By Grace

A Testimony

For most of my life, I didn’t know anything about a relationship with a personal and merciful God.  One of the greatest things I struggled with was pride – in the form of self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and trusting only in me, myself and I!  I also carried around shame and guilt from my childhood which I kept completely to myself.  I focused all of my energy on my education and career.  In all honesty, my priorities had always been 1) career, 2) self, 3) children, 4) my marriage.

Due to emotional stress, I began to drink frequently.  Each evening after a 10 hour day at work, I would have glass after glass of wine.  It did not interfere with my work, however;  my inner thoughts were in a tailspin.  I was struggling inside with debilitating and defeating thoughts of intense worry, fear of abandonment, fear of the loss of a loved one, lustful thoughts and coveting (other people’s things, their appearance, their relationships). What appeared fine on the outside was really just a mask for the big hole in my heart. 

One day at work, I received a ‘chance’ invitation to a group bible study by a co-worker.  After many months of ignoring the persistent invitation, I finally decided to check it out. The group was studying right out of the bible which fascinated me. I attended the study off and on whenever my schedule permitted.   The discussions during the study group created so many questions for me about God and the afterlife.   I began to read the bible for myself (from a Gidion bible in a hotel room while traveling on business).  I began reading from the Gospel of John, as was suggested to me by a member of the bible study group.  

One evening, after a particularly heartbreaking day, I got down on my knees and prayed out of desperation, asking God for forgiveness, and confessing my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. By the Lord’s grace, He brought me to the point of saving faith and I truly repented for all of my years without trusting fully in Christ. My life was turned over to the Lord that very night.  I immediately felt an indescribable peace in my heart and soul!  I am amazed that even with all my years as an off-again, on-again church-goer and being a “good” person in the eyes of most, it took me that long to truly accept the Lord’s free gift of eternal life in heaven through faith in Jesus Christ.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

What had kept me from receiving His gift until then?  First, I had to hear the Truth and then I needed to understand that eternal life with God is a gift. It is a present custom-made especially for the guilty, the shameful and the brokenhearted.   I kept thinking, “If I could just try a little harder in this area or that area maybe I would be good enough”.  In my 20’s, I was very involved in the New Age and Self-Help movements. But deep down, I was still searching and I knew I would never be good enough in the sight of the Lord based on my own merits.  It wasn’t until I realized my brokenness, that I first saw Jesus!!  I began to realize what His death was all about. His death for my life! His perfection for my imperfections! His gift to me because of Love!  I had to abandon any and all efforts to make myself right with God based on my own merits and surrender by faith to Him.  This meant giving up the self-reliance I held so dearly.  By faith, I chose to lay aside my pride and become humble at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.  And you know what?  He was waiting for me with open arms. 

Once my faith was in Jesus, many of the sinful thought patterns that controlled me for so many years seemed to be erased overnight!  The Lord gave me new priorities.  He showed me what incredible blessings He had bestowed upon me with my beautiful family.  My career and personal accomplishments, which defined me and became my identity, were no longer my top priority. I believe the Lord wanted to break me from that big idol I had in my life and help me to form a new identity in Him alone.  And isn’t it amazing that God reached me through a bible study at work – in the very place that I idolized?  God is so amazing!

Certainly, I still struggle with sin and temptation, as everyone does, but I now have the peace of knowing I have a loving Savior and Redeemer who will comfort me and lead me on the eternal path.  He has given me a new heart that makes me painfully aware of my sin. This awareness of the sin in my life brings me to my knees before the Lord in reverence and repentance.  Studying God’s Word and implementing His teachings into my life helps me to endure trials and temptations and holdfast to His promises.  

I feel so blessed to be able to share a part of my spiritual journey with you. You can read about a vision the Lord gave me by clicking here.  The poems on this blogsite reflect the word of my testimony and walk with the Lord.  Thanks for ‘listening’!  May the Lord’s grace be with you.

Ask – And it shall be given you

Seek –And ye shall find

Knock –And it shall be opened to you.

 Luke 11:9

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13 responses to “By Grace

  1. Thanks for sharing your testimony. Praise God that he has reclaimed another lost sheep. And God bless you, sister.

  2. I can’t adequately express how encouraged I hearing so many testimonies lately from people who have come to the Lord as adults. All the statistics give discouragement to this, saying that the greatest percentage of people come to the Lord as children, as I did. Makes “old” Christians such as myself reason to sorrow if we believe the stats. However, the Holy Spirit doesn’t organize these polls…and I have met so many, just in this past year or so, who have lived their lives into adulthood, and then surrendered, bowed their hearts in recognition of Who Jesus is. It is said that the angels rejoice over a soul that is saved, and I have heard this since I was small–but after following the Lord for so many years, my personal pain has often come from witnessing resistance to the gospel. To hear beautiful stories, like yours, Scotti–eyes unblinded, minds cleared, hearts set free–well, I feel like I’ve joined the angels in praising!!!

  3. Your testimony is so encouraging. May you be a blessing to many more…..

  4. satisfiedhousewife

    Hi there!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog today. Beautiful poetry!

    Every blessing to you,
    Jen

  5. Scotti, your story sounds a lot like mine…
    You describe some things in a way I never could, but when I read it, it sounds so familiar… Not everything but a lot.
    I’ll be visiting here more! Much love, a sis from Holland, Jacky

  6. Scotti: Today I read your testimony, and it was truly a blessing to me. We must all keep seeking after God, grasping all He has for us.

    Blessings,

    shirley

  7. Hi Scotti,

    Although I’ve been to your site many times and always enjoy reading your poetry, I had never read your testimony before. Thank you for sharing your story. The love and grace of God are truly amazing! May He continue to lead you and guide you into all truth.

    Carol

    P.S. It was your poetry that inspired me to start writing again after not writing any poetry for ages.

  8. Scotti, I don’t know how I have not come to read your testimony before…. It was wonderful to read it.. I have had God in and out of my life for many years..I struggled with a lot of issues and up until last year I always believed yes there is a God, however on one particular Sunday during our winter last year I was taking a relaxing walk, just taking in the awesome nature when I felt the breath of God touch my face…from this day I have not looked back and although I had written poetry in my earlier years; this past 12 months my poetry is inspired by my closeness to God..

  9. What a blessing to read your testimony Scotti! I pray all is well,and that you feel the tender love of the Father even yet today! He is ever so faithful and kind.
    Blessings to you always!

    Susan

  10. We have a lot in common. The most important though is Christ! Love to you today and everyday!

  11. Steve S

    Scotti –
    Thanks for all the poems and your testimony. I too was a drunk until I found AA 6 1/2 years ago. Been clean and sober ever since.
    Ive been in church all my life but have only been saved by a personal Lord and Savior for a few years. I too struggle with alot of temptations. But I am learning to rest on God’s Word more now and am trying to memorize more scripture. Praise God.

  12. Jamie

    Hey Scotti,
    Your Blog is amazing and beautiful, as are you. I was touched by your testimony. Your openess is refreshiing. I am glad that you have found yourself in God and that you are sharing your “walk with others”. I can see that through your faith you are touching many people. It is very inspiring. God gives us all a “song to sing” and I am glad you have found yours. It is good to know that you have found such love and peace.

    I wish that we were in touch more frequently and I miss you.
    God Bless you-

    Your sister,

    Jamie

  13. appolus

    Hi Scotti, I was much blessed to read your testimony. Seems like we had a similiar path, I too came to Christ as an adult. What appeals to me about your peotry is that there is soundness of dcotrine in it, it leads us to magnify the Lord Jesus, as all Christian writing should. God bless you my friend ……Frank

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