Last week I served at a women’s conference that my Church hosts called the Colour Conference ( see more info here ) Every year without fail it has a way of changing my life for the better everytime. It always leaves me reflecting on my life and thinking about where I would be if it were not for God. My favorite part of the conference was when a few of the brave leaders and pastors in our church shared their testimonies with us. There was not a dry tear in that arena So I have decided to also share a bit of my testimony with you. Some of you may know it and some of you may be a bit shocked but I hope that it blesses you and inspires you to share your story with the people in your world.
Coming home at 6 am from a crazy night of partying about 8 years ago, I still lived at home so my mother was up getting ready for work and the look of sadness and hurt on her face when she saw me in my drunken state was something I will never forget.
The reason this impacted me so much was because just months before this I committed my life to God and went on a discipleship training school ( DTS ) with Youth With A Mission ( YWAM ) my experience there was so amazing and God instilled so many dreams in my heart but when I returned home I had no friends that had experienced what I did, in fact, none of my friends really understood or cared about my experience. So when I returned to normal life I was not strong enough to resist what I thought I didn’t want anymore. Sadly I went into a downward spiral of partying, drugs, boys and the rest, even though before I was saved I did those things, this time it seemed so much worse because I knew the calling I had on my life and I knew better but rebelled and still did what I knew was not beneficial for my life.
That day I came home in the early hours of the morning was a defining day for me because I realized just how much my actions were breaking, not only my heart and spirit but also my mom’s. When she left for work that morning I broke down in a way I never had before, suddenly shame and guilt riddled my mind and I was overcome with sadness and disappointment at the person I had become. I sat in the lounge and started thinking the thoughts that maybe some of you reading this could relate to – maybe If I wasn’t here anymore the pain would go away, maybe if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t be able to hurt any more people.
So I started googling ways to end my life but at the same time I was doing this I saw my mom had a playlist of songs from Hillsong church that she had been playing before she left for work. Something in me just felt like pressing play, in an instant of listening tears started streaming down my face in an uncontrollable way. I knew that God was calling my heart back to His. In complete and utter surrender because I was so desperate for my life to change I worshipped God in my lounge that morning and in the same breath I felt to contact someone at Hillsong church who could help me. Within minutes somebody phoned me and asked me to come grab a coffee with them. That following Sunday was the day I recommitted my life again to God and have not looked back since.
I am not saying that life has been perfect by any means but what I am saying is that in my realization that I needed God, he heard my broken heart and ever since that day I knew God would never leave me.
This is what I hope you can learn from my journey:
- God is the God of second, third, fourth….. chances.He NEVER LEAVES US! Even when we reject him the minute we draw ourselves near he is there waiting with open arms to our cry.
- I felt like I wasn’t good enough for God. Unworthy to even ask him to save me but in my desperate surrender, I felt God say to me that there is NOTHING that could EVER separate me from his love. and in that surrender, God created such a desire in me for worship. What is it that God wants to show you for your future that you are holding back because you feel unworthy? Let me let you in on a little secret, it is a daily struggle for me to know that I am worthy of Gods love. When you have had a past like mine and you are aware of all the shortcomings in your life it is hard to accept Gods love but just as much as it is a daily struggle for me, God daily reminds me how much he loves me and how worthy I am. He will do the same for you so do not let the enemy win!!!!!
- I felt extremely lonely, feeling sorry for myself. My perspective was not open but the minute I stepped foot into church God opened my eyes and allowed me to see that not only can I be apart of a community but that I was not the only one going through hard times, lack of identity, insecurity etc… my loneliness quickly turned into an urgency to let others know that they are not alone. That is also why I love Serving at Colour conference, for me it allows me to be able to place value on women and God uses me to let women know that they are not alone. It is such a lie to believe that the battles we face are in isolation. Many more times than not, when we are vulnerable and open up about our struggles it inspires others to do the same and that is how we become a strong sisterhood. One that stands together and holds each other up when times get tough.
- I can come as I am. As soon as I walked into church I felt God whisper to me, come as you are. I had a lot of issues, faults, sins, and lists of things I had done wrong but God did not care about those things and it did not require me to be perfect before I came to church, in fact, it was the opposite. I could come just as I am, broken, alone and desperate. That day God took my heart and started healing it as well as molded me into all he intended for me from the beginning. I am grateful for the women that God has put in my life. Strong, bold, courageous women who accepted me just as I am. As you too realize that God is a kind God, a gracious God, he will provide you with the right friends you need for your journey. When I came back from my mission trip in 2010 I felt alone but God actually used my loneliness to draw me back to him and out of that showed me that there are people who love just like him. What is it that you may be going through now where you think it is a hopeless situation? I know for a fact that God uses everything, the good and the bad and he turns it around for his glory. Don’t let what seems to be a hopeless situation get you down. Your current season does not have to be your future, God has the final say!