I don't write very much these days, with my attention being drawn to Facebook, my blog, sometimes Twitter, work and whatever other projects I'm working on, I don't have much time except for household chores and bible study (both of which I need to do more of) but I'll try to keep this updated as much as possible.
I have posted part of my testimony on Facebook, and I'm going to re-post it here just because I want everyone to know just how much God has moved in my life, how much He has changed me and is still changing me. I truly cannot get enough of Him. I'm reading and studying the Bible more and used to be in a Life Group (some might call it a devotional group). For those of you who have known me a long time, you'll probably think it's a big change from where I used to be and you'd be right. I used to be a practising pagan, one of my friends as of 30 March 2010 would have described me as a hard core pagan but you know something? I was never satisfied. I knew that something wasn't right and I could never figure out what it was until I started attending church at Bridges of Hope Fellowship (though I now attend church elsewhere). Now I know why I wasn't satisfied, and where that feeling of not-rightness was coming from.
God was working on my heart, wanting me to come to Him like a lost child that is making his way home. I was a lost child, lost to the wicked lies and perversions of Satan. He had me in his grasp and fought hard to hold on. Even now he tempts me into stumbling but that is only ever more reason to sing the praises of my Lord Jesus Christ, who is always there with me to help me if I just ask for it, and now I ask for His help every day because every day is a struggle to keep Satan at bay.
To truly tell my testimony I go back to when I was 15 and battling cancer for the first time. I didn't understand why at the time I was having to go through this. I had just, a few years earlier, witnessed someone I cared about die of leukemia. I'm not so sure I was really scared, though. I didn't understand the implications of where I would go if my doctors weren't successful. I didn't have enough sense – and no spiritual instruction – to know whether or not God had a plan for me. A few years, and many unanswered questions later, I left the Catholic church to live my life the way I wanted without the guilt of the church and God breathing down my neck (though God's conviction was never far off regardless).
At the time I hadn't been really living a Christian life anyway. Pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual experimentation, drugs (cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana). Whatever I wanted to do, as long as I thought it would make me feel better. I lived that way, doing those things on and off for many years, even more so once I left the RCC when I was 18. For the next 10 years or so, I got involved in witchcraft – though I was soon scared witless out of that while engaging in what can only be described as a Satanic ritual (and I call any pagan ritual Satanic as all those false religions are perpetrated by Lucifer himself) – and pretty much did what I wanted. I was involved with another married woman (my first time in that realm was when I was 16), though she was legally separated from her then husband. I was hell-bound and didn't even know it. This continued on and off, with some aspects being left behind as I explored others (such as drug experimentation which resulted in a year and half of regular pot use and experimenting with LSD), all the while with none of it ever really making me happy or giving me any profound sense of peace about my life. Had I died during this time, I don't even want to imagine what would have been waiting for me in eternity.
It all came to a head around September 2008 when I attempted suicide. I had taken prescription sleeping pills (about 25 of them) and prescription muscle relaxers (around 3 of them) and pretty much told God that if He was real and He cared about my life, then I would wake up and I would follow Him the rest of my days. I would never again doubt Him or how much He cared about me. I'm not sure if God honors such deals, but I woke up the next morning having had the most peaceful sleep I've ever had. I knew then that I had been living a lie. Drugs, alcohol, sex. None of that was ever going to make me happy. Only God could do that. I kept to my word. I started attending church again. I had found a Roman Catholic church close to where I lived. I didn't really have good experiences with the RCC but it was better than the crap I heard, and sometimes saw, about other denominations. I figured it was as good a place as any to begin my return to God. For a short while it worked, too. I knew before long though that what I was longing for was a relationship with Christ and it wouldn't be found through the RCC, no matter how big the diocese or how good the priest. Mind-numbing ritual was no substitute.
Three months after my attempted suicide and return to Christ (along with some psychiatric counseling) I was forced to move back home because I couldn't hold down a job where I was living at the time (Knoxville, TN). I was lucky enough to find a job right off the bat and managed to keep it long enough to make some really good friends there, though I've lost touch with them a little over the intervening years. One of those friends, named Charles, started inviting me to his church, and being I wanted that relationship with God, I decided to give it a go. It was the best decision I ever made. I started attending services regularly and even eventually join.
When Charles first invited me to Bridges of Hope Fellowship, I was rather recalcitrant on going. I was already going to my old church, St. Catherine's Catholic Church in McMinnville, TN, and another friends church on the Sunday's I couldn't go to mine. I was also nervous that it was going to be another dead church. I hated going to churches like that (and I still do). In a dead church people here the message of God, but you can tell God's presence is not with them because the people aren't living it for one reason or another and it reflects in their worship. Then I started going to Charles with his church in a three week rotation (I forget why, but I think now it's because God was calling me home) and am I ever glad I did. I was welcomed with such open arms, even before I stepped in the door I could feel God moving in their midst. Since then I've been saved and had even joined Bridges of Hope Fellowship. The people there are great. Tammie Sue and Mike, Tim and Jenny, David and Cathy, David and Jennifer, Hugh and Joan, Wade, Carol and Heather and especially Natalie, DeWayne and Dwight. God has put me in touch with so many wonderful people that I can't help but sing Him praises. Some of those people I've lost touch with, others I've grown closer to in the intervening years.
I love that He used BOHF to open my eyes to His awesomeness. I was in a Life Group headed up by David and Jennifer and I'm even more touched by His greatness. I just know He has great things in store for me if only I'm patient and open to His life-changing influence. The Spirit has definitely lit a fire in me that can never be quenched! Praise God!
If God can and will do all that for me, imagine — no pray for — what He can do for you!
Everyday I remain faithful, every day I sing his praises and thank Him for all He's done, is another day spent well. With Christ at my side and God at my back and the Spirit in my heart, I've come so much further than I ever could have on my own. No more drugs. No more sexual immorality. No more condemning myself to eternal torment. Now the only thing I truly care about is living in God's will. It's hard, making his desires my own. But His yoke is oh so much lighter than my own. It will never be easy, that's not what we are promised. I look forward to everyday as a chance to tell someone how awesome my God is. I look forward to every chance I get to glorify His name by my actions. I look forward to every chance I get to let the Spirit lead me in instruction. Every time I allow myself to be lead into telling, showing, and instructing it makes me so happy. Not because it was me who got that chance, but because God sees me as someone willing to be used by Him for His glory.
I will never stop loving God. The one and only living God. The Creator of all things. Will you join me in singing his praises for all eternity?
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