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I grew up in a Christian home and attended church since I was a baby in Toronto and I actually liked this church in my early years and I still remember hearing a lot of those great Bible stories like Noah, Moses, Samson, etc. I ended up moving and started attending a different church in another city. However, I wasn't a Christian but I thought I was one. When I was about 13, I still attended church but none of the stuff they ever talked about made sense to me. Usually, I'd just end up coming to church to socialize with people and only attended Bible Study since I never wanted to wake up early on Sundays to attend Youth service. I was way more drawn into the world and my behavior was very secular, obviously I wasn't saved. Sometimes, I'd just go to the church to play basketball while everyone else was in service cause I didn't know. The influence and temptations of the world pratically took control of my life and I went from a kind person to a person of pure hate. I heavily engaged in violence, profanity and alcohol throughout high school. I was also influenced by Hip Hop beginning in 1999 and halfway through grade 11, in the beginning of 2001, I left my church for the second time but this time, for good. From 2001-2003, I spent my time drinking and at times, I often felt alone and rejected from society because I thought no one liked me. It was so hard to express my emotions to people so I became very suicidal and I was living this obscure and antisocial life. Drawing and writing were like my two main components of relieving stress but I also rapped for five years and in my lyrics, I expressed myself best, a lot of my songs were depressing and conceptual. Drinking and smoking marijuana was also a big part of my life and often times, the only people I hung out with were people who drinked and smoked weed too. Whenever my parents told me to go to church, I just laughed at them and told them that church was nothing but for foolish people who had to go and rely on some God to control their lives because they couldn't think for themselves. I was arrogant and cocky and I thought I didn't need God, even if I was depressed. Sometimes when Christians would try to come over to my house, I'd get angry and threaten to rip up the Bible and my heart grew darker each day. I continued to live this way until December of 2003 when my dad had a stroke. I called for an ambulance and we rushed him to the hospital and during the time, I was a nervous wreck, I didn't know what was gonna happen. They said if I hadn't called any sooner, my dad would've died. I stayed with my dad in the hospital and stayed awake for 27 hours and when I went home, it just didn't feel right to leave my dad at the hospital. Both me and my mom stressed over this at home and I couldn't really sleep, often, I'd cry in bed. I then started praying to God to help my dad get better and my mom did the same. Days passed and soon, it was 2004 the new year. We missed Christmas cause my dad was still in the hospital but my mom's friend left us $100 and my friend who borrowed some money off of me like two months ago showed up to pay me back. Eventually, my dad was able to leave the hospital to come back home and when the doctors said that he was very fortunate to not have to go through surgery, I felt relieved.

When I was on the internet one day, my friend witnessed to me and showed me the ten commandments. When I went through them and found out that I was guilty of breaking them all, I felt hopeless. That's when he told me about Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and that's when I felt extremely thankful and confessed all of my sins that night. I accepted him as savior and Lord, put trust in him and repented from my sins and he opened my eyes from the darkness that had blinded me for so long with its sinful pleasures. Back three years ago when I was at church, I thought just believing in God is what made you a Christian but that wasn't the case. The reason I didn't know why Jesus died on that cross was because nobody told me why and even if they did, it didn't effect me because I didn't know what sin was.

Now, I'm a 1-year and 3-month Christian and I've shared my testimony with my old church, preached/witnessed to people and also preached once at my old church as well as taught classes during the summer and I thank the Lord every day for being so merciful, kind, patient, loving. I was a sinner who was saved by God's grace and to this day, when I think about it, I hate myself for being such a pain to God in the past, I really deserve Hell. I regret my past 21 years of my life living in the darkness. Now, I have this new heart and new desire to seek after God all the time and to see that the answers are there in the Bible, it really makes sense of what he's talking about. I quit drinking, and pretty much gave up all the stuff I did as an ignorant sinner and I feel sorry for angering God.

And to think that Jesus NEVER abandoned me is truly an amazing feeling. I thank God for giving me life, health and everything I have today but like Paul, "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" - Phillipians 3:8
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Thank you for sharing, It was an encouragement to me, my 23 old son was raised in the church and went to christian school until 8th grade. I believe he knew a little more than you growing up. He used to get dressed up and preach to his father and I. WHen he entered high school he had a very hard time, being picked on and not fitting in. By his senior year he had enough. He too went down that very same path. He decided to fight back, and that he did. He is not a little boy, 6ft.4in. tall and 210 lbs. But once he gave in to fighting it wouldn't stop. It gave him a sense of control over his life. Now at 23 he isn't fighting as much and he has made some changes in his life, but he is still not living for the Lord. Your testimony encouraged me that he will return to what God has called him to do. I know in time the drinking will stop. There are many hurting youth, you need to continue to share your testimony not only for the young people you meet, but to older people because you never know when you will minister to a parent like me who has been praying 6 years for her son to return to the Lord.

God bless you as you continue to grow in the Lord,

AlabasterBox :girl:

It was a blessing to read this again.

It is a wonderful testimony to the power of God's love!!!

I think you need to update that second to last paragraph though.
Heh, yeah...I sort of had this testimony still lying around on the other site, so I just decided to copy and paste it here.

I'm officially a 1-year Christian! Boom...and I've got my groove back.