First, my name is Michelle. I am 20 years old. If you really need to know, I have green eyes and brown hair.
Now for my testimony. I was born in Toronto, Ontario. That's in Canada for my international visitors! I was raised in a Christian household, but I never really cared much about my spirituality. Church was always a place we HAD to go to on Sunday, no if's and's or but's. I remember always being SOOOOOOOO board. We went to a really conservative church for most of my life (I won't mention the denomination). I remember first asking Jesus into my heart when I was about 8 or 9. I remember constantly asking him into my life because I was afraid he didn't hear me the first time.
That was all good and wonderful for a few years until I hit about age 13. I started caring what other people thought of me. It wasn't cool to be a Christian in middle school, or high school, heck most of the time it isn't cool, at any time in a personís life. Anyway, I started to deny my faith (not uncommon at that age), and I would get mad at myself for doing that. I started smoking (a habit I still haven't given up yet, though I am trying!), and becoming depressed because no matter what I did, I never ever fit in. I tried to commit suicide that year, obviously it didn't work. My parents sent me to counseling and that helped a little.
When I was 14, nearing 15, I started having disturbing dreams involving one of my uncles. These dreams were all about sexual abuse. After these dreams started, I began hating my uncle, and I couldn't figure out why. Everyone loved him; after all, the dreams I was having were only dreams. Obviously, they were not only dreams. The dreams started in about October, and my uncle made an attempt to abuse me on Christmas morning. I was horrified, I freaked out, and told him if he ever tried to touch me again, I would tell my mother. That night I guess I unlocked some of my blocked memories. I started considering suicide again, and was too ashamed to tell anyone. To this day I still get flashbacks to my abuse when I smell a certain smell or hear the sound of a belt buckle clinking.
I really turned my back on God then. I blamed him for all the pain and suffering I went through, even though he tried to protect me, but I will come to that later. I went to counseling again, and started dating my first boyfriend. I loved him very much, and he was a great support to me, but at that point in his life drugs were the new experimentation. I tried everything to numb the pain I was feeling, but nothing worked. I started having sex, and got pregnant. I lost the baby, and blamed God for that too. After that I started re-thinking my lifestyle. I had lost my baby not because of God, but because of the drugs and the alcohol I kept doing. I got off drugs, which for me was fairly easy, because I never really liked them anyway, and stopped drinking. My boyfriend and I broke up, which devastated me, but I got over it, and we are still friends. I could go through the next couple of boyfriends, but I'd be repeating myself. I didn't get pregnant again, but I did start drinking. I was also in a physically abusive relationship at the ripe old age of 17. That didn't last long.
I started dabbling in witchcraft, or wicca. I hardened my heart to God. I could feel him literally tugging at my heart, sometimes I could feel a great sadness in my soul, that I knew was God, but still I denied Him. My obsession with the occult started at a very early age. It started with books I would read that made witchcraft look fun (which is why I am adamantly against Harry Potter). I always wished that I could do this spell or that spell, when I found out I could, it just made my day. It became an addiction. I could MAKE things happen! If something wasn't going my way cast a spell and make it all better. To those of you who don't believe in majick, think again. It is real. It is demonic. Satan can make things happen, be it for good or bad, as long as it tears you away from God. I still to this day struggle with the temptation of wicca. I started doubting Wicca because the goddess and the god seemed so far away from me. Why should I have to go through a ritual every time I wanted to talk to them? Also, they were scary. If I messed up the casting of a circle, bad things could happen to me. If I didn't use the right words in a spell, it could have devastating effects. Far cry from a God who knows my heart and soul and my every need before I do. I gave up on Wicca and became an agnostic.
The summer I was 17, after my abusive relationship, my church was organizing a conference for youth groups all around North America. I found myself thinking about the location. I told myself, I would probably never take a trip there otherwise, and it would be cheap to go there because we would be fund raising. So I signed up. We got on the bus and drove for 15 hours. We had our first meeting the night we got there, and all I could think about was my nice comfortable bed that was waiting for me at the hotel. I dragged myself to the conference room where about 6000 other teens joined me. I was nearly falling asleep in my chair when I saw this horrible little black thing walking up and down the aisles. I can't describe the feeling of revulsion I felt when looking at it. I knew it was a demon. That week I saw many of them skulking around. I still wasn't ready to confess my sins to God though. We had a great week that week, and then it was time to go home. 15 hours later I was asleep on my couch at home.
The day after, I went for a walk to a little stream near my house. I sat on a rock and just reflected on what had happened to me. I broke down and started crying. I must have sat there and cried for half an hour. I let everything go to God and asked him again to come into my heart. It was as if the walls broke down around my heart. I have never felt so good about anything. I just sat there and tried to let it all sink in. Later on that night, I was getting ready for bed, and I heard a voice say my name. I was scared so I ran into bed and huddled under the covers crying because I thought it was a demon. This happened for a few nights before I finally asked it what it wanted. The voice said, "Michelle don't cry. I have destined you for great things." I didn't quite know what to make of it. I thought, well, obviously it wasn't a demon! Many nights later I was feeling really low, and not very special, when the voice spoke again. It said, "You are special. I sent an angel to help you when you needed to be helped. He took away your memories." I had a flash back to my old house. I was 8 and I was playing on my front porch when I saw a pair of feet in front of me. I looked up and saw a flash of light, I could somewhat make out a face. The angel said, " Don't be afraid, I have come to help you." Then it disappeared. God sent me that angel to make me forget what my sexual abuse until I was old enough to handle what happened. That night I started to build my relationship with Jesus.
After the initial newness of my faith, I began to be deceived. I started believing in psychics like Sylvia Browne. She mixes a little of Jesus with a lot of New Age and calls it a path to Heaven. I was really roped in by her, until I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit to start reading my Bible. I didnít start out studying my Bible, I thought I could do without it. Boy was I wrong. Not that I wasnít still saved, but I was being deceived into thinking what Satan wants me to think. Now I am testing other beliefs by the Bible. It has a lot more information on things I need to know then I could ever come up with. I also wasnít going to church. I thought I could do that on my own too. Well, when my mom expressed the desire to find a church, I thought well, I guess I will go so she wonít be alone. The Lord works in mysterious ways. The 2nd church we tried was it. I have been going there for about 5 months now and I love it. Charismatic, informative, Holy Spirit filled, etc. It is just what I need. It is like a breath of fresh air compared to the spiritually dead church I went to for 10 years of my youth.
I want to dispel the idea that you always have to pray formally, with structure. I talk to God like he is sitting in the room with me and I hear him answer me most of the time. If I am being really selfish and saying, I want this I want that, all I get in response is "Not this time, Michelle". But I ask a question that is not nonsense; I usually get a response. God laughs with me and cries with me. He is always with me and for that I am not worthy. He stays with me through all the hard times, and I know any difficulties I am going through will make me a stronger person.
I want everyone who reads this to know that you can have this kind of relationship with God. I never ever thought I could talk to God and actually have him answer back. If you want to know how, all you have to do is listen to that still small voice that is always there (not your conscience). He may answer you in different ways, and you may not always like the answer He gives, but hey, He's answering you! So that is my very long testimony. Any comments please post it in my guest book. God be with you all.
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