And you shall overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of your testimony
I begin this testimony by saying that my new life began with God forgiving me because Jesus shed His blood for me and only through the shedding of His blood could my sins be forgiven. I have been changed, renewed and revived because I repented. Jesus saved me from myself…..many times.
It has taken me a long time to get to writing my testimony, which I thought might be my procrastination taking over again but it is much more than that. It has taken me this long to realize that my testimony is not about me at all, it’s about Him…..Jesus…. everything is about Him. My testimony is basically my surrender, the white flag if you will. I cannot do this life on my own, I never could, though that didn’t stop me from trying. Trying to succeed in this world, which I failed, trying to control the world around me…..another horrible failure. None of us have control over what happens to us in this world, really, and the sooner I learned that, the more peace I felt. We need to surrender our lives to Jesus and admit we can never make it on our own. This is what the dying to self really means. It is dying to your flesh, which controls you. We spend our whole lives trying to please our flesh, giving in to it’s appetites of every kind of addiction, which leads to sickness and death. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundant than anything we could ever attain for ourselves. And the best part is that the life that is more abundant is the one we have once we leave this flesh suit behind.
This world is not my home, that I know more clearly than anything I have ever known. This is the reason why I have never felt at home in my own skin. I only understood it as feeling self-conscious and insecure from as long as I can remember. I never felt like I fit in anywhere, though I have to say I really did not want to. I felt different from everybody, though you would never know it because I was a good actor, especially as I got older. As a child I was very shy. The only time I overcame my feeling of being shy and self-conscious was when I was around someone who was more introverted and shy than I was. This seemed to help me as I would try to make the other person feel at ease. This feeling never left me throughout my whole life but I learned how to hide it and as I got into teens and early adulthood, it got covered over with doing what everyone else was doing, partying, that was all life was about. I can’t tell you how many times I was dying inside but nobody knew it. I think a lot of people are like this but we all walk around pretending we are happy. There was always that feeling of being on the outside of life and looking in, especially as I got a bit older. I remember one time in my late twenties when it really hit me that I felt this way. I was in the break room at work in the ICU with a bunch of nurses and listening in to all the topics of conversations of weddings, families, children, vacations and all normal life stuff. I did not have that and somehow knew I never would and it was a very sad feeling. I think I felt like I didn’t deserve it at the same time as wanting it and not wanting it. It is very hard to explain but I never felt at peace or settled in my life. I was not happy and went out trying to pretend that I was with constant spending partying and feeding my flesh, which included feeding it with junk food and sugar, which only made me fat, sick and more depressed. This is not my testimony of talking about all the crap I got involved in and how I am not anymore, though there is that; it is about a peace in my heart that I didn’t even know was possible. The thing is, I never did get that successful life and things did not get easier for me after I found the truth in Jesus and was born again but I have peace in my spirit, which is just amazing after a lifetime of anxiety, self-consciousness and fear. As I was writing one night recently after praying, I heard the Spirit say to me that God never gave me the desires of my heart because if He had of, they would have been my focus and they would have kept me bound to this world. I never would have sought the truth of this world; the way, the truth and the life, who is our Saviour. Only after I surrendered to Jesus, did he begin to show me the truth about the world we live in. You don’t want to seek out the truth of who is really running this world without Jesus in your corner, it’s too much to take and you will never truly understand without His Holy Spirit showing you. Trust me, I also did this.
I was always a seeker, that is how I saw myself. Yes I went to church for a while as a kid as a lot of children do, forced by their parents who are trying to give them a foundation of faith, even if the parents did not go. That was my case as my mum was a non-practising Catholic and my dad was raised about the same as I was as a churchgoer to the United Church in his younger days. I think I must have asked Jesus into my heart at a young age, even though I don’t remember this because I always knew Jesus was who He said He was, even when I went completely off the rails into debauchery. Of course knowing who Jesus is and knowing Him are two completely different things. The Lord said to me in my writing; “I gave you wisdom in your early years. And even though I let you wander off the path for many years, I did not let you go. If you had not called out to me in anger, sadness, fear and frustration when you did, your life would have taken a very different course.”
Oh I had wandered off the path all right, I was a “seeker” and was “spiritual”. I had moved back to live in my parents apartment in my late twenties and even though I made decent money, I never had any. I was always spending on things for myself to make myself feel better, then going out drinking and trying to meet men, which I did, but they were always the wrong ones, drug addicts and alcoholics were my speciality. During this time I ended up getting very depressed and took about 3 months off work. I got into everything “new age” which I thought was the answer, after all Christianity seemed to be for simple people. Even though I believed in God, I thought Christians were incredibly deceived because all I saw were these horrible evangelists on tv that were raping people for their money and were all just bad actors. I could see through them and couldn’t understand how everybody else couldn’t. So, being so intelligent, I wanted to seek divine wisdom on my own and also had the help of a work mate who was a Reiki master who also dabbled in every tool of the occult, which I also adopted in my search for truth. I went to psychics, did the Reiki, used crystals, tarot cards, horoscopes, numerology, runes, spirit guides, meditation and read every book on high strangeness I could find. Well I found out quickly enough that if you play with the dark side you are going to get burned. Of course I didn’t know it was the dark side and thought it spiritual. My brother, who I didn’t even realize had recently found Jesus, told me to get away from all that trash. I even got myself an Ouiji board, which was the worst of the lot. I would use it by myself as I was home with depression, while drinking. One night, I put on some nice “spiritual” music, had candles and incense going and sat down and let the board speak to me. All of a sudden my CD player on it’s own, completely changed the CD to Tragically Hip – Little Bones and the board spelled out “that is better”. Yes, that freaked me out but it didn’t stop me. I continued on and not long after this night, I had some spirit speaking to me and telling me how he died, told me his name, where he lived, how he died (suicide) and then came the question to me that made my blood run cold. The board spelled out a question for me……..”will you kill someone for me”. I got so scared that I took that board then and there, snapped it in half and brought it down to the trash. I had opened doors to the demonic realm by doing this and even though I stopped, those doors were open and they are the ones that only Jesus can shut. I began to get attacked at night by incubus spirits, usually 2 or 3 of them that would hold me down. You are paralyzed but you know exactly what is going on. I won’t go too much into detail here but you can look these up on the internet, I know because I did. I realized I was not the only one being attacked by these demons at night. Around this time I had begun chatting to a fellow who lived in New Zealand as I was home and bored and had just bought a computer. It was my only social life at the time. Les was a good Christian and he began to tell me about Jesus and for the first time, I began to hear and it sounded very good to me. I told Les about the demon attacks and he told me to use the name of Jesus and they would leave me alone. So, the next time it happened, I think it was the same night, I was once again held down and touched by these horrible creatures, which is the worst thing you can possibly feel and it is very hard to explain what it feels like. Anyway, in the midst of this attack I tried to say Jesus and it took a long time for me to be able to get it out of my mouth, like I was trying to speak with a mouth full of marbles. I was finally able to say His name and guess what they did? They laughed at me. Then they continued to torment me. That was a real spiritual eye opener for me. They knew that I did not know Jesus at all and they seemed to have a legal right to be there, which of course they did. I also realized that this had been happening to me since I was a very young child, but I had forgotten until this time. I remembered being very young (around 5 to 7 years old) and I told my dad that I had nightmares of the “tickle man” because it was the only way I knew how to describe it. Think of worms climbing up your spine and this gives you an idea of what it feels like.
So, my story continues on here to say that I developed a great friendship, then romance with Les and we made the plans for me to go visit him in New Zealand for an extended time of 6 months. Everything fell into place really easily with finances and visas etc. so I now understand that God had his hand in this adventure. I will have to give the shorter version here as I don’t want this testimony of myself to be too long. This was the best time of my life and I experienced some real joy for the first time, loving everything about New Zealand and the people I met there. Les proposed to me on my visit and after saying yes!, I went back home to leave my old job and life behind, moving to New Zealand permanently, or so I thought. I enjoyed my life and went to church with Les, prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked Jesus into my heart. I think this is it for a lot of people who sit in the pews, that don’t realize that this is just the beginning of your walk with God. I changed for a time and really I could be whoever I wanted to be, even shortening my name to Jan from Janice. Me and Les were two very different people with me being a realist and him being a romantic. The reality was we were too different and even though each of us tried to be more like we thought we should be for the other person, in the end you have to be true to yourself. It seems I wasn’t born again but really didn’t understand what this meant anyway. When our relationship was looking like it was not going to make it into a marriage, I began to act out with my usual way of coping by drinking and partying and pretending everything was fine and I was happy. I was not. The depression began to creep back in and I finally had to face my reality, saying to Les, “I guess I should go home eh?” He said yes and I made plans to go home and back to my old life……..literally.
I couldn’t escape who I was and again felt like a massive failure so once again went back to old habits and ways of coping, leaving Jesus behind in New Zealand. I struggled as I started over and boy was it a struggle. It seemed like everyone else was happy with husbands, kids, homes, vacations and the like, but I was on the outside looking in once again and drinking to make myself happy. There were two horrible tragedies that also sandwiched my time in New Zealand that needs to be said here. As I was packing to move to New Zealand, my mother called me into the living room to see something on the tv. There was mugshot of a “Hamilton prostitute” on the screen, reporting that she had been murdered. My mom said “isn’t that your friend Maggie?” I sickly said “yes it is mum” She was my old school chum and best friend in high school who had gotten into drugs to the point that she had needed to prostitute in order to keep her habit going. It was the worst possible scenario to what could have happened to any one of us. She was beaten to death with a pool cue, cut up into pieces and put out with the trash. Horrifying. There was a book written about her murder called “Vanished” by Jon Wells and I will have to leave that there as it is too much to try and write here.
When I came back to Canada to live, I hung around my other best friend from school, Marnie, who was going through some difficult times of her own. We were there for each other at a rough time in both our lives, with me trying to get my life going again and Marnie starting over after getting a divorce and losing her home. Marnie committed suicide about 6 months after I came back from New Zealand. Again, horrifying, tragic and incredibly sad. It was inevitable that the my depression came back again.
It was all too much to deal with but I just kept going, because what else can you do? I could see the darkness when others around me could not. I truly believe that for those that have been down in the gutter and live in darkness are the ones that end up seeking the true light. It’s like Satan always overplays his hand, at least he did with me. What was meant to destroy me was what sent me running into the arms of Jesus. During this dark period of my life I could not get a break and many horrible things happened. I felt defeated and hopeless and angry and frustrated and cried out to God in defeat one night asking God to either “help me and show me He is real……or kill me” and I meant it. I think I had written about 3 suicide notes during this time but don’t think I could have ever carried out a plan. You see I knew there was something better for me and I had found it for a short time and wanted to again. Well this is where the miraculous transformation began because Jesus did help me. I felt very peaceful after this night and began to walk towards the light. My depression and anger left immediately and I also realized that after about a week I had not had a drink of wine when I saw the bottle still in the fridge. I thought I would have a glass but could not drink it, couldn’t choke it down and I was drinking pretty steadily before this. I joined the local Baptist church and did all the church things associated with that like choir, courses, plays and lifegroups etc. It was a decent time in my life but I still didn’t get that relationship with Jesus that I craved. I knew it was possible but I can tell you right now that the church cannot help you in that regard. I remember sitting at some luncheon after a choir “performance” amongst at least 100 other women and I felt completely alone and again I did not fit in. I asked to sit a a table and not one person talked to me, knew me or seemed to want to know me. It felt like high school all over again and I could feel that this was a clique that I was not going to be accepted into, nor did I want to. I was still a “seeker” but this time I was seeking God alone. This was 7 years ago and through this time I have grown in my faith and understanding of who God is, He is our Father! Although the church is a good place to start to begin to learn, it cannot sustain you and it is a religious system for the most part. Jesus came to have a relationship with us, not to create a religion. Do you know that there are over 40,000 different Christian organizations and denominations? They no longer teach people about sin and the need for repentance, which is the absolute key to all this! We cannot reach heaven, back to our Father, without repenting and asking for our sins to be covered by the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, who was pre-ordained to die for us, shedding his blood onto the mercy seat. Most churches are seeker-friendly and place the seeker at the centre, rather than Jesus, who seems to be an accessory to their lives. They make people feel comfortable and supported and part of the community in exchange for their donations or “tithes” which keep the church system going and pay the bills. I am sorry if I sound bitter here, I am not but this is my testimony of Jesus and the church system has failed Him. They are not bad but I truly feel they do not show people how to reach the Kingdom of God. They want people to come to their church but are not leading them to true saving grace found only in Jesus. I have tried to go to many different churches and denominations from Baptist to Pentecostal to Gospel, to Messianic (Hebrew Roots). But the more I grew in the knowledge of God, the farther I grew away from the church. I know none are perfect and I have finally found one I can now feel is really preparing the people for the times we are living in, the end times and the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is very rare.
The other major step in my new life as a born again believer in Jesus was when I received the Holy Spirit. Nobody taught about how to receive this because again, the churches do not preach this and it is so important. I got all my knowledge online through videos and learning from Torben from The Last Reformation movie and teachings. www.thelastreformationmovie.com
I personally thought I had repented from all my sin but I had a major breakthrough after watching a Win Worley video who is an old time preacher who has since passed away. He had a deliverance ministry and led people through repentance and the casting out of demons. As I was praying along with him, I all of a sudden started speaking another language. I did not try to do this and it was just amazing because I could feel the emotion of what I was saying in this other language. Now when I pray, I can pray in the Spirit directly to God who knows our hearts, because sometimes we either don’t know what to pray for or don’t have the words. It is your own special language to the Father. This is all real, God is real, Jesus is real and lives and the Holy Spirit is real.
My whole life, where I didn’t fit in, and all my struggles and striving to survive have led me to such a quality of belief now that is beyond amazing. I cling to Jesus, He knows what we are dealing with and this is why He is so merciful! He loves us!. He has walked in our steps and more and has suffered all this world could ever throw at you. The fact that I am still alive and He feeds me daily shows He loves me. I am still learning and now I know I do fit in, I am part of God’s family! Our souls are forged through suffering and I would never have learned about God or ever sought after Him if I had been given all those things that I saw that everyone else had that I did not – that “normal life”. I was kept, not rejected. If I had of succeeded according to this world, I would have been lost eternally, I know that. And the Lord God said no, I am going to keep you, and those He keeps – He separates from this world. It was never me, it was always Jesus. He sets us apart from this world and the words set-apart literally means holy. This is why I never fit it and why I didn’t want to. All my mistakes have been used for my benefit because they have become my testimony. Jesus was there the entire time, even when I ignored Him. He is there for you too, waiting. He is a gentleman and will not force His way in. He knocks and you open the door. Cry out to Him in humility and repentance , He loves you and wants to fellowship with you. This world as it is now is passing away, not generations away – this generation shall not pass before all that has been prophesied will take place.
I had to be exposed to all the darkness of this world, things of the flesh, or I would not have let them go. I surrendered my life finally. He kept me, He grew me and I was not lost.
Thank you Jesus, I love you.