My faith journey begins with a visit from two men on a cold evening in February of 1993. They came to our home to share the good news of Jesus with my family. One of the men shared with me a gospel tract. He said he would only give it to me if I promised to read it. Upon reading that piece of paper, I learned how the one and only true God of the universe wanted a personal relationship with little ole me!
Once I realized that Jesus died for my personal sins against a perfect and holy God, I repented of my selfish ways and accepted Christ’s gift of salvation. I placed my faith in Jesus Christ alone to become my Lord and Savior. If my story ended there, it would be epic! Yet, we are just getting started.
After getting plugged in with a local church, I started attending youth group and learning more about this God who created and loved me. After graduating high school, I decided to attend a Christian college. Yet, despite all of the knowledge I was gaining from church on Sundays and Christian education throughout the week, I was not experiencing God in a real or profound way. He felt very distant and not so very loving.
I knew conceptually that I was a child of God, yet there were still selfish desires that welled up within me more than I would like to recall or admit. I knew I was supposed to act in a certain way as a Christian, but as I began to enter into adulthood, I had a longing in my heart to feel loved in a way that I had never known before. To fulfill this longing in my heart and soul, I turned to other things and people instead of into the loving arms of my heavenly Father. I longed to be loved by Him, but simply didn’t know how, so consequently, I turned my back on my first love, Jesus. The void that only could be filled by Him, I began filling with things of this world. My two main idols were: food and sex.
Although, I say sex, I wasn’t looking for, or even wanting, sex. I read once “Men give love to get sex and women give sex to feel loved.” I was looking to be and feel loved, so I gave sex in exchange for love. Time and again, I looked for love and was left feeling used, empty, and worst of all, alone.
The result of my choices brought about blessings, as well as, curses. I was blessed with a beautiful baby girl from a man I barely knew. After being discarded by my daughter’s father, I was devastated. In my pregnant and vulnerable state, I chose to allow another man into my life who betrayed me and my precious daughter in ways that are unspeakable. In the midst of his own pain, he abused us and created wounds that have taken years to heal. Only by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit were we able to escape the clutch of that life-threatening situation.
Around that time, I was invited to church by a friend. God was working in my heart in mighty ways. On March 15, 2009, I was sitting in a church service and the Lord revealed to me a glimpse of the true weight of my sin and what it was like for Jesus to die for me personally. I remember making a commitment to the Lord that very day to walk away from my wicked ways and return to my first love, Jesus. As I prayed with tears streaming down my face, I told Him that He could have His way with me and do whatever He wanted with my life. I was willing to go anywhere and do anything to serve Him – and I whole-heartedly meant it!
The following passage describes my salvation experience: “And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” Mark 8:22-25 ESV. I spent nearly twenty years of my Christian life walking in self-condemnation, fear, guilt, and shame. I thought very low of myself for the sins of my youth – until I read about this scripture in a book called Spiritual Depression by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It was then I realized that when I was saved, it was as if Jesus healed my spiritual eyes and yet they were still blurry. Subsequently, my spiritual vision becomes a little clearer the more I seek and pursue a relationship with Him.
After making this commitment, I sought to find a pure relationship with a man after God’s own heart. He used this desire to heal my heart and give me a healthy view of marriage. A few years later, He led me into a God-honoring relationship. Our love story is one like those found in fairy tale books. My husband loves and cherishes me in ways I don’t feel I deserve; yet, I am so very blessed and thankful to have him in my life. He genuinely and truly loves my older daughter like she is his own; even though, she was twelve when he met her. We met in September of 2012. Five months later, we were engaged. Five months later, we were married. Five months later, we found out we were pregnant with our second daughter.
If it wasn’t for Jesus continuing to sanctify and pursue me, I don’t know that I would even have a second daughter. Thank you Father for your love, goodness, grace, mercy, and second chances!
As I stated earlier, I had two main idols: the 2nd one being food. I have used food to numb all kinds of feelings that I haven’t wanted to deal with, such as: pain, fear, boredom, worry, etc. I have struggled with my weight my whole life. It goes so far back that I don’t even remember the first time I ate food for more than nutritional purposes. Praise be to God, He has brought two amazing Godly women into my life to help me to have a complete breakthrough and restoration.
The first of which is a fellow sister-in-Christ and Life Coach who felt led by the Holy Spirit to begin a conversation with me about transformational coaching. I started working with her two years ago. It is an understatement to say she is a Godsend!! She helps me to work through the mental, physical, and spiritual components I need to achieve transformation in multiple areas of my life. Although, I have overcome many internal battles in my mind and spirit; physically, I have lost about 40 pounds and am near halfway to my goal weight. I desire to be healthy and live in a way that pleases God so that I can fulfill the purpose and mission He created me for while on this earth.
Around that same time, I began working with a Christian counselor and friend who has been vital to my spiritual growth!! Through prayer, she has ushered me into the presence of God in a way that I had never experienced before or since. I now have a taste of how much the Lord loves me and how He is working everything in my life for my good and His glory. I have prayed with this prayer warrior woman and have seen pictures in my mind’s eye that have communicated His great love for me.
While praying with her, there was a time when I was reminded of a sad moment in my childhood. She asked me in that moment where was God – He wasn’t there, I couldn’t see or feel Him. We were praying together a few months later, and that same event came to mind, yet this time Jesus was seated next to me and He invited me to sit in his lap as he stroked my hair. He told me how beautiful I was and how much He loved me. It is a mystery to me how I couldn’t see or feel Him the first time, but did the second. She told me the difference lives in the maturity of my faith.
Since then, I have had a number of special encounters with Christian woman who have prayed with me or spoke words of life over me. One young lady, in particular, came up to me at a conference saying “Hello Beautiful” and shared that Jesus gave her a word specifically for me. As she asked to pray for me, she took my hands. Her words of love fell like warm water flowing from my head to my toes. “He loves you and is so proud of the woman you have become. You will move mountains because your faith is so strong and your prayers are so powerful. When God created the heavens and earth and He saw that everything was good, you were on His mind and you are good.” She also told me gently staring into my eyes “Don’t ever doubt God. He wants to give you the best of everything and will give you more than you can ever ask, think, or imagine.” #mindblown!!!
After reading my testimony, I want to say this to you my friend – I am no one special. Jesus loves YOU just as much, if not, more than He loves me! He wants to communicate with you personally! He is pursuing you and wants you to be in a relationship with Him. All He asks is that you turn from the things that are keeping you away from Him and seek Him first. Once I surrendered and began seeking Him, He began revealing Himself to me and He’ll do the same for you!
Blessings my friend!
If you would like to connect with June for questions or encouragement, you can contact her here: email@example.com