things I'll never forget, "If someone tells you they saw a miracle, don't believe them" and "God is for weak people."

In those early days... I prayed for answers, even though I didn't "feel" anything during prayer. I went to study sessions with my skeptic and devils advocate mind set in tow. I never wanted to say the word Jesus because it sounded so foreign to me.

In time, I started to realize that I had been living outside of Christs family all of my life. There were many days and nights that I would spend hours just talking about Gods love for us and how I really wanted it in my life. I began attending mass with a co-worker of mine. Being in the Catholic house of God felt like home to me. I knew this was where I needed to be. Peacefullness and completeness came to me in a gradual process during the first year (which continues to grow, always). It was an awesome feeling, the Holy Spirit gently leading me, and Jesus giving me the strength to focus on him. It was only a matter of time and I had signed myself up for RCIA with the Catholic church. I attended 9 months of studies and retreats. I was baptized, recieved 1st Holy Communion and Cofirmation during a 6 hour Easter Vigil mass in 1996. At that moment in time I know that I became Alive with the love of Christ. There was nothing that could have kept me from dedicating myself to the Lord. I was doing the right thing by stepping out into the darkness of the unknown, and Jesus was there to recieve me. My life since then has been full of the goodness of God. Though my life before Christ was also wonderful, I did not know Him and I was searching.
In many ways our lives take on a new spirit after we are found, some things become easier and other things become more difficult. Christ tells about the world hating Him and they will also hate those who love Him. This is sometimes the hardest part about following Christ. My journey of faith is one I am excited about everyday and no matter what events come about, I know now that I have found truth and life.

I want to add: It was Gods perfect timing and personal conviction for me that brought me to know him. In his perfection, I had Christian witnesses very near to me when a tragedy happened. I was drawn to them in ways that felt familiar to me. They stuck by me through all of my doubts and questions, they are amazing gifts from God that I can never thank enough.

[This message has been edited by boobybooby (edited 05-14-2001).]



macsmom
Member posted 05-15-2001 09:40 AM
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Wow! You have a powerful message!


Ann
Member posted 05-16-2001 07:10 PM
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I was raised by my mother and step-father who where athiests. I spent my childhood looking for a church. I would sleep over at different friends' houses so that I could go to church with them. I tried them all. Some I found dull, other's I found scary (I won't mention any names here). But I really needed something in my life. My parents put me in a Catholic high school for grade 9 because it was a good, strict school with very high standards. It was a tough school, alright and I LOVED IT!!!! I felt at home. We had mass every Friday at school and it made me feel like there was hope, that life was worth living. I started sneaking out on Sunday evenings for mass and then told my mother that I wanted to be baptised - she said NO WAY. I was finally baptized as an adult. Sometimes I'm just overcome with the presence of God, other times, I'm afraid to say, I am lax. I don't believe in everything the Church has to say but I think my faith is personal and no one can tell me what is right and wrong...I have to look into my own heart for those answers. It works for me and I'm happy.


macsmom
Member posted 05-20-2001 03:54 AM
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I totally agree that your faith is personal. Your story is great! To think that the Lord was calling you to church that strongly, and you obeyed


lilyka
Member posted 05-20-2001 05:36 PM
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I grew up in a Methodist church but it sorta preached an "all roads lead to heaven" thing which led me to believe that iff all roads lead to heaven then thier is no hell and if thier is no hell then the Bible is full of lies and if the Bible is full of lies than why do I even bother after all, God would never hold it against me if I never did anything anyway because all roads lead to heaven. My mom prayed whenevr she was in danger of getting in trouble or needed money. I never got what I wanted when I gave God or Santa my liasts, so again, why bother. When I was in 6th grade I met my friend Lindy. Her family was really wierd . In the mean time I got sorta cynical about God and church and then one day on my two block walk to school, I figured out the mystries of the universe. Something about forces of good and evil and if you honored the forces of good they would buffer you from the forces fo evil. It all seems so silly now but when you are 14... After seventh grade my mom and her boyfriend who had been living with us (great roll models all around me) got married I spent the night with Lindy. This is the first time I had ever gone to church with her. Her church was different to say the least. It was charismatic, hand raising, Bible believing, guitar playing, praise chorus singing, praying to recieve Christ, tankig about the Holy Spirit kinda church . The type of church my friends and I would sit around and make fun of YET, I had never felt more home anywhere. Even then I thought it was wierd how undisturbed I was. Lindy was very relieved I didn't think her too big a freak . God just really opened my heart to these people and they just loved me and loved me no matter how horrible I acted. (my transformation wasn't instant and I was pretty bad. Snotty, proud, defient, rebellious and ill mannered and loud. I could go on but you get the point) They were living examples of Gods love and grace. About a year later I asked Christ into my heart and he filled me with the Holy Spirit. It was so great ot have a "family" who loved me, a place that felt safe and quieted my spirit and a real Father who loved me.
It is funny. I used to think I didn't have much of a testimony, but I could go on all night now. God has done such a work in my life. And I am so glad.



nursing mother
Member posted 05-20-2001 07:18 PM
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Hi,I was born and raised in Alaska to a missionary family. My folks were missionaries up there for nearly 30 years. I was raised in a village called Tanana, above Fairbanks and just below the artic circle. Then my folks moved to teach at a native boarding school and that is where I went to High-school. I was the only white girl in my graduating class in "79". The culture was hard on me and I felt very lonely alot. My folks left me many many times the first times when I was 6 months old, than for a whole summer when I was 3. I grew up with insecure feelings wondering if "God's" work was more important than me. I loved God will all my heart from a very young age, but went through a spiritual rebellion in high-school. Came out of it my senior year and applied to Bible school in England. From there on God felt very real to me and believe it or not decided to become a missionary midwife. Married a Dutchman who had world-traveled and stayed in Holland for awhile until our first was born. God changed my desire to be a missionary and I became a full-time mommy. (Just as important, right!)
I still struggle with feelings of abandonement and have had panic attacks since high-school, but God has helped me see how my vunerabilities can help me grow and become more dependant on Him. I now feel I have the world's greatest calling which is raising my 5 children. I will never ever leave them for long periods of time for I know how children grieve for their parents especially when they are very young, I still have night-mares thinking my mommy and daddy were never ever coming back. It still causes pain, but I keep looking forward and am glad I can be there for my children.



lilyka
Member posted 05-21-2001 08:57 AM
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Mommies are missionries. It is our job to reach our children for Christ, thier friends, babysitters, teachers and anyone else they may come into contact with.


suseyblue
Member posted 05-22-2001 12:38 AM
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Funny... I just got back from a blues guitar evening with my ex (I'd been meaning to see this old friend ex-bandmate of his for a dozen years, and he hadn't seen his friend for 19 years, so we went to surprise him).
The guy brought up God several times, and had a kick ass song 'Promised Land' that I was thinking I could've imagined hearing ex play in church (where I met him.) I just got this feeling the guy was with the Lord, you know?

When ex went backstage between sets, the first thing Guitar Guy says is, ".... ...."!
The name of the preacher he'd seen my ex on in the meantime! Turns out he'd become Christian watching our old pastor too! (And apparently ex is still being played on reruns, 'cause it's been a 12 years, lol). And another band member of theirs turned up at another church this guy had visited, too! Surprise!

I just think it's funny- you'd think, in Printer's Alley across from all the titty bars, that God would be the last thing onb anyone's mind, but nope. Ya can't escape God! I love when stuff like this happens.

Suse



macsmom
Member posted 05-23-2001 04:08 AM
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Sheri
Member posted 05-23-2001 09:44 AM
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I was raised without any kind of spirituality. My parents had the attitude that they would give us the choice to believe in anything or not, they didn't want to forcefeed it to us. I have mixed feelings about this. I think I may be stronger in my Christianity because I came to Christ of my own free will. I lived quite a party life and my DH and I both were habituated to marijuana (several times per day) I was so fed up with this life and I wanted friends which I felt I could trust. A woman who we had known for a number of years but never gotten too close to (because she seemed much more righteous than we), asked me if I wanted to go to MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) with her at her church. I started going in October of 99 and by January my DH and I had totally given up pot, started going to church there, I accepted Jesus as my savior as did my daughter, and my DH rededicated his life to Christ (after many years on the wrong path) Our lives have changed sooo much it is absolutely amazing. We have friends that we can trust (although none super close yet) We have accountability for our choices. We have been paying our tithe and for the first time in our 11 year marriage we are almost out of debt. Our marriage is greatly improved. My DH and I used to have a good marriage, but now it is great. We don't fight anymore at all. I am such a better parent as is my DH. We have just been so blessed by GOD. My family is very skeptical and feel that our lives changed because we have friends now or because we have just grown up. They are grasping at straws. My life has changed because of the love of GOD and all the wonderful people who have been doing GOD's work in our lives by showing us positive examples of living life to the fullest. I praise GOD for every bit of my life. I said on another post that although my life used to be good, it is like I was living in black and white and now I am living in color. GOD is so good.
Sheri


macsmom
Member posted 05-23-2001 10:33 AM
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Wow!!! Awesome!


boobybooby
Member posted 05-23-2001 03:43 PM
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What a joy it is to hear everyone's story of freedom...
GOD IS SOOOOOO AWESOME!



francisflock
Member posted 05-25-2001 08:00 PM
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OK, I should be in the garden hoeing but ...
I was raised by an atheist and a non practicing Mormon. What a combination. I had virtually no religious "training". Yet I always knew there was a God...I just didn't know where He was!

My late teens were spent experimenting to find my niche in life. There is so much that I just don't feel at ease sharing...hard times, sexual abuse, drugs, an aversion to the opposite sex...All said, I found myself accepted and loved within the gay community. I became an activist of sorts, attending the Gay Pride Parade and candle light marches in San Diego. The hardest thing I would ever do is leave this world that I was comfortable in. It was all I knew. But when I was 22 I began searching again. I married and divorced in less than a year, in the end going back to what I knew. At 25 the search brought me to my Lord. I was a Sgt in the Army (super little dyke) when God began plaguing me with Jesus freaks! They were everywhere. I hated it but couldn't help listening. One night on guard duty, while on a field problem, I read a little book of John that one of those Jesus freaks had given me. I remember it was raining. And I was crying. Shortly after that, a week or two, I attended a Baptist church. I have no idea what the man said. But I know what God said. He had called my name and I had no choice but to come to Him. I was radically saved. The old man truly became new as I repented of my life so waisted and empty. I saw the sky for the first time...seriously! I would walk outside and just stare at the sky and trees! How could I have been so blind! I cleaned out the book shelf and threw out cassettes. There went Rita Mae Brown and Chris Christianson! I was never one to be half way about anything and I wasn't about to start then. Now I cannot imagine life without God...with out Christ...without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

This is a hard testimony...most people would say I was unsaveable. I know differently. So does God.

Today I am a SAH, homeschooling, Christian, Mom to 7 wonderful children. My prayer is that my children won't have to struggle and search for years, as I did, before finding the Truth.

I pray for all those who are in the same life I was saved out of. Those who can't imagine there is anything else. I am living proof that there is.

"The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." John 10:10



moondancer
Member posted 05-26-2001 10:33 AM
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francisflock--what a testimony to a completely changed life. Thank you for being bold in sharing your struggles. When I hung with my lesbian friends the common thread in their pain was a past of sexual abuse and incest. It is not an easy thing to share because it is so shamebased. My family past has these issues (sister and cousins from grandfather and uncles) but just as the truth starts to come out someone squelches it with denial. Praise God that we have a Savior to release us from darkness!


macsmom
Member posted 06-05-2001 11:28 AM
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Wow, wow, wow!!!! The Lord is amazing!! Thank you for sharing Francis! I am so happy to hear your awesome testimony!! The Lord truly does reign! I am being so blessed visiting this site today


madison
Member posted 06-05-2001 06:18 PM
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OK, I'm a little defensive posting this, so no flames please, and I'll try not to start any catfights inadvertently. My testimony is wrapped up in my coming out process, so please read to the end before coming to conclusions.
I grew up in a family that wasn't terribly interested in religion or spirituality at all, but I always was. By the time I was in 5th grade, I wanted to go to church regularly, so my parents dutifully found me a good church that I could ride my bike to and attend Youth Group at on my own every Sunday. I did that until I was a sophomore in High School.

My high school was about as white bread, conservative, republican, mostly affluent middle-of-the-road as you can get. We did not have many minorities of any kind - no gay students at all and about 10 black/asian/hispanic kids total. I'd never had any experience of "otherness". My first day in high school, I fell in love with one of my new best friends, another girl.

I'd always wondered why, when growing up, I'd have crushes on girl friends, while my friends always had crushes on boys. Sure, I pretended, but didn't get the butterflies in my stomach the way they seemed to. I figured it would happen in it's own good time.

So I kept on attending church, being involved with school, sports, choirs etc. But things were not working out for me. The answers I was getting at church were too simplistic for me, and weren't related to my life. They weren't really prepared for a very serious 14 year old pondering the meaning of life and death!

By the time I was a sophomore, I would probobly say I was clinically depressed...it was a combination of finding myself attracted to other girls and specifically my good friend (and having to hide it 24/7), terrified of being "found out", cynical at the hypocracy in the world ("do as I say, not as I do"), anger at my parents for not letting me do what the other kids were doing (dating, going to dances, driving - my folks were very conservative and overprotective), and getting good grades - except in math, which I was barely passing with a D - which infuriated my father and frustrated me, making me feel like a big loser!

By the time I was a sophomore I was suicidal. At this dark time in my hormonal teenage life, I found Young Life, a Christian ministry to teenagers. YL was really big in our town. It was one of the two "cool" things to do - be a YL kid or a partier. I threw myself in headfirst. We had a strong presence on campus - holding Bible Studies, prayer groups, and having "Club" which was the big meeting. We had usually over 100 kids come. It was "happening!".

There I met some of the most amazing adults. They actually liked teenagers, firstly. Secondly, they were honest to goodness people of faith. There was no hypocracy in them; they were honest and trustworthy and fun people. One of the Leaders, Judy (the Staff guys wife) took me under her wing as her project. She kept an eye out for me, listened to me, and "walked the talk". Always. And I pushed her, too, trying to break her and test her belief system.

When I was a Junior, another of my best friends came out - the only person in my school (or in the four years I was there). Her motherlocked her up in the Mental Hospital for three months and gave her shock treatments & aversion treatments to try to "cure" her. Judy and I prayed for her frequently. I was even MORE terrified of being "found out", though I never abandoned my friend.

All this time I was attending Young Life Club and hearing the gospel spelled out in authentic terms by my loving YL Leaders. I attended camp at Malibu in Canada (anyone been there? It's the worlds most beautiful place). Being there really made me appreciate the creation. I went to camp with the friend I was in love with secretly, and debated in my heart what on earth to do.

I didn't know any gay people and had never heard anything good about them. I'd heard they were going to hell and were horrible, sick, deviant sub-humans deserving of pity and scorn. Yet, I was in love with my friend, and it didn't feel evil. I was in a quandry. I didn't think I was evil, yet my YL Leaders equated my life as someone who was separated from God because of sin. I knew, though, that even though I'd attended church for years, intellectually I had never issued an invitation to Jesus to be "Lord" in my life.

I debated within myself for four weeks after returning from camp, while considering suicide or Christ. At the end of those weeks I made a decision - if I committed suicide, there were no other things that could result. If I chose Christ, who knows what could happen? So I accepted Christ on August 19, 1985 at 9:30 pm.

The first year things just went swimmingly. I was so "on fire" that I forgot about my secret love for my friend - I had so much to do, I didn't have time for it. I was super busy and super happy. I threw away the razor blade I'd carried in my wallet for the last three years.

I went to the community college in town for my freshman year and promptly fell in love with a girl friend at my new Bible Study. Still, I thought I could keep the two separate and chose abstinance and aloneness and Christ.

The next year I moved to another University in another town and became a Young Life Leader for the next five years while working 30 hours per week, taking a full load of classes, being a worship leader at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I was too busy to date, though I occassionally made an effort (like once every 6 months

In the meantime, I met more diverse people and discovered that differences weren't evil, they were just differences, and weren't personally threatening.

When I moved to LA, I finally met gay people - and crashed head long into my sterotypes, which have mostly proven to be FALSE. My theology has also changed somewhat and grown - my idea of God has grown, too.

I finally came out after falling in love with one of my bosses who cared enough to be bluntly honest with me. She said (in different words) "For heavens sake, the reason you keep falling in love with women is because you're a lesbian. God made you that way, so stop thinking you're defective and live a honest life, find a woman you love, and keep "walking the talk".

So that's what I've been doing since. I suppose some of my theology differs greatly from what some of you believe, but I DO understand the worldview you are coming from. Now my friends and "chosen family" are of all orientations and religions, quite a diverse group, and I love it and them. Thanks for letting me share my story.

PS - Young Life refused to let me be a Leader and my former spiritual family has exiled me, though they "pray" for me. Their loss, but mine, too, in a different manner than they think.

I miss having a venue through which to serve and minister to people (and specifically kids) who need someone to take an interest in them - like Judy did for me. I now call myself a non-theistic Christian who practices many of the tenents of Buddhism (I like the compassion and personal responsibility angle). I also miss having a spiritual community like that that I really "click" with.

Sorry so wordy!


[This message has been edited by madison (edited 06-05-2001).]



suseyblue
Member posted 06-06-2001 01:29 AM
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wow madison; i was aug 23rd, same year. something in the air, i guess! (or someOne ) thanks for sharing your story; i'm sorry the traditional community has been less than accepting. their loss. well, i'm always more concerned with what god thinks than what other folks think; just remember Whose opinion is the important one.
suse



lisamarie
Member posted 06-08-2001 04:46 PM
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WOW MADISON....I REALLY APPLAUD YOU!!! What courage and strength, and beating of depression. And, you had FAITH.
At our church, we accept openly (and non-openly) gay folks and couples. Of course there has been alot of discussion in our church and in the faith about this issue, but our church (Methodist), welcomes all people of all walks of life. To me and for me, isn't that what Jesus preached....love and peace and acceptance?

Thank you for sharing!



SmileMomma
Moderator posted 06-09-2001 01:10 AM
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He is there for all of us; it's so sad when people try to exclude others from God's love.
My story was of a mildly religious (she believed in God but didn't do much about it) mom who sent us to church every Sunday, anywhere we wanted to go, so I got to go to many different types of services, which really felt good. I accepted Christ as a child, I was 10, and still remember crying for the joy of it.

Fast forward 20 some years. I prayed when I was in trouble, or occasionally in thanks. That was it, in my wild life I was in no condition to go anywhere Sunday morning!

We had been trying everything to get pregnant for 4 years. I had had 4 major surgeries, many different hormonal drug treatments, been put into menopause for 6 months then out again, basically everything possible. Then miracle of miracles, I was pregnant! I floated on air, just bursting with love for this much-wanted, cherished baby. Then I began to bleed. I found out I was pregnant and lost the baby, all in the space of 4 days, while my dh was gone and I was all alone in a strange city. Everyone I called for support was gone for the weekend. How I cursed God! How could He do this to me, when He knew how I would love a child and yet He would rather give children to teenagers and drug addicts. How He must hate me. I cried, literally nonstop for 2 days. In and out of conciousness, didn't eat, only woke, cried, screamed, railed at God, all until I passed out again from exhaustion. I was really hoping to die. Then clear as day, I awoke and felt my head on someone's lap. Someone was very gently stroking my hair from my sweaty forehead, and all was peaceful. I can't describe the feeling, it was all white light, and very otherworldly. I didn't shed tears again that weekend. Was it Jesus himself, or an angel? I don't know. But there was peace, peace that brought me closer to God, and that lasts even today. I believe that my first little baby came only briefly, to bring me to the Lord, and then left, his mission accomplished. He brought only joy his entire short life, from his mother's womb to Jesus' arms. What better life could anyone ask for?

My dd was born 3 years later, 3 weeks after my graduation, where I could stay home with her for her first year (something I couldn't have done if she had come earlier). God's timing is so much better than our own.

Thank you, Jesus, for your blessings. Thank you St. Jude, for your prayers. Thank you wonderful mommas, for listening.

"Be not afraid, for lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."



mom2godzillas
Member posted 06-11-2001 09:19 AM
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Wow, Madison, thanks for sharing your testimony. It is so sad that the YL folks, etc exclude you. So wrong!
I don't have one of those amazing "alter call" kind of stories. I was raised in the same Lutheran church my Gram was baptised in. Moved across the country and joined a Lutheran church. I don't think there was a time when Christ WASN"T in my life. I am very grateful for his prescence as I was abused by my father as I child and my mother is severely mentally ill and I credit God with keeping me sane in all this. All Glory to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!



macsmom
Member posted 06-23-2001 04:40 PM
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I haven't been on the computer much lately. It is wonderful to hear everyone's stories of how they came to Christ. I don't think one needs to have a huge "conversion" story. I don't have one either. I was raised in the church and didn't really stray. The most important thing is accepting Christ, regardless of how you get there

cynthia mosher is online now  
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