Emily's testimony << 2015 Salvation Celebration >>

 Ransomed By Mercy

 The question “what is your testimony, or, how did you become born-again,” seems as though it would be an easy one to answer, but it is actually a rather difficult one for me.

The main reason being that in my memory, there has not been an exact defining point in my life where I felt as though I became born-again.  Being a pastor's daughter, I have always been raised around the church, and other believers, so I first gave my heart to the Lord as a small child. Through the years, as I became older and more completely began to understand the workings of the Lord in our lives, I was “up and down,” choosing to be a “Christian” one day, and then becoming discouraged and following my own heart the next. And, sad to say, I at some point completely stopped following the way of the cross. I had a very rebellious heart in my pre-teen and beginning teen years, and I had strayed from following my Heavenly Father in many different and subtle ways, allowing the lies and ideas of the enemy to fill my heart, soul, and mind. It was not until roughly 4 years ago, that my willful ways began to break, and God could really begin guiding me back to Himself. In May of 2011, my Grandfather passed away. That was the first time I had ever dealt with losing “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
someone close to me, and for awhile the grief felt as though it was more than I could bear. Looking back now, I can see how amazing and wondrous it was that through that time my Heavenly Father used the grief I was feeling to bring me back to Him. Although I still feel a deep sadness at the loss of my Grandfather, who was dear to me, I would never want to go back to those days, when the hurt was especially fresh and raw. However, I am very grateful for the lessons God taught me through that time in my life, and wonder to this day where I might be if God had not used something so drastic in my life for good! Travel with me back to a time in my life, in May 2011...After a particularly hard night, I suddenly felt a deep need to find what I can only describe as “something more.” I spontaneously picked up my dusty, rarely-used Bible, and soon found myself on my knees, crying and praying for hours. As the tears fell, it was as though I could feel and picture the tangible presence of God. It was as though He was taking me in His arms and comforting me. To this day, I have never felt the presence of God in such a real and drastic way as I did that night. As God continued to guide me through that time in my life, I determined that I was going to do the right thing and serve Him, no matter what the cost would be! God brought me to a point where I was tired of living with a restless heart, without peace or joy, and I knew that I could no longer make it without Him. Through that season of breaking me, YHWH helped me to realize my need of Him. And since then, God has constantly been drawing me nearer to Him. It may have been more of a "process" for me than it is for some, but I am thankful for the peace and hope I can now say that I have found in a relationship with my Creator. I am constantly learning how to better serve my Redeemer, so I am thankful He is very willing to guide and direct us if we are willing to listen and obey! I could never make it even a day without His mercy and grace. Although the pathway is often not easy, and I so often slip and falter, He is so faithful to hold on to us, as long as we determine to never let go of Him! I pray that His grace will become so very real to you, no matter who you are, or what point of life you are at!

In conclusion, I would like to thank my dear friend Alisha for allowing me the opportunity to share!!

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