At an early age, I gave my heart and life to Jesus. Raised in a Christian home it was easy to be a Christian, especially since I had loving parents who gave me the security I needed.
I developed a love for singing in junior high school and senior high school. Not only did I sing in church and school, but I was in as many singing groups as possible. In high school my talent wasn’t recognized by my teachers and God showed me that I should be happy using my voice to sing to Him and for Him.
My senior year, my pastor suggested I try out for a newly formed gospel singing group. I took his advice and I got one of two lead soprano parts. After I was accepted, I told my music teacher at school. Amazingly, she gave me my first solo at my senior baccalaureate service. God is always faithful and gives us the desires of our heart according to His will.
After singing and traveling throughout the United States and Canada for a year with the Hymn Time Singers, I came home to work. At that time I started dating my high school heart throb and a year later we were married. Now forty-six years later, I can look back at the highs and lows of our marriage and see where God’s grace intervened in my darkest days.
Let me just say, those dark days primarily where due to tax issues and the IRS. My security that I had most of my life was being ripped away. The IRS did liens, garnishments, and seizures. But the Lord sent a wonderful tax accountant in our lives. He dealt with the IRS and now all is well.
Through that time, I became bitter and turned away from God. However, He never gave up on me. Through His grace and a loving husband, He brought me through victorious. When I turned from Him, He was always there for me. God promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Do you feel along and that God has forsaken you? He is always there for you. His love is abundant. Do you want his love and salvation?
Growing up I didn’t have peace in my life, but I did have a lot of worry. Even though I went to church I wasn’t a believer and so church was something I did because I felt obligated. I never found peace there and therefore I tried to solve all of my problems by doing what seemed right to me. This caused even more worry in my life. It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school that my life changed. I went to a Christian Summer Camp and it was there that I realized that God loved me and that I needed Jesus. I remember when I asked Jesus into my life, I experienced real peace and the worry was gone. Now I go to church because I have peace and joy. I know if Jesus could give peace to person like me, He can give peace to anyone.
When I was just a little child, I thought I had to be perfect to please my mom. My mother wasn’t a believer at the time and I wasn’t treated well. I was hurting inside because of how I was being treated and I started treating my friends the same way.
One time a neighbor lady started witnessing to my mom. The lady wasn’t perfect. Matter of fact the only reason my mom listened to her was that she was drinking a beer. Thankfully both the neighbor lady and her husband continued to witness to my mom and dad. What my mom and dad didn’t know was that when they would come over and share Jesus, I was listening in the other room. I remember them telling my mom that Jesus was the only perfect person in the world. She also told my mom how He died, how He took all sin upon Himself, and how He rose from the dead for us. I realized at the age of four that I wasn’t perfect and I needed Jesus to forgive me. I invited Jesus to have control of my life.
The Lord has taught me that perfection will never be realized but through His forgiveness. Because of the forgiveness I received from Him, I can forgive others including those who have really hurt me in the past. I know if Jesus can change my life through forgiveness, He can change anyone.
I am a nice person, but I use to do things my own way. A long time ago I became very interested in the occult and studied everything I could find on the subject. I found out that the devil is real and he seduced me into believing his lies instead of God’s truth. I actually believed that the right way was the devil’s way and I started practicing witchcraft. In giving myself over to the devil, I became possessed by a demon and that demon made me feel invincible. While I didn’t become a Satanist, I knew Satan had control of my life.
Then things started to change and I could see that the consequences of my actions were taking me down a bad road. Matter of fact I was experiencing black outs and physical attacks caused by this demon. Then the climatic event was when the demon actually manifested itself before my very own eyes. I knew I need help and I took a chance on Jesus. I prayed and asked Jesus to take control of my life. It was at that moment that I was freed from this demon and Jesus took over my life.
My girlfriend at the time was a strong Christian and she would talk to me about the Bible. She would also tell me about Jesus, it was her testimony of who Jesus is that caused me to believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I also started going to church and making new Christian friends.
I knew what pure evil was before I asked Jesus into my life, now I can honestly say I know what pure love is since asking Jesus into my life. It is the love that Jesus has shown me by being my joy, my father, my friend, and my confidant in everything. Life may not be easy, but I know I have found what life is all about, Jesus my Lord and Savior. If Jesus could remove the evil from my life and replace it with love, then I know He can do the same thing for anyone else.
My past use to haunt my life. I can remember constantly reliving past events that I couldn’t change. Every time I would play the video of my past in my mind, my heart would sink lower. I thought the past would define my future. I was so lonely and the pain was so really that I would spend my days drinking. Not only did I feel the pain of loneliness, but I also felt the fear of dying. I didn’t know what would happen when I died, but knew that I wasn’t right with God.
I had a friend that invited me to church and I was impacted by what the preacher said. He talked about my need for a savior and how Jesus was not only that savior but that He overcame death. I prayed and I asked Jesus to take control of my life. I remember believing that God saved me, but it wasn’t until a few days late as I really gave my life to Jesus that I felt a flash of power go through me that caused every evil attachment to fall away. I felt like a new creation. My fears were gone and instead of being haunted by my past, I felt free to have a future with God at the center.
Revelations 3:20 says that Jesus is standing at the door of our heart knocking. I made the decision to let him in and it has made all the difference in the world to me. I know that if Jesus can change me, He can change anyone.
My story begins when my parents moved our family from Puerto Rico to the city of Niceville Florida when I was 4 years old. At this point in my life, I knew very little English and because of my language barrier, school was extremely difficult. My language barrier was seen as a handicap and I was mistreated by not only other students, but some teachers as well. I remember feeling worthless and out of place. I did not belong with the English speaking group and I knew I didn’t belong with the mentally handicapped group either. I just didn’t know where I fit in.
This loneliness and confusion that I felt was completely opposite to what I felt at church. You see, church and the thought of a savior were never strange to me. I have two uncles who are pastors and with my father always singing in the choir, our lives revolved around church. When I was in church, whether it be my uncles’ Spanish speaking churches or even the English church in our town, I felt a sense of belonging. I always felt like I was a part of something big and beautiful, and I loved learning about the Savior who loved me, all of me. Through the years I have seen how the power of the Lord was working in the lives of my mom, dad, uncles, and aunts. I wanted to experience His power for myself.
I was about seven years old at the time that I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sins and to come to live within my heart. At that moment I felt changed. I was no longer concerned about how others viewed me. What mattered most now was how the Lord viewed me, and I knew that to Him I was precious. I was no longer afraid to speak my broken English, especially when it involved talking about Jesus. I even began to sing in front of the church and I knew God was with me.
At the age of nine, my parents split up. It was a very difficult time but through those years I still tried my best to follow the Lord and stay faithful. A couple of years later it appeared things might be heading in a different direction with my parents as my dad was trying to win my mother’s love once again. I truly felt that life couldn’t get any better. Then something tragic happened that shook my faith.
Father’s Day in 1996 was the last time that I hugged my dad and told him, “I love you.” My dad died alone in his apartment. I was thirteen and I was shaken. I couldn’t understand why God would take away my dad, surely God knew how much I needed him. After the sudden death of my dad, my life began to spiral out of control. I felt lost and alone. Matter of fact, all I wanted was to be reunited with my dad. I didn’t want to live and nothing in my life made sense anymore.
I was fourteen when I first attempted suicide by overdosing. Throughout my teenage years I tried to get as far away from God as possible. I wanted nothing to do with a God who would allow so much pain in my life with no relief. But running from God just left me feeling more empty than before. I tried to fill my emptiness with all the wrong things. I felt so hurt inside and I had no way to express my pain but to physically hurt myself. I felt that I deserved to be hurt. My life continued to spiral out of control and when I hit rock bottom, I contemplated suicide again. It was in these moments of despair that God was most faithful.
The Lord sent someone in to my life to wake me up spiritually. Phillip was one of my best friends in high school and through the years we had lost contact. A mutual friend had dragged me out of my apartment to go bowling, trying to cheer my up. I remember sitting there, feeling so out of place when Phillip walked into the bowling alley. That was the first time in a really long time that I had smiled. May seem silly, but looking back on it, I now know that God brought Phillip into my life to rescue me. Phillip helped me realize that running from God was only leaving me broken and helpless. He told me I needed God in my life if I truly wanted to be healed. I am thankful that Phillip is now my husband.
I have realize that my choice to run to God instead of from God has made me the daughter, sister, wife, and mother that I am today. Sure I still have ups and downs, but I am no longer lost or broken. Jesus is my savior and He has forgiven me and made me whole. I know that if Jesus can make me whole again, He can make anyone whole again.
I was at church every Sunday and Wednesday night while growing up. I felt close to God but then I walked away from Him when I was in high school. I developed an addiction to porn and started visiting strip clubs. Soon I felt trapped to this addictive sin. I did everything I could to deliver myself from this sin, but no matter how hard I tried, I always fell back into the trap of porn. I asked God to deliver me, but I knew deep down that I really didn’t mean it because I wasn’t ready to really trust in the Lord.
Things continued until I was broken and decided that I needed to change and knew I needed to put my faith and trust into Jesus. When I placed my faith into Jesus, he led me to start memorizing verses. There has been one verse that I memorized that God has used to give me victory and it is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I knew God was telling me that He would strengthen me and I found victory in Jesus. I know that if Jesus can set me free from my addiction, He can set anyone free as well. It just takes some trust!