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Martie's Personal Testimony

 

 Martie's Story

http://vimeo.com/14862302

Looking back over my shoulder is not something I like to do. I have always been a future envisioning, tomorrow planning kind of person. However, looking back now, I realize that no matter what I may have planned, it didn't turn out the way I thought it would. The greatest thing about looking back now, is the joy and peace I sense from the knowledge that I have a certain future.  My future is not through anything that I have done, but through the power of salvation and the hope I find in Jesus Christ. 

 I am amazed as I consider how persistent His love is for me.  I am someone who rarely even thought about Him and when I did, it was usually in a distasteful joke or when I was at a desperate place and on my knees begging Him for something that I wanted to happen  - or not to happen.

 I lived outside of His plans for many years.  I didn't care what He thought or what He wanted for me.  I had it all together, (or so I thought).  

I had plans for my future but so did He!
Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord
 "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

 I began identifying myself as a lesbian around 24 years old.  Having been raised in a conservative home, it took me a long time to overcome the conservative thought that I was raised in. But once I was able to think and act outside the boundaries placed on me by the church and family, I abandoned all boundary lines.

 I lived for many years convinced that I was born to be a lesbian - that it was genetic and that I didn't have a choice in the matter.  I remember being attracted to women at an early age. Surely, I was created by the "God of Heaven" to be a lesbian. How could He condemn me to hell for that?

 As I look back now, I can see how quickly my life was becoming more reckless.  I began to drink and engage in sexual adventures to an extreme.  I thought life was one big party, a party for me - to cheer me up.  However, depression began to take over and the party lights became dim.  As I began to fail in my job, it ultimately led to unemployment.  I then began to drink more heavily and drank my way through one failed relationship after another.  Some were an emotional disaster, others were dreadfully violent. 

Nothing was working out in my life

 Around 36 years old, I was determined to take my own life.  I wasn't happy, I couldn't succeed at anything I did and desperately wanted out of this world.  I sat in my bathroom floor, armed with Bourbon, pills and razor blades and cried out to a God that I did not know to save me if he could.  I had grown so cold and desperate that anyone I called a friend had long rescinded their friendship and I was alone with no one to whom I could turn.  I cried out to this God to show me one person who cared if I lived or died and bargained with Him that if He could bring anyone to mind who actually still cared, then I wouldn't go through with my plans.  

God is Faithful

 As I filled my mouth will pills, He reminded me of a church camp counselor.  A kind and gentle lady that I had admired as a child; someone who said to me more than once that she would pray for me until I gave my life to the Lord, and she would always love me.  God said to me and it was as if I truly heard his audible voice,

"Beverly loves you and she's still praying for you"  

 

Beverly

A strange peace came over me and I removed the pills from my mouth and fell into a deep sleep. I awoke with a hope and a restored faith in living. I hung on to that memory of Beverly. I regained my will to live, simply based on the thought that one person cared and I picked up where I left off and began the same game over again.  Drinking ,reckless relationships and failed jobs.  But something was different this time.  That presence that was with me that night, I began to realize was God.  He never left me alone after that.  He was there by my side every day. He would speak to me in that same gentle voice.  He became more and more insistent that he had great and wonderful plans for me and he wanted me to live for him for the rest of my life. That He wanted to bless my life.

 I shrugged Him off for the next few years.....

 But one day I felt His presence so strong.  I felt as if a cloud had formed around me. It isolated my thoughts and suspended me in His peaceful presence. It was that same peace I knew before.  In my heart, I knew that it was time to make a decision.  He impressed on my thinking that he had pursued me for so long and I had denied him so many times.  He let me know that if I didn't want to change my lifestyle that the choice was mine. I had free will to accept or reject Him, He would not force my decision. But he couldn't bless me as long as I rejected Him.  Fear gripped my heart and

            I began to bargain with the God who rules the universe.

 I had been in a monogomous relationship for 5 years and I told him that I loved this woman whom I lived with. You see, looking back now, I thought I had arrived.  I finally had a relationship that was successful.  Yes, there were still some relational problems and I was still addicted to alcohol, but I was drinking less - and we were living successfully as a couple.  We bought a house, went to church occasionally and tried to act like we loved one another.  Although still far from perfect, this relationship was the best I had ever known.  Now this "presence of God" was asking me to give it all up for Him?  And to do what?  All I had ever heard from Him was that he "had great and wonderful plans for me and he wanted me to change". But eventually that became my focus.  What if there was something better out there?  What if, a better way of living existed.  What if there was a question of eternity that I was ignoring?

 Several days went by.  I knew I could no longer reject Him.  I told Him that if He could show me a way to end this relationship without hurting this woman that I loved and if He could cause the end of our relationship quickly without any hurt or pain that normally is associated with the ending of relationships -  then I would give my life to Him. I wanted Him to show me that He was real but I didn't believe it would happen and went on my way without another thought of what I had agreed to. 

 A few weeks later and I had forgotten all about the bargaining.  I was starting to feel normal again, it seemed that His presence dissipated but soon

 ...my life drastically changed.

 My partner without warning and without reason, packed her bags and moved out in the span of an afternoon.  When I asked her about her reasons, she had none.  Her only quiet comment was " I don't know why, I just feel that this is what I should do."  I remembered my prayers and the bargain I'd made with God and such peace and assurance came over me.  I let her go without argument and my heart wasn't heavy nor was I upset.  
I knew what was happening.....


You didn't choose me, I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 
John 15:16 (NLT) 

The next day, I opened my heart to Him and confessed that I had sinned against Him by living in direct opposition to the person He had created me to be. My heart was filled with joy and peace.  I didn't know why He wanted me or how to start over again.  But He assured me of his forgiveness and started me on a path of forgiving myself and others.  I had just come out of my old life into the new - in truth, I had just

 ...Come Out to God

 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
I John 1:9 (NLT)

 You see there were many reasons that I chose to live as a lesbian all those years.  I had been physically abused as a child by men in my life, maybe you were too.  I had been raised in an extremely religious home; maybe you were too. I was sexually molested as a child, were you?  I had to forgive all of the ones that caused me harm before I could begin to heal. It was the start of something new,  everything old had to go away.   

 I had no idea how all of the abuses in my life played into my decisions as an adult to live out my life in direct opposition to the plans that the Lord had for me.  But looking back - I now understand that all the deception came from a being that wanted me dead.  That being is alive and well and his name is Satan.  He almost succeeded in taking my life - but I am thankful to a God who is bigger, who is stronger, and who loves to see me live, enough to die for me. 

   His name is Jesus.

 

 
He is real and I know it is through His power that I live today.

I am now a new creature in Christ.

     Whatever we do, it is because Christ's love controls us.  Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live.  2 Corinthians 5:14 (NLT) 

What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons.  They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone.  A new life has begun!  2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

And be sure of this:  I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 
Matthew 28:20b (NLT)

 I realize that a lot of people who read this scoff at what I have written. 
I would have done the same before I knew Him.  I know that a lot of you don't believe that this can happen.  Neither did I. 

 The change that has happend to me,
 can happen to you! 

 You can overcome.  Not through anything in your own strength, but by letting Him be your strength for you. You must make up your mind that you want him to change you!  All I had to do was ask Him to change me and believe that He cared enough to respond. Once I came to the point that I wanted to live for Jesus, he made it easy.  He took away my desires for women and filled me with a greater desire to follow Him.  He took away my desire for alcohol.  Not because having an occasional drink is wrong, I can't judge anyone about that. But for me, it was death.  I can't have even one, so God had to remove the desire completely from me and He did.  I have been alcohol free for years.

 So much of my life is a distant memory of bad times gone by.  I hardly know myself in photos of the past.  It's hard for me to believe that Satan had such a grip on my life.  Jesus has made such a drastic change in me.  It's truly like I have been physically reborn.

   The joy that I have today is better than any feeling I have ever experienced.

 Look back over your shoulder.  Is anything I've said true about your life.  Give God a chance.  He has always been closer to you than you realize.  He loves you and is protecting you from an enemy that wants to kill you.  His desire is that you have life, and now he wants to walk with you and give you a fresh start on the jouney of the rest of your life.

Restore to me again the joy of your salvation
and make me willing to obey you.  Psalm 51:12 (NLT)

 If you believe that He can overcome for you just as He did for me  - and you want Him to do that in your life  - pray this prayer right now. 

 Jesus,

 I confess that I have not lived my life according to your plans for me. I have done things that are wrong for my life. I'm sorry.  Right now I don't know what my future holds, but I do know that I don't want to live another day without you in it.  Please forgive my sins, change me into the person you created me to be and guide me to live according to your plans for my life. 
I make you Lord and Savior of my life

In Jesus' Name, Amen

If the Son has set you free 
You are FREE INDEED!
John 8:36


 If you prayed this prayer and really meant it, then you are set free through the power of Jesus Christ.  You no longer have to struggle with your sexual identity.  Jesus is your strength and will help you daily walk free from same sex attraction. 

The steps  below are to help you stay strong
and grounded  in your new Christian identity.
   

Step 1  
Tell someone you trust about your decision to follow Christ.

Step 2
Find a good Christian Church close to your home. 
Go there as much as possible and meet other Christians. 
Get involved in a class or a group and learn about Jesus.

Step 3
Read something from the Bible every day. 
If you don't yet have a Bible, click here to read from God's word.
Bible

 Step 4
Talk to Jesus everyday.  Talk to Him as if He were sitting next to you.  He doesn't require any special language.  Just an honest and open heart.  Tell Him how you feel, what you care about and what you're thankful for.  Just  talk to Him like a friend because that is what He is.

Step 5
Find a Pastor, a good Christian friend or a Christian counselor to encourage you.  

Step 6
When you feel discouraged, call the person in step 5

It's only through the power of Jesus' death on the cross that you can be saved.
Nothing you do saves you!


 

Living Beyond Deception
A Story of Victory, the Promise of Hope

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