My Testimony

On April 27, 1983, I was born to my par­ents. I entered into this world with a body that was born in sin. Though I was new­ly alive, I was as good as dead. Well, that is until August 11, 2001, when by the grace of God I was born again! Whether you believe, doubt, or scoff, I pray that as you read my sto­ry you will be both inspired and uplifted.

I first went to church when I was in either the sec­ond or third grade. The church was Cal­vary Bap­tist Church in Con­nersville, IN, and although I nev­er became a bap­tized mem­ber, I did make a pro­fes­sion of faith at one of their vaca­tion Bible school ser­vices. If I remem­ber cor­rect­ly, my “sal­va­tion” was pret­ty much “1−2−3 repeat after me,” and I nev­er tru­ly had a faith­ful and pen­i­tent heart. Of course, as a naïve child I claimed to be saved when­ev­er the top­ic of reli­gion would come up and did so for many years until I was eighteen. 

Through­out my life from that point, I knew I want­ed to do good, but for me it was always so I would be good enough to get to heav­en. Look­ing back, I real­ize I could­n’t have been saved because I nev­er placed com­plete trust in the Lord to take me to Heav­en on his right­eous­ness, not mine. Any­way, I spent many nights pray­ing — in vain — that I would be good enough to go to Heav­en. Oh, I also made sure to say the famous “Now I lay me down to sleep…” prayer. I was casu­al­ly reli­gious and try­ing to stay out of trou­ble, but I was unknow­ing­ly still just a heart­beat away from an eter­ni­ty in Hell. Thank­ful­ly, that “heart­beat” nev­er came, though, as the Lord saw me through sev­er­al events where I’ve almost died and gone to Hell. In ’99, I was almost pulled off of life sup­port because the doc­tors did­n’t think I’d sur­vive. Praise God my mom would­n’t let them!

When I began mid­dle school, I began to be real­ly inter­est­ed in the para­nor­mal and any­thing that was “weird.” UFOs, ghosts, para­psy­chol­o­gy (psy­chics and stuff), mythol­o­gy, vam­pires and oth­er myth­i­cal crea­tures, and even Wic­ca were some of the things my friends and I read about and stud­ied. Dur­ing that time, I went to Full Gospel Trin­i­ty Church for a few months with my friend Jason. Full Gospel Trin­i­ty was the first Pen­te­costal church I had ever been too, and even­tu­al­ly the goings-on of that place just became too unset­tling for me to keep going.

Even­tu­al­ly high school began, and my inter­ests changed from the super­nat­ur­al to the nat­ur­al as I became very inter­est­ed in pop­u­lar sci­ence. I did­n’t attend church for years, but in twelfth grade, God brought a girl about the same as me named Tiffany into my life as a friend. She was my first new Chris­t­ian friend in a long while, and she also invit­ed me to church a cou­ple of times. It was through her that I would meet the fam­i­ly that would help change my life forever.

It was at the end of May ’01, and I had start­ed talk­ing to anoth­er girl, Rebec­ca, online. I had met her briefly at Tiffany’s church, but she and her fam­i­ly had since been led to a new church. Any­way, on May 21, I start­ed talk­ing to who I thought was Rebec­ca but it turned out to be Bon­nie, her moth­er — I guess that’s one of those “Inter­net chat risks” I hear so much about. At first Bon­nie did­n’t know who I was, but after Rebec­ca told her, she invit­ed me to church. Of course, it was­n’t until a few days lat­er when I “offi­cial­ly” met them in real life did I find out that I was talk­ing to Bon­nie. Either way, that Wednes­day, they picked me up for church, and for the first time ever at a church, I real­ly enjoyed myself. I enjoyed the music, the peo­ple, the preach­ing — every­thing! I was “bap­tized” into Gar­ri­son Creek Bap­tist Church two months lat­er on July 19, still think­ing that I was saved from many years before. I became great friends with Rebec­ca and her fam­i­ly, and I fell in love with the church. I stayed faith­ful, and when August came, every­thing took off in a big way when the church had camp meeting.

The week of camp meet­ing would have to be the best week, spir­i­tu­al­ly, I’ve ever had in my life. Tues­day of that week, God opened up my eyes to a lot of things I nev­er would have expect­ed him to, and one of those things was my sal­va­tion. I did­n’t under­stand what he was try­ing to tell me at that time, though, and it was­n’t until Fri­day night that I got the mes­sage clear­ly. That Fri­day morn­ing (I wish I could have been at this ser­vice, but I missed it), sev­er­al dear friends of mine felt the draw of God through the Holy Spir­it and accept­ed Jesus Christ as their Sav­ior. Rebec­ca, her sis­ter Jen­nifer, and her Aunt Dyan all were washed in the pre­cious blood of Christ that morn­ing! Talk­ing online Fri­day night, Rebec­ca told me the sto­ry of their sal­va­tion and what made them real­ize they weren’t real­ly saved. It hit me… The truth hit me. I felt God pulling at my heart so hard I could­n’t bear not to come to the deci­sion that was ten years in the mak­ing: I was­n’t, nor have I ever been, tru­ly saved by grace through Christ. It was around 1:30 AM Fri­day night when I real­ized that. I told it to Rebec­ca, and she went and woke up her mom. She offered to come over to my house that same night to talk to me. When she came over, every­thing she told me only made me feel the pull stronger and stronger. I could­n’t cry, I could­n’t express my feel­ings, I could bare­ly act… All I knew at that moment was that there was a hole in my soul, and at that minute God want­ed to fill it. At around 2:30 AM, I prayed to God repent­ing of my sins and ask­ing for Christ’s sal­va­tion. If I died this minute, tomor­row, or thir­ty years from now I can tru­ly say that I will go to Heav­en; nev­er again will I have to doubt or ques­tion my sal­va­tion because this time I know it’s real! I thank God for bless­ing my life with Bon­nie and Rebec­ca, and I thank him for send­ing them to my house that ear­ly August 11th morn­ing. Were it not for them and their tes­ti­mo­ny, I’d prob­a­bly still be hold­ing on to my “sal­va­tion” from so many years ear­li­er. Thank you, God, for nev­er giv­ing up on me, and thank you for sav­ing my mom lat­er that very same night (Sat­ur­day, August 11)! GLORY TO GOD!

Also, just so some of you out there don’t take my tes­ti­mo­ny the wrong way, I in no way mean to say that you can lose your sal­va­tion. Once saved always saved. What I am try­ing to say in this is that I was nev­er saved in the first place until August 11, 2001. You can’t get saved because you want to. Think of the thieves hang­ing to the sides of Christ on their own cross­es at Cal­vary (thanks to Jen­nifer for teach­ing me this:). One thief only saw him­self. He want­ed to get off the cross and not die. He feared death for him­self, and in doing so he still died. The oth­er thief did­n’t think of him­self. He saw Christ hang­ing in between him and the oth­er thief. He believed on Christ right then and there. That very same day that thief, who thought not of him­self but believed on Jesus, was accept­ed into Heav­en through Jesus. If you feel the draw­ing of God, don’t put it off. Don’t repeat some­one else’s prayer unless you tru­ly mean it. That’s what I did. I thought some­one else’s words could save me. I did­n’t believe or under­stand half of what I repeat­ed, and I know I nev­er felt God draw­ing my heart. I felt fear for Hell, and that’s it. Eter­ni­ty’s a long time, and I urge you to make the right deci­sion when God tells you to. It does­n’t mat­ter how many times you have to hit the altar. Don’t wor­ry about what oth­er peo­ple think, make sure of your sal­va­tion, regard­less of how many times it takes for you to be 100% sure. Because bap­tism comes only after sal­va­tion, you may have to be bap­tized sev­er­al dif­fer­ent times. That’s OK. God does­n’t mind that, so why should you? If peo­ple talk, let them. Unless you can say you’re com­plete­ly sure, then I pray you do some­thing so that you can say that. May God bless and keep you all.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Use your Gravatar-enabled email address while commenting to automatically enhance your comment with some of Gravatar's open profile data.

Comments must be made in accordance with the comment policy. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam; learn how your comment data is processed.

You may use Markdown to format your comments; additionally, these HTML tags and attributes may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The Orion Oratory