First - New Friend Friday!!!
Second - Show Us Your Life - Testimony
At first I thought...well I can't write about this because I don't want to offend anyone because I would never want my beliefs to make someone else uncomfortable. And then I thought...well if I write about this people who know me from high school or college...maybe even now because lets face it *this girl* is far from perfect..they may say..."Seriously Amber??? You're going to write to us about when you became a christian....okayyy mrs. hypocrite pants!!" (Inside joke here...Leslie & Alina LOL) :) But then I realized wait...that's all a part of my testimony so here we go!!
My parents both loved Jesus and I remember asking him into my heart at a very young age. My sunday school teacher was talking about heaven & hell that morning and being that I was only 5 all I knew was that I didn't want to end up in any place other than heaven. I remember laying on my bed looking up at my glow in the dark star pasties on the ceiling (Remember those?? :) and telling Jesus that I didn't understand it all but I believed he died for me and asked him to come into my heart. And...even to this day...I cannot explain it but I felt different. I felt like something truly monumental happened in that moment and I could never describe it but I just remember thinking....THAT WAS COOL!! LOL:) (because remember I was 5)
Fast forward to 8th grade. I went to a christian school. I was completely surrounded by people who had the same beliefs as I did, and my world felt safe.
But my mom decided we needed to move back to her hometown(because my dad had passed away from cancer and she wanted to be closer to her family). That's the moment everything changed.
While I was excited about seeing my grandparents, cousins and everyone more often I could never have guessed the pain that would follow switching schools as a 14 year old girl. Middle school girls can be cruel. I still carry scars from some of the things girls in my class said to me. They didn't like the fact I was from a bigger city. They didn't like what I believed and I was completely alone. It was a very very dark time in my life.
So, after an entire year of crying every night, pleading with my mom to let me go back to Lincoln Christian and yelling at the God who I believed must have hated or forgotten me, I gave up. I felt forced into an environment where I was ridiculed for what I believed instead of embraced by it. I simply didn't know how to handle it. You know the funny part was...the main reason I was ridiculed, was that I smiled too much...I was too happy...I didn't swear or drink and I.just.didn't.fit.in. And ironically...Jesus said..."The world will hate you for what you believe, but be strong for I will be with you." But hate me they did....
So I stopped trying. I gave in. And I didn't look back for almost 10 years. Now, I could never say I regret moving because I made the most amazing friends after that year, who I love with all my heart. Friends that you willl still laugh so hard that your abs are sore the next day, memories I wouldn't trade for millions of dollars ...but what I do wish I could have changed was the fact that deep inside...way way hidden beneath the girl I was trying to be after I moved...there was still a girl who missed Jesus. A girl who longed for the peace and joy that hope that came when you were seeking Him...not trying to silence Him.
Thankfully...there is grace. And that grace was shown when God brought D into my life. He helped me find that girl that I had longed to be for the last 10 years. And he has never stopped loving me for exactly who I am. Now...I know many people say "Religious people have no fun." Well that statement I probably would agree with...but I am not religious. I am a christian. And all that means is that I believe God sent his son to save me and if I believe that simple fact I get to spend eternity with him. And I think anyone who knows me knows that I have LOTS of fun!! LOL! No seriously..I do.
I think sometimes you hear that someone is a christian and immediately think they are weird. Well...if I'm weird, so be it because I have more joy, more hope and more love in my life now than I have ever had before. Sure there are still crappy things that happen..me and D still fight just like anybody else...I still totally have days or things I've said at work that I wish I could take back...and did I walk in to wake up Clara this morning to find that her diaper had exploded all over her sheets?? Oh yes I did my friends lol:) But...the difference I see is in how my heart handles these situations. And I truly cannot explain this unless you know what I mean...but there is a peace. Like unexplainable love that I feel. Freedom.
My dad used to tell us, people at his work would say "Bob...you know I love you and respect what you believe but what if you're wrong?? And my dad would say in love..."Well If I'm wrong...I have nothing to lose...but if you're wrong...you have everything to lose."
I love that quote...because it's true. So if I'm wrong and there is no heaven and earth is all there is. Well...it's not like I'm out a thing. I am happy, excited, joyful about my future and trying to love life no matter what is thrown my way. And do I think everyone should experience what I'm talking about???ABSOLUTELY! But I also know it is a personal decision and probably not the most popular one by worldly standards.The one thing I can assure you is if you ever feel that emptiness..or that there just might be something more out there...it will change your life. I promise. 100% life change.
So there you have it...that is my testimony...and I am soooo excited I finally shared it with all of you!!