My Testimony

January 4, 2018

Last night I did something scarily-amazing. I got up in front of my church [maybe 500-600 people] and shared my “How I found Jesus” Story.

I posted a little blurb yesterday on Instagram and had an outpouring of support. Many comments and personal texts saying that you wished you could be there to hear my testimony. So, I’ve decided to share it here. In hopes that it reaches one person. Giving you hope through hardship. Knowing that you’re not alone. And if you need a prayer, I am here!

Please be gentle. This is me being super vulnerable.

I am going to be honest and tell you that I always thought I had a relationship with Christ, until I actually had a relationship with Christ, and then realized all of those years that I never really had a relationship with Christ. To take you back, I was raised Catholic. My family and I attended Church regularly until I was about 10 or 11. But in all of those years I never felt like I was actually walking with Christ. Quite honestly I was one of those believers who thought that by just being good, I was doing good. I actually remember when I went to confessional for my first holy communion, and the Priest asked me to tell him my sins, and I told him that I didn’t have any. I mean, come on…I was 8-ish years old, and you can imagine that by that age I had already committed more sins that I have space to count. So, I actually never grasped the concept of God already knowing that I’m a sinner, and that He is looking for me to go to him with that sin, and just ask for help.

Fast forward, to the summer of 2014, I was suddenly feeling this urge to go to church. I had been introduced to Sagebrush through my husband, and just instantly felt a connection here. Understanding the message a little better, taking Todd’s words to heart more so than I had ever been able to do at Church. I can’t explain it, other than it was a total God thing, but I just felt this overpowering need to immerse myself in Sagebrush. A few weeks after that feeling, i found out I was pregnant with my second child. When I would come to Sagebrush in that time period, I just remember this overwhelming connection with the baby I was carrying. I would be singing the worship songs and just holding my belly, almost feeling blessed to be pregnant again. Dec 29 of that same year, I ended up miscarrying my baby at 13 weeks pregnant. It was the worst moment of my life, to have something so precious, be literally stripped from my body. I remember just asking God why? Why me? And even though I had been through the worst physical and emotional pain, I felt this underlying strength. In a time where I could have lost all hope, let everything else around me slip away, fallen in to a depression, and been justified in my own pity party. I felt strength. I felt God calling out to me, asking me to trust Him, walk with Him.

So I listened. I don’t know how I did it, I just knew this was what I needed to do. I started reading the bible a little bit. I had joined a seasonal small group here at Sagebrush. And through a lot of prayer, I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. In November of 2015 I was baptized here at Sagebrush, 5 months pregnant with my new little baby. And I wish I could tell you that my story ends there….but as we all know, our stories are never ending, right.

With two kids now under the age of four, I found myself in a place where I was consumed with diapers and tantrums. Leaving little connection with my husband. We were in that roomate stage of life, and it was going nowhere fast. I was feeling underappreciated and he was feeling under-acknowledge. In 2017 my New Years Resolution was to deepen my relationship with Christ even more, and to strengthen my marriage. I actually started requiring myself to read a chapter of the bible, write in my prayer journal, and do a devotional every morning before I was allowed to do anything else. I was so committed to this, that I actually set my alarm clock early, to make sure that I was carving out that time for Him. Well, of course, a lot of my prayers were to help strengthen my marriage, bring my husband and I closer together….and you know how prayers go…never the way you want them answered.

My husband and I found ourselves in a place of serious distress, probably the darkest time in our marriage, aside from losing Ethan. We were on the verge of our marriage falling apart. And in that moment I actually heard God speak to me, directly to me, for the first time in my life. And it was the resounding word GRACE. Giving grace when I didn’t want to, when I wanted to be the one still in control. Giving grace and letting God take over. That grace led to us coming to a couples class at Sagebrush called the Art of Marriage. That class redefined for us what Marriage meant, through God’s eyes, something we never had before. After finishing that class, we knew that one 6 week course wasn’t going to even make a dent in the disconnect that we had been going through. So, again, through the act of god’s grace, we started going to Re-Engage. It’s like Sagebrush’s version of Marriage Bootcamp, and whoa. The things we learned, not only just about each other, but about ourselves. Rediscovering who we are, and why, and what to do with all the empty baggage that nobody wants, and that things aren’t always going to be perfect, but together, with God at the center, we can make it through. It gave us a new found hope. A new found trust.

I still struggle everyday. I still have all those fears and issues. But I also have an indescribable comfort now. A comfort in knowing that I am not doing this alone. I am one of those people who feels like I am actually never alone, and that’s because I just feel surrounded by God in every moment of my life. I now have a true relationship with Christ, and that in itself gives me all the peace I need.

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