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Dead, but Now Alive

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I grew up in a "Christian" home. My parents were abusive, so I didn't really like from what I saw from Christians around me. At one point my parents were missionaries, so while my dad was preaching about Jesus, he was also beating my mom.

I went to church as a child, but I didn't experience any great kindness or love from them. A lot of them gossiped and they seemed no different from the world — on the contrary — they seemed worse. I'm sure I was taught at sometime that Jesus loved me, or at least I know I sang "yes, Jesus loves me" in one of the churches productions. It was so empty though.

I hated how fake everything seemed, my dad smiled at church, but at home would hurt us. I remember thinking, "if this is what Jesus does in your life, I don't want him." I remember my mother telling us she almost left my dad, but turned around because she felt like God told her to not be defensive and to just take it.

My father stopped going to church and my mother hopped around churches. My sisters and I stopped going.

My parents were neglectful and I was homeschooled. I say that lightly. I was not taught. In the second grade, my mother decided to work and I was thrust into a public school system. I was illiterate, I couldn't even say the ABCs. I remember kids getting annoyed from me because I would run (yes run) away, dodging past the teacher and running through the halls. I remember hearing the clock tick as the teacher told me to just be good and write. I wanted so desperately to write, but no one saw me. No one seemed to notice the red flags. Eventually the idea was to just send me back home. I don't know how that made sense to anyone, but I realize now that I think the school just wanted to get rid of me

I was always asked why I was such a bad kid. Why couldn't I just be good? I remember crying and whimpering "I don't know why I'm so bad, I don't want to be."

As a child I tried to kill myself a lot. I can't say when it started, but I think around the age of 5 would be accurate. I hated myself. I had no one. My father was emotionally/verbally and physically abusive. Both parents were neglectful, at a young age my sisters and I cooked and took care of ourselves. My sisters hated me and my sister at one point called me the antichrist. I remember trying to hold back the tears, but they wouldn't stop. I thought that I didn't want to be the antichrist, I didn't want anyone to feel pain. I later realized the antichrist probably wouldn't feel that way.

At age 9 I started watching porn. I didn't like it, I didn't feel anything, but I couldn't stop. Empty, alone, void. I spent a lot of time online, looking for any love I could find. I did regrettable things. I didn't find that love I was looking for and I ended up in a toxic cycle of self-loathing.

I felt fat, ugly, stupid, worthless. At this point I gave up killing myself because it always ended in tears and more self-loathing. I could never do it, I felt that I was too weak and I hated myself for it. I remember crumbling up on the floor and crying wondering why I couldn't just do it.

When I was 11 I was forced to go to public school again, 6th grade, yikes. Although I learned how to read (miracle), I still hadn't really had an education. That year was hard, I had horrible grades except in reading since that's all I was taught. I didn't want to be at home, I didn't want to be at school. I was too scared to die. I didn't want to be anywhere. I pictured myself in a dark maze, running to every corner and there was never a way out. Always a wall and cloudiness above me. Crying out in the night, but I never heard anything.

Around the middle of the 7th grade something changed inside of me. No more sitting around... if I want something, I should fight for it. I wasn't fond of Christianity or the Bible, but I realized I shouldn't talk about what I didn't know. I decided to read the Bible. I decided to pray. Nothing preceded this, it just stirred in my heart. My prayers were empty, they started out this way, "I don't believe you're real, but just in case you are, hi". Then they changed to "I don't think you're real, but if you are, I want to know you" and then to "God, I want to know you" annnd then "God I need you, I don't feel you, but I believe you're real, help me to believe". It took awhile. I didn't believe, I didn't feel, I didn't know what to do but pray. I read the Bible nightly, I prayed nightly. I started jogging. I started praying I'd do well in school.

By the end of the 8th grade I was the top in my school, I believed in God, but had my moments of doubts. I had confidence. In high school at on point I remember thinking, "I haven't doubted God in so long!". I no longer felt stuck in a maze. My new image in my head was running in a sunny field of flowers. A huge smile on my face and laughing without care, beckoning people to follow me and running fast in to Jesus' arms. Tears streaming down my face, being with my Daddy.

My testimony isn't one time, but rather, a growing relationship. A child crying out in pain, thinking no one ever heard or saw her. Hated and only a disappointment, not knowing that actually there was a God who loved her. God called me in a unique way, I don't know why I started to read the bible or go to church. I didn't particularly feel like I HAD to or any warm fuzzy feeling. I just did it. My legs just moved, my arms just grabbed the Bible. My lips just uttered words that wanted God. Before I knew it, I agreed. My legs moved for purpose. My heart yearned for my sweet Jesus, my first love.

I have an awful habit of writing a lot, but I want to share everything God has done in my life.
 
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God has done many miracles in my life. I used to feel like it was the world vs. me. I wanted to help people, but without purpose. One of my earliest memories was crying after hearing my sisters say that I was awful and out of control, my mother agreeing. I remember looking in the mirror saying "I don't like pain, it hurts". Wiping away my tears and from that day, I decided I didn't want to cause anyone pain. I've had that in my heart for awhile, but I was very selfish. I didn't understand true love.

I try to notice the unnoticeable. My heart breaks for so many people, I can't help but love them... after all, I love because he first loved me. One of my first powerful encounters with God was when I was praying to God that I wanted a heart after him. There wasn't anything new about this day or prayer, I had prayed it before. I know that Christians in persecuted countries seem to thirst more for God. I wondered how many of us get annoyed at our pastor for going five minutes late because we want to eat lunch, while some people will travel days and stand on their feet for days, just to hear about God. Not eating or resting because their hearts desire God. I prayed to God about this because I knew I was no better "would I do that God?". I lamented that I wanted to be a woman after his own heart and follow him with everything I had. I noticed a lady with parkinson's that couldn't take communion. I was about to help her when someone else did. I prayed for her though. She was crying and went to leave and something happened in my heart. I felt like I needed to go to her. "Me?" I've always been shy, I've never had a way with words. "What would I say?" "God do you really want me to go?" Again, my legs just started walking. I started to think "are you sure Go-..." but then tears started streaming down my face. I continued to walk. I immediately spotted her outside the service area and ran to hug her (really out of my comfort zone). Words just started pouring out, I was weeping and she was weeping. She kept saying "how did you know what I was thinking? You're replying to everything." I told her it wasn't me, that God is pouring out his love for her and it's filling me up. After awhile I went back to the service and my whole body was shaking. I wanted to be obedient to God, but I was afraid that I couldn't control my body. In my head I said "God, please continue if I'm wrong, I don't want to miss anything you have to give to me, but I'm afrai-..." and just then I felt a gentle spirit pass over me. My body didn't shake and the rest of the day God spoke to me. I felt like he told me that the reason why I was shaking was because his spirit let me feel a small sliver his love and my body couldn't even take it. Verses flooded to my head, at that moment I felt that if terrorists came to shoot me, not one bullet would hit me. I thought of the verse about moving mountains, and for the first time, it seemed very real.

I treasure this moment with God and sometimes I have moments of bad self-esteem. I always remind myself that I can't even fathom his love. I've struggled so much with feeling worthless, mainly because I was told that by words and actions. The last time my mother said something like that I wanted to get a shirt (my parents didn't buy us clothes really). I was upset and couldn't help but lash out. "I'm not even worth $10 to you!" And my mom told me that I wasn't.

I have felt confidence from God and always felt it, but college sort of hit me hard. I still know who I am in Jesus, but I'm running to Him. I need Him each day. He is no longer calling me to be a baby, but a woman in faith.

Other miracle:
My parents have broken my heart so many times. I have prayed for them, I have pleaded with my mother that we go to therapy, for a relationship...so many times. I felt so exhausted and done, I cried to my mother that she didn't even care that I was crying. I told her that I don't feel loved by her and that she didn't even care. She didn't want to change, she said she didn't want me to feel that way, but it's not her fault.

I stopped trying with my parents because it hurt so much. Then something happened, my mother had a tumor in her brain and fell down a flight of stairs. She looked like she had fell right into a pointy part of the bannister. At that moment, I found out how my family and I reacted in times of turmoil. My father cried her name, my sister screamed "mommy!" (which breaks my heart because she also has issues with my mom) and I cried out "Jesus!". The whole time I just kept crying out to God. For the first time I understood what the Bible meant when they said they tore their clothes. At one point I fell on my knees, crying out to Jesus and I wanted to tear them. I looked in my mother's eyes. They were open, but it looked empty, like there was no life. The ambulance arrived and my mother started screaming. "Is she a vegetable now?" "Will I never get to talk to my mother again?" "Can she no longer speak, and is in pain?" "Is she like a child and in pain, screaming out?". Horrible shrieks that no one should have to hear. My grandmother took us to the other room and I fell on my knees again, I've never cried like that before. I prayed God's promises, I begged him. My sister later told me that I was speaking out powerful things, but I don't remember. Supposedly my words made my grandma start balling. I just remember falling on my knees and crying out.

We arrived at the hospital. Everyone looked away, they didnt want to make eye contact. I'm a shy girl and a slight germaphobe, but I went on my knees at the hospital. I put my face to the ground and lifted my hands up. It's all I felt I could do, I wasn't worried about anything else. The doctor took us to a small room and said she would probably die. They left us with a priest. For the first time, my sister and I felt something nothing we had ever felt. My grandpa took us in his arms and we wept. I never knew how that felt. I realized that that was what God meant for men to be like. Later we drove to a bigger hospital where my mother was being transferred. I was singing a praise song. Suddenly I felt a peace come over me and I knew everything would be okay, even if she died. I felt joy and peace. I looked over at my sister who looked over at the same time. We both smiled. She told me she had just felt the same thing. I looked up at my father and pitied him. He was a mess. Crying and driving crazy. I told him what Julie and I just had felt, he disregarded it. When we got to the hospital my father was crying and telling us "YOU DONT KNOW HOW GOOD YOUR MOTHER WAS TO YOU". Obviously feeling bad himself, we held him as he cried and told him about God. He ignored it. My sister and I eventually left the room my dad and rest of the family were in. It felt dark. The second we left there wasn't a negative feeling. We talked, laughed and praised God. Then my uncle came out and said my Mom was okay, it was a benign tumor and they could remove it.

A wonderful thing happened, my mother was thankful and on fire for God. For the first time, I had a mother. One morning I drove her early to get her pills. A normal teenager may have had been annoyed to do this at 5-6 am in the summer, but I weeped in the car as she went inside. I thanked God for him finally giving me my mom. I prayed that one day I'd be able to sit beside my father too, talk to him about God and hug him. To one day have my father...

My mother wanted to give God her all, she apologized for everything that happened. She didn't let evil happen in her house anymore. Finally the flower held in my father's hand bloomed. The butterfly was let free, oh was she beautiful. Then sadly, my mother went back to her old ways. My poor heart can't take it anymore, not now at least. I pray and wish them well, but the last confrontation I had was about suspected sexual abuse that my mother ignored. I told her I feel like I lost my mother again, she didn't care. I warned her that she has to follow God, not my dad. I told her that I had a vision of her being a beautiful butterfly/flower, but now she's being enclosed again. Suddenly words came to my mouth. "That's all you get. You're investing in dad and money, and that's all you get. You won't get us girls, where your treasure is there also your heart is".

Maybe I was wrong in that, but I felt better after that. Our relationship isn't good and I honestly feel like I can't try anymore. If I try again, my heart will shatter. I pray for them and I pray for me on this subject. Once I finish college I'm going to try again, but for now I just feel like I can't.

God has done many miracles, but these two are very precious to me. I believe with every fiber of my being that there will be more. My God is good and I know He will do the impossible. I believe one day my parents will be my parents, but even if they don't, I'll always love them. I'll always hope and pray for them. Best of all, I'll always have my Abba. What a great God He is!
 
Active
God has done many miracles in my life. I used to feel like it was the world vs. me. I wanted to help people, but without purpose. One of my earliest memories was crying after hearing my sisters say that I was awful and out of control, my mother agreeing. I remember looking in the mirror saying "I don't like pain, it hurts". Wiping away my tears and from that day, I decided I didn't want to cause anyone pain. I've had that in my heart for awhile, but I was very selfish. I didn't understand true love.

I try to notice the unnoticeable. My heart breaks for so many people, I can't help but love them... after all, I love because he first loved me. One of my first powerful encounters with God was when I was praying to God that I wanted a heart after him. There wasn't anything new about this day or prayer, I had prayed it before. I know that Christians in persecuted countries seem to thirst more for God. I wondered how many of us get annoyed at our pastor for going five minutes late because we want to eat lunch, while some people will travel days and stand on their feet for days, just to hear about God. Not eating or resting because their hearts desire God. I prayed to God about this because I knew I was no better "would I do that God?". I lamented that I wanted to be a woman after his own heart and follow him with everything I had. I noticed a lady with parkinson's that couldn't take communion. I was about to help her when someone else did. I prayed for her though. She was crying and went to leave and something happened in my heart. I felt like I needed to go to her. "Me?" I've always been shy, I've never had a way with words. "What would I say?" "God do you really want me to go?" Again, my legs just started walking. I started to think "are you sure Go-..." but then tears started streaming down my face. I continued to walk. I immediately spotted her outside the service area and ran to hug her (really out of my comfort zone). Words just started pouring out, I was weeping and she was weeping. She kept saying "how did you know what I was thinking? You're replying to everything." I told her it wasn't me, that God is pouring out his love for her and it's filling me up. After awhile I went back to the service and my whole body was shaking. I wanted to be obedient to God, but I was afraid that I couldn't control my body. In my head I said "God, please continue if I'm wrong, I don't want to miss anything you have to give to me, but I'm afrai-..." and just then I felt a gentle spirit pass over me. My body didn't shake and the rest of the day God spoke to me. I felt like he told me that the reason why I was shaking was because his spirit let me feel a small sliver his love and my body couldn't even take it. Verses flooded to my head, at that moment I felt that if terrorists came to shoot me, not one bullet would hit me. I thought of the verse about moving mountains, and for the first time, it seemed very real.

I treasure this moment with God and sometimes I have moments of bad self-esteem. I always remind myself that I can't even fathom his love. I've struggled so much with feeling worthless, mainly because I was told that by words and actions. The last time my mother said something like that I wanted to get a shirt (my parents didn't buy us clothes really). I was upset and couldn't help but lash out. "I'm not even worth $10 to you!" And my mom told me that I wasn't.

I have felt confidence from God and always felt it, but college sort of hit me hard. I still know who I am in Jesus, but I'm running to Him. I need Him each day. He is no longer calling me to be a baby, but a woman in faith.

Other miracle:
My parents have broken my heart so many times. I have prayed for them, I have pleaded with my mother that we go to therapy, for a relationship...so many times. I felt so exhausted and done, I cried to my mother that she didn't even care that I was crying. I told her that I don't feel loved by her and that she didn't even care. She didn't want to change, she said she didn't want me to feel that way, but it's not her fault.

I stopped trying with my parents because it hurt so much. Then something happened, my mother had a tumor in her brain and fell down a flight of stairs. She looked like she had fell right into a pointy part of the bannister. At that moment, I found out how my family and I reacted in times of turmoil. My father cried her name, my sister screamed "mommy!" (which breaks my heart because she also has issues with my mom) and I cried out "Jesus!". The whole time I just kept crying out to God. For the first time I understood what the Bible meant when they said they tore their clothes. At one point I fell on my knees, crying out to Jesus and I wanted to tear them. I looked in my mother's eyes. They were open, but it looked empty, like there was no life. The ambulance arrived and my mother started screaming. "Is she a vegetable now?" "Will I never get to talk to my mother again?" "Can she no longer speak, and is in pain?" "Is she like a child and in pain, screaming out?". Horrible shrieks that no one should have to hear. My grandmother took us to the other room and I fell on my knees again, I've never cried like that before. I prayed God's promises, I begged him. My sister later told me that I was speaking out powerful things, but I don't remember. Supposedly my words made my grandma start balling. I just remember falling on my knees and crying out.

We arrived at the hospital. Everyone looked away, they didnt want to make eye contact. I'm a shy girl and a slight germaphobe, but I went on my knees at the hospital. I put my face to the ground and lifted my hands up. It's all I felt I could do, I wasn't worried about anything else. The doctor took us to a small room and said she would probably die. They left us with a priest. For the first time, my sister and I felt something nothing we had ever felt. My grandpa took us in his arms and we wept. I never knew how that felt. I realized that that was what God meant for men to be like. Later we drove to a bigger hospital where my mother was being transferred. I was singing a praise song. Suddenly I felt a peace come over me and I knew everything would be okay, even if she died. I felt joy and peace. I looked over at my sister who looked over at the same time. We both smiled. She told me she had just felt the same thing. I looked up at my father and pitied him. He was a mess. Crying and driving crazy. I told him what Julie and I just had felt, he disregarded it. When we got to the hospital my father was crying and telling us "YOU DONT KNOW HOW GOOD YOUR MOTHER WAS TO YOU". Obviously feeling bad himself, we held him as he cried and told him about God. He ignored it. My sister and I eventually left the room my dad and rest of the family were in. It felt dark. The second we left there wasn't a negative feeling. We talked, laughed and praised God. Then my uncle came out and said my Mom was okay, it was a benign tumor and they could remove it.

A wonderful thing happened, my mother was thankful and on fire for God. For the first time, I had a mother. One morning I drove her early to get her pills. A normal teenager may have had been annoyed to do this at 5-6 am in the summer, but I weeped in the car as she went inside. I thanked God for him finally giving me my mom. I prayed that one day I'd be able to sit beside my father too, talk to him about God and hug him. To one day have my father...

My mother wanted to give God her all, she apologized for everything that happened. She didn't let evil happen in her house anymore. Finally the flower held in my father's hand bloomed. The butterfly was let free, oh was she beautiful. Then sadly, my mother went back to her old ways. My poor heart can't take it anymore, not now at least. I pray and wish them well, but the last confrontation I had was about suspected sexual abuse that my mother ignored. I told her I feel like I lost my mother again, she didn't care. I warned her that she has to follow God, not my dad. I told her that I had a vision of her being a beautiful butterfly/flower, but now she's being enclosed again. Suddenly words came to my mouth. "That's all you get. You're investing in dad and money, and that's all you get. You won't get us girls, where your treasure is there also your heart is".

Maybe I was wrong in that, but I felt better after that. Our relationship isn't good and I honestly feel like I can't try anymore. If I try again, my heart will shatter. I pray for them and I pray for me on this subject. Once I finish college I'm going to try again, but for now I just feel like I can't.

God has done many miracles, but these two are very precious to me. I believe with every fiber of my being that there will be more. My God is good and I know He will do the impossible. I believe one day my parents will be my parents, but even if they don't, I'll always love them. I'll always hope and pray for them. Best of all, I'll always have my Abba. What a great God He is!
Isn’t it amazing of some of the life stories that true children of God have to share, of our loves ones of pain and tears that produces such richness of love yet not despair! Only in Jesus.
 
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