Dear Friend, Giving up changed my life.

(Last Updated On: June 7, 2016)

Dear Friend, this is my testimony about how I took a failing marriage, bitter heart, broken body and gave up,

. . . but giving up changed my life. And I really want you to give up, too.

I’ve been trying for weeks to find the words to share my faith, but I don’t know how to begin. I’m scared I’ll say the wrong thing and push you away from hearing more or accepting Christ.

I wish we could sit together, curled around cups of coffee, lean into each other and talk, but right now that isn’t possible, and I don’t want to wait any longer. None of us have a tomorrow guarantee.

I don’t want another person I love to leave this life without knowing my savior. Losing you for eternity scares me sick to my stomach.

Dear Friend, I don't know where to start, but I want to share how giving up changed my life! Click To Tweet

So I’m humbly asking for a few minutes to bear with my clumsy struggle to find perfect words that speak my heart. Please overlook my painful shortcomings that cloud your ability to see Christ in me and hear my love for Jesus and you.

And because I love you, I want to share part of my testimony, how I came to realize I wasn’t strong enough alone, and how strong I’ve become from admitting my weakness.

Romans 1:16 ESV  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,

I’m still such a work in progress, but I hope to point you in His direction and walk with you.

My testimony is that my real brokenness and healing is more powerful than my pretense of perfection ever was.

While raised in a Christian household, my journey really started only a few years ago, when I realized my astounding powerlessness even over myself. Faced with rock bottom, I was desperate.

Trying to be a pretty good person without Christ, led me to the nuclear disaster another marriage had become. When I kept being a controlling nag and unmitigated perfectionist, making the same mistakes over and over, I realized no human being could save me, not myself, not other ‘pretty good’ people, only God through His son, Jesus.

Jesus Christ was flesh and God. He lived a painful, fragile existence but without sinning, and took the torturous death I deserved, so I could have the hope of an eternity in God’s presence.

My real brokenness and healing is more powerful than my pretense of perfection ever was. Click To Tweet

You see, God built into every human being an ache within us to know Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV  “. . . Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, “

For me, that need to seek God manifests as a gaping emptiness, a feeling of never belonging nor being truly loved.

I tried filling that emptiness with books, food, diets, friends, exercise, cigarettes, boys, drinking, marriages, children. Anything to distract me from the painful, empty void.

They were all temporary fixes for an eternal need.

Always the hunger pangs for more of . . . something would return. I would think, ‘well, that wasn’t what I really needed’ and race towards the next fix.

When I find my soul mate, I will feel complete.

Well, yeah, then the honeymoon ended. Turns out even your soul mate doesn’t love you perfectly from the inside out everyday.

And the hole in my pretend wholeness reappeared.

When I’m a mom, that will be it.

Even the one longing I clutched for decades, raising a baby, wasn’t the answer. I realize now, my role in her life is temporary in many ways. I need an eternal identity that will never fade.

When I realized everything is temporary, I needed an eternal identity. Click To Tweet

I’ve wanted to die. I’ve hidden from the world, hoarding all the hurts from my struggles with my weight, illnesses and injuries, vanity, and rejection, violence. Nothing ever truly satisfied the deep ache in my heart that I was not enough.

Until God said, you don’t need to be enough for anyone else, you are Mine; that is enough.

And His love began to fill my broken places.

Isaiah 43:1 ESV  But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, . . . “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

When I struggle, this verse sings peace to my soul. I belong to Him, the Creator of the universe. You do too, and can hold fast to that precious claim the second you give up trying to do life alone and ask for Him.

He lovingly formed me for His purpose. I don’t always understand the purpose I could have, but I’m astounded by the ways my challenges bring opportunities to share Christ.

Last week, I spent 4+ hours in the ER with my stupid infected toe again! It was excruciating. As I read my Bible study and prayed, I saw the surprised look on the medic’s face as I laughed through (or after) difficult injections, joked with him, and truly thanked him for his care.

Perhaps my attitude was a witness, reaching into his empty place and offering hope that there is more than this world offers.

I know not one of the painful parts of my life has been wasted once I surrendered my life to God’s will.

Despite accepting Christ at 6, I didn’t really believe I needed saving until I had destroyed my life so badly that I just knew God couldn’t possibly want me.

Three marriages – I’m still struggling with the shame of how I failed in my prior marriages. I wasted years running in every direction except towards Him.

But God has a fantastic history of using people long after the world deemed them useless: Moses, Sarah, Hannah, Paul.

Then, I thought I had to clean up my life before I could come home to Him. Every morning, I’d wake determined to live better, be less angry, be more calm, have more joy and peace. And I’d do really great . . . until my feet hit the floor, and it would all implode.

I was trying to live God’s peace without knowing Him. Silly rabbit!

Mark 2:17 ESV  And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Trying desperately to be good enough for God, finally so broken by life I couldn’t go forward, I cried out “Lord, I’m here, waiting for you!”

Romans 10:13 ESV  For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

A light turned on in my heart. I understood all the times I’d heard God calling me, thinking He was condemning my sins, He’d been whispering, “just come as you are, Jesus already paid it all.”

Before, religious sentiments would guilt me; I’d get angry. But if God wasn’t real, why did joyful Christians make me so angry?

Because I was convicted that I’d been living a lie, hiding from what I knew was true. God put people in my path to redirect my steps as part of His love letter.

Dear Friend, Giving up changed my life and I want you to give up too! I want to share my testimony about how following Jesus Christ has changed everything.

Romans 8:1-4 ESV  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

I wish I could accurately describe the sweet freedom of repentance. Repent literally translated means to lament my sins and change. And when I surrendered, God changed my mind, my heart, my marriage, my parenting, my relationships and continues to change me daily.

I have so many stories I could add to my testimony, so many sweet verses I could share, this letter could go on and on, but this song says it all so beautifully.

But what I want you to know is that Jesus paid our price so we can live in freedom. Once we accept His Grace, God sees us through the lens of that sacrifice. We are made pure even though we cannot be wholly without sin while we live.

You probably have lots of questions, verses you’ve heard taken out of context, or ideas about what it means to be a Christian, but lay all that down for a second.

If you’re hearing God whisper in your heart, “Come as you are,” then come.

I do not believe there is one specific prayer all believer’s must pray, but all believers must pray and accept Christ. Here is my tiny example:

Dear Lord,  I recognize I’m a sinner and humbly ask forgiveness for my sins. I accept Jesus died as a sacrifice for my sins, and I want to give you the rest of my life. Please change and guide me, drawing me closer to you daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Pray and listen, then let Christ work in your heart.

2 Timothy 2:21 ESV Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

When I thought I was too ruined for God, too dirty and shameful, I found this verse. I cried imagining God cleaning me like a treasured vase.

God loves you deeper than any love you’ve ever known. If you hear His voice or feel a tug on your heart, He has laid claim on you and wants to call you His.

If you’ve read this far, maybe a piece of you wants to be loved this entirely, to feel His presence in your everyday. I’m here to talk if you’re ready.

If you’ve made the decision to follow Christ today, I really want you to find a local church and fellowship with strong believers. Spending time with them and in God’s word is crucial. I love the YouVersion App because I can change translastions of the Bible with the touch of a button and can follow a reading plan, like the First Steps Reading Plan.

If any of my testimony has resonated with you, whether or not you made a decision today, pick up one of these books written by atheists who became convinced of Christ. They’ll answer questions and help you on your journey.

No matter where you are, no matter who you’ve been, the invitation is always open. He’s calling you in. Come broken-hearted, let healing begin.

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19 Replies to “Dear Friend, Giving up changed my life.”

  1. Wow, just wow. What a wonderfully heartfelt, honest and inspirational post. That must not have been easy to write and yet, I believe, its just the thing you should write. I think there are many of us that were broken and felt like life was over, that we were useless to the world. Only to find faith in our darkest hour which restored us to sanity. What a gift to be able to share with others that are struggling. No longer standing on a pedestal in order to help others below us but standing beside them and saying, “I was where you were too and was still accepted by God who gave me strength and saved me from me.” I imagine you’ll help many people with this post and the work that you’re doing. Great job!
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  2. Yes, I love how God uses our most painful places. Our experiences are never wasted. Often He uses them to help others — allowing us to help others and draw others to Him. As I read this I was overwhelmed with the love and acceptance of God. In spite of all my failures, I’m His child and He doesn’t remember my failures — or yours!

  3. This story is very touching. I love hearing testimonies on how God has changed peoples life. I’m also living proof of God’s mercy and grace transforming my soul. I really hope this touches the life of your friend.

  4. Loved reading your personal testimony! As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I completely understand having that pretense of perfection and not allowing the Holy Spirit to transform me. My nature is to keep doing, instead of just being. I’m still learning, even after being a Christian for 18 years, that I can’t do anything in my own strength and that God is more than enough for me.

  5. Your testimony is really powerful. I think that we have this lie embedded in our brain that we have to maintain some level of perfection, which we will never attain. Something that you said really stood out to me, and I think that I could really benefit from slapping it on a note card and pinning in on my mirror… “When I realized everything is temporary, I needed an eternal identity.”

    That phrase speaks MAGNITUDES.

    Thank you for taking the time to write out your thoughts so beautifully. Have a great evening!

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