My Testimony

A look at the spiritual journey I have experienced so far.

I was  practically born a Christian. I was raised in a wonderful Christian family that was very active in the church. I don't believe I ever didn't believe the is a God & his son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to redeem me from my sins. I always knew I was a sinner & Christ was my savior. 

When I was about 8 my grandfather & great-grandfather had past away & I started thinking a lot about death & having nightmares. About the same time, a woman in our church gave her testimony. There was nothing earth-shattering or monumental about her testimony. She was just like me. She had been raised in the church & had never really done anything really wrong but she still needed Christ, she still needed saving. My mom says that after she gave her testimony I started asking questions about salvation & asking her to tell me the way to become a Christian. I remember asking her several times to tell me the way while I took my baths, I think it was a little bit wanting to come to Christ & partly wanting to chat with my mom while I performed what almost all children find boring & a waste of time that could be better spent playing or watching TV. She she would ask me every time, if I wanted to ask Jesus to come into my heart. I would always say no, then after she would leave I would pray the prayer. I have no idea how many times I did this but it seems remembering back it seems like hundreds of times. I remember each Sunday, standing during the invitational trying to step out into the aisle. I would inch closer & closer, holding white-knuckle tight onto the pew in front of me, and praying, "Okay, God, if you want me to go down then let them sing one more verse." Then I would pray it again until the song finally ended & I could escape the church. Finally, after we had a week long revival, I decided to walk down to the front during the invitational hymn but I didn't feel that I had enough courage to do it by myself so I asked my mom to go down with me. It was such a relief. I was baptized a few weeks later &, to an 8 yr old, it was kind of fun, except the heater had broken & was a bit cold.

I was very involved in church growing up & all through high-school. In college I was still very faithful but I didn't have as many church going friends so I usually ended up going to church by myself each week. I started drifting away from it a bit & living more like the typical college student. I went to parties, frat houses, clubs, & drank a little (never getting fully drunk but close enough to know better). When I moved back home to go to radiology tech. school, I still went to church with my family every week but now most of my friends in church were either married or on their way to be & didn't really want to hang out with the single gal. My friends in x-ray school were great but none of them were really church goers. Being someone who is very easily influenced by the company I keep, I continued to drift away from God & began noticing myself questioning some of my values & beliefs. I never questioned whether there was a God or whether Jesus Christ was his son but I did start liberalizing my Christianity. When I moved out here to DFW, my beliefs & distancing continued. I continued to go to church sporadically (at least once or twice a month) but only so I would have an answer for my parents when they asked where I went to church on Sunday.

Then during the summer of 2006 things began to change. I was working one night with a temp tech, Sarah, & she started telling me about her church, Denton Bible Church, & invited to come the following Sunday. I immediately fell in love with the singles ministry, Crossroads. I went on the singles retreat & met even more great people I am still great friends with. A couple of months into attending DBC I was sitting at home one day & got the urge to read a bit out of my Bible. I didn't really think much of this at first because I wasn't purposely trying to start a quite time or regular Bible reading time. I had tried that so many times in the past when I was closer to God & never got much out of it & thought of it more of a dreaded chore &, as most of you know, I am not one for chores & I have virtually no self-discipline. However, the next day I picked up the Bible again, & the next, & the next. After a week or so I realized I was really enjoying it, if not looking forward to it but I kept telling myself not to get too excited. This was probably just a weird fluke & the moment I would get excited, mention it to someone, or make it a commitment everything would fall apart & I would be back to where I started, riddled with guilt. Soon I had finished Proverb & Psalms so I decided to start from the beginning ("a very good place to start"). I was still very apprehensive & doubtful that this would continue but here I am today, a little over a year, & I'm in 2nd Kings. What is even more amazing is that my relationship with the Lord is unlike anything I have ever experienced & my hunger for more of the Word is only deepened with every reading. I can't seem to get enough information. I pray that this fire never ceases & only continues to grow stronger & consume me more fully. My values & beliefs have changed again, even to a point of more seriousness than before. When I don't read for a few days I find myself not only falling into temptation more easily but also not seeming to notice or really care. For me, this is even more proof of the power of this amazing book.

I started attending another church, Valley Creek Church, back in May (2007) that is much closer to me & I am totally in love with it. I know there is no such place as the perfect church but this place has a great heart. I have met a great group of ladies & I'm even planning on starting a small group in the new year. 

This may not sound like a very impressive or extraordinary testimony but it isn't complete just yet. And if it is, then it will have been enough for me. Some people have to go through very difficult struggles & maybe that is in my future but so far, for me, it has been more about internal struggles; over coming depression, the bending of standards I had set, the gradual shift of values & priorities. I don't by any means think I am any better than anyone else. I have huge mountains of issues I have to get over or, rather, give over to the Lord. Things are going well for me spiritually right now & I hope & pray that this is just the tip of the iceberg of what I will witness God do in & through my life. There are so many areas in my life that I need to release control on & give to him to take care of because, goodness knows, I haven't done a good job with them. 

Well, I guess that is about it for now. I pray that I will soon be able to share the many more miracles God is planning to work in & through me.




************************************UPDATE: 9/6/08*************************************************

The last weekend in March, I was toying with the idea of lap band surgery. I started getting online & researching it a bit. I stumbled across some weight loss surgery (WLS) patient's YouTube videos. While watching some of their videos, I came across the videos of some people loosing weight naturally. After watching these videos I was inspired & motivated. One WLS vlogger caused something to click in my mind. I realized that even if I had surgery, I would have to change the way I ate & start execising any way. So, I decided to give myself until my 30th birthday (2 years) to loose the weight. Then if I didn't I would start the process of WLS.

On April 1st, I joined 24 Hr. Fitness & hired a personal trainer, joined the weight loss community on YouTube (Gut2Cut), and reactivated my Weight Watchers online account. Since then, I have closed my WW account & joined because it is free & I just really liked the format better. 

I made it a goal to loose 100 lbs by April of 2010. As of today (6 months in), I have lost just over 40 lbs. I am thrilled to death. But, what the scale says is just a number. How do I feel? I feel great. I'm stronger, discovering muscles every day; I'm healthier, my blood pressure has gone from around 125/82 to around 110/67 & my resting heart rate has gone from around 85 to around 60 or lower; I've gone from my size 22 jeans fitting tightly to my size 18's being almost too big; I've gone from a couch potato who hates exercise of any form to someone who is really enjoying working out; my confidence & self-worth have grown more in the last 6 months than ever before in my life.

So, what has made this time different? Why is it working for me this time when every other time in my past I have given up after only a month or so? My only explanation is God. All my life I have prayed to God to make me skinny & fit and it has never happened. About a year or so ago, I changed my prayer. I started asking the Lord to place in me a desire to exercise, a hunger for healthy food, & a disgust for the unhealthy. For a year, I thought I had been let down again. I was bitter & had pretty much resolved myself to the fact that I would always be fat. But then YT happened. I was infused with just a little bit of motivation. I acted on it & I discovered that, most likely, my Savior had enabled me to do this long ago but I had to be the one to get up off my lazy butt & do it. I had to choose to accept what I had been asking for all along. 

So, what are in my plans now? Well, my goal at the moment is to get down below 200 lbs by Thanksgiving. That is less than 8 lbs away, so I don't think that will be a problem. I started this past week the Couch-to-5K program. It is very difficult but I'm doing it. It is getting easier, which totally amazed me. So, hopefully in the spring I will participate in a 5K. Imagine that. Kristy running in 5K. I never would have believed it. I'm hoping on getting myself a bike for Christmas & start participating in local weekend rides next spring. I've bought some swim gear & I'm just waiting to loose a few more pounds so I can fit in my bathing suit & then I'll start swimming. The goal is to possibly participate in a small triathelon next summer. I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought I would ever be thinking of such things much less actually doing them. Therefore, I have no other choice but to attribute this change in me to God.

Unfortunately, on Friday, I found out that my trainer is leaving. I am very sad but I understand why he is leaving (his mom is sick). After he leaves I will be working with another trainer until my package expires. I don't think I will extend the package this time due to the cost. This is another reason I have added the running program. I will still try to do strength training at least twice a week. I may also start taking some of the classes that are offered at my gym (yoga, spinning, a weird sculpting/strength training class). I may choose to buy some more sessions later on but right now I'm going to try to do it on my own.