Monday, November 17, 2008

My Testimony

Before I came to Christ:

Well, I was raised in a Christian home. My parents are both Christians and we go to church, regularly. Before I became a Christian I had a major problem with lying. It was a habit that I couldn’t control. It seemed like every time I opened my mouth I would lie about one thing or another, even if I wasn’t going to get into trouble if I told the truth. I am no longer like that. Although I do sin, it isn’t a continuous thing and not something I do daily like it was before I came to Christ. This is a major change in my life since I repented of my sins and put my faith and trust in Christ alone to save me. Before I became a Christian, I only read the Bible and memorized Scripture because I was required to do so for school. Being home-schooled, my parents included the Bible and other Christian books in most of our curriculum. However, I was more interested in history and not really in looking at the world with a Christian perspective. I remember I loved learning about archeology but not from a biblical perspective. This has entirely changed. I love reading my Bible and other books with authors like Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, and John MacArthur on the top of my list. I love learning about Biblical archeology as well.

How I become a Christian:

How I came to faith in Christ is somewhat vague for me because I was fairly young at the time. I remember one day coming into my parents’ bedroom and closing the door. I don’t remember why I went into their room. I started asking my dad several questions, which then led to him having a conversation with me about sin, judgment, and salvation. I seem to remember asking my dad, “Why did God make me this way?” I had asked him this question many times in the past. I had always struggled with that issue. The fact that I had all of these medical problems and my sisters had none to speak of made me wonder. I guess I was questioning God, really.

I remember being upset when I asked my dad the question. The conversation gave my dad the perfect opportunity show me my sins and how I needed to repent and receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I had already known about Christ and the cross so that information wasn’t new to me. But the way he showed me brought it to life. He didn’t use any fancy analogies but just brought it to me straight from God’s Word. He then asked me a couple of questions. I don’t remember the questions, but I remember I started to cry. I remember my dad asking me if I wanted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. I said yes. My dad had a huge smile on his face. He led me in a prayer and then prayed for me. After that he called my mom in and told her. We all gave each other hugs.

My parents were so happy since I was their eldest daughter and first of us kids to become a born again Christian. My father baptized me the following January. He pastored Pico Canyon Community Church at the time. I’ll always cherish that day.

Today:

Well, since then my walk with Christ has grown tremendously. As I mentioned earlier my problems with lying is no longer an issue. Although I do lie, from time to time, it is nothing like it was before. I also love reading my Bible. I’m not perfect and I don’t read it every day. I use to get bored reading God’s Word. I would have rather read something else. Now, whenever I read God’s Word I am always gleaning something new from it. It seems that some days that God is speaking directly to my heart from His Word. He does this by convicting me of sin. Other times verses and passages seem to leap from the pages and remind me to pray for someone in my family.

Today, I enjoy fellowship with believers more than I do with unbelievers. Even if the unbelievers are people close to me—even members of my extended family—I still enjoy the fellowship more with my Christian brethren.

I also enjoy going out and doing evangelism with my dad and sharing my faith with those who are lost and are bound for Hell. I have attended an Ambassadors Academy where I learned to share my faith in a biblical way. This has significantly changed my life as well. Before attending the Ambassadors’ Academy, I was very timid when distributing gospel tracts. Since then I have handed out a bunch of tracts. I have also open-air preached a few times, which really made me nervous, to say the least. But I had all the back up I needed. Phil 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I have been able to have quite a few 1-2-1 conversations, with various people. I have talked online to one young man in Indonesia and I’ve talked to a heckler that Ray Comfort engaged while open-airing at Huntington Beach. These were two very different conversations. I still get nervous every time I go out to evangelize lost people. This is normal. We should hope that we are a little fearful when we go out and share the good news because it helps us to rely more on God than ourselves. When fear comes, don’t quit.” Press on. God is always with you and you don’t need to be afraid when he is on your side.

As I mentioned before, I use to question God about my medical problems. Sometimes I still struggle with accepting the way that I am and the fact that I am going to have these problems for the rest of my life. But with God’s help I plan to overcome them.

I have a found a way to use my medical problems for the glory of God. I am currently going to college and will soon graduate with my AA degree. I will attend California State University Northridge beginning in the Spring Semester of 2009. I am working toward a degree in Child Development so that I might minister to kids in hospitals, by spending time and interacting with them or, if the opportunity arises, by sharing the gospel with them and other hospital workers. That is my ultimate goal. I have always had a desire to work with kids. When I first started taking classes at our local community college, I thought about being a preschool teacher. I began praying and doing some research online. I discovered that I could work with kids in hospitals as a Child Life Specialist. I have had a lot of experience in hospital room settings, having endured several surgeries and hospital stays. I thought I might be an encouragement to the kids. As I thought about the medical conditions I have and how I could be helpful in that area, I was reminded of a verse. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His pupose" (Rom. 8:28). I finally realized why God gave me so many medical conditions. The reason was so that I could help kids who find themselves in hospitals around the world. To Him be all the glory forevermore. My heart’s desire is for all to come to repentance and put their faith in Jesus Chris alone for salvation. So, I will strive to do all I can to get the gospel to a lost and dying world and to rely fully on Christ no matter what happens.

5 comments:

PattyN said...

Beautiful Michelle! :) I didn't know about the medical problems that you mentioned....but I agree with you that God causes all things to work together for good! I know that to be true in my own life and my past medical problems. We can share stories one day :) God Bless you my sister! I love your sweet spirit!
Patty

growinggrays said...

God Bless you Michelle. I loved reading your testimony. It encouraged me and I am praising Him right now for His wonderful work in you. Thanks for sharing and keep on going. I will be praying for you as you persue your degree and tell others about CHrist. xoVal

fourbyfourblazer said...

Thanks Michelle. I know that God is preparing you for His glory!

Donna Hebert said...

Beautiful Michelle! Praise and glory to God! Keep looking to Him for strength and boldness to daily take up your cross and follow Him. He is worthy! You are so precious! I loved reading your testimony! You have awesome parents too that truly have trained you up in the way you should go. Hugs to you dear sister.

NYC said...

Michelle, I am trying not to cry in my office. Thankfully, the door to my office is closed, :) What a sweet and wonderful testimony! God is so good and merciful, and although we may not understand the different circumstances in our lives, God always manages a way to use everything for His glory and our good.

I will pray that you reach your goals and serve Christ as a Child Life Specialist. What a blessing you will be to those children! Thank you for being bold and sharing your testimony and faith with others :)