Maria’s Testimony

Have you ever seen the show Gospel Bill? As a child I loved this show. And one day when I was about 3 years old, Gospel Bill asked the audience if they wanted to accept Jesus into their hearts. I definitely did. I asked my mom to pray with me and that is when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I would even periodically look down my shirt to converse with Jesus. He was in my heart after all. If only I had taken that idea literally through all of my life.

As I got older I went to church and Bible study with my parents. They were the youth pastors at my church and I really had no choice. Not that I didn’t want to go, I did. I liked church and I really liked Bible study. And my best friend at school was a Christian so together we were probably the most annoying goody-two-shoes you could find. I did my quiet time as a teenager and even went on several leadership retreats with the church.

When I got to college I had total freedom. I had heard about a group on campus called Campus Crusade for Christ. This group went on mission trips to the beach and I immediately signed up. I also joined the worship team and was involved in a Bible study. I was able to make my faith my own and I truly did grow as a Christian. This should have been the time in my life when I was most built up spiritually, but unfortunately by the end of my college career I was so burned out on “Christian things” that I had no desire to really even go to church. I related this to my parents and had a long discussion with them about it. It was hard to talk about, but at the time I felt resentment towards God. This resentment coincided with my move to Los Angeles.

I can’t lie and say that I went off the rails and did wild and crazy things, but I can say that my heart was not right with God. As a person who grew up in the church and has never known life without my faith it is so very easy for me to put it on the backburner knowing I can come back to it whenever I may “need” to. This has been a struggle for me throughout my walk. I constantly take my salvation for granted. I’m not proud of this, but it’s the truth.

One of the biggest tests of my faith came when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and was so incredibly sick for my entire pregnancy that I often contemplated suicide. I was depressed and felt myself sinking into a dark hole. I felt a weight on my chest so heavy at times that I couldn’t breathe. My friends and family were extremely concerned and unbeknownst to me were having talks about my wellbeing. My husband even said that the light in my eyes had gone out. I was a walking shell of my former self. I knew that people were praying for me and I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t answer my cries. The funny thing is, the only comfort that came to me was reading about other people’s struggle. Particularly a book my mom recommended called When Life Comes Undone. I think I read the book in a day because I so needed to know that life can come unhinged and God is still there.

Thankfully I came out the other side with a healthy baby boy and a stronger faith. God really showed me that no matter what circumstances I may go through; in the end He is all I need. I still struggle everyday with reading my Bible and praying, but God is always faithful to lead me back to Him.

Because of my tests of faith I have become less attached to the things of this world and more hopeful for the promises of tomorrow. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean the walk in life is any easier.   None of us are getting out of this world alive. But if we believe in Jesus there is hope.

Maria H.

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