Reconciled - Hallie’s Testimony
In my family I’m the second oldest child. Being older, I was usually the most aware of everything that went on growing up. I’m very grateful for my family and how they loved me to the best of their ability, despite some of the really tough circumstances we lived through together.
What most affected me growing up was the skewed version of God that I grew up believing in. I witnessed sins be committed and justified using a man made god and a distorted bible. Because of this I grew up very frustrated trying to understand who God was. I knew that any good God couldn’t just allow us to sin freely.
Sometime during my junior year of highschool I found myself sitting in a closet quietly pondering the idea of sin. I grew up with the impression that sin had no effect on me, others, or God. I found myself and the people around me in deep trenches we had dug ourselves by sinning time and time again. I commonly heard the saying “have faith, it’ll be fine.” One night however as I heard those words I felt a tug at my heart. After doing wrong how could we expect a GOOD God to be on our side without admitting any wrong, without asking for any forgiveness? Something was wrong with this god that was more of a genie that granted wishes.
While this was a difficult time of living in sin and lawlessness, the Lord remained present and fervently working. All this time, my sister was going to UTSA and was a part of Chi Alpha. It was there that she met God. Thankfully, she was a warrior and fought alongside Jesus for me to meet Him, too. After long hard fight and lots of prayer, I found myself attending her bible study. I don’t remember what made me finally want to go, being introverted and comfortable in isolation, but I do remember being very broken and feeling like it was where I needed to be.
I’ll never forget that night when we talked about sin, what it was, and the effects it had on my life. How it broke the heart of a good God. How it was pulling me away from a God that more than anything longed for me to have a REAL intimate relationship with Him.
All the questions I had and all the distorted understandings I had about God up to that point were wiped away and Jesus had made Himself known to me. Through my sister that followed so closely after Him, the girls in my small group that all exhibited His character so well, and His wonderful Word; I began to see Him. Eager to understand more and get to know this Jesus - I stayed.
I learned and grew in every avenue and in all my relationships. I no longer wanted to be in isolation. I had a wonderful community that shared in my sufferings. A community that pushed me closer to Jesus. I not only met my best friends but I met my Savior! Two years ago I was invited to attend a retreat called BREAKAWAY, where I was guaranteed I’d experience Jesus at a deeper level. Hungry and curious, I eagerly accepted and bought my ticket! Turns out they were right. It was at this retreat that I experienced Jesus in ways I couldn’t have imagined. On the second day, I decided to take the next step towards Jesus and I had the beautiful experience of being water baptized by my sister/small group leader! I’ll always cherish what I experienced at that Breakaway: surrender and deeper intimacy with Jesus. Since then, the Lord has continued to work on my heart and has invited me alongside Him to love and care for my family and friends the way He does!