Testimony: Redeemed For His Glory
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Angela's testimony "Redeemed For His Glory" on 10/19/2011, 4:52am...
I want to first say that I take responsibility for the choices I have made in my life. While the perceptions and immature understandings of my parents livestyle, decisions, choices colored a lot of the decisions and choices I made, they are not responsible.
My parents became Christians shortly after I was born and from the very beginning were very involved, strict , independent, fundamental,evangelical Christians. I was saved at 5 yrs of age, but never really understood that salvation was about a relationship with my Lord . I thought it was all about a bunch of do and doníts, Boys and girls canít swim together, girls must wear dresses to their knees, girls canít wear pants, rock music is satanic, no movies, no tv, etc My parents never argued, as far as I understood, submission was being doormat, not that dad ever treated mom badly..she just always did whatever he said and never had an opinion as far as I could tell, Also, Dad ruled the roost, you know, as long as you live in my house you will do as I say, no questions asked. While my parents were in Bible college, dad pastored a church, then we traveled to 121 different churches as they raised support to go to Australia as missionaries, and then in Australia we were the American pastor Ďs kids, we lived our lives under a microscope all the time. To me it felt as though I didnít matter, only that I was good enough, obeyed the rules enough to please everyone else, . As for as I was concerned, Christianity was boring. I wanted to be like other kids, I wanted to be accepted, to fit in, to have friends. I was willing to do whatever it took to be accepted and have friends. Because of that neediness in me, I was most often drawn to people who would exploit that need of mine . I did a lot of things to try to buy friendship., trying to find love, just looking for affection.& acceptance. During my teen years I made a lot of really bad decisions trying to be one of the crowd.. When I was 16, I moved out of my parents home, removed myself from my dads protection and ultimately from GodísÖin a short time I was gang raped and became pregnant. My parents brought me back to the US, I had Beth and gave her up for adoption. I want to say that my God really is an on time God. During working on this testimony, Satan has really brought up some of the old emotional baggage from the past. Yesterday in Woman at War homework, I studied II Sam. 13 . It is about a princess named Tamar and her Ĺ brother Amnon who raped her. She became a desolate woman because of the disgrace and shame she felt as a result of being raped. Godís Word helped me to realize that the way I feel at times is normal. But it also reminded me that I have strength, and dignity no matter what someone else has done to me. I have value because I am the daughter of the King.
My parents went back to Australia and left me here in school at Tennessee Temple. This was a defining moment in my life. I had given birth and was grieving the emptiness of the loss of my daughter, I was alone, with no friends, no one that cared. From that time on I spent every waking second trying to find someone to love me, someone to fill that empty hole that was left in my heart, trying to find my value in someone else, trying to prove that I was good enough to be loved.
I married and divorced a physically, verbally abusive man. Please understand, I loved Reg, I chose to forgive Reg and I still love him.. I will always love him if for no other reason then he is Taylor and Nathanielís dad., whom any of you that know them, know they are 2 beautiful, funny, smart , talented, kind, generous, and usually good kids. I never regretted marrying Reg, I regret that it was not a Christian marriage that honored God.
With that failed marriage behind me, I determined to never let another man break me so instead of loving one man, I shared myself with a lot of men, giving bits of my heart away a little at a time.
By the time my brother was diagnosis with pancreatic cancer in 2001, there was not much of me that was recognizable as a woman God had created as one of His own. I begged God to heal Allen and let him live, With the death of my brother, the only man I believed had ever truly loved me just as I was, I really gave up on God, I just could not believe that He loved me..
I started smoking crack to stay numb, to be able to just get thru the days. I neglected my family, my children, my home..then ultimately I lost my children, my car, my home and my freedom all in one night But even then God was working behind the scenes of my life. At the Silverdale Womenís detention center, there are 4 dormitories.. 2 general population dorms, 1 work dorm and 1 church dorm. Women start out in general population and then as someone leaves from the work or church dorm you can request to be moved. When I was arrested I was put directly into the church dorm where there were girls claimed to be Christian, God used those women to protect me, I cried pretty much solid for 7 days and nights, I really wanted to die but these women reached out to me.. gave me a t shirt, a pair of socks, would sit and talk to me for hours.. and just befriended me.. When I was released, I cried because I had to leave some of them behind. This is when God first showed me that I had a heart to love women that other people found unlovable,. This is when I realized that many women couldnít believe in Godís love because they had never know any kind of love in their lives.
After getting out of jail and being overwhelmed with the thought of trying to start over without my kids, I went right back to the same people. But God was working and in just a few days I chose to go into VIP, a recovery group run thru the homeless health program in Chattanooga, and while I was there was able to live in a womenís shelter, for the 1st time in my life, I fit Ö.I was with people who were just like me., people that had been given up on by their families, their friends, but we were all finding out that God hadnít given up on us, we love each other, protected each other, became each others families, but I still missed my kids so much. I failed a drug test and violated my probation, went back to jail but this time when I got out, a man I met in vip was there waiting. We got room and just lived day to day. Struggling to stay clean, aching to be with my kids, I finally called Dad and talked to him, little by little we began to rebuild a relationship, dad and I, my kids and I, after months of hurt and heartache, I had had enoughÖI asked dad to let me come home and live with him, mom and my kids, I swore that he wouldnít be sorry, that I would live the way they expected me to, no sneaking around, When I surrendered to dad that night, I was ultimately surrendering to GodÖ and my life changed.. drastically. I still had some legal issues but this time I had my God, my family, and my church family standing behind me, and beside me.. A lot of people took a stand for the changes God had worked in me. God used all these people to sway the Judges heart, he reinstated my probation and gave me another chance. With Godís help, I didnít blow it this time Ö Then in a few short months dad agreed to give custody of my kids back., and with Godís help my parents and my children have forgiven and learned to trust me again. We moved here to live and got involved in this church, where God is redeeming my past, those horrible decisions I made. He is giving me opportunities to show his love to other hurting people, especially women. I am volunteering in a pregnancy crisis center, helping in Celebrate, work in the church nursery, attend Ladies Bible study and minister in anyway that God allows me.. Yes, I have regrets, Yes there are days that my heart hurts so badly that all I can do is cry and cry out to God.. but God answers and gives me peace in those times.. I also have huge victories, victories that are only possible thru the Grace of God. I am so grateful that God is a God of forgiveness and grace, that He loves me just as I am, and that He loved me just where I was, that He is still willing to use me for His kingdom work. I finally fit in, God is my friend when there is no one else, I have peace and love that only God can give. May I ask, Do you? God can give you victory to if you will just let him.
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