Joanna's Journal

Mark 16:15

My Testimony

My Testimony

Growing up I always wanted to be close to God. I remember having a friend in elementary school talking about different missions her family did, I was amazed, I wanted to do those kinds of things too and make a difference.

I enjoyed reading bible stories as a child, but they were only that, stories. I had been told that Jesus died for my sins. But I didn’t fully understand what sin was or why Jesus had to die for me.

As a child, I had trouble falling asleep, I often would lay in bed for hours, scared, wondering if I would go to hell if I died in my sleep, this continued into my early teen years.

In 2007 I went to a weekend Bible camp called Spring Blast. There, I remember laying in my bunk, praying to God and asking Him into my heart, since that is what my friends said I needed to do in order not to go to hell.

As I got older I started to rebel.

In January of 2010 my parents decided we would attend Countryside Community Church. I was not happy with this change. I had always been taught that switching churches was wrong so I could not understand why my parents would decide to do this. I started feeling so confused about anything spiritual.

I started pulling back more and more, then falling into a deep depression. I had never felt more alone, satan tried to attack me so many times. I got so depressed all my thoughts were about commiting suicide. I thought people would be better off without me in their life. I remember one night, I was feeling so alone. I was ready to die. I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been God sending me a friend to talk me through that dark night.

I got really good at pretending to be happy, pretending my life was perfect. I liked going to Sunday school. My Sunday school teacher helped me be more open and taught me many things about the Bible and Jesus. I went to Sunday school on Sunday mornings but was in the partying scene the rest of the weekend. I got into the wrong crowd, knowing people had warned me to be cautious, I thought I would try to change them. Not realizing it would change me in the process. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, ‘Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.’

In the summer of 2013, I became closer to God and saw all the sin in my life that I needed to repent of. I did not know how to deal with any of it, not trusting God enough to give it all to Him.

In Jan 2014 I went to Steinriech Bible School. There, I got very close with God and He became my best friend, and I re-dedicated my life to the Lord. I got baptized when I came back home, at the Countryside Community Church, on April 13, 2014. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.’ Mark 16:16.

I got engaged that April as well, hoping that now, all my dreams would come true, I would finally have the life I had always wanted. It wasn’t. I was feeling lost and broken, not knowing what kind of plan God had for my life.

It wasn’t until after the break-up that I realized that I truly needed to focus on the Lord in order to overcome anything in my life. Also, realizing that no person can change another person, only God can do that. All we can do is encourage others and be a light for God.

Since then, life has not been easy. I still have battles and struggles. But I have made many new, christian friends, that keep encouraging me, as well as challenging me. I also started volunteering at a christian youth centre, and attending Sunday school and a few Bible studies throughout the week.

I know I need God each and every day and cannot go one single day without Him by my side. Through all of this I’ve learned that God is in control, and everything is going to work out if I fully trust Him and give every aspect of my life to Him.

A few of my favorite verses are, 1 Corinthians 10:13 ”There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” And 1 John 1:9 ”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

As of now, I am planning on going into the mission field, seeing if God will open any doors for me, if this is the path He wants me to take. Missions has always been something on my heart. I want God to use me to make a difference. I want to show people you don’t have to live in fear. Jesus died for you. He loves you.

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