Tracie's testimony "Finding The Truth" on 9/17/2016, 5:24am...
I could start this at the very beginning, starting in childhood leading all through the years until present day, but that would be too much. It would however show the connection, all the pieces that God helped pick up along the way and all the ways that God was involved even when I didn’t know. It would show how by my unbelief and my lack of faith my life would spiral so many times and how only relying on my own devices and understanding was the root cause of so many issues in my life. It would also explain how being raised catholic in a church every Sunday still does not equal a personal relationship with the Lord. It would highlight how a person could be told bits and pieces about God and listen in church, but still not be able to actually piece it together. My testimony is where all this knowledge began though and how it is even possible that I know this and am writing you today…so it is the starting point.
November 2014 I quit my nursing profession of practically 12 years to finally be able to stay home. The plan was to watch my husband’s grandma (that ultimately did not work out) and to be able to be home with my two girls, something that I never had the opportunity to do. During this time and normal daily routine (cleaning, cooking, etc.) I stumbled upon a book that was in a storage box which I recently got from my parents’ home, it contained some of my old things and misc. items from past years. The book was called “The Search for Truth” by Ruth Montgomery and I didn’t know where it came from or when I got that book. I could tell by the cover it was an old book, so I opened it and my great aunts name was written in it. I was so excited at first to have a book with that title and that was my grandma’s sister who was deceased…so it was like a piece of her. I began reading the book and in the beginning it was beautiful, it was different and it was lovely. I was starting to be drawn into things that it spoke about, like meditation and spirit guides and random things. I began meditating and to my amazement I was actually good at meditating. I was able to go to this peaceful place and I would arise and feel better…at first. During the book, I did begin to wonder where God was or if the author was going to bring up God. She seemed to spend a lot of time meditating and would go to gatherings where people would try a form of transcendal mediation and tap into spirits, etc. Well they achieved it and talked to spirits, in which the author clearly thought was good to do. She even spoke of how the spirits would lead her to automatic writing, where she would begin typing things and felt it was not of her own. They told her to meditate at 3am and then go to the writing. Jesus was alarmingly absent from this book and it became a grave mistake by the end of it. So, there I was meditating and believing in auras and some other new age information that was and still is bombarding our society. Towards the end of this book things started to go awry and that “lovely” feeling turned into dread. Meditation became frightening, especially after one particular episode where I felt like I was sent back to one horrible moment in my life and I relived it. I could go on and on and explain how after that book I felt like I was having a panic attack that I could not escape from. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, was so nervous and I didn’t know about what….I felt terrified. My husband didn’t know how to help me in those moments and unfortunately I learned all too well how the medical society views experiences like this…I’m lucky I’m not in a mental ward. It is sad when all they want to do is drug you, give you a label (diagnosis) and then a drug to fix it. This wasn’t an infection that an antibiotic could take care of, this was not a broken leg that just needed some pain management and a cast, no this was not a physical issue. Psychology today is misled, I hate to say that because I know many wonderful psychiatrists that truly are in it to help people. I still believe that we need psychological understanding and counseling and that it has been a gift to people to have that outlet, but sometimes a person just needs God. And sometimes, as a society, we need to realize that the absence of God is insane! But I digress…lets save that topic for another time. Ok so I was a mess and lost 10 pounds in 5 days, I honestly thought I was dying or going to die or even could be dead and not know it. Yes, it was a very confusing and anxiety filled time, but it was when God first started to appear back in my life. Things started to feel normal again and I was so thankful to just have my family. I knew that the event was because of that book and that something was very wrong with that book (which has been thrown away long ago by now). I have come to find out since, that it is a book of the occult and the new age movement is filled with the occult but people are blinded to it. It was against God and definitely failed to spread the message that Jesus is the way and the truth and life. He is the only way to God “No one goes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 Jesus words which is the real truth.
Meditation is dangerous and should have a real warning attached to it. Meditation has the ability to open up doors that you cannot close without Jesus. Tapping into these “spirit guides” and spirit realm is in reality tapping into the demonic. After that book and those horrible moments of feeling truly insane and not knowing who I even was sometimes…I now believe those infamous days in my life to be what real life possession looks like (not the exorcist movie which Hollywood dramatizes) . There was indeed darkness surrounding after that book and whatever I invited in through meditation or turning away from God over the years, did not want to leave. I was so confused still unfortunately even coming out of that, even when I would think of God I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t realize he saved me from something, but then I did at the same time. I went and bought a bible and I knew that I felt led to get this Bible. People in my family told me not to read it, because they believed that it would make things worse. Funny how ill-informed society as a whole is about the Holy Bible, about Gods words and the fact that God does work through people. People may have written the Bible, but it was God inspired…Holy Spirit led- it is the truth. I read parts and still wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do or what it even meant. I stopped drinking and smoking and knew that there was something behind that as well, but again I felt so confused and second guessed myself and questioned things and started even questioning that experience I had (even the amazing unexplainable parts). I can’t explain all the details of this story, because this testimony would become a novel. I can’t even explain all the feelings and emotions and turmoil that was a part of it, because there are truly not words for it. It was an experience that I had to go through, perhaps a trial and I had to go through it alone. I had my family’s love that surrounded me and my husband tried the best he could to be there as he knew how at that time. Yet, this was my journey, a personal journey now that depended on what I did next. And yet…I failed.
Three months passed by and I was drinking again and smoking an e-cig (as if that’s better). I went back to damn near every bad habit and went back to wasting my time and days the same ways I was before. I couldn’t shake those moments though and it would replay again and again in my mind. Those sleepless nights and crazy days not knowing what the hell that was. What did it all mean? Why did my aunt have that book? I knew God was there and I got rid of anything associated with the occult or new age bullshit and felt happy and satisfied with the Bible being present in my home and some rosaries. We started to go to church on Sundays, but then I guess 3 months was enough for me with church as well and we stopped going. Problems quickly began to creep back into our lives and I knew things were not good, I didn’t feel good. Something was amiss and I couldn’t figure out what or why and why this was happening to me…still couldn’t see myself clearly or my surroundings at all. There was one defining moment I do still remember, I was sitting in my garage and I felt horrible. I spoke with my husband, asking seemingly random questions to him, but he didn’t know what I was saying (he was not feeling these things at the same time I was) or what was wrong with me. Something deep in my gut felt so bad and I knew something again was just not right. I staggered in the house and by now I was sobbing and felt so alone, I was beyond sad and desperate for something/someone to help me not feel this way. This is when I finally started praying and called out to God, basically just saying ‘please, please I don’t know what’s wrong with me…please help me’. It was so loud in my mind that I am still not 100% if I said it out loud or not! I remember being in my room, maybe I fell and was on my bed or floor- that part is fuzzy, but I was giving it to God…all of me to him. I had nowhere else to turn and knew nowhere else to go, who could help figure out this internal turmoil I felt stuck in? This led to almost an immediate feeling of repentance and I was then led through true confession, which happens between each individual person and God. Jesus died for our sins, so no one is more qualified to help you repent of and deal with your own personal sins.
This process of repentance actually started back in February of 2015, after I was done with the book and this journey began. I even knew it then that I was repenting in a way, but it’s a shame what happens when you are not grounded in faith…I fell again. This time was different, I got the message and the message was Jesus. Jesus was put in my heart back then but I was too confused to understand, this time I knew it was God and Jesus did actually die for our sins…all of us- even ME. I found this rather astonishing and needed to get my bearings and much of the time this feeling was too overwhelming to explain to others. I was highly misunderstood in the beginning, lucky for me :) that is not a feeling I am unfamiliar with. I believed in Jesus when I was a kid and yes I knew he died for our sins, but I think I believed that you really couldn’t have a personal relationship with him until you died. Maybe I thought that he didn’t care about the everyday things or maybe I even allowed mixed theology and new age beliefs and society influence my belief or unbelief of God all together. Either way, I did not have a personal relationship as I do now. I did not understand that he does absolutely care about each and every one of us and it is personal. In the moment I called out to God and begged for help and began repenting (obviously being led to do so, otherwise I wouldn’t have known to do that) I accepted that yes, Jesus is my savior and is the only son of God who was sent by God to redeem us all. He is the only way we are able to have a relationship with God today. To not accept Jesus, is to believe there is no way to be sure you will ever be forgiven by God. That’s because we are all sinners and the penalty for sin is death, then we are all doomed to that fate…if we don’t accept Jesus.
I am telling you this because it is the personal part that is important to grasp. I am also telling you this because it is the ultimate truth. I must say that this is all clear to me now after walking this path for a little over a year, the last time…and when I finally woke up- was September of 2015. It was also when I was able to quit drinking and smoking cigarettes for good. I realized that yes that first feeling of stopping those things were right, God was trying to tell me to stop. I was killing myself slowly- or maybe even faster than I ever realized. I needed a strong wake-up call and that is what I got when I called out and accepted Christ. I was then slowly (and still continue to be) led through why things happened and why things were how they were. The lies I believed were revealed to me- no voices were not speaking to me (internally but not in the way the world will have you believe) all the ugly twists and turns this world does with the truth was exposed and continually is exposed, as I continue to follow Jesus. By follow I mean stay in the word- Gods word (the Bible) and try to get to know him as best as I can. The Holy Spirit is real and he will lead. I could attempt to explain how it worked and walk you through what this year being in daily prayer has been like and how my heart was transformed. How I realized that it was a brokenness inside of me that only God could heal. He knows why we go the path we go, why we did and do what we do, he does know you and he knows your thoughts- he knows your heart and your hearts intent. He amazed me at the things he reminded me of and what was put back into my heart that I hadn’t remembered or thought of in years. There is nothing special about me, except that I prayed for God to help me and repented and continue to do so frequently. The only great parts of me are those that God transformed. I could go on and tell you how prayer and church, turned into Bible study at my own home every Sunday with my beautiful little family. How my marriage became blessed by God, something that is too personal to go into detail about at this time. You don’t have to go into reaching out to God or telling Jesus your sorry and accepting his free gift of salvation by trying to explain yourself or think of excuses. None are needed with Jesus…he already knows you. All that needs to be done is that first step to reach out to him. God will lead the rest as he sees fit in each individual’s life and the way he chooses to reach them. That is why going into my details of how he works in my life, although encouraging, could also be discouraging in the beginning if God uses different methods to reach you. Most will agree though that you can tell those who have accepted Jesus, because the transformation becomes apparent in many ways. Sometimes though it is deep and personal and everyone’s path is different and looks different, so we must not judge.
I do not know where you are with God. I don’t need to know either. This is a personal journey that truly belongs to you and God. Everyone has to clean out their life or follow in the way God imprints on their heart. All I hope is to plant the seed that Jesus does love you, despite whatever lie you may have believed and whatever is preventing you from believing it still. Despite what awful things happened…he does love you and is waiting for you so he can help you as well. This is for everyone. It does not mean that once you do this and turn to God or really give in and give it all to him and ask him to help- if you are sincere and the Lord knows your heart is sincere in seeking him, that suddenly life becomes a piece of cake. No no…there are still trials and troubles and not to mention the judgement you may face from just having faith in our Lord Jesus. But it means there is hope and let me tell you that there is no love like Gods love. If you haven’t felt loved or question if you even are loved, then what you need is God. It doesn’t matter what you have tried in the past, failed attempts to stay clean, rehab over and over, or any other sins that ultimately led to feeling like a failure. There is no sin too terrible or obstacle too great for God to handle. This one step has changed my life and my family’s life as well. It’s never too late to start this walk with God. It is a choice though…one we all need to make eventually.
Oh one more little thing here, an amazing thing about this personal relationship with God is that he puts forgiveness in your heart that you did not have before. People you never thought you would be civil to or that you could ever forgive, you finally realize that you have to…because HE forgave us! He forgave me and died for me…I can certainly forgive someone else for what they did to me, especially knowing that I get to one day be with Lord in eternity. He forgives, so we should also and we love, because he loved us first. Oh also a small side note, in the Bible meditation is spoken of- but meditating on scripture/ Gods word and in prayer with the Lord is very different from the meditative practices taught and often being done today. People need to wake up to what is around them, the roots of it and what is behind it all- learning all of that is shocking as well!
I hope this testimony helps someone. I know that in the beginning and still to this day, reading testimonies is important to me. We get to see how God is still working today! May whoever reads this find the truth, love and peace in Jesus.