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I grew up in the Catholic Church. I attended Catholic School from kindergarten through 8th grade. In Catholic School, we attended church almost every day. It was part of our morning routine.
As a child, I knew there was a God and I knew that Jesus died for my sins. I knew He was bigger than me so I would pray when I needed something but I had no fear of God. Looking back now, I realize that I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.
By the time I finished 8th grade, I was rebelling. My parents put me in a Catholic High School because they were Catholic and I got myself kicked out. I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I started attending public school halfway through my freshman year.
My parents were hard workers and provided me with everything I needed. They were fighting hard to keep me on the right path but eventually, they stopped fighting and turned me over to myself. They were busy and I knew that. I was a very strong-willed child.
By the time I was 15 years old, I was living a life that pleased me. I had so much freedom. I was choosing many wrong things and I was doing whatever I wanted. When I was 16 years old, I decided I didn’t want to go to school anymore. My parents allowed me to stop attending school as long as I took my GED so I took that test and passed.
When I was 17 years old, my parents decided to move to Big Bear Lake. They asked me to come with them but I didn’t want to leave the life I was living. They were moving about an hour and a half away from me but this was my time to grow up. I ended up finding a good job and got my own apartment.
My parents didn’t provide me with any financial assistance. They wanted me to move with them so that was part of the agreement of me not going with them. It was probably one of the best things they could have done for me because I learned how to be partially responsible with my money. I always made sure my bills were paid first and then the rest would go to wasteful things.
Most of my friends were still in high school so my apartment became the hang-out place. Life was starting to become more of a reality for me. I was starting to feel like I was alone. I was no longer living at home and it was starting to hit me that this was real life. I was living life on my own and I needed something more.
My first real encounter with death happened at this time. I had just turned 18 years old and one of my good friends was in an alcohol-related accident on a boat and she was killed. This scared me and I didn’t want to be alone. My friends would stay at my apartment with me when they could because I was scared.
I started realizing how fragile my life was. This brought me into a fearful state. I remembered back to when I was a child and I was very fearful. The fear was coming back. I had my first panic attack during this time. I went to the Dr and they immediately put me on anxiety medicine.
The anxiety medicine was working but I still didn’t want to be alone. I wanted a roommate. One of my friends (my husband now) was ready to move out so we rented a townhouse together. We had been friends since I was 13 years old and we had a great friendship.
Not much changed, we were still being irresponsible every weekend with our friends. A few months after moving into this new place, another good friend of mine died from an alcohol-related accident. It was a drinking and driving accident.
My husband who was my roommate at the time was in the car when the accident happened. This accident brought me to the realization that I was attracted to him in a different way than just a friend. I wanted to be with him all the time. We ended up dating for a year or so and then decided to get married.
We continued to be on a lost road even after we were married. We started building our treasures here on earth. We both worked so we could have a nice house and nice things. A few years into our marriage I found out I was pregnant with twin girls.
I was responsible during my pregnancy and had two very healthy identical twin girls but there was still a toxic lifestyle going on around me. After I had my twin girls, the lifestyle we were living started to frustrate me.
I knew one of us had to be responsible because we didn’t want to destroy our kids’ lives. Then one night we got a phone call that my husband’s younger brother was killed. He was intoxicated and got hit by a car on the freeway. Finally, I was done. I couldn’t take the toxic lifestyle anymore.
I felt like God was speaking to me through these tragedies. I had three people (that I was close to) die in alcohol-related tragedies. At this point, I knew I needed to raise my kids to know the Lord. Life was so overwhelming and I knew I couldn’t handle it on my own anymore.
I spoke to my husband and told him how I was feeling and He agreed that we needed to start being responsible. Especially now since we had started a family and our innocent children could be affected by our toxic lifestyle.
The next discussion we had was about how we were going to raise the kids. My husband grew up attending Calvary Chapel and he felt this was the best route. It was very hard for me because I had a Catholic background. That’s all I knew.
I’m not saying there is something wrong with Catholics but there was something wrong with my Catholic faith. I didn’t understand it and basically followed the religion because I was told I had to. I felt the Lord pushing me to do research about what I believed and why I believed it.
I continued to follow my husband’s lead because I trusted him. We tried out different churches to see what we felt comfortable with. In the meantime, I was researching what I believed. There was a lot of spiritual warfare going on during this process.
After a lot of prayer and several months of research, I found Jesus and fell in love with Him. We decided to make Calvary Chapel our home church. We started attending church faithfully when my girls were about 2 1/2 years old.
Once I gave my heart to Jesus, the Holy Spirit started working on changing my ways. I found out I was pregnant with my son and I was feeling convicted about working away from home. He showed me that I was working to provide everything my kids needed but they weren’t getting enough of me.
This made me realize that I wasn’t able to fulfill my role as a wife and mother spending most of my time away from home. My husband and I prayed faithfully and the Lord led us to downsize our lifestyle so I could stay home with the kids.
We went through many financial challenges but the Lord was faithful and pulled us through them all. My husband received promotions at work which helped us financially and the Lord provided a way for us to live as a one-income family.
The Lord really started to grow us spiritually and brought so many great people into our lives. We got involved in Bible study groups and continued to draw closer to the Lord. A few months later, we made the decision to get baptized.
Our lives were changed. We were different people. The people we knew prior to being saved couldn’t believe how the Lord changed our lives. If you are reading this, know that God can change anyone. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19) and with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).
I could be living the same sinful life that I was living. Instead, I accepted Jesus’ invitation to live a life following Him. This is a brief testimony of how I found Jesus. I’ve written about a lot of topics that I have struggled with and I will continue to keep writing.
You can find all the topics I’ve written about on my Bible Study topics page. I pray that my testimony can help others see their need for Jesus in their life. He has a plan for us all and we need to surrender to God’s will or we will have a lifelong struggle trying to get through this life on our own.