Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Testimony Tuesday - Week SIX

Hey readers! I hope that you have had a great week so far. I'm forcing myself back into reality after being in the Bahamas since Wednesday! Today's testimony is from Kimberley, the blogger behind Peculiar Treasures. She opens her heart with us and shares the darkness that she has faced but praise Jesus that His light can pierce even the darkest dark! 
 
I hope that you can be encouraged that no matter what circumstance you are in or how you are feeling or what you are dealing with, you can trust that God will never and has never forsaken you!
 
 
 
 
 
"So I’m one of those people who grew up in a Christian home. Actually, I am the daughter of a Pastor. Therefore, I was at every single event at church from the time that I was born. We prayed at every meal, we did family devotions every night. I was surrounded by Christianity. I first became a Christian when I was 5 years old. Though looking back now, I didn’t really know what that meant.
Continue on a few years, I’m living my life my own way. Still praying at every meal, still doing family devotions every night and still going to every single church event. Though doing all of this did not help me at all.
During my early high school years (Grade 7 10) I was bullied. I remember being told nearly daily that I wasnt good enough to be friends with the other girls in my class. I would sit with them at lunch in a big circle and one of them would sit in front of me and exclude me from the circle. The worst part was I went to a small school (26 students in my class) so not being included in that group meant that I had no friends.
 
That was when everything started going downhill. My self-esteem was extremely low and I would cry every day. Even when I went other places I still questioned myself and the friendships I had. I was praying every day that God would make it stop and give me friends but that didn’t happen so I started to back away from God a bit.
I felt completely out of control during this time so I felt like I had to control something. So I turned to controlling my food. I wasn’t anorexic, instead I decided that I would allow myself to eat anything and everything. I wasn’t picky. If I was bored I ate, if I was lonely I ate, if I was sad I ate. Slowly my weight started climbing.
 
This continued all through high-school. I made some friends but I was still very sceptical about how real a friendship it was. I was certain that they didn’t really want me around and that I was bothering them.
All of this changed after I graduated from High School.
One of the best things that ever happened to me was being accepted into Houghton College in upstate New York. I was so excited. I left my entire family in Australia and moved halfway around the world for college. It was there my life changed. I met amazing people who challenged me in my faith. Every Sunday night the college would put on a worship service in the main chapel and my new friends and I would always go. Every Sunday after the service, we would gather together and share what was happening and pray for each other. It was there I was taught true friendship and really started to understand my relationship with God.
I still struggled with believing my friends wanted me around but over time they showed me that they really cared and really wanted me around. These friends were true friends who told me some hard truths but still loved me (Thank you Rachel, Maria, Seema, Jeshu, Greg, Nathan, Lianna and both Heidi’s if you are reading this).
I was growing in my relationship with God and everything was going well. Sure it was a struggle some days and college life was busy but it was good. Of course when you get comfortable that’s when something comes along.
For me all of a sudden I was struggling with everything. I hated the cold (Snow in October really?), the work was really hard, my friends and I were too busy with work and classes to really spend time together, and I wasn’t sleeping. In a moment of desperation, I decided to leave. I was sure that everything would be better if I just left.
So I moved back to Australia and after a couple of months was diagnosed with depression. I was in the darkest place I had ever been. I hated being back in Australia and I thought everything would be better if I just went back to America. I had no friends at my new university, I couldn't connect with a good church.
Through all of this, I had parents who were constantly praying for me and encouraging me to spend more time with God. So I decided to give that a go. That was when I really started to feel God’s presence. I’ve heard it said that when you don’t feel close to God it’s not Him who has moved... it’s you. I found that to be so true. I ran back to God, back into the safety of His arms. I realized that I had been trying to do it all on my own. Sure things went well sometimes but it wasn’t permanent like God was.
Slowly things started getting better. I was feeling more confident, I was making friends, I found a church to go to. Things were back to normal.
That year I had the opportunity to be a leader at my church’s youth camp. I was so excited about this. I had gone to this camp every year during high school and couldn’t wait to back again. I remember being at the camp the night before the youth all arrived panicking and crying because I didn’t think I could do it. "How could I be helpful to these youth when I didn’t have my life together?" I am so thankful for the other leaders who prayed for me and reminded me that of course I couldn’t do it, only God could do it.
That week was amazing. I had the best group of youth and an awesome co-leader, all of whom challenged me in my faith and encouraged me daily. It was at this camp that I really felt God’s calling into ministry of some type, particularly with Youth.
 
Since then I have had my good times and bad times but I now know that it is temporary. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, God’s light shining as He is with me and goes before me lighting the way for me.
Sure life is still hard but I want to encourage you to draw near to God and he will draw near to you (James 4:8). It is only through God’s faithfulness and continually pursuit of me that I am where I am today."
God Bless,
 
 
Kimberley
Instagram and Twitter are both @Kim_Margaret12

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