Amanda’s Testimony - Restored
Growing up I had little to no information about God. My family never took me to church, we didn’t own a bible, and I never heard a prayer from my parents. In addition to that, the life I saw my parents live was full of addiction, abuse, and arguments. Despite everything, I was a fairly good kid. That all changed when I was 14 and my mom left our family. My father was unable to be there for us physically, emotionally, and financially; leading me to let my hurt become an excuse to live a selfish life. I came to the conclusion that God was to blame for all my hurt, and that if He even was real, I had no desire to follow Him.
At 18 my twin sister gave her life to Jesus, and He became the center of all our conversations, but I still had no interest to know Him. She invited me to live in San Antonio with her, and that’s when I met my small group leader. This leader became my best friend, patiently answering my many questions about God. Questions as simple as "What is the Gospel?", "Is everything in the Bible true?", "Is Jesus really God?", and "Could Jesus still love me, despite my sin?"
In this season I was constantly asking questions. My heart was beginning to comprehend way more than my mind ever could. I saw in my small group leader and new friends a true relationships with each other and God, they lived their lives with confidence that they knew Him and even more crazy, that God knew them!
I remember so clearly being at church and hearing about Jesus coming back. I was completely surprised because a few weeks prior I had barely realized that He was God, and now I was hearing about His return! As someone who felt abandoned since 14, the act of someone I loved returning to make everything perfect again even after they had already sacrificially given so much was to me the ultimate sign of love! The preacher said "when Christ returns you will either be separated from Him or be in intimacy with Him for eternity." I stood up that day and accepted Jesus as my Savior.
From that day on, I've grown to have a real friendship with Jesus that grows each day! Jesus had never abandoned me, He had heard my cries, seen all of my bad habits and still called out to me to live life with Him and others who loved him. He made a way for me to be adopted into a new family and gave me a new purpose. Now I get to reach out to those who do not know Him, because he longs to know them and to have friendship with them!