My Testimony

Resurrection

I became a Christian when I was 7 years old; I grew up in a Christian home. This testimony will only cover a recent season of my life.

About five years ago, God opened a door for my husband to get a major promotion.  This job was an answer to prayer and such a blessing- but it called us to move away from KY, dear friends, and farther from my family.  We felt it was the right thing to do, so we took the step in faith to come to GA.

When we arrived, it was December, and I had a six week old baby and a three year old.  I did not know the area at all, so needless to say I did not get out much.  Loneliness began to overwhelm me.  I missed all my old friends.  I was alone all day until my husband came home from work.  He was working long hours getting accustomed to his new job.  I struggled with being depressed- I cried a lot.

When the spring came, I met some Moms at the park, started to get to know some Moms at my church, and I started getting excited about the prospect of new friendships. I got together with each Mom a few times, and then they stopped returning my calls- said they were busy all the time- none of the friendships worked out.

This trend continued. My discouragement grew.  I started to wonder what was wrong with me that no one wanted to be my friend.

As my son got older and I was breastfeeding less, I started having a drink now and then. My husband and I have always drank alcohol in moderation.  We both had great examples at home- our parents never kept alcohol around all the time, but they would have wine or beer for special occasions.

I found myself turning to food and alcohol to comfort myself.  Let me clarify- I did not get drunk- but these were my two primary ways of coping with my situation, with my sadness and loneliness.  I neglected my kids- I would escape into books, reading for hours each day.

I would have some good days- where I would really try to get out of the funk- to spend time with my kiddos, love on them- plan activities- and then it seemed after about a week I couldn’t hold it together.  My spirits would spiral downward again and I would sink into myself.

I started to snap at them, I could see things in my character that were ugly- and I was ashamed. I lost all care about my physical appearance.  I would go for days and days without showering or taking care of my physical appearance at all. I was sneaking food during the day so my daughter wouldn’t see me eating.

The up and down roller coaster of trying for a while and crashing continued and then

Finally, after almost a year of crying, depression, self-loathing, and seeking everything that I could to make myself feel better and escape my situation- God broke through.

I was still spending time in His Word- I was going to Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) each week, and that was like a life-line to me.

God was using that to speak to me- to call me to Him.

Finally, I accepted the reality that all the things that I was doing were not helping me- I felt like a terrible mother- I was ashamed of myself- all my secret sins- I wanted to be an example to my children- I wanted to be filled with joy.

I knew things had to change.

I started getting up early every day to spend time with the Lord.  I started running again and taking care of myself.  I called a friend from KY and told her the truth about what I was going through- I asked her to pray for me.  She came to visit.

And how has God answered?  Do I have friends?  No.  Have my circumstances changed? Yes, but only in one way.  I seek God first.  I start my days with Him- I try to seek Him in each moment. 

I am starting to see Him and Him alone as the source of my joy and peace- not letting circumstances or people dictate how I feel about myself- my identity is in Christ alone.

Shining heart

He reminds me of how much He loves me.  He gives me joy in housework, in the simple pleasures of playing with my children.  He has reminded me of how blessed I am.  How many things I have to be thankful for.

His Word has brought conviction and keeps me on track.  I use it against the lies that my flesh tries to sell me daily.  No, food won’t comfort me.  No, having a drink won’t make it better.  No, if I escape into a book, all my problems will be waiting for me when it is over.

God wants me to face my problems- to stop escaping- to stop avoiding- to trust Him and step into the storm- to walk through it in faith.  And that’s what I am doing every day.  I am still alone most days all day.  I still struggle with loneliness, but I make a choice now to let God comfort me- not anyone or anything else.

God is my anchor, He is my shield.  He is my ever present help in trouble.  He hides me in the shelter of His wing.

I have the strength to make it through only because of Him.  I have the strength to fight the temptation to snap at my children, because I remember His Word that says- be slow to speak and slow to get angry.  I know that self-control honors Him- and it is an example to my children.

I have never been this hungry for God- never in my life. 

I feel my need for Him acutely.  I can’t stand the thought of missing a quiet time- I am so desperate for Him.  Because I know- without Him I can’t hope to be the Mom I long to be, the wife I long to be.  Only by His Grace can I hope to live a life that honors Him.

And the journey continues…

 

 

19 Responses to My Testimony

  1. An amazing testimony. Wow. Great to get to know you better. So happy to have found you.

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you Kelly- our God is so good. So thankful He doesn’t leave us where we are, but gently and persistently keeps urging us home (His Presence). His peace truly surpasses all understanding. :)

  2. Anna says:

    Rachel,
    I too recieved Christ when on my seventh birthday.Though I did not grow up in a Christian home. My grandmother had died and I knew she had either went to heaven or hell. So I chose to recieve Jesus on my birthday the day my grandmother died.
    I have talked to Jesus all my life as naturally as I talk to you in this email. I am sooooooo thankful for His presence and amazing patience. When I was eighteen someone asked me if I knew Jesus and I replied “yes He is my best friend, I would not be alive if it wasnt for Him”. The man teared up and I asked Jesus why is he crying but I know now.
    It wasn t until I was 40 that I completely surrendered to Him. And things truly became amazing and awestruck ! I would say Jesus I did not know it could be like this. What a Father we have to have sent His only begotten son and Holy Spirit to guide and train us. Thanks for your testomony their always the best. God Bless you My Sister.
    My friend :)

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you for sharing Anna. :) Yes, I agree- when we surrender- that changes things forever. It truly does transform our lives. God bless you, so glad you stopped by.

  3. Janna says:

    Ah…this sounded very familiar! I have found is so difficult to make true “kindred spirit” friends as an “adult”. Enjoyed browsing around on your page this mornings :-) God bless!

    • Rachel says:

      Janna- thank you for sharing! God continues to use this season to teach me to seek Him first and that He is jealous for first place in my life- even over friends and fellowship. He has become ever more dear to me as I have seen how He can satisfy my longings in ways no one else can. Grace and peace of Christ be with you- so glad you stopped by! :)

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  5. ana says:

    Hi Rachel, your story is truly inspiring! I too have my difficult moments. When my only daughter was diagnosed with autism, my husband and I were really devastated. I couldn’t understand why it has to happen to us especially to our child. Each day, I would cry about her condition asking God why? Until now, I’m still hurting and seeking for answers. I could tell you that somehow I lost my faith in God… there is dryness in spirit. I know in my heart that I should go back to Him and believe in His promises. I may not understand Him but I know I should trust Him especially during this difficult moments. Rachel, please pray for me and my child that she will be able to get out of her shell and be like the other normal kids. I pray this each day. thanks!!!

  6. Brittany Reed says:

    Hi Rachel, God brought me here this morning. I googled “help keeping my mind on Christ.” I thank God for your testimony. I am a stay at home also and have been for 6 years. My husband and I have three children ages 6, 4, and 1 1/2. Over the years I struggled with depression, bipolar, anxiety and fear, but God has delivered me and set me free. It used to be hard for me to clean my home or take care of myself too. But I’m trying now and am finding joy in cleaning. I love to sing to God. I love to talk to Him too. I was getting up early to spend time with Him, then I had got discouraged and stopped. Your testimony has helped and I’m going to start spending more time with Him. I don’t have any friends either although I try to connect. My husband always tells me that God has a special friend for me, and he also told me yesterday that Jesus is my friend and if I did have women in my life right now, I might turn to them more than God. And God is my everything! Please keep us in prayer, we live in Ohio. Love you sister. God bless you and your family. :)

    • Rachel says:

      Brittany-
      So glad that the Lord brought you here so that we can “meet.” :) Thank you for sharing your testimony of what God has done in your life. We do need each other, but I have found the same as you shared- in my loneliness I have sought the Lord with a greater fervor than I might have if there had been those strong relationships that I depended on in the past. God bless you and your family dear sister!

  7. Glenda says:

    I can relate to your testimony, because when my two kids were born, I moved away from all my family and friends because my husband at that time was in the military. I was home all day with two little babies and felt that loneliness. It was an awful place to be in. I’m so happy that you found a way to experience Joy in life by turning to Jesus. I too finally taped into the joy that is found in God who dwells inside us. God’s joy and peace is in us, we just have to connect to it. I also found that as the kids got older and I too was a stay at home mom for years, that I could talk to God all day long and make him apart of my everyday life which made my day so much better. Now my kids are in college, but I have such a wonderful relationship with them and that only developed because God is such a major part of my life. I love your blog. I just discovered it tonight as I was googling “sober judgment” for a deeper definition and your website was on the first page. Hope you are doing well. God continues to assure me that I am never alone cause he is always there with me. I keep reminding myself that whenever I get lonely.

    • Rachel says:

      Glenda- So glad God brought you here. Thank you for sharing your testimony of God’s faithfulness to you over the years. He is so good! God bless you.

  8. Wini says:

    Rachel:
    Even though I’ve left comments on your blog I am just reading your testimony. I can relate to much of it. Please know you are not alone even though you are separated from your family and your friends. The ones who did not want to develop friendships with you in your new area have deprived themselves of a beautiful, honest soul. God moved Abraham away from his kin in order to fulfill his purpose to become the father of many nations. He moved me, too, so I understand. We have even more than that in common. I would love to talk with you even though I know you are super-busy with your family and quiet times with the Lord. I admire your strength and perseverance. I’ve said it before and I will say it again … I thank God for your transparency God is using your transparency like a mirror for me! God bless you, Rachel. Out of your loneliness, you have given God more access to your heart, and He is opening up all the little closed doors in there so the light of His Holy Spirit can shine through.

  9. Melissa says:

    Hey Rachel.
    Your testimony was such a blessing. I, too, found this page after reading Romans 12 and doing more research on “sober judgement”. I love the “piano” analogy of the kindred spirit we all share if we are tuned by His Spirit. I felt that kindred spirit reading your testimony. We are truly strangers in this world, and the closer I get to CHRIST, the more I feel it. The “salt” is few and that’s why it is so difficult to have many good friends nearby, if any. His “salt” is dispersed all over this world, as a preservative and a light. I wish we lived close, we’d make great friends! Keep sending out the light from and in your corner, blooming where He plants you- especially to those precious children and husband of yours. Remember we are to God a sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. <3

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you Melissa, for this precious word from the heart. You are right-the path God calls us to walk is a lonely one at times, but that only lends itself to us leaning more and more upon Him- the only one who truly sustains and strengthens us for the work He has called us to do. God bless you, I pray that you also might be salt and light where you are.

  10. Annie says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I found your blog while looking for Words to a John Newton hymn. Thanks for posting it, and for your testimony. I hope you are being daily encouraged as you continue to turn your heart to God. I’m finding that it seems God must take us through these tough seasons of soul struggle to help us truly see the value of himself, and this discovey gives me new hope in sadness. WhenI’m tempted to think he’s letting me go, I remember now, that he is only making me all he wants me to be!
    Two songs that have encouraged me recently are the contemporary worship song “Keep Making Me” by Sidewalk Prophets and the old hymn “Jesus I am Resting, Resting” by Jean Sophia Piggot. Thought I’d pass them along to you in thanks for supplying something I was looking for today. ☺

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you for sharing those songs Annie, and for testifying to God’s faithfulness in your own life. It is such a blessing to hear how God is working in each of our lives in such an intimate and beautiful way. :) God bless you.

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