“I thanked God for saving me! It was 13 years ago that I gave my life to Jesus Christ.
He took me from living a selfish, sinful, and religious life to a life more abundant in Him. Early on, I quickly learned that he’s a True Living God who desires to be in relationship with his creation. It continues to amaze me that My savior cares about anything and everything that I go through, no matter how big or how small the situation, He always there and he cares. I’m so grateful for his everlasting love, and that love through Him i can extend to others.
“I was a broken soul that was stuck in a depression for a couple of years. Combined with anxiety, insane shyness, and harboring many trust issues. I struggled with bitterness and resentment towards some people, even my own family, which I wasn’t ever fully aware of. I was just a very unhappy person and I walked around with this mask on my face and with a smile telling everyone I was fine and just tired. I always thought the worst of things, being negative about most or even all things that I came in contact with and it just brought me down even more. I was just completely stuck in my own head and couldn’t get out of it no matter how hard I tried.
I was forced to go to a Lutheran Christian church by my mom as a child and I never had any interest or desire to learn about God, even though I still believed in Him. I just felt like I did not fit in with the crowd at that church at all. I stopped going to church when I got into 9th grade and I was never interested in ever going back.
In June 2013, while at a Revival at the Potter’s house, I prayed to be saved by God. Since then, I have felt nothing but the love of God and joy that He has given me. I feel Christ working inside of me every day to help me forgive my mom for past issues and He is healing me from my bitterness and resentment towards her and He is working with me about my trust issues. I have been reading books, attending church, Bible study, and church activities that are bringing me closer to God. I get nothing but the feeling of peace, joy, and energy inside that my soul is finally at rest, with no more depression or anxiety because now I get it!
I finally understand that God loves me. He truly loves us and wants to give us His amazing gift of joy that no one else can ever give us. He wants to lead us to Eternal life through Christ. To teach us to obey His ways and His Word, that we may learn to fear the Lord and try our hardest to live a sinless life here on Earth through the power of his Spirit. Jesus truly can break every chain and I am a living example of this truth.”
“My name is Steph and I used to like to look for trouble. I was rebellious and didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. However, the things I did and the desires I had were very destructive. I used to lie, steal, get drunk, smoke crack and other drugs, and sleep around. I did those things because I got a thrill out of being bad and I was empty inside. I was also looking for attention, even if it was the wrong kind of attention. I was violent and depressed when my selfish plans were threatened and I would use people when and wherever I would benefit. I quit school at 14 because I was lazy and wanted to have fun without any boundaries or restrictions on my life. I didn’t even realize I was a slave to my sin and the freedom I thought I had was all a lie. I spent most of my teen years in rehabs, mental institutions, parties, and shacking up. I was looking to men for father figures and ended up in some pretty sick relationships with abusive older guys. The regrets that come from living this way would have eventually drove me to suicide. Before long, I was involved in things I’m even too ashamed to speak of now and I swore I would never do. I always went further than I originally thought I would.
By the time I was 20, I was so scarred by my past that I had no hope for the future. I had nothing left to live on and I wished I would die. I was desperate. I knew God was the only answer and I needed to stop running from the only one who really loved me. In 1998 I finally surrendered to God and began to obey Him. Words cannot describe the incredible peace that came along with that decision. God guided me back to Pennsylvania from Texas cause I wanted to reach my family. I went back to the Potter’s House Christian Church in Upper Darby, PA where I found a family that helped me piece together my shattered life. He set me free from all my habits and my insane lifestyle. The mess that took me years to make and the burden that came with it was lifted in a miraculous moment of time. I was surprised that I survived all those years without getting AIDS. That too, was a miracle.
God has redeemed the life that I ruined. I am now happily married to Brian, a wonderful, God-fearing man and we have four beautiful kids who are being raised in church and in a stable home. This is something I never had and never could have provided. God continues to set me free from my wrong ways of thinking and is teaching me how His kingdom works. I am learning to function as a wife and a mom as God intended. The thrill I use to chase as a drug addict I never did attain. The thrill and adventure that comes from following Christ is one that never runs dry. I never want to forget where I came from so I can keep the gratitude and awe I have for the power that is in Jesus and so others can have hope because of what God has done in my life.”
“As a child, I believed in God and had a desire to do right. When I entered high school, I decided that some things needed to change. Being nice and trying to follow the moral standards that I knew were right had, seemingly, never done anything for me. I started smoking, drinking, shoplifting, cursing like a sailor… I developed a set of friends with similar habits. I became disrespectful and my parents got to a point where they were scared to deal with me because I would act crazy. A major problem is that I still had a conscience and even though I enjoyed having friends, I was consumed by guilt because I had gone against everything I knew was right. I hated who I was. When I was 14 I tried to swallow a bottle of pills as a “cry for help.” I really did want to die but I believed in Hell and was afraid of going there….I was really miserable. I wanted to be a nice person, but I was terrified of being rejected or hurt. I started wearing black lipstick and spiked collars because I figured people would keep a distance if they were intimidated. Then a co-worker invited me to go to church with her. I believed myself to be very “open minded” and decided to go. That night, for the first time, I heard the simple Gospel preached – that I could repent of my sins and have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. To be honest, my head was such a mess that I didn’t completely understand, but since the Pastor kept asking if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior and everyone else in the building seemed to have already done that, I figured he was waiting for me and I responded. I started going to church and really praying – not just repeating memorized prayers – and God started changing my life. Without realizing it, and without anyone telling me to, I stopped cursing and drinking. As time went by, God started dealing with me about other issues and more and more things continued to change.
It has been 15 years and God has continued to work in my life. There have been times where I have gotten frustrated because I felt like I should have been perfect immediately. Life doesn’t work that way. But God has been faithful. This past year, I have learned a lot. I have made a lot of mistakes over the years and it has never been easy for me to forgive myself and let things go. I made some major mistakes about a year ago. I felt like God would never forgive me and started having panic attacks. But through various influences God showed me how merciful he is. I asked God’s forgiveness and began to move forward. I learned years ago about God’s grace but I feel like I have re-learned about it this year. God has helped me to learn some valuable lessons and move past my previous failures.I now have joy and peace and am excited to continue serving God.”