Life.... The Tests and Testimonies.
We have all been tested in life and many of us have the scars to show it. Most of us do not like being tested, but there is “No Testimony without a Test.” I use to complain during my testing period and afterward conceal my testimony. I concealed it out of guilt, shame and because "Telling Your Business" is frowned upon.
God has challenged me to praise Him instead of complaining during the storms of life. I have learned that sharing one's testimony is personally therapeutic as well as uplifting for others. The testimonies shared here are to strengthen us in our moments of weakness, inspire us in our seasons of doubt, and remind us of who and whose we are in a world that sometimes obscures our self-image.
Born To Inspire
Born To Inspire
Ingrid, Journey Through Healing
When you’ve been abused — emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually as a child, and then left to deal with the scars on your own, the healing process seems impossible. From the beginning, my life was a lie. I was the product of an affair (my father was married to another woman). I was the only girl of seven children and was raised by my mother. My mother traveled a lot because of the restaurant businesses she owned in St. Lucia. Her being away from home so often made my ordeal even more unbearable as a child.
I don’t recall exactly when it started but from eight to twelve years old I was sexually abused by family members. My abusers said “no one would believe me if I told.” I lived with that lie and the ongoing abuse for many years. My mother even accused me of having "boyfriends,” but I had none. I scared to tell her the truth about the incest. The sexually abuse finally ended when I moved away to live with my father.
I felt out of place even in a new home. People looked at me as an angry, withdrawn or unruly child. I told no one my secret. No one could see the scars I was trying to hide each day. I was not loved at home and couldn’t imagine how strangers could love me when my family didn’t. I went searching for love in all the wrong places and kept hiding my pain and shame. It was not until my early twenties when I had a breakdown and almost lost my mind that I cried out to God for help.
I prayed to God earnestly and he brought people in my life that reinforced the importance of forgiveness. It took a long time and much prayer to get me to the point where I was ready to face and forgive my abusers. My first call was to my mother and I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders as I shared what happened to me as a young girl. One of my family members was with her at the time. He first denied everything and then claimed I was a happy participant (which made me sick to my stomach). I was determined to speak to all my abusers not to condemn them, but to let them know I forgave them.
Through Christ, I have forgiven those in my past who took away my innocence and kept me emotionally enslaved for decades. Members of the church (all denominations), leaders in our community and even our children are struggling to deal with emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually abuse. There is a common mis-conception that primarily women and girls are victims, but many men and young boys are being abused each day.
As I regained my self-worth, I continue to meet men, women, and young people who I am able to minister to through songs, poetry and My Now Ministries. Music continues to play a big role in my healing process. I happily share my talent and voice with the world (my latest CD: "Echoes" contains music that will refresh your soul). Because of my journey through healing, I now dedicate my life to uplifting those who have been down trotted and those with no voice.
I can say without a doubt that Prayer Saved My Life. It‘s only by the grace of God that the abused are restored to the point where there is no more pain from the past. I came to that place of restoration where God healed and redeemed me and my past completely. My healing was made possible because of God. If your story is similar to mine, your healing is possible through God.
Favorite scripture: But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Genesis 50:20, NKJV)
Prayer has led me to God. I draw closer to Him through scriptures and learning from stories of people in the Bible. Even though, I may not fully understand why He gave me this arm. I believe He did it because I have a job that only I can do in my lifetime.
When I was born, the doctor used a vacuum to pull me out of my mother's womb. He was so aggressive that he pulled several of my nerves out of my spine. This left me paralyzed in the right arm. The term for my disability is Brachial Plexus Palsy. Now, I can only feel about 45% of my right arm. I can barely lift my arm and doing daily activities (i.e. tying my shoelaces, buttoning my pants or shirts, taking a bath and trying to clean my left arm or the left side of my back, etc.) is challenging for me.
I cannot complain because overall my life has been a nice one. I don't want to use the word easy or hard because for everyone life can be easy and hard at different times. My life has been nice and all praise is to God, my family has supported me. The people I often interact with too has also been very caring. I can only remember once or twice in which I was bullied because of my arm. My reaction was to just shrug it off and ignore those people.
From a young age, I realized that my mother and family have always struggled to help me be all that I can be. They often look so exhausted from spending so much time helping me. They were so tired that sometimes they could not help themselves. This made me not want to feel like a burden to anyone.
I decided to do everything I could to help others and to obey others. Unfortunately, I became a blind follower. I also created a persona based on what other people want me to be rather than being my true self. When I could not keep up the charades any longer, things started falling apart. I felt like I was walking through a pitch black cave without anyone or anything to guide me. It took lots of praying to God and the love of my family to help me through it. I am slowly finding myself and accepting the accomplishments I have done in my life.
Last year, I was asked to participate in a commercial for a gaming program called Copilot. Copilot helps kids with a disability learn to play video games. I really enjoyed the experience. During the interview, I showed the directors and producers how I played and they were very impressed with my skills. I was also surprised that no one played as good as I did. I have been playing like that even as a young boy.
This experience made me realized that I had accomplished something that even people with two functioning arms struggled to do. I really enjoy playing video games and my favorite game is SlyCooper. The character in this game spoke to me. He had a snarky attitude and quick comebacks when he was in a bad situation. He and his friends were orphans, but they had each other. Just like God has all his children not matter if they are disabled, orphans, being bullied or just in a rough situation.
To kids who are disabled, I would say, it's ok to feel down sometimes. The most important thing is never to give up. We may fall more than others, but we have the strength like everyone else to get back up and be even stronger than we were the day before we fell. All we need to do is have faith and believe that we can be successful. I may be reaching my goals slower than my peers, but in ten years I see myself as a college graduate with my first published book and in a successful career in quality testing for video games.
I believe in myself and I live by this quote "life always offers you a second chance. Its called tomorrow." Tomorrow offers hope to those disabled and enabled so NEVER GIVE UP!
Oneil, Enabled for Greatness
The Bastiens, Destined For Love
When thinking about prayer, and how it saved our life on a personal level, the testimony is endless. We knew how much prayer could change our lives and the lives of others, but seeing it come to fruition in our relationship and beyond has been amazing.
Prayer came into play in a major way before we even met each other. Both of us were frustrated with dating, and losing hope that our right partners were out there in the world. We both prayed for God to bring each of us the right partner and spouse. It was tough at times to hold on to faith, but prayer helped keep peace and patience while we waited and trusted in the Lord. The power of prayer came through so strongly, because he brought us together, and kept us together. 4.5 years, and a marriage later we have experienced ups and downs with everything in between as a couple.
We have found through our love and partnership that life throws a lot of things at you. There are times when we are overwhelmed with busy schedules, travel, work stress, and a million other things. We have found that prayer is the pulse of our relationship and marriage. It brings calm and peace to both of us, and reminds up to keep the Lord at the center of our union. We are grateful for prayer, how it has seen us through the everyday happenings of life and kept us strong as husband and wife. Prayer is essential to life and essential to our family.