My Testimony of How I Re-met Jesus
Hello, my friends.
In order for me to share how I re-met Jesus I should briefly explain how I met Jesus in the first place.
I’ve known about Jesus since I was a child. My family was religious and that’s all I knew. Church. Bible stories. Rules. Living right. I also knew that hell was (and still is) a real place. I was so afraid of going there. When the teachers told me I could pray the “sinner’s prayer” and be able to go to heaven instead, I said the prayer. But as quickly as I said the prayer I wondered if I said the prayer right or was God even listening to me. Since the first time I said “the prayer” I said it over and over again just to make sure I was still going to heaven. (This is how I met Jesus in the first place. I really did want to know Him, but was afraid I was getting everything all wrong and messing it all up.)
I was petrified of going to hell.
Then the fear of dying set in. Anyone could die at any moment including me. My mom kept reassuring me that I would live a long time. How could she reassure me of something that even she couldn’t know for sure. I wanted a sure thing. Not a good guess. There were stories of children getting sick and dying. I wasn’t safe. Not even at my so young of an age.
Anxiety gripped me.
During the day, I could fill my mind with fun and be with my sisters and friends and not always think of all the negative thinking. Then the night came. The overwhelming silence pressing down on me from all sides. No activities to distract me. Nothing standing in the gap between me and my terrifying thoughts.
My nights were long and anxiety-ridden.
The enemy took advantage of a little girl’s active imagination and plagued it with horrible thoughts of death and dying. At that time I had no idea how to escape my mind and the torturous thoughts the enemy bombarded me with. Some of the few things I could do was to sneak out of my room to watch TV or think up wild stories to occupy my mind. But sometimes that wouldn’t work. The enemy was louder. Then I would cry and beg God to help me. Let me live through the night. I’m too young to die, right. I felt alone. Trapped. How could a girl so small have a hope of escaping her thoughts? I was desperate.
I should mention before I jump too far ahead that my mother struggled with an illness called Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). It’s described as a complex disabling illness and with no cure. She was often bedridden and I think she missed out on a lot of things as we grew up as kids. But she did her very best to be there for us and fight for us. She really was a fighter. And a good one too. I have stories about that too, involving bullies, teachers, and the public school, but I’ll save that for another time.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering how my mother’s illness has anything to do with my journey of how I re-met Jesus. Trust me. It’s intertwined.
An Unexpected Turn of Events
My mom prayed and prayed for her illness to go away. I don’t know too many details about this part so I’ll do my best to tell it as I know it. She heard God tell her to keep persevering. That there were preachers whose messages would confirm that.
One day at church there was a man (at the time I didn’t really know much about him) but he knew about spiritual warfare. He said if my mom approached him he knew that he was to talk to my mom about her illness. He then shared with her about a spirit of infirmity.
Jumping ahead, I remember her lying on the floor in our basement with my dad and this other man kneeling beside her praying over her. My older sister remembers a voice telling her that same day that our mom was being healed that day. Sure enough, my mom was healed of M.E.
I remember her telling me that the lying symptoms would try to come back, but she was determined that the enemy was not going to lie to her and bring them back. It was a miracle. M.E. was not known for just “going away”. It’s known as a lifelong illness. But praise God, it’s still gone!
We started learning about spiritual warfare, kicking demons out of people, and learning more and more about who we were in Christ. Luke 10:19 was a verse that was taught to me when I was a teen and I’m so grateful it was. I have used it so many times for battles I didn’t know I was going to have. (There’s a Christian camp story where that verse came in HANDY – I’ll tell that one another time)
We were learning how to become a threat to the enemy! Our family was also turning away from religion and turning to the freedom of the grace of God. Learning that God was truly loving. But at the same time, the enemy was busy scheming how to tear our family apart.
Divorce hit our house.
The desire to want to be accepted and loved was in our house. My mom and dad adopted the grace movement. But after the divorce, my dad went back to a balance of grace and faith. My mom embraced grace. Just grace. Slowly more and more worldly things were tolerated because we thought that the grace of God covered everything. His grace is sufficient. But there’s more to it than that. Which we didn’t know.
There’s so much more to that point in our lives, I think I would have to write a small book to explain it all. On to how all of this ties together!
A Huge Step in the Right Direction
Jumping ahead to my adult years. I still believed in God and Jesus and honestly felt like I had a relationship with Him. But I still struggled with feeling accepted and truly loved. I wanted everyone to know that Jesus loved them but didn’t feel the “press” to tell them. I could live a regular life and they could also live a regular life too and everyone would end up in heaven, right? Wrong. I didn’t know any better. I was deceived. Again. And again. It’s tiresome.
The anxiety that had started as a child became more and more unbearable. I hid it well. Many didn’t have any clue that I suffered from anxiety. That the thoughts of death and dying were a plague rampaging in me. Like being in a cage, in looming darkness, with a tiger, bees, snakes, whatever you’re most afraid of, and not knowing when they were going to strike next.
I kept it hidden until I couldn’t keep it hidden any longer. Driving from one location to the next often put me in a panic attack. Working too long could bring on a panic attack. Wondering what other people thought could bring on a panic attack. I did my best to maintain the peace. If I didn’t It could mean getting into trouble that I didn’t mean to get into or getting beat up by bullies or mocked for believing in Jesus. I was afraid of almost everything and everyone.
I tried almost everything to cope with the anxiety disorder. From exercise, natural pathic doctors, acupuncture, massage therapy, counseling, to hypnotherapy. (I’m sure I’m forgetting something.) But these would only work for so long.
While much of my family was caught in the extreme grace part of our lives I still attended church looking for answers or for me to, at least, tell others that they don’t need to live in their extreme shame and guilt. And tell them that God really did love them. And everyone goes to heaven. I honestly wanted to help. I was often rejected for my free-thinking and some were almost downright mad at me for challenging them. I wanted them to prove me wrong. Or they would have to change their minds because I was right. Neither happened. Even in church, where I was supposed to be loved and accepted I was rejected.
They were supposed to be there for the lost and confused, right? Not always so.
There was one pastor, one, who actually listened to me. Even though he didn’t agree (and he said so) he still listened and asked me questions. I’m still grateful to this day that he talked to me and spent a couple of times drinking a coffee and chatting about God with me.
The anxiety kept growing and growing. I would go to church then the anxiety would get really bad then I would stop for a while. Then I would desire to go again. But the same thing would happen. I didn’t have many friends at church either. Everyone knew everyone else. Not me. I would get a polite hello and that’s about it. (I did eventually make a couple of friends) I wanted so much more but didn’t know what.
When the anxiety hit harder than ever before I could barely walk upstairs without getting a panic attack. One of my panic attacks lasted over 6 hours. I know the medical pages online say they only last from 30 seconds to 30 minutes, but I’m telling you I felt the rush of adrenaline for 6 hours. It was a very loooong night.
One day I was driving home from doing something I don’t remember. But I had hit a wall of being done with anxiety. I don’t know quite why I had that thought, but I did. (Thank you, Jesus)
I remembered my mom’s healing story of how she decided that her symptoms of M.E., after she was healed, that they were a lie and that she was healed. I decided while in the car that I was now done with anxiety. I drew an invisible line. From that day forward anxiety symptoms were now a lie and a bad habit. I pretended to pull anxiety out of my chest and imagined Jesus’ feet before me and I placed the anxiety at his feet.
The anxiety reversed that very same day. I know it did. Because due to the anxiety I was grossly underweight and that same day (or week) I began to gain weight. I hadn’t gained weight since I was a teenager. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t gain weight. Something changed in me.
I had to say no to anxiety every day. It wasn’t an easy battle but I was finally determined to walk away for good. I placed anxiety at His feet every day. A year into placing anxiety at Jesus’ feet I heard a voice from inside me say ‘stop calling it yours’. So I quit calling it ‘my anxiety’.
Another year went by and I continually placed the anxiety at Jesus’ feet. But every time I did the anxiety would occur less and less until one day it stopped. Now, the lie of anxiety still pops up every so often and I promptly give it away. It’s not mine and it doesn’t belong to me.
A New Fire In Me
After letting go of anxiety I was still looking for my place in life. I thought I found it in various places. And though I was accepted and thought I found my place something still wasn’t right I just didn’t know it yet.
My mom was still on the search for the absolute truth. I’m not sure what sparked her search for more information, but she was always one to get into research so I’m not surprised.
One day she was excited and told me that God is looking for a relationship with us. Not religion and not a do whatever you want lifestyle. A relationship of intimacy. Being in His presence and allowing Him to love you and you loving on Him. A real relationship.
Now, at first, I was a little upset. She said she was sure about other things before. I set it aside. But then my older sister was agreeing with my mom. She was starting to seem like a brighter version of herself. (You need to hear her testimony of what she went through too. Even though we are from the same family she had different experiences) Then I started thinking. I began to ask my dad different questions. Now, remember that he stayed steady on the path of following God with grace and faith. He was always willing to chat about God. I wasn’t always as willing, but would always have a conversation anyway. (Thank you, dad, for always praying for us.)
I asked my dad if he thought that I was forgiven and saved. He said that was between me and God. (Something like that exchanged between us.) I was suddenly desiring to go to church ASAP! I needed to talk to someone. When I went to church next I went straight to the prayer room – I never went to the prayer room – and I talked to someone who was there (and cried) I spilled as much as I could to the person. I wanted to talk to God, but felt silly talking to what seemed to be nothing (I know it’s not nothing) but an empty room. The person suggested writing in a journal my thoughts and prayers to Jesus. I could do that!! I’m a writer! I love to write! After we prayed and I went home I went to the office in the basement and pulled out one of my notebooks and told Jesus that I wanted to be in a relationship with Him. Not to be afraid of hell but that I wanted Him. I repented.
That moment I felt like a light flicked on inside me. Like life entered me in a moment. My life was different. I had met Jesus in church, but not like this. They didn’t teach Jesus like this. No one taught Him like this. This was Jesus pulling me to Him. Only He did this. It was God who found me. All the glory to God! I don’t think I could have thrown away my old life any faster. In one moment my life was different. There were still some challenges that I had to face since then, but I met Jesus in such a different way. Religion didn’t have it. The world didn’t have it. Going to church and living right didn’t have it.
Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth, THE Life!
Jesus. It’s Jesus! Jesus has everything I need, want, and desire.
I’m learning so much. So very much. I have received the Holy Spirit (been filled with the Holy Spirit) and speak in tongues. I started seeing visions and dreams. And the enemy has tried to throw all kinds of things at me. But Jesus has been there to help me every step of the way. (Sometimes I feel like God is so far away from me, but later I realize that He didn’t go anywhere.)
For about three weeks or more after receiving Jesus in a relationship I was on this honeymoon high. Joy filled me. Laughter filled me. It was so weird, like, everything started falling into place without me doing anything. Praise and worship filled me and I was praising him and worshipping Him often. Daily! Waves of peace and joy rolled over me. I was stumbling into walls and could barely walk. It was awesome. Jesus loves me. He loves you!
Repent. (Means: turning to Jesus)
Give your heart to Jesus.
He loves you so much.
Eternity truly begins with Him!
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Rom 10:9-10 – KJV]