These testimonies are from real women with real life experiences who are sharing their stories to hopefully help encourage you and help you relate to their experiences.
When I was younger, my family and I went to church. I would go to Sunday school, but I never understood the reason why Jesus died for me. I eventually attended a small Catholic High School, and by my junior year I began regularly attending mass and started wondering about God. I was never really raised to believe that you could have a personal relationship with God Himself.
I went off to college and it became difficult for me to be a Christian student athlete. I stopped going to church and seeking God all together. I tried filling the gaping hole in my life with partying, drinking, and sex. By the end of my freshman year in college, I was depressed, felt completely alone, unwanted, and like an utter failure. I searched for worth from any boy I knew, in hopes they would make me feel loved. I became very irresponsible with my body and it resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. I was terrified of what might happen if anyone found out. I didn’t want anyone in my immediate family to know because that would have just affirmed how much of a failure I had become.
I had an abortion. July of 2011 was when baby Christian (I named him) went home to be with Jesus.
In the summer of 2018 my life drastically and radically changed. I started going to The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, AZ with a dear friend, and met Jesus on June 24th! He showed me how much He had been chasing me and radically loving me through EVERYTHING I had done. He called my heart out of the darkness I had created myself and into His marvelous light. I felt freedom, grace, mercy, unconditional love, and a very deep appreciation that Jesus willingly died for me. By the beginning of 2019 I started feeling shame and guilt about what I had done in college, which prompted me to invite God into the even darker parts of my life.
I was doing an inductive Bible study, and I felt prompted in the Spirit to start writing down all of attributes of God that my childhood friends had shown me. I was left with an overwhelming list of characteristics that showed me how God had been pursuing me much longer than I had realized. In that moment I heard God speak to me Psalm 139:13-16, “I knit you together in your mother’s womb and I have loved you longer than you could ever imagine”.
I was still struggling with my old life, and I eventually started speaking to the women at my church. I spoke with my pastor’s wife about Paul and how he had persecuted Christians before he was saved, yet God still used him to spread the Gospel in powerful ways. The Holy Spirit then flashed an image in my head that I had forgotten I had seen: a license plate from the day I went to get the abortion that read “GSUSLVS” (Jesus Loves). I remember that car so vividly because it seemed to go where I went. If I changed lanes, it changed with me. The weird thing was that the car wasn’t following me, it was in front of me! Then my pastor’s wife said, “He knew what you were about to do, but He still wanted to show you that He loves you and will forgive you”. I was blessed by her wisdom and compassion.
My identity in Christ has been the most monumental change in my life. Learning who and Whose I am has dramatically changed everything I do. It utterly astounds me every single time I stop to think that I am beloved, chosen, righteous, redeemed, and worthy BECAUSE OF JESUS. Jesus did all the work, and by the grace of God, I get to be seen through the lens of His life and not my own!
Through this intense season of life I’m learning what it truly means to love Jesus with everything I have. I’m learning what it practically looks like to live out my faith and to boldly go where God is calling me.