Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday - My Testimony (Revisited)

Today is Good Friday, for those of you who were unaware of the significance of today {no, it's not just Earth Day, today...}

My friend, Meredith, over at La Buena Vida, did a really great post today called "Power of the Cross." If you're not a regular reader of hers, or if you've never read her blog at all, hop on over and take a look around. She's a stay at home mama to the cutest little Lizzy girl, she's a Christian, and she's always got something fun to talk about. My favorite are her "BQOTD" posts--"Burning Question of the Day."

If you're here today because of Mere's post on Power of the Cross, then, welcome! I thought it only appropriate to re-post My Testimony:

I grew up in church. I'm told that as soon as we arrived home from the hospital, one of our first outings was to church. I remember asking Jesus to come & live in my heart when I was 4 years old. It didn't make sense to me how He could fit in my heart, but I figured He'd find a way. I mean, He was Jesus, afterall.

I lived a fairly normal childhood. My mom & biological father separated when I was 15 months old. My brother was a newborn--a preemie, having been born 4 weeks early. My biological father, who we call The (Sperm) Donor had chosen another path in life & decided to leave God off of that path. He began using drugs, having affairs and became physically abusive toward my mom. When he found out that my mom was pregnant with my brother, he punched her in the stomach, hoping to cause her to miscarry. He told her to have an abortion.


My mom married my dad when I was 3 and my brother was 2. They had been friends for a long time and he was sort of her Knight in Shining Armor, who came along & picked up the pieces when our world fell apart. When I was 8, my dad adopted us legally. His name shows on our Birth Certificates now. We took his last name and abandoned The Donor's last name.


I had everything a kid could ever need and just about everything I wanted. Growing up, we had a boat. A camper. Horses. Animals. We took trips to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm. Universal Studios and Great America. We had motorcycles and raced BMX bikes. I took gymnastics and piano lessons. If I wanted it, I got it--but I had to work for it. Things didn't come free around our house. We were taught what hard work was and that if we wanted something, we had to earn it.


We (meaning my mom, brother and I...Dad always stayed home) attended church every Sunday and Awanas every Wednesday. I was very active in the church choir, Children's Ministry, and volunteered my time in the Nursery one or two Sunday's per month during the first morning service. The majority of my friends were kids I went to church with. The majority of my social life was wrapped in and around church activities and events.


When I got to be about 12 years old, something changed in my relationship with my dad. My mom had a miscarriage right around this time and was devastated. I don't think my dad was really there for her emotionally like she needed him to be. They grew apart, slowly drifted away from one another. I was becoming more and more like my mom as I got older--same mannerisms, same voice, same laugh. And it drove my dad crazy. I wasn't his Little Girl anymore, I was turning into a woman. Into a woman like my mom, who he just didn't know how to deal with anymore.


Enter the high school years. I fell away from my walk with the Lord. I became involved in 4-H and FFA, Volleyball, Track and was a social butterfly. I was too busy to be involved at church anymore. Afterall, my new life was more important. God would understand, right?


I was a good girl in high school. A good girl in the sense that, while I hung out with the "popular crowd," I didn't partake in the usual high school rites of passage--no drinking, no drugs, and, for a long time, no sex. Then, when I was 16 and had been dating my high school sweetheart (the captain of the Varsity basketball team, 2 years older than me) for just over 1 year, I snuck off to visit him at college 2 hours away. And it was then, in a dingy dorm room, 2 Rolling Rock beer bottles later that the promise I took during a True Love Waits retreat was broken. That was about the extent of my sexual experimentation in high school, though.


And while I may have been a "good girl" in high school, I certainly wasn't a "nice girl." Gossip, bullying and a good dose of immaturity kept the friends I'd made in junior high at bay. I had made new friends and I didn't have room in my new high school life for my old friends. Besides, the junior high shennanigans had been such a nightmare for me that I was glad to leave those memories as far behind me as possible. Worst part is, in high school, I turned into that Mean Girl who ruined junior high for me, and I didn't even see it happening.


Fast forward to Senior year. I'm 17, graduating high school & moving just 2 weeks after graduation to a small college town about 2.5 hours southwest of my hometown. Me & my two best high school friends (B & C) moved into B's parents beach house while attending the community college (who am I kidding? We attended class when we weren't too hungover or too tired from the prior nights activities). Needless to say, I didn't do so hot my first semester of college. This was partly due to partying, partly due to trying to juggle a job & attempting college coursework, but it was also partly due to the demons I was battling with.


Not too long after moving into the beach house, we had a housewarming party. What was supposed to be a small gathering of 10-15 close friends turned into an all out raging party, people we'd never seen before swarmed our house, filling every inch of space. Needless to say, I drank too much & wasn't feeling well, so I went to bed, falling asleep in my party clothes. I can't give a definite timeline of the night, but I'm guessing I headed to my room around 11 or 11:30. The next thing I remember is awaking to a heavy weight on top of me and a large, cold hand covering my mouth in its entirety. A heavy weight on my naked body, I should add.


The next few years are a blur. My chastity, which I once held with such pride and high regard had been abandoned without a second thought. I allowed my body to use and be used. I was a robot, running through this life emotionless, unable to feel beyond the numbness that had become the norm.


Fast forward to me, at the age of 19. You all know the story from 19 years old up until this point in my life. Well, you know all that you really need to know to complete my testimony, really. Since that horrible night in the beach house, a void had made itself apparent in my life. Because of the numbness and my inability to feel much of anything, I hadn't really noticed that void until the summer of my 25th birthday. It was then that I broke down & cried out to God. I repented for my wicked ways, my sins, for turning my back to Him at the most pivotal time in my life, when I should have turned everything over to Him. I asked for forgiveness--for God to forgive me of the horrible things I had done, of the horrible person I had turned into. But I also asked forgiveness in order to forgive myself. To give myself the peace of mind and ability to turn over a new leaf and seek out something more for myself, more for my life. My only desire was to walk in His light, on His path.


And that is when I met my husband. I don't deserve to have such an amazingly wonderful husband like Mr. Lukie. I don't deserve to be blessed with such an amazing family, wonderful friends and a truly awesome life. I don't. But God thinks I do. I don't question it. And I don't regret my past. I know that my past made me who I am today. And it's my story to share with others, to show them that no matter where you are (or where you've been) or who you are (or who you've been), there is always the opportunity to start afresh.


Thank God there is the opportunity to start afresh.

8 comments:

  1. So amazing, Sarah. Thank you for sharing [again]. And I think I may have commented on this the first time but you and I have very similar stories. Beer, dorm room, bad choices.....all very familiar to me. Thank God for second chances!

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  2. Thanks for this... I had never actually read the story of how things went for you. I'm battling my own demons right now, and its something I needed to hear.

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  3. Thanks for sharing this again Sarah. I know that I've read it before, but had kind of forgotten. Hearing it again makes your cardboard testimony so, so powerful. Thanks so much for your courage!

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  4. Tears... Our God is so good, isn't He? I love how He takes the ashes of our lives and turns it into a beautiful garden. He was there all along. Waiting, loving, waiting and loving. He is such a gentleman.

    I pray that your testimony will be read and that God would be glorified by it. Thank you for being brave enough to share it.

    Blessing my sweet friend!

    Stacie

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  5. Thanks for posting your testimony, Sarah, and for sharing such personal things from your past. I had never read it previously, and I loved reading about how you found the Lord! He has brought each one of us so far, and it's a blessing to hear stories from other believers!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. I'm dealing with some demons right now, so reading this gives me lots of hope.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your story

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  8. I've never read this before... thanks for sharing your story. :) Difficult, but at the same time so beautiful.

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