Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Testimony Tuesday: Redemption through Christ

Welcome to another week of Testimony Tuesday. This week's contributor is a young woman I know of and am just getting to know better. She is one of those people in church that you know of, but never have the opportunity to get close with because life happens! And your paths never really meet up. Nevertheless I asked Rebecca Wilson to contribute because I knew she had something powerful to say and wanted to give her the opportunity to share her heart. Enjoy and be blessed by another testimony!

Joss Whedon once said: “Redemption is something you have to fight for in a very personal, down dirty way. Some of our characters lose that, some stray from that, and some regain it.”

My story has every one of those stages toward redemption. The character in my story begins and ends with a little girl. A little girl who grew up on the opinions of others, was the ultimate people pleaser and strived to attain a perfection and status that left her unfulfilled.

I grew up in a good’ol Pentecostal background. I participated in Missionettes, junior Bible quiz, etc. --- you name it, I was there. I was a part of the drama team, worship team, served in leadership --- the whole shebang. I went to a private Christian school for middle school and my last two years of high school. I knew my Bible verses front and back. I was a good Christian girl who did her best not to lie and was always obedient and followed every rule.

As for my personal life, I didn’t have my first kiss until I was about 17 and didn’t have my first boyfriend until my junior year of high school. Not that I wasn’t interested or pursued, but I busied myself so much that I claimed I had no time for boys. You see, the truth was that I had been molested by a family friend when I was 6 years old. So naturally, I was avoiding what I feared was Pandora’s Box. Something happens to you when you are introduced to sexuality at such a young age. When your flesh is violated and you learn that the word “no” means nothing to an adult man. You’re taught that boundaries mean nothing. So I kept my mouth shut and tried my best to pretend like it never happened to me. (We’ll jump back this a little later)

My senior year of high school arrives and I am at, what I think is, the pinnacle of my life. I, of course, got accepted into a great Christian university with a bunch of scholarships. I would be  the first in my family to actually get out and get away to be successful. Miss prom queen did it again! She did what everyone expected of her, that is. Life was as it should be.

I told myself I wasn’t going to waste my time dating in college because I didn’t want to be tied down and I didn’t want any distractions.

That was short-lived…

I met my soon to be boyfriend of three years my first semester of college in Bible class. Also, my relationship with God became more personal and intimate during this season. God had reached me and I finally saw Him for who He was in college. Perhaps it was because I was away from home, stripped from any titles I thought meant anything, stripped away from people. There was no where I could run when I finally looked in the mirror and didn’t like what I saw, so I became more vulnerable with Him.

I reached what I thought was my last year in school. I had everything planned out: relationship, job, internship, graduation, and then it happened. Every so-called success I thought I had put in place fell through the cracks! I had a job offer in San Diego, my dream job (or so I thought), and somehow they ended up going with someone else. My boyfriend, who I thought was on the brink of proposing to me, was no more; and what felt like the worst of it all --- I wasn’t graduating on time anymore. My four-year degree was now taking me five years. I was devasted, exhausted and stretched thin from all sides. I had worked up to three jobs to stay in school, managed to make a singing traveling team for the university and make it to all my boyfriend’s football games for his senior year.

The Lord stripped me of EVERYTHING ... and I was angry.

I felt like a failure. I wasn’t enough, which was my biggest struggle of all. In the midst of my break up with my boyfriend of three years, I met my current husband. I was in no place emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually to get involved with anyone. I was no good for myself let alone anyone else. Nonetheless, I moved forward into a new relationship. He had just suffered the loss of his father and I had just suffered loss. So we clung to each other and began finding solace in each other’s arms and each other’s beds.

Pandora’s Box had now been opened.

From that point on we were on-again, off-again and emotions were high; frustration was the foundation of our relationship. I decided to leave after one of our fights and never return. I ran back home to Florida. I no longer had him to drown myself in, so I turned to the next best thing, alcohol. I didn’t want to feel a thing, much less face reality. I partied every night of the week. If there was a party, I was there and I was drunk. I figured I did things the “right way” and it still wasn’t enough, so I was going to go in the total opposite direction.

Shortly thereafter, I found out that I miscarried. I was pregnant and had no idea. Something I longed for and thought I could never have. I had it and didn’t know it; I had life in my hands and I watched it slip away. Talk about God trying to get my attention. But did I listen? That only pushed me further off the ledge. I became a door girl at a pretty well-known club in Orlando. I engulfed myself even more in the lifestyle of numbing the pain and blurring reality. I was angry. I was hurt. I said I would never sing again, I didn’t even want to hear about gospel or worship music. But then one night, through an annoying nudge of the Holy Spirit and a very good friend of mine, I made it to a live recording of William McDowell’s newest album. In that concert God tore me up. We literally fought the entire time until I finally surrendered and put it all on the altar.

I wish I could say that it was a quick turnaround from that point on but it wasn’t. I still went to work at the club that week, but something had changed. After running for three months, I went back to where I was supposed to be; I went back to school.

What I didn’t know was that God had been dealing with ugly parts of my heart for those three months. I felt the feelings I felt like I couldn’t feel for so long. I was no longer Becky who does and says all the right things. I was Becky, who screwed up and screwed up big time, and there was beauty in that because just as God was working on me, he was working on my now husband as well.

I say my story is a story of redemption because even after I messed up, God stilled redeemed me. Eventually through many tears and very real conversations, me and my now husband got back together. We tried to do things right, but we still fell. That March, we found out we were expecting again. I was on track to graduate in May, but couldn’t tell anyone about my pregnancy out of fear of being kicked out of school for being pregnant out of wedlock, while also traveling and singing on scholarship promoting the school. I am not proud of that by any means, but I am being honest, real and transparent about my life.

The following months were some of the hardest; I lost friends, fought morning sickness while trying to hide my belly etc. But somehow, God saw fit to still give me the desires of my heart.

I am about to celebrate my one-year anniversary with the absolute love of my life and yes my baby daddy. I am also making preparations for our son’s one year birthday party (who is named after his grandfather that passed away) while being five months pregnant with our first baby girl. God has given me life and given it to me in abundance. I know that many women can’t say they married the father of their children and that he is the only man they have ever been with. I can look at my baby girl when she gets here and tell her that one day.

I am absolutely terrified at having a baby girl because I want to save her from all the hurts I have been through and from being marred by this cruel world. But even as a wife and a mother, God is not through with me yet. He is still working on me and continuing to show me, with love, the ugly parts of me that need to be cut off or grown. Being a wife and a mother has been harder than any other title I have ever held, but I carry it with pride and with honor because He didn’t have to give it to me this way. That little girl at the end of this story learned that God's opinion is the only one that carries any weight or validity.

And that’s all that matters ...

Rebecca Wilson lives in Virginia with her husband, son and is expecting her second child, a daughter. She loves the Lord and writes her thoughts and inspirations on her Tumblr.

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