Deborah S.'s testimony "I\'m So Glad I\'m Born Again" on 7/10/2017, 6:33pm...
I grew up in a large family. Through different circumstances that occured, and a child's own self perception, I grew up being so compliant and lost not knowing who I was. I felt very low self-worth.
In my teens, that was reinforced in my thinking by what I perceived as failures. I saw myself as a failure. I was popular at school and was considered pretty by most, but that didn't change my self perception. I hated things about myself. About my looks. I struggled at math in school, in particular, Algebra. I had great anxiety over that subject and would literally freeze up. I was frustrated that I could pass every other subject, but couldn't grasp this. I began to hate school and during my middle school years, I would skip often. A friend's older brother would write absentee notes and sign them in my father's signature, which he had practiced. When I would get my report card, I would change the numbers of days absent by using a pencil and I could get it to look very much like the typewriter print that was used.
At 18 years old I was kicked out of the house on my birthday by my mother for coming home late. I had no job, as I had just graduated high school. No car. I tried to find a job. I had taken secretarial classes in high school. I needed good typing skills, but I had broken my arm in a bad car accident at seventeen. Long story, but it took a full year of recovery. My typing had suffered as a result.
I moved in with my boyfriend, eventually.
My mother reminded me often of how that disappointed and embarrassed her respectabilities. My boyfriend and I got engaged. But it didn't last. I found out he was cheating on me, and that sent me into depression from which I did not recover.
I became very promiscuous in my late teens. Looking for love in all the wrong places, just added to my feelings of low self worth. I was becoming increasingly depressed. I hated my life. I hated the cold winters where I lived. I hated the loneliness I felt inside.
I visited Florida. I loved it. I decided to move there when given the opportunity. I was given the opportunity and I jumped on it. I got into law enforcement. This was the 1970's. I thought it would be such an exciting life. Anything to drown out the boredom, the loneliness.
I worked at the airport security, but after a year was bored with that. I transferred to "the road". Which meant I would now patrol and handle calls on the streets for every potential crime. Even the excitement of that, could not hide the desperate loneliness, low self-worth and self loathing I had. I continued to live a dangerously promiscuous lifestyle. Like the movie I saw, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar", I had a sort of deathwish. I took things to the extreme. Always taking chances. I had developed a 3-pack-a-day cigarette habit. I was smoking heavily and coughing heavily.
I remember hating loneliness so much that I would fall asleep with the tv or radio on just to hear voices. I was sinking lower into depression. I felt that my life was unraveling, one thread at a time. Until I was quite literally hanging from the last thread, in my mind. I had grown up believing in God. My great-grandmother was a Christian. But the church my family attended when I was a kid was deader than a door nail. It was a formality only, and somehow I knew it.
One day, I started to search for God. I thought I would find him in a church. I went, but couldn't find Him. I even tried a Catholic church, though I was raised Protestant. I went, but couldn't find God there either. I was so disappointed after the service, I just cried.
I remember the last straw. Alone, in my apartment, I began to cry bitterly. I cried out to God. Somehow I knew during the years that God was trying to get my attention. I sensed it. But I also ignored it.
What did God want with me anyway? And when I went looking for Him, I couldn't find Him. I cried so bitterly that night, I couldn't stop. I had finally come to my end. I was having a nervous breakdown. My face was buried in the carpet. I couldn't get up to go to bed. No matter. I didn't have the strength. I would fall asleep crying. The last thing I remember; I said, "God if you want me to give my life to you, then show me how. I don't know what you want from me."
The next morning, I woke up in bed. Upstairs! How did I get here? I don't remember getting up the stairs. I'll have to call in sick. My face will be a wreck. Puffy swollen eyes...I looked in the mirror. No tell tale signs. No puffy eyes? I got dressed and went to work. Somehow I would drag myself there, I thought.
In my patrol car, I get a message from another deputy to meet him on the hill, with coffee. I did.
Next thing I know, he pulls out a pocket bible. He looks me square in the eyes, and says, I know you've been searching for God". How on earth did he know? He began to witness to me. Share scripture.
Asked me if I wanted to give my life to Christ. I was scared. How did I know he didn't want me to join a cult? Then he asked me what held me back, was it fear? I said, "yes". He then quoted this scripture:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." That was it!!! I wanted a sound mind! I bowed my head and prayed. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I was born again.
As I drove away, I realized that God had kept our police radios quiet for one hour!!!! Not a sound. I looked about me. The sun was bright. The colors were bright. The grass looked greener, the colors of everything so beautiful. So much so, I was sending messages to the other deputies by my car's computer; did they see it too??? They were laughing and teasing. They thought I was nuts. But I stopped my car. I got out to look. I didn't realize at that moment that God had taken away my depression, my grey colored glasses I had worn so long. All I knew was, I was somehow different. I felt fresh and clean.
A week or so later, as I was driving on the expressway, I went to take a cigarette. I wanted to quit before, but I would cough so hard! I was spitting up black tar from my lungs. I said, "God, if you want me to quit, you've got to help me". I threw my last cigarettes out on the expressway.
I never coughed from that again. No cravings. Just free, as if I had never smoked before. My lungs, clear.
There are other things I could testify of. Healings, deliverances. Too many to mention here. To God be the glory!