Can I do it this?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Gina B, Sep 25, 2002.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Ok, I have to do this in front of an audience soon which I've never done before, so I may as well get used to it by doing it like this first. LOL. I can't handle talking in front of people! Aaaagggghhh! Will one of you come do it for me? I've mentioned some things before, and given types of testimonies online, but none that really got into exactly what happened, and that seems to be what people want to know.
    So here goes. It seems like I mention ME way too much, lol, I don't know what to do to fix that, but I guess it's kinda unavoidable in a testimony, huh? Ok, now here goes for real. I just wrote it a sec ago, so let me know if I am giving out WAY too much info or using too many words, ok?
    My background is that I grew up in a family that spoke of God and attended church from when I was pretty young. It was kind of an odd mix...my family recognized the Jewish Holidays, and I went to temple when I could and was near my grandparents, but for the most I think we attended an independant baptist church. I was fed up with it by the time I was 11, and decided it was all hypocrisy and lies. I was still made to go to church, but nobody could make me listen. I opted for atheism and kept it to myself until I was old enough to leave. After a while I knew I needed and couldn't resist the thought that there was at least a higher power, so I settled for that vague notion for a while. After the birth of my first daughter I realized that I was in need of a god, but an impersonal higher power was pretty hard to reach out to. I attended one church, then another, and ended up joining another IFB church. They didn't ask for much in the way of a testimony, I told them the church from when I was a child had my records and that I was baptized there, and that was it, they put me in membership. Kinda scary now that I look back at it! Anyhow, one day some Mormon missionaries came knocking on my door. I made some weak arguments, and then ended up joining them. I was sure I had found the truth, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that the LDS church was the one true church. I prayed to know the truth, and felt I had peace, so I took that for a sign from God saying the church was true.
    Unfortunately for them, I'm a pretty inquisitive person. Little by little things weren't adding up. The "truths" I had been being taught kept changing...they called it expanding. LOL. I wanted the full truth, and I didn't want to misled by other religions prejudices, so I studied from nothing but their own books and recordings. I was heartbroken to find out there wasn't much truth in it at all, but I kept telling myself and being told by others that I was taking in too much at once, that I should slow down and let the teachings come slowly so I would have time to have faith in one principle before trying to grasp the truth of another. The day of reckoning came when I was invited to a friend of mine's house to discuss Mormonism. They were Baptists. The third time I went the debate continued, and ended with my friends husband kicking me out of the house and letting me know I was on my way to hell and taking my children with me. On the way out the door I turned and yelled that this God he was telling me about couldn't possibly be my God, that mine offered protection and peace, and his offered hell and damnation. It was at that moment I realized how much inward hatred I had. I left, and was totally torn. His points and the scriptures he read had hit home, and I didn't know what to do. If I hadn't had my children with me I most likely would have driven myself into the nearest tree, because I didn't want to live again without being sure of what was right and wrong, and I didn't want to live a life without God. But I knew that the God of mormonism was false.
    I had prayed in the past that I would know the truth about Jesus and who He was, but I just couldn't do it. I never had complete faith that He was who He said He was, and that He did what He said He did. I WANTED to believe, and there were times I prayed with tears and begged God to give me faith in that. It didn't happen.
    But back to that night. I drove home and got my children into bed and went into my room. I decided I should pray, but the words wouldn't come. I wanted to admit that mormonism was totally false, but I just wandered around the room for a little. Each moment got worse and worse as I tried to bring the words to my mouth. I still wanted to cling to it. Yet I knew it was wrong. I started to think about Jesus, and kept trying to say that mormonism was wrong, and it seemed like all of a sudden there were two different things going on. On one side I was being told to go with mormonism, atheism, something, ANYTHING that was in my past. It would be safe! It was what I knew. Even if I knew I was wrong, there would be safety in going with the usual and the known. On the other side I was being pulled to deny the falseness, to admit I didn't have the answers for myself and couldn't figure it out on my own. It kept getting worse, and I literally felt like my soul would be torn in half.
    But God won. I don't know how, I didn't do anything. Just all of a sudden I KNEW, not just wanted to know, I knew who God was, and I knew that Jesus was real beyond a shadow of a doubt, and was who He said He was, and died for MY unbelief and sin. It was all in a moment, and instantaneous that I was on my knees. I didn't go through the "salvation prayer" or anything like that, and I didn't purposely get down to pray, it was irresistable, to do otherwise when God made His presence known would have been impossible. My first action was to praise God for who He is, and then thank Him for the gift of Jesus. I don't know how to explain it, but I at the same time I realized the truth of it all I realized just what MY position was....I was totally unworthy, I didn't deserve this, and the very thought that I had ever done anything or believed anything that was contrary to Him was repulsive, and He knew every single part of it, and I gave it to Him, all my sin and disbelief, and He took it from me and forgave me wholly and completely. At the same time there was an indescribable peace, joy, and love. It was like suddenly He not only became real, but He became personal, as much a part of me as my own thoughts and someone I could talk to, yet at the same time someone who was so powerful and true that it was impossible to not have a holy fear of Him and be on my knees and face in awe at not just His mercy and grace, but just because He, well, IS. I don't know how else to say it.
    That's about it. All I can really say is that I don't know what I ever did to deserve it, I did nothing, to have that grace given to me or to have that faith given to me, to have the truth be revealed to someone like me who couldn't even admit that my works were nothing and weren't getting me to heaven any faster, and He himself knows that it was impossible for me to even believe in Him on my own. I'm not sure why or how it all happened like it did, I just know it did, and that I hope and pray I'll always remember exactly what happened that night over two years ago, that I always remember where I came from and what I am, and who God is in relation to that.
    He is my savior, my Lord, my God, and just the first two words of this sentence are enough to make a person rejoice! He is.
    Gina
    Oh yeah, I didn't mention earlier that it's a testimony, I need to give it to the new church I'm joining, that's why I said I have to do this in front of people. Aaaaaaagh! (I'm gonna keep doing that until it's over with) Not at ALL that I mind doing it or don't want to share, I just have to try not to throw up anytime I talk in front of more than two people!
     
  2. Optional

    Optional
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    I think it's an excellent testimony, Gina. And it shouldn't take more than 3 minutes to give it.
    I used to have a fear of standing up and speaking before a crowd - until I did it the first time. Man it was such a rush, I couldn't wait to do it again. Hope you have such an experience.
    Somehow I doubt you'll throw up. Just be confident in the Lord.
     
  3. AdoptedDaughter

    AdoptedDaughter
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    Don't change a thing, Gina!

    It touched my heart just reading it! Thanks for sharing your testimony! [​IMG]

    ILC!!!!!

    ~Teresa~
     
  4. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    Okay, Gina. Now get over here and bring Kleenex.

    [ September 25, 2002, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: Abiyah ]
     
  5. MikeJ

    MikeJ
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    More like 6 or 7 minutes. But it's terrific.
     
  6. SAVED4LIFE

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    Gina,

    You remind me a lot of myself. I'm not shy, I like to talk (about myself, too) but get me in a room full of strangers and I freak!

    You'll do fine. Just print this out and look down at it when you get nervous! Wonderful testimony.

    Brought tears to my eyes. [​IMG]
     
  7. RomOne16

    RomOne16
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    Wow! What a testimony! Praise God! I think it's great just the way it is.
     
  8. Wisdom Seeker

    Wisdom Seeker
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    You have to give your testimony in front of the whole church? At my church a person only has to give there testimony to one person in authority, and then our pastor says, Mr. or Mrs. so and so would like to join our church. Bro. or Mrs. so and so has heard their testimony, they were saved and baptised in so and so Baptist church, Who is in favor? ( the men usually raise their hands) motion made and seconded, all in favor say Amen. If I had to stand in front of our congregation, which is the size of an amphitheatre, I would faint dead away.

    As far as your testimony, very moving, very human. Thank you for sharing it with us. I think it's great. Can you wear sunglasses while your up there? :cool: Sorry, I'm probably not helping at all.
     
  9. Abiyah

    Abiyah
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    You know---those great big ones that they used to sell back in the early '70s.
     
  10. preacher

    preacher
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    AW Gina,
    Remember the Word....I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
    Sides'...I kinda get the feelin' you're like my litte Aggie...ain't found nuthin' she can't do yet!!
    She had her first experince opening up for the ladies prayer room a couple weeks ago, but she was fine...& you will be too! [​IMG]
     
  11. Thankful

    Thankful
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    Your testimony is wonderful and so moving. Brought tears to my eyes to think of the awesome feeling of God's presence.

    My encouragement is that God will be with you and You can do it, but I can certainly identify with you. I can talk all day in an informal group, but put a microphone in front of me and I have to stand up in front of the congregation or any formal setting......I haven't learned to do it without falling apart.
     
  12. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Thank you all. [​IMG]
    The weird thing is I can do drama, I can do talks on this and that, and I'm usually fine. But anything personal like this, no. I don't like people I have to see more than once knowing anything about me. I know, weird, but that's just how I am.
    Gina
     
  13. Jim Ellis

    Jim Ellis
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    Gina that was very good! Praise God! He is so faithful and true. I was always told that when you speak, never look directly at the people.
    Also I was told that just pretend they are in their PJ's, also don't think about how many are there just pretend that they are at your kitchen table and your talking to them over coffee!
    Also, before you go up a speak, pray that the Holy Spirit will annoint your speaking and that you'll reach a lost soul! God Bless you Gina!
    Go get em girl! :D [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [ September 27, 2002, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: Jim Ellis ]
     

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