To celebrate my 2nd Baptism Anniversary, thought I'd re-write my testimony. God is so amazing and everyday, I live in his redemptive power.
I got saved when I was 11 years old at Donholm All Nations Gospel Church (PEFA) where my then best friend and I asked the youth pastor to pray for us after being heavily convicted watching Colby's Clubhouse :-) :-) I spent my High School life still committed to God; ask my roommates my favorite thing to do in the world was writing down TBN sermon notes and Christian Rock lyrics in my journal and waiting till Sunday night to get on my bunk and sing them. I remember being overtaken by emotion in a CRE class and making a public announcement to my class in Form 1 (9th Grade) how "I want to be a Pastor!" and it was the most embarrassing moment of my High School life,
except the time I was in a play and my costume halfway fell off, I felt it and believed it, but it's not the type of thing you want merciless teenage girls knowing the 1st week of school...I digress. My relationship with God then was real and raw and it was just the two of us. It didn't look like anybody else's. He was my best friend and all I had. Those were honestly the best years (till now, obviously)
After High School, life got a little tricky. Coming out of a girls boarding school where every Sunday you HAD to got to Church and every Wednesday you HAD to go to Bible Study, and the only boys you saw were 3 months out of the year during short holidays, all the new freedom quickly got to my head and a combination of that and my dad's cancer struggle led to what I refer to as the dark years. Like, seriously, so dark I've-blocked-most-of-those-memories-out, dark. I made some choices I wish I hadn't and went through some stuff I wish I didn't.
Then March 2009 happened and I started going to Mavuno. Pastor Simon was preaching the "Man Enough" series and that helped me work through a lot of issues. I started going to the youth group there (YORK House) and made some solid friends who stood by me even when I was one foot in and one foot out of the Church.
2010 was the biggest blurry year every wrong choice, every wrong done to me, every heartbreak, mourning for my dad, it all just piled up and at the end of it I was done. The only belief I had about my life was that I wouldn't live past 25. I was in such a dark place I remember calling my mum at midnight ne night and telling her to pray for me because I just couldn't do it anymore. She tried to take me to see a therapist, it didn't work, so one weekend she forced me to go back to Mavuno and it was the last service of the year - the Thanksgiving/Testimonies service. I was hearing all these testimonies of lives saved and I was just crying thinking "Will that ever be me? I'm too far gone!" I signed up for Mizizi (a 10 week course about how God relates to everyday life) and started that January 2011.
I went to that class every week, I was hard headed and asked a lot of questions, I was determined not to walk out of that class without answers. At the very last day, our Graduation Retreat, the person leading called out the exact cause of my depression and I went forward and I BAWLED! I could not believe God had a word for me! I got saved and baptized on April 10th 2011.
I understood the concept of loving God which to me was "I believe you are real, I acknowledge you are real." I followed the rules and felt horrible when I failed and my new Christian life was more of a job that I reported to and clocked out of when something "better" came along. I struggled to make it look like the relationships other people had. I failed. Miserably.
January 2012 happened. I was sitting in my sister's house flipping through channels then this song came up and I just thought, "Wow, I've never seen worship like that!" and I wrote the name of the band down on my phone to check them out later. February, I Googled them and discovered it was Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture singing. I spent the whole month listening to every song and getting my hands on every album. I was rocked. Afterwards I got on to Bethel Music as well and my life has never been the same.
I understood loving God wasn't just acknowledging His realness. It was getting an encounter with His love and loving Him because He loves us SO INCREDIBLY MUCH. I realized that He looks at me and doesn't rate me based on my mistakes and how well I've cleaned them up, He looks at me and sees me as lovely and whole and funny and beautiful. I realized who He really is and in turn
I auditioned for Mavuno's worship team, something I dreamed of forever but never dared to believe could happen. I got in. I subscribed to iBethel TV and watch their worship and sermons every week and in short...I've just come alive. As you can see, it didn't take a day or a single prayer, it took years for me and I think many times a lot of us give up on God too quickly, I'm still a work in progress and there's so much more of Him I want to experience that I haven't yet. Same way God sees a lot in me that I can do but I haven't learned I can do yet, but, He makes me come alive.
Now, God placed it in my heart to go back to the dreams I had when I first fell in love with Him back in High School. To be involved in Church and ministry, to write music, to sing and to love on people and show them God's love, even on this blog. Like I said, He's given me a passion to see dead or broken things come alive, (relationships, lives, marriages, hearts) and I can't wait to see what that looks like.