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Dear Friend, My testimony – giving up changed everything.

Dear Friend, My testimony is that giving up changed everything in my life and I want you to give up too! Total surrender was my victory.(Last Updated On: November 15, 2017)

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.

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I’ve been trying for weeks to find the words to share my testimony and faith, but honestly, I’m scared I’ll say the wrong thing and push you away from hearing more about 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.

Curl up around a cup of coffee and fellowship.

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

Let me borrow five minutes to share my testimony.

So I’m humbly asking you to bear with my clumsy struggle to find words that speak my heart. Please overlook my shortcomings, and try to see Christ in me.

Because I love you, I want to share 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,

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

While raised in a Christian household,  sins and hurts had turned me away from God. I followed my own ideas of being a good person until 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.

Being a pretty good person wasn’t enough.

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

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 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.

Temporary fixes never satisfy an eternal need.

Always the hunger pangs for more would return, and I would race towards the next fix.

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

Well, then the honeymoon ended. Even my husband couldn’t satisfy the need for perfect love, though he tries every day.

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. 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, hiding 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.

I needed an eternal identity.

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 what purpose I could have, but I’m astounded by the ways my challenges bring opportunities to share Christ.

Through all my many trips to the emergency room or waiting room or hospitals, I have seen God use those times & give me opportunities to witness. I’ve shared my testimony with nurses, doctors, physical therapists.

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 six, I didn’t really believe I was so bad I needed saving until I realized my choices and sin had destroyed my life. Then, I just knew God couldn’t possibly want me.

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.”

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.

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!

Desperately trying to be good enough for God, but finally so broken by life, I cried, “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. All the times I’d heard God calling me, feeling condemned, He’d been whispering, “just come as you are, Jesus paid it all.”

What took me so long?

Before, I would get angry at religious sentiments. I had decided God wasn’t real. I was just going to live my life. So why did joyful Christians make me so angry?

Deep inside, I felt convicted that I’d been living a lie, hiding from the truth. Thankfully, God put people in my path to redirect my steps as part of calling me home.

Dear Friend, My testimony is that giving up changed everything in my life and I want you to give up too! Total surrender was my victory.

Repentance changes everything.

Repent literally translated means to grieve my sins and change. I wish I could accurately describe the sweet freedom of repentance. Admitting my sins and failures sounds hard and embarrassing, but the GRACE that washed over me still brings tears to my eyes.

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.

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.

Still unsure?

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 accept Christ and prayer is how we speak to Him.

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.

You cannot be too bad for God to heal.

When I thought I was too ruined for God, too dirty and shameful, I found this verse. Imagining God cleaning my heart like a treasured vase, I sobbed joyful tears.

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.

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.

37 thoughts on “Dear Friend, My testimony – giving up changed everything.

  1. What a great and inspiring testimony! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you! I hope sharing it makes a difference for someone else.

  2. It’s really brave of you to share your testimony like this! I know God is going to use both you and your testimony for incredible things!

    1. I hope He does.

  3. What an amazing testimony! It’s so true there is nothing that will fill the hole that only our Lord and Savior can fit into. For many of us, it takes our worlds shattering and finally letting go of our perceived control to allow the Lord to have full control!

  4. Jen,
    I read your testimony and tears came flooding from my soul. What a beautiful transformation of your sweet soul. I’m a believer that God doesn’t waste a thing and uses every part of our story to bring glory to Himself. His glory exudes through your testimony!

    1. Thank you for such kind words. I needed that encouragement!

  5. I love Isaiah 43; it has also made me feel accepted and complete in Christ. Beautiful testimony!

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it’s so common for us to try to get love from others when we’re not receiving what we need from the Lord. I’m sorry for all the pain you’ve had and know your story will continue to help so many.

    1. I hope so. I know that God uses everything for His glory and our benefit when we trust Him.

  7. God loves us so much that He wants all of us – and He wants to have fellowship with us!

    1. Yes, He wants us all.

  8. Such a beautiful story of love and grace.

    1. I love how He loves me.

  9. Sometimes we have to be brought to our knees in order for God to raise us up. Ironic but true.

  10. 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!

    1. I always felt I didn’t have an amazing testimony. I wish I had stayed faithful to God but glad He can uses my prodigal days to reach others.

  11. 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.

  12. This is beautiful! Very well-written, and I love hearing the story of your journey to Christ.

  13. Beautiful, heartfelt post. Your friend is blessed to have you by her side 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  14. Awesome testimony – if we would only ALL submit our entire lives to Him! 🙂

  15. Well written and you are saying what many of us have on our minds.

  16. 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.

    1. She accepted Christ while I was finishing writing it. God was already at work! But she loved it.

  17. 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!

  18. Wow powerful testimony. Thank you for being so bold and real about your walk. Also I like the video touch as well.

    1. I couldn’t get the song out of my head while I wrote it. I figured I’d better share it too.

  19. 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!

    1. I only hope it speaks well of the love and freedom and hope of Christ. It is a miracle beyond believing.

  20. Love the testimony you’re giving to the world!

    1. Thank you. I hope it came across with all the love and pray I poured into it.

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