Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Taking The Plunge!



If you were to tell me years ago that I was going to get baptized at the age of 34, I would have laughed and said; you definitely didn't know anything about me and yeah right that would never happen! Growing up I disliked anything that had to do with the bible or church. I thought that the bible was a hate filled book used to fill people with fear and punishment. I thought that churches were filled with only the "elite, good people". I thought only those who sought comfort in the after life were in need of reading the bible and going to church; and I also thought that it did nothing more than create hypocritical, judgmental people who thought that they were better than anybody who believed otherwise. WOW how the tables have turned and God has pulled my insides out and has exposed me for who I really am: a secretly hate filled person who is in fear of judgement and ridicule, so like everyone else I covered the shame of what lurks deep within by wearing a plastic smile and pretending that everything was just dandy! For years I would say that I'm not hypocritical, I'm not judgmental however, every finger that I would point outward God has made me face, only because he loves me so much and wants me to grow and know his infinite love, so that I can share it with everyone, so that they too can know his immense mercy, love and beautiful bountiful grace...It is in God's nature to grow our hearts and to show us who we really are; and to show us who we can become. He calls us first; to save us and then to show us that we can live without shame, that we can truly walk in the freedom that he has paid for our transgressions. Now that I belong to him, now that I am saved it is time to take the next step in my faith and declare my love out loud for all to see.

Here is my written testimony:

For most of my life I had always felt as though something was missing. I remember praying to God, desperately wanting to know him & have a connection with him but never really knew how to. I always felt as though my prayers were never heard. I went through most of my life with this empty hopeless feeling. I spent the majority of my life feeling angry & incomplete but never  understood why. For many years alcohol & drugs numbed this broken feeling, but in time drugs & alcohol only resulted in poor choices which led to several traumas in my life. I have since been married to a wonderful man with whom I raise four glorious children with. Being a Wife & Mother is a privilege and has matured both my Husband and myself a great deal. Having children certainly helped to put our lives on track and has given us a sense of direction and purpose...but it really never did take away that unknown void in my heart.
Both my Husband and myself thought that it would be beneficial if we made some changes to become more healthy. Along with these changes we thought that it would be a good idea to get to know our community by attending a local church service. Our initial reasons for attending were a little on the superficial side because I wasn't even considering that I might in fact meet God there??? Crazy enough God was the furthest thing from my mind. If you have lived a life without knowing God's grace then you simply don't even consider him. The very first service that we attended I immediately felt fire crackers going off inside of my heart & for the very first time in my life I knew that I was standing in the presence of God's glory and had somehow in an instant come alive. Since I have begun to take this walk in faith, the deep void in my life has been filled and my anger has been replaced with love, hope & peace. Jesus has changed me as a person and a veil has been lifted. A heaviness that I once bore, has been taken from me. I can feel myself growing as a person.
God's words strengthen and encourage me daily. There are times that the pressures of daily living can feel overwhelming, God's words give me assurance and confidence to continue and persevere even when things are hard.
My favorite scripture of all time and the one that I daily measure my heart and my faith with is...

 1st Corinthians 13

If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

For the first time in my life God has clearly defined love for me and I now know that something so simple is actually quite complicated for the human heart to achieve without the love and guidance of a Savior.

Jesus has given my life true meaning and purpose and for this I am truly grateful. I choose to surrender daily, I ask him to fix all that is broken. I will gladly live in him eternally. He is my one and only Savior, my rock and my redeemer. Jesus asks me only to follow and I gladly will for my whole life through. Though I stumble and fall daily, He continually lifts me up... I am not worthy of the love that has been poured out for me... I need him more than anything else in this world and I will cling to him forever. I will one day be full in Christ and that is the day that I live for.

Thank-you for saving me Lord,
Love forever,
Tanya

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful read Tanya. I have to admit, you struck me as someone who's always been in the faith. I see in you my Saviour with your loving kindness, I don't think you realize just how much.
    God bless you my sister.

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  2. Thank-you so much!
    It was a beautiful day filled to the brim with God's loving grace. I have been saved for one year and four short months...I am still a "new born babe" in the Lord. But you know what?...I KNOW HIM! & I LOVE HIM!
    NOBODY has EVER or will EVER be capable of teaching me in a lifetime what he has taught me in such a short while & he has only just begun!
    God bless you my Brother.

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