being sarah, my faith

5 years ago, I met Christ

It is said that a Christian has 2 birthdays – the day they were born, and the day they accepted Christ. Over the weekend, I celebrated 5 years of having a relationship with God! 😀

 

With this fresh on my mind, I wanted to share with you something I’ve never shared on the blog before – my testimony. My desire is that God will use it in a way to touch you and give you hope, encouragement, or answers to questions you have in your own life.

 

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Growing up in church, I prayed the salvation prayer when I was 5 because I thought that was what I was supposed to do and I thought all my friends were doing it too. “I have to” was the mindset I had. By the time I was half way through high school, my family was obviously far from healthy, and I had absolutely no self-confidence. I became very depressed my Junior year of high school and lived that out by developing an eating disorder, self-harming and considering suicide for a brief time. Every day became a desperate attempt for survival. I grew to be very angry at God because I didn’t understand what I did wrong to deserve the life I had. Since he obviously wasn’t doing squat for me, I wasn’t going to put up with the “have to’s” anymore, so I shut out anything that was pointing towards God.

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But God saved me from myself by introducing me to a man far better than I thought I deserved at the time. The day after I graduated I met my husband and over the course of the next 6 months, he showed me what real, healthy love looked like through his patience and gentle affection. Despite my cussing, crude, and brick wall disposition, he fell in love with me. My heart slowly began to soften and a few months into our relationship, I figured since he could love me (with all my imperfections & brokenness) maybe there was a chance that God could too. But I had already made mistakes and was so broken I convinced myself that God wouldn’t want me – that I was unlovable.

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In January of 2013, Aaron and I flew down to Alabama (from Seattle, WA) to meet his family. That Sunday (January 6th, 2013), we attended Church of the Highlands. Aaron had gone a couple times before moving to Seattle, but it was my first time and I had never seen “church” done this way before. It was so welcoming, transparent, and fun! I looked around the room during worship and saw all the people who had their hands raised, loving every word they were singing. Then the message came. “The boring part.” But for the 1st time, I actually understood what the pastor was saying. He wasn’t using “Christian words,” he was using simple, “cookies on the bottom shelf” words and he said that no matter what I had gone through and no matter what decisions I had made, God still wanted me and was desperately pursuing me. I had never heard that before. I only knew God as a God of “you have to, or else” with a lightning bolt in his hand, not a God that is deeply in love with me and wants a relationship with me. I knew I wanted THIS God. With this new understanding, I accepted God into my life that day and got baptized a couple months later.

{if you want to hear the message, click here}

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Following that decision, I listened to every sermon from that church I could get my hands on. I quit cussing and I could feel my walls breaking down. It was such a beautiful time of God showing me who he really was and I had so many, “are you serious!?” moments. Aaron was very kind and answered all kinds of questions I had and I could tell my life was better. Not because my family was healthier, my life was easier or because I had a loving boyfriend, but because I finally understood who God was. A relational God. A loving God.

 

 

Fast forward to today, I’m married to Aaron, we moved to Alabama in 2015 to be a part of Highlands and attend their college because we both felt like God was calling us into ministry (which I fought for a while because I didn’t think God could use my story), and we have a beautiful baby girl + another on the way! Life hasn’t been perfect, but since God has been in the center of my life, I can rest in him even through the bad and find peace there.

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I’m so thankful for a God who constantly desires to be my best friend, who loves and cherishes me, and has been so faithful even when I didn’t see it. What I went through and the old view I had of God allows me to relate to those who have the same mindset. It helps me be a better friend. And I know how to encourage my daughters and say what I wish I would have heard about my value and how God truly sees his children.

 

5 years ago I was an incredibly beat up girl, but in less than an hour one Sunday, my life changed forever. And I am eternally grateful!

 

2 thoughts on “5 years ago, I met Christ”

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