Have you ever wondered where I got the name Living in the Light co.? Did you know that it has EVERYTHING to do with my testimony of how God pulled me out of suicide?
When I graduated high school I was depressed. I wanted to go to a big college and I wanted to get far away from home. I had my eyes set on USC, but my parents begged me not to go. They knew what would happen if I did. We had a long-time family friend, Tammie Bradberry, who felt like a second mom to me, call a small Christian college on my behalf to see what they could offer. That week, I had almost a full ride presented to me from a school I had NO interest in, but because of my financial situation I decided that it was best to pursue the school where I would have the least student debt. I had absolutely no idea that this was God protecting me. Tammie Bradberry will know one day the impact her intervention had on my life when I get to tell her in Heaven. She passed away a few short years ago and is dearly, dearly missed.
I promised my parents that I would give this Christian college one year, and they said that if I wanted to transfer to another school after that, they would support me.
I didn't know at the time that this was God's plan of redemption in play.
I wasn't saved, I had no interest in church, and I thought Christians were insane. My mom and "stepdad" (I put that in quotations because he is my DAD and nothing less) prayed relentlessly for me.
My freshman year of college I fell into a deep, dark depression. Things were going on in my life that were so heavy. Depression turned into complete and total loss of emotion. I no longer cared what happened to me, I felt like I was a burden to everyone in my life, and I had no hope for my future. I had a plan to take my life. I remember sitting in my dorm bathroom crying, feeling so ready for my life to end. I don't know exactly why, but I started praying. I asked God to reveal himself to me if he was there, I guess as a last-ditch effort to solidify my decision to end my life.
I am about to sound very theatrical and maybe you won't believe me, but I am here to tell you that God himself made himself known to me in that bathroom floor that night. I didn't see anything, I didn't hear an audible voice, but I FELT the presence of the almighty God and it was undeniable in that moment. For the first time, I felt HOPE and I felt PURPOSE. I have never experienced anything like that since.
That night, God saved me from both earthly and spiritual death. I am alive today because of that encounter. He knew what I needed in that very moment, and he so graciously gave it to me so that I could find life and find it ABUNDANTLY.
I wasn't miraculously healed from my depression, but for the first time I felt like I had something to live for and something to keep me pressing forward. I don't know how else to explain it, but I knew that I was a new person. I knew that God had changed me.
I didn't have the come-to-the-altar and pray the Sinner's Prayer moment. God came to me in the deepest pit and sat with me there. Not only did he sit with me there, but he drug me out of it little by little. I was dead weight, but he pulled me out anyways. I was doubtful, but he gave me reassurance anyways. He breathed new and eternal breath into my lungs. I have never been the same.
Today I sit here with a husband that I met a few short months after this happened, at the very school that I was reluctant to attend. I have two children who look like their daddy. I have this WONDERFUL life that would've never existed if not for the grace and redeeming love of Christ.
I think sharing my testimony has become one of my favorite things to do because man, if you would've known me then, you would never have believed that this is how I would have turned out. I am a new creation ONLY because of Jesus dying on the cross for my sins. The only good in me is Christ. And I strive to live my life FOR him and BECAUSE of him.
Psalm 18:28 says, "You, oh Lord, keep my lamp burning. My God turns my darkness into light."
That scripture feels like it is embedded into my bones. It is so LITERAL for me. God pulled me out of the darkest darkness and into the light of truth. Once you experience that physically, you can never forget it.
God LOVES you and wants you to be his child. There is nothing that you can do that he cannot forgive. You do not need to come to him whole. Come to him broken and weary. He will give you REST. He will give you HOPE. He will renew and restore you. He will provide for your every need.