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TOPIC: Testimony

Testimony 2 years 10 months ago #98308

  • SkeleBoy10
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Hey everyone - it's been a while since I've made a post!
I've been the lurker for quite a few months now, leaving a trail of thank-yous. But I felt the impression to post this.
It's my personal testimony, as you could probably tell by the title of this thread.
I've got quite the story - so sit back, grab a blanket, and take from this what you will.
Welcome to my life.

Okay, so my family is very active in church and big believers in God and the Adventist faith, so naturally I grew up in that environment.
I grew up Adventist.
And I was baptized 6 years ago, on January 11 of 2014.
I was just a kid, 9 years old.
It was also Pathfinder Sabbath and I made sure to keep it a secret from everyone, besides family of course.
When the day finally came, my uncle was preaching the sermon. At the end of his sermon, he invited me up and baptized me.
We surprised everyone.

So there I was; 9 years old, baptized, and ready for my future.
Or so I thought.
No one would have predicted the journey I was about to go through.

Although I made the choice to be baptized, I was very young. In fact I don’t actually remember much about that period of my life.
But as the years went by, I became less focused on God.

It wasn’t a conscious choice that I made. It just sort of happened gradually over time.
Being connected to God a little bit less each day, just a tiny amount each day, for several years, leads you to where I was.

By the time I was 14 years old, I wasn’t even praying anymore. God was out of my life, and I didn’t even notice.
If anyone would have asked me at that time, I would have said that I had a good life.
On the outside I was your average teenager.

But on the inside, I had become clinically depressed.
About a year and a half ago, I failed a depression screening during my doctor visit.
That screening confirmed how I had already been feeling - I had grown to hate myself.
I would always look down at the floor, and avoid eye contact.
I would only say a handful of words each day, and never raise my voice, even though I wanted to scream my heart out of existence the whole time.

I had so much I wanted to say to the world, but I couldn’t even find the courage to say anything.
And the worst part about feeling so bad is that people expect you to act happy despite how you really feel.
People expect you to behave as if there’s nothing wrong at all.

I felt like I couldn’t tell anybody about my thoughts.
I was scared that they wouldn’t care, or that they’d judge me, or that it would ruin whatever chance of friendship I had with them.
I was trapped inside my own head.
I felt like I was drowning in a place where I could see everyone else breathing.

But God had other plans for my life, praise the Lord.
He didn’t want me to feel beaten down like that every day.
When I finally convinced myself to open up to someone, I told them what I was going through.
That one person then became two, then three, then more and more followed.
I talked to people about my problems, and sure enough, I began to feel free.

Just a couple months later my mental state was doing considerably better, and everything seemed to be going back to normal.
I even gained some friends because of it.
When I made the choice to talk about my depression, God used that for good.
He helped me out of it without me even realizing it.
But the story doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s only just begun.

Now by this time I still wasn’t really close to God.
Even though I was doing pretty well, and I had good friends, I felt as if I didn’t even need Him.
But, of course, I did.

In May of last year, I had a day that wasn’t good at all.
For the whole day it almost felt like I had this inner voice inside my head; you’re not good enough, God hates you, you’re no good...all that stuff.
That voice came back strong to me that day.
So, I decided that I was tired of letting that voice control how I felt.
I was going to fight back.
I went to a small room, locked the door, and turned off the lights.
I lit a small candle so I wasn’t in the dark, and I just prayed.

I don’t know why I did it.
But I just prayed to God as if He was my friend.
Not thinking about being overly formal, or feeling guilty for any sin I committed, nothing.
There were no barriers to me.

It was just me sitting there, chatting away as if God was a childhood friend of mine.
Someone who was willing to listen to anything I had to say.
No judgment, just love.
Afterwards, I instantly felt this peace. Almost as if He whispered to me- “it’ll be okay.”

Jeremiah 31:3 is a powerful verse that truly captures how that night felt.
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself”
My Heavenly Father drew me in. And I stayed in.

Fast forward to last summer: I was putting God first in my life. I was praying every day.
I was a lot happier, and I was smiling like I meant it.
Having God as my friend made life have more color.

A few weeks later came camp-meeting.
As the pastor spoke, I felt something inside of me that I’d never felt before.
Almost as if he was speaking directly to me, speaking to the inner threads of my soul.
I felt a sudden desire to be with God forever. I was committed to Him once more.

Then came Oshkosh. This event was by far one of the best weeks of my life.
For some backstory, this week was my first week back at my first club. i had been moving to several other clubs, but I was finally back now.
That first night, when my club all arrived, I was welcomed back to the club.
Everyone was smiling at me.

I felt like I belonged some place, finally. I felt at home.
Almost as if I had never left the club.
Everyone knew me, I was talking and smiling, it all just sort of fit somehow.
And the people I didn’t know I got to become quite good friends with.

By the end of Oshkosh, I knew I was changed.
God became my biggest priority, my faith was set ablaze, and I had this massive sincere desire to do something for Him.
To serve God became my biggest wish - I loved Him now. And I even gained a second family; the pathfinder club.

But once I got back from Oshkosh, things ended horribly with a very dear friend of mine.
I ended up feeling incredibly lonely because of it.
I didn’t have anyone else I was that close to, so it was like I had this huge hole in my life.
Something was missing now.

The only thing I knew how to do was pray.
I ran to God, who I now knew was my only source of true help.

He was reaching His hand out to me and waiting for me to choose Him back.
So, I gave everything to Him. I chose Him back.
I reached out my hand to reach His, I trusted Him with my life.

And He has turned my whole life around.
That hole in my life was filled by a Savior who loves me and died for me and for everyone I know.
My family supports and encourages me even more now, they pray with me, they hug me, they give me advice, wisdom, and strength.
My bonds with them became stronger, unbreakable. And I am now in the best place I’ve ever been.

I've had a great first semester, I'm happy with my grades, and I've made a few friends too.
Now because of the virus situation, my school's closed down.
But despite that, I have a loving family to spend my time with.
I am so thankful for all that God has blessed me with.
His blessings outweigh my losses.

All of these are amazing blessings for which I praise God.
I reached out to God, and He has given me these blessings.
But the most important lesson I can share with all of you is that life will never be perfect on this earth.

Despite being in a good place right now, I have dealt with a lot of chaos in my life.
And despite me being in this place right now, there is no guarantee that I will stay where I am now.
I’m probably going to end up going through a lot more in the years to come.
But I’m okay with that.

Because peace is not about being without chaos.
Peace is about being okay despite the chaos we face.

This is a mentality that takes time to learn. But this mindset will guide us throughout all of life.
The apostle Paul knew life’s ups and downs very well.
At some points, he was traveling with his close companions and sharing the Gospel.
At others, he was scourged and beaten and thrown in prison for his beliefs.
But he never gave up hope - or faith. Instead, he looked to God.

Because He is our strength.
He is the only one who can take us safely through life’s many trials.
I have learned in whatever state I am to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.
Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full, and to be hungry. Both to abound, and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Were it not for grace, for God’s love and mercy, and for me choosing God back, I would not be remotely in the same place that I am now.
Our desires create priorities. Our priorities create our choices. And our choices create our life.

God doesn’t force any one of us to be with Him. It is purely our choice:
To choose God, or to choose the enemy.
And although God doesn’t force this choice on us, I know in my bones that choosing God was worth everything.
And because of my choice to hold on to God in everything, small or great, He has seen me through.

Now I live life with God as my best friend, I know who I am, I've learned to love myself, I have my family by my side, and my friends are as close as family to me now.

Who could ask for more?
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Testimony 2 years 10 months ago #98309

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That was very touching. I appreciate you for sharing your testimony. God can do marvelous things with us.
I already have said enough.
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Testimony 2 years 10 months ago #98322

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That was really touching. Praise God. He leads us through the good and the bad!
baby crawdaddy's are literally the cutest thing ever
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Testimony 2 years 10 months ago #98333

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Wow! That’s an amazing testimony.God is good!
Speak for those who have no voice.
Red and yellow...black and white.... We're all precious in His sight....❤️
Any questions? Ask!
-kash (aka pathfinder4ever)
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Testimony 1 year 5 months ago #107231

  • BookwormJo
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Praise God!
Frankly, I’m a bit jealous.
“Pray and pray and pray, and if that doesn’t work, listen to what God is telling you to do!” -- random 5 year old.

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Testimony 1 year 5 months ago #107237

  • Khriz Kool Katz
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Heh. The same pattern as usual.
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Testimony 1 year 5 months ago #107249

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BookwormJo wrote:
Praise God!
Frankly, I’m a bit jealous.
hmm.. jealous...


Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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Testimony 1 year 5 months ago #107260

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Wow! That is a wonderful testimony. I really want to be close to God and I have to admit, I still don’t spend enough time with Him. I want God to be my best friend, especially in this time when I don’t really get to talk to children my age. My prayer is that God will give me that love for Him and make me bold so I can stand up for what is right.

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Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Psalm 145:3
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #107341

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Eh. Not bad.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #107403

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JoyBaker wrote:
Wow! That is a wonderful testimony. I really want to be close to God and I have to admit, I still don’t spend enough time with Him. I want God to be my best friend, especially in this time when I don’t really get to talk to children my age. My prayer is that God will give me that love for Him and make me bold so I can stand up for what is right.
Amen!!
Speak for those who have no voice.
Red and yellow...black and white.... We're all precious in His sight....❤️
Any questions? Ask!
-kash (aka pathfinder4ever)
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108916

  • SkeleBoy10
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So I originally wrote this testimony about two years ago, with tweaks made to it in the months following, but yeah time has passed.

Reading what I put here, I feel the need to clarify where I'm at now because I feel that I'm in a completely different place and I feel like a completely different person to the one that wrote this. Whether that's a positive or a negative is up in the air, but it is what I feel so strongly looking back at this. I won't get too specific.

Essentially I don't consider myself Adventist anymore. I don't know where I'm at. If you were to have asked me in the beginning of the year, I would have told you that I consider myself more along the lines of Agnostic Theist. After distancing myself from Adventism, I was still praying and reading the Bible, just the application of things was different. But nowadays honestly praying isn't a habit anymore, though aspects of religion do interest me still. I am more spiritual and I do want to always be open minded to what comes next. For all I know I may become Adventist again. But I think a lot of my deconversion has to do with my identity especially growing up so involved in the church.

I've always had a struggle with sexuality and my expression of that side of me. Teachings and advice on repentance just didn't address how I was feeling, because I felt that my sexuality was a continuous sin. It's not an event that happens and you apologize for, it's a state of being that, especially when you're younger, stays with just yourself and never gets to become much more until relationships come into play years down the road.

As such, I've always thought of myself as less-than, I've had several struggles with self-esteem, I felt guilty and ashamed like I was a mistake. I remember praying to God for signs that I would even make it to Heaven, and the signs never happened. And as of now I can't say I have that hope for Heaven because those ways of thinking about myself are so engrained in me, though of course I want Heaven even if I don't expect it. It's not healthy, thinking about the end has become terrifying, and it's the things that I have to deal with as a result of internalizing hatred for my continuous state of being.

All this to say, I'm not doing well, this past year took a big toll on me, but I hope to be better. I'm taking medication for depression, I found a therapist, I do really want to start seeing myself in a better light. The steps to getting better are laid out, it's now going on that journey. I know that that's a process. Like I said in the first post, I don't know where I'll be one year from now even. I can only hope for the best, even if that might take a bit of work.

Hold on to hope if you've got it. Honestly while I still struggle with having hope for myself with any kind of positive afterlife, I do sincerely hope that I'll be doing better as time goes on. If you aren't doing well, it's okay to find help and to treat yourself how you would treat a friend. Reading what I wrote for my testimony, I feel that it comes across as not super genuine, as pandering to the intended audience, and as it could give off the wrong message. It's very much prosperity gospel without the money, and yeah no that's not how it works all of the time. Things happen that you don't expect. And if you're struggling, find something to hold on to. I believe in you.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108947

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Stuff happens, ya know?
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108955

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Once again, I hope the best for you. I'm aware of how you expressed to feel and it really isn't a good place to be in. I'm sure you've heard this before, but the path of recovery is never linear. The best of luck to you!
I already have said enough.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108956

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Where’s the Guide emoji for praying hands?
Anyway, I’ll be praying! :)
“Pray and pray and pray, and if that doesn’t work, listen to what God is telling you to do!” -- random 5 year old.

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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108957

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Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #108996

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Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
“Pray and pray and pray, and if that doesn’t work, listen to what God is telling you to do!” -- random 5 year old.

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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109020

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BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
Implied, as usual.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109021

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BookwormJo wrote:
Where’s the Guide emoji for praying hands?
Anyway, I’ll be praying! :)
Ummm... lemme try.
:pray:
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109027

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BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
-_- We have brains. Why would God give us them then?


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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109032

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BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109120

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Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
Kind of in a way.


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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109139

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Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
Okay. Can you explain (plainly please *dry grin*)
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109167

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jodiaz wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
Kind of in a way.
Implications, huh?
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109168

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BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
Okay. Can you explain (plainly please *dry grin*)
I've spoken too much.
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Testimony 1 year 4 months ago #109209

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Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
jodiaz wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
BookwormJo wrote:
Khriz Kool Katz wrote:
Personally, I ask myself "Why?" and try to figure out answers by myself. It's worked for me a lot.
We're not supposed to lean on our own understanding . . . .
I didn't say I did that, did I?
Kind of in a way.
Implications, huh?
yep.


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