I am not sure if I have ever shared my story with you... but with the Scripture Blog Hop and tomorrow being the day for my project, I thought I would give you a little back ground of how JESUS became an important part of my every day life. This is my story of when I asked Jesus to come into my heart...
If you have any questions, please ask.
As a child, I grew up in a dysfunctional home. I was physically and sexually abused from the time I was 5 yrs. old, until I was 14 years old by my step-father and six other men on different occasions.
When I was 14, we had a neighbor friend come out with some abuse that was happening in her life. It was at that time I told my mother. I grew up with the fear and lack of respect for myself and for men. However, I always envisioned that my birth father or someone could come and save me from what I was enduring at the time.
It was during that time, that my neighbor spoke of her abuse that I broke down and told my mom. I hated the abuse at the hand of my step-father, yet felt guilty because he was the only daddy that I ever knew. I had so many emotions, I could not even begin to describe at the time. I felt guilty, confused, and even had much self hatred because he went to jail for the next year. I thought it was my fault. I often questioned GOD and would sit and cry for hours asking WHY ME? I had a younger sister, who was my step-father’s child from birth with my mother, and all of my childhood, I felt she resented me because he had gone to prison. I felt like I was such a bad person, that I deserved much of what was happening to me.
That same year, my mom started attending a Bible Church. One week there was a Tent Revival, with a speaker in a town nearby, so we went. That evening my mom made a commitment and accepted Jesus as her personal Savior. At the same time, I professed to accept the Lord as my Savior too, but continued to serve myself, never truly taking that ownership of a personal relationship with Jesus. I had in my head that I could do whatever I wanted and God would still forgive me.
My search for love and the feeling of being accepted, went on for many years. I was continually searching for someone to love me and make me feel complete. Yet, I still did not even love myself and found myself being self destructive. I was looking for love in all of the wrong places, especially in relationships that were similar to my childhood upbringing.
For many years, I attended secular counseling sessions for the abuse I endured, but more often than not I would come home feeling worse than when I arrived. The feelings I had never went away. I continued to look for someone to fill that empty place in my heart. I wanted to feel loved and important to someone.
In the 1990's, I worked with a woman who was heavily involved in self help and the new age movement, so I began reading many books and listened to tapes and even went to seminars on such subjects. I was continually searching for something or someone to make me feel whole, complete, loved and forgiven.
During that time, I met my husband, Adam. He was a loving, gentle man…completely different from anyone I had dated before. I was still carrying the battle scars of my past, so we were in a constant battle of me drawing him nearer, because I wanted someone to love me, yet holding him at an arms length, never allowing him to get too close for fear of being hurt again.
After one year, we were struggling to make our marriage work, when my younger sister from California called. She had three children, each of whom were in and out of Foster homes due to her lifestyle choices. It was October, and she had just gotten custody of two of her children back and she was having a hard time. She explained to me that she was three months pregnant with her fourth child and her second eldest was just uncontrollable and asked if Adam and I could help with this uncontrollable child. At the time, Adam said, “Whatever you want.” Thinking this wouldn’t truly come to pass. I actively pursued having Ariel come to be with us and in my mind thought “I will be able to save her from an abusive childhood.”
After months of telephone calls and written correspondence, we received a phone call on Feb. 13 that Ariel would be coming on Feb. 16. Which meant Adam and I had three days to prepare emotionally and materially for a 4 year-old child.
When Ariel arrived she came with one bag filled with one outfit that didn’t fit and an old battered looking doll. There was a sadness and a fear in her eyes, the comments that she made and the behavior qualities she portrayed, indeed confirmed in my mind that I was saving her.
In the months that followed, we started attending the church where my mom attended on Sundays. I adjusted my work schedule to be able to take Ariel to daycare and to be able to attend all of the counseling sessions and the Dept. of Social Services appointments. We had a multitude of people coming through the house examining our character and past, our parenting skills and every area of life.
Through all of this, the Lord slowly opened my eyes to my character. You see, I had several nieces and nephews whom I had watched grow in earlier years. I observed my families parenting style and their children’s behavior and in the past would always say “my children aren’t going to behave like that!” Well, here I was faced with a new challenge. I had a four year old walking around, a mirror image of myself…everything I said, she said…with the same attitude and it was not complimentary.
The Lord began pointing out to me how lost I was without Him. I felt overwhelmed with all of the legalities of a pending foster-care verses adoption, the anger my sister had for us, the appointments we had to keep, working full time, keeping the house and all of a sudden the time investment you have when raising a child. Most of all, God pointed out to me, that HE knew everything about me, every bad thing that I had done and He still loved me. HE loved me so much that as John 3:16 states For GOD so loved the world, He gave His One and only Son, that whosoever shall call upon Him shall be saved.
I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I needed Him as the example of how to live a godly life and I needed His Word to show me how to be a godly wife and mother. God pointed out to me that by taking Ariel in, I was not going to earn my way to Heaven. In Romans 3:23 it says, "For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. " He made it abundantly clear that He placed Ariel in our lives not for me to be a tool in saving her from an abusive childhood, but in His ALL knowing power, He used Ariel to “save” me by bringing me to the knowledge that I needed a personal relationship with Him.
In Romans 6:23 it says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." In the early summer months of 1996, I accepted God’s free gift of salvation for eternal life. I can say with confidence I have eternal life and I know that when I die, I am going to Heaven. In Ephesians 2:8-9 it says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. " On December 30, 1997 through God’s grace, the adoption of Ariel was complete. I did not save her. God placed her in our lives and gave us the blessing to raise her in our home and to be her parents.
Now...that is how I came to know JESUS as my personal Lord and Savior. Tomorrow's post will share a special project I made for someone dear to my heart that explains MORE about this...
Come back to join us in the SCRIPTURE BLOG HOP tomorrow.
All for HIS Glory,