Let Me Share My Narrative With You (His Testimony!)

Well guys! Here it is! My testimony, or His testimony in my life! It is quite long...sorry...but I've divided it up in sections so hopefully it will make it easier to read. I hope that you will see Him fully reflected in this and that what ever ounce of me resides will be taken out I know this is long in coming, but I hope you enjoy....

Lord Father, this testimony is truly a testimony of You…it is not about me…


What a deep and beautiful gift to be intimately known by the Creator of the Universe…let me share a narrative with you, a true love story if you will…let me share with you the moment the Lover of my soul captured my heart leaving me forever changed.


I was born August 27, 1980 in Rome Georgia. I grew up Southern Baptist with a caring Mom and Dad and two amazing younger sisters that mean more to me than words can express. I was a very awkward child and struggled in my formative years with very low self-esteem and lack of self identity! Since I can’t take you through every single year of my life I will spare you the details. Even though my childhood, teenage years, and even my 20s thus far have been faced with many hardships, disappointments, and self-doubt along with a great deal of soul searching, I wouldn’t re-do anything because it has brought me where I am. There were also many delicious times. Camping, Christmas, birthdays, family, friends, laughter, tears, joy, excitement, a true journey beyond my wildest dreams…and proves to be even more so in the years to come.


Many people feel that if you grow-up in a church and are relatively a good person then your Christian walk should be an easy journey. I sometimes find myself envying Christian’s who were “radically” saved because their passion for Christ is so profound. I think the biggest thing that has plagued me is not having a peaceful faith, a faith riddled with doubt, “Did I choose to follow the faith of my parents?” or was there something bigger in all of this…I’m reminded of what I have learned, it isn’t about me! I struggled to believe those individuals who have professed that they live in peace. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, yet no peace I find. It is the root of my doubt in my salvation, by nature I’m a worrier, I come form a long line of them. Still, deep within a small dark corner of my soul I fear that there could be something I could do to lose my faith. In my heart I know this is ridiculous, I also know that peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit, therefore I don’t have to beg or plead for it, it is mine to own, all I have to do is take it up and go forth. I do feel, however, that growing up in church with all the rules and regulations, a condition to my faith if you will has caused much of my thinking. It wasn’t until much later in life that I truly discovered God is not the “god” of Sunday School!

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At 8 years old I became aware of my need for a Saviour. I was always an internal thinker, creating a world of my own in the confines of my mind. Internal thinking has both aided me in my creativity and hindered me greatly by the consumption of my own thoughts. However, I feel this internal thinking fed a lot of my awareness that there had to be something more, so at 8 years old I became very intrigued when people started walking the isle of my church and giving their souls over to Christ. I also remember very vividly a sunny afternoon sitting on the green swirl rug of our family den, the shades on the windows causing the light to dance on the green fabric and my chubby white legs and praying this prayer, “Lord, Come into my heart.” – My Mom returns from grocery shopping. – “Lord, come into my heart okay! I’m going to go tell my Mom now, so come on in…okay!” Many of you maybe saying how sweet, and I only mention this because for some reason God has kept it so vividly in my mind, I feel as a reminder when I first realized His magnitude with my mind. No matter how sweet and honest I had no heart knowledge of who Christ was. That wouldn’t come until 5 years later…


My salvation came when I was 13 years old. I discovered that this God that was talked about in my “religion” was something real. I new that coming to Christ was the right thing to do, and looking back on it I fully realize that the choice to become a child really wasn’t a choice, but a surrender to the call of Christ. It was a Sunday evening service at church and the “Impact Team” from Berry College were putting on different sketches. Preceding their demonstration an elderly woman in our church that the children affectionately called “Muddy” came and gave her testimony. Now, Muddy had her vocal cords removed and had to speak with a voice box, but every word that came out of her mouth was for the glory of the Lord, and every person she spoke to she would share the Good News of Christ with them. I felt compelled with a sense of urgency that I wanted that. So, I tenderly knelt in my pew and asked the Lord to come into my heart, and as you can well imagine my life has been stress free and smooth sailing ever since. Yeah Right!! Whoever said that a Christian walk was easy? Salvation is a gift. Christianity is a job. I have to be honest, while the best decision I’ve ever made, I wasn’t in love with Him. Don’t get me wrong I was eternally grateful to Him, and I could feel His love for me so much that my heart ached, but I didn’t know Jesus, and it would be many years until He wooed me into the Sacred Romance. It was an arranged marriage if you will and the honeymoon would come further down the road. I am so thankful that our Lord does not stop wooing us at the point of conversion. That His heart is steadfast, and His cause true…He wants all of us and nothing less.

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My life, while blessed beyond measure, has faced many trials. Family pains of realizing your parents are merely human (one of the hardest truths I had to learn), mistakes I’ve made in my life, and habitual sins that are like old tape recorders that play back the horrible misfortune of the fall with squeaky wheels and a fuzzy projector. I would like to share with you 3 deaths that have impacted my life the most and have driven me closer to the price Jesus paid when he bore all and died on the cross for my sins. I lost both my Grandfather’s at a young age, however their deaths didn’t impact me as much as the sheer ache I feel at them not being here.


The first death took place when I was a junior in high school. Up unto that point I had only lost my Grandfather’s and some extended relatives that I unfortunately didn’t know all that well. Brian was different. I had him in homeroom and Biology, he dated my best friend, and he was a sweet and caring young man. We were friends. It was the end of the school year, all of us were at Field Day, and I was going around getting people to sign my Year Book. I asked someone where Brian was. They said that he was in the gym playing basketball. “Oh,” I said, “I’ll get him to sign my annual tomorrow then!” I would never see him in the morning. He was killed in a car accident on the way home from his girlfriend’s. Now, in my mind I tried to rationalize what happened, playing the scene of events over and over in my head. However, Brian, in his death, united our class. We became so strong and so comforting, so loving, so gracious to one another. It reflected the unity that we as brothers and sisters in Christ have through the death and resurrection of our Lord!


The second death that impacted my life deeply was my cousin Tracy. The Rowell’s and the Darsey’s spent many summers together sharing stories, laughter, and tears (usually from laughing so much). Tracy was a pure soul. He was the sweetest most compassionate young man I had ever had the pleasure to know. I was blessed to call him family. He was also killed in a freak car accident. His death was met with a great why? Why did this happen? Oh God! Why? I was mad! I was frustrated, and in that mourn period I realized that sometimes we don’t get the answers that we need, that God’s ways aren’t ours, and we don’t think the way He does. I had to become content that Tracy was resting safely in the Father’s arms the only one who would ever love him more.


The third death that impacted my life was Bo Plummer. Bo was my Sunday School teacher and my first hero. I idolized him. He was strong, courageous, and simply a loving person. He was killed when he fell out of a tree he was cutting down. You would not believe the outpouring that shone through his passing. He truly exemplified the walk of Christ. He wasn’t about creating his own narrative, but stitching a small thread of himself through yours. He didn’t jump in and tell you how his life was going, but sat back and allowed you to share your story with him. His death was the hardest to swallow. I mourned deeply for him. I was riddled with fits of weeping and uncontrollable sobs spilled forth until I couldn’t see or breathe. Once again I found myself asking God why? And then, it came to me so clearly…I never once got to say good-bye! It had been years since I had seen him, and I didn’t get to tell him what he meant to me, how he impacted and changed my life, that he was my hero! It was the hardest most bitter pill to swallow and it taught me to always share with others that they are important to me and that I love and care for them. I might linger a little longer, hug a little stronger, and re-iterate that those I love most are truly irreplaceable in my heart!

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Well, as you can see this is going to be quite long, and you know it is only a portion of my narrative. However, I think that it is important to share how God captured my heart! How He wooed me into a Sacred Romance with Him, a journey beyond compare. How He captivated my very heart and the love and passion I feel for Him courses through my very marrow. Never in a million years did I think when I took that first step down the aisle that some 12 years later I would be where I am today.

I have lived in the pit of Hell! You see I’ve always been what society might call a “good” girl. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t have sex (I am single), obey the law, etc…as most of you also know that doesn’t make me naive or ignorant and in no way keeps me from feeling deep heartache and pain. Oh I have sinned. I’ve been selfish, self-righteous, bitter, angry, and hurtful. I’ve committed numerous heart sins, lied my way out of things, and compromised greatly. Satan has destroyed my life with the habitual sin of sexual self gratification. The act itself being a coping tool, a numbing against the pain. The true sin is the absolute revulsion and disgust that I felt afterwards. A freak of nature, less than human. All lies straight from the pit of Hell. Overeating has also been a constant friend of mine. I’ve prostituted myself before so many other lovers so many other gods. I’ve lost my first love, cursed Him, and ran screaming in the night to get as far away from Him as I possibly could. I’ve hurt Him so deeply. I’ve mired myself up in the muck and grime to the point where I couldn’t see the light of day. I came to a space and time where I was battered and beaten from fighting with God. I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t read my Bible, I couldn’t cry, I could feel, and I literally wanted to die. I welcomed death like a cleansing rain. I wanted to be swallowed up in it. I just didn’t want to exist.


You see I fought to come into this world, satan tried to take both my Mother’s and my life before mine had even begun, But God had another plan. Even though I wanted to die God once again was going to command me to live. You see for so many years I was living a lie. I was playing dutiful Christian while I was decaying inside. It was then, in the midst of my despair and anguish He saw fit to reveal Himself to me in a way I never imagined through a little book called the “Sacred Romance” by John Eldredge. It was the first time I really heard God’s heartbeat, and with every “Thump-Thump” my name was being called out…steady as a drum. I served a wild unfettered God, and His soul desire was for me. He wanted me, all of me. He desired to take my hand and to travel on this journey with me. Why? Simply because He loved me! I fell in love with Him in that moment. I love Him still, and my heart continues to expand.


Now, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had more dark times. That doesn’t meant I haven’t fought with Him. It means with each arrow that satan throws at me I’ve grown stronger more sure of my faith. Those things that used to knock me down only cause me to stumble not fall. He is my refuge and my wellspring.


Now, I know I’ve used a lot of “I”, but you know this testimony is not about me, it is all about Him! He is the one that deserves all the praise and glory. Never have I been more fulfilled, more joyful, daily learning new truths than I do now. Never have I felt more loved and known without a shadow of a doubt that people are praying for me. I thank the Lord from the top of my head to the tips of my toes for everyone He has ever placed in my heart that is dear to me. In the end when my life is through…I hope that they (whomever “they” might be) will say…Her cup overflowed for He was her portion, therefore it wasn’t about her at all!

“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Comments

ANGEL ANTHONY said…
Thank you Melissa for your testimony. It is OK to say "my testimony". Children of God should not be afraid of pride. You are a daughter of God. Fly like an eagle without fear of pride.

I read your whole testimnony. I read it twice. Thank you from the heart.
You're still at the beginning of a beautiful journey. The process will take a little bit longer. But I can see clearly the hand of God in your personal story.

You hit the bottom in your life. You cried out to God. God saw your misery. He came down to bring you out of your past, out of distress, out of the land of sins (whatever your personal sin is), out of the land of loss.

Life was hard on you (as it is for all). You experienced loss of loved ones, sin, and imperfections.

God certainly listened to your cry for help. Now, He is leading you. He is taking you by hand. There is no way back.
You may face doubts or fears of the shadows of your past. But your soul knows which way to go.

On the way, Jesus will continue to heal you and purify your heart.
He will make you holy. This is our goal.

I am glad that you found the Lord. The day you found Him was not the end of your story. In fact, it is the beginning.

If you keep trusting Him, 5 years from now, your testimony will be as powerful as the Apostles' testimony. I am not flattering you. It is about the Living Christ. Embrace this truth with humility, remembering your sins.
Believe me woman, the moment will come when His face will be completely revealed to you. On that day, your first encounter with Jesus you experienced few years ago will be forever confirmed. The more you doubt it, the more it will become clearer than ever.

God bless you.
Melissa said…
Angel Anthony,

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. I really do not know what else to say. Thank you for being such an amazing brother in this moment. You have given me such assurance. You have given me such grace and humility. I cannot wait for that confirmation! Thank you again, I'm going to stop before I get emotional! God bless you deeply!

Melissa
Bar Bar A said…
Melissa, thank you so much for stopping by my place and adding me to your blog fam! I will do the same. I can't wait to read your testimony. I plan to read it today as soon as I can. I'll be back to comment. God Bless you!!!
Melissa said…
Love you heart Well Woman...thank you!
~Kat said…
Oh, Melissa, it was worth the wait :) Your words are always more than laced with passion and humility - I love that you're not ashamed to call it what it is and that you're exposing yourself to us as your online Church. Praise God for your soul, honey! I know we never see ourselves as who God sees us, but sometimes we're blessed by having God allow others to see us as He does and Melissa, I think I see in a small way what our Father sees when looking at you. No wonder He saved your life. Your life blesses my life.

Much Love!
Bar Bar A said…
Melissa, I just finished reading this. I am so inspired by your honesty, the insight you have into yourself, your sharing of personal things! I am sorry for the three losses you had to go through with accidental deaths of people you cared about. I know about that too, it's so hard to wonder WHY!?!?

Thank you so much for sharing this, I am sure many people (especially women) will resonate with your words.

Have you read John and Staci Eldridge's new book?

Hugs to you!
Mustang Girl said…
Melissa, you are such a sweetheart. Thank you for sharing such another powerful testimony. What a blessing He has given you Melissa, and I know you embrace it everyday! Much love sister! .:hugs:.
Melissa said…
Thank you all my beautiful and amazing sisters in Christ...

Kat...thank you my sister for the lovely words..."I know we never see ourselves as who God sees us, but sometimes we're blessed by having God allow others to see us as He does and Melissa, I think I see in a small way what our Father sees when looking at you. No wonder He saved your life. Your life blesses my life."...that struck a beautiful cord with me! God bless your heart!

Well Woman...thank you for your kind words as well. I'm getting to your blog I promise...I have "Captivating" but I haven't started to read it yet! It is next in my things to read!

Thank you Mustang Girl from the bottom of my heart!
Gayla said…
Wow, where to start! Melissa, that is truly powerful. I'm stunned at how much of myself I seen in you. A lot of similarities, not the least of which is that The Sacred Romance was the catalyst for my own healing journey. I've probably mentioned that a few (thousand) times!

This:
I fully realize that the choice to become a child really wasn’t a choice, but a surrender to the call of Christ.

struck a chord with me. It's so true. Why or why we're 'taught' that it's all about how 'committed' we can be to Christ. It is surrendering our will!

There is so much of what you said that just resonates with me. Thanks for sharing - for opening yourself up in vulnerability and transparency. It is not easy, but it is freeing!

God bless you, my friend!
Gayla said…
that should be 'why OH why' not why or why. :o
Melissa said…
Oh Gayla...

My heart is singing! I just cannot say thanks enough to both you and all the others that have saw fit to comment concerning this post! You know even though I knew God wanted me to write this I was still a wee bit concerned! You know that feeling of unease, as if someone my crumble you with a harsh word...

I am learning so much that it is about surrender! It is about laying it at His feet.

"Why oh why we're 'taught' that it's all about how 'committed' we can be to Christ. It is surrendering our will!"

How very true...I was never discipled and I struggled with that and not being able to be committed enough! It only took me 12 years to realize He did want my hands He wanted my heart!

God bless you my friend...your thoughts and words always mean the world to me!
steve said…
Well I sure picked the right day as my "first time" reading your blog.

I love hearing testimonies and I love Christ. Good stuff and God bless!

God is good!
Melissa said…
Thanks Steve!
ANGEL ANTHONY said…
The mercy of God is way too bigger than our own sins.
No fear.
To be a Christian does not mean to be a perfect person who never fails (anyone can succeed in avoiding sin. The Pharisees succeeded in avoiding what was "unlawful"). To be a Christian means to be on a journey with the Lord.
On this journey we fall many times. It's OK. We stand up and move on, because we know where we are going: to Holiness.
bjk said…
Living an authentic Christ centered life is never easy...you stepped up the authenticity in your testimony...thanks for sharing
Becca said…
confidence
Pilot Mom said…
Melissa, what a powerful testimony of God's grace and love! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

I understand so well about being young and having such poor self-esteem. How much more freeing and wonderful for me when I realized how much God valued me just. as. I. was. Then, finally realizing that He loves me too much to let me stay that way. That's when my "God"-esteem came into being.

Truly, this is a wonderful love story...the best kind of love story since your hero/lover of your is Christ Himself, our perfect Lord and Savior.

Blessings to you...and thanks for your kind words over at my place. I'm trying to cope...we'll see what the doctor has to say tomorrow. :)
Robert said…
WOW!!! I found you thru mustanggirl such a moving powerful testimony!! I relate to so much of your journey melissa even as a guy the low self esteem over physical appearance and losing people to death thank you for your willingness to share and for showing how truly good God is in His taking care of you and wooing you back to Him you are a real blessing melissa!!

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