Aug
07

A Testimony of Faith

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August 7, 2012 [Your Letters]  I don’t think there was ever a time in my life that I doubted God’s existence and I have always had some degree of Faith. I grew up in the Catholic Church, but for a long time had felt that I was missing something and longed for the kind of relationship that my Christian friends seemed to have with God. For various reasons I had essentially stopped going to Church, but after a difficult few years I was hitting a pretty low point in my life. I kept feeling this tugging on my heart….this need for God in my life. It was a big challenge for me to step out of my Catholic comfort zone, particularly as my husband had no interest in joining me, but after a great deal of procrastinating I attended my first service at a new Church. I felt so welcome there and from that first day I started really learning and understanding God’s Word. They also happened to announce that you were going to be talking at the ladies Bible study meetings over the coming  4 weeks, and I felt so strongly that I needed to attend……and so my life began to change.

From the moment you started introducing yourself that first I week, I just felt like I could relate to you…You were so REAL, and I thought “Wow, she really gets me!” Over those four weeks I took so much in, both at Church and your seminars, and started developing this understanding of how God works. I realized that I needed to let go of my need for control (which was controlling me) and put God first. Through experimenting with some of your ideas and aiming to please God instead of trying to control everything myself, I began to see God work so clearly in my life. I felt like these random puzzle pieces just started falling into place and everything made so much sense. At the end of your seminars I was playing around with a “low risk, low emotion” scenario, and after my husband replied “I don’t know, you decide”, I prayed about it. Not long after that, I received an email from you that answered my prayer so directly. Later when I asked why you had sent that email, you replied: “I don’t know, God told me to”. That was a significant moment for me and I was really aware of God’s presence around me that evening. By that stage I realized that I needed Jesus, which is why, two days later, I got down on my knees and asked Him to be my Lord and Saviour! It was, however, only after this that the Bible really came alive for me, and that I started grasping the enormity of what that meant.

What I really took away from those first seminars with you was this understanding of aiming to please God before anything else and also of getting my heart right with God before acting/talking. This understanding had such a profound effect on my life…..through learning to relinquish my desire to control things and submit to what God wanted for me, I found such Peace and Joy in my life…..and I have seen God so obviously at work in my life since then. My relationship with my husband and children also improved dramatically because I stopped shouting so much and learned to walk away and get my heart right with God. I think it was because this understanding was really the catalyst in my walk with Jesus, that my Faith is so strong. This last year has been an incredible year of spiritual growth for me and I have grown so much through the wonderful teaching at my Church, but it is those fundamentals of pleasing God and examining my heart that have been my foundations. I still struggle with control all the time, but I have learned that when I take a step back and hold it up to God…..He never fails to do something remarkable. I have been totally awestruck by this on numerous occasions over the last year, and that is why my Faith is real and strong. I KNOW God is at work in my life, there is nothing blind about it.

So naturally when the opportunity to attend your small group came along I jumped at it. It has been wonderful to go back over GEWife with ”new” eyes and get to grips with a lot of the detail which I lost in the bigger picture the first time around. These classes have further enriched my understanding of God and our sin nature and, as Kirsty said in an earlier post, “strengthened my relationship with the Lord!”……and that’s on top of all the GEWife changes in my marriage which are pretty awesome too!

Thank you Karen, for the significant role you have played in my spiritual journey. Looking back, it is obvious that it was all part of God’s marvelous plan for me to meet you.

– Paula, Australia

Paula,
I will never forget that day after the conference when we first spoke and even more so the next time I saw you and you testified how much your life and faith had changed. Having you in the small group has been wonderful and I’m excited for you to start experiencing the joy of witnessing God move in others’ lives now as you begin to lead your own groups.
Love,
Karen, currently in Perth, Australia 

 

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