Written by Alexis E.
Before attending affirmation class, I always believed in God. I went to Sunday School when I was younger, attended church, prayed to God, and went to youth group. I also attended Beauty Projects through my Aunt April’s “Her Life Speaks” Ministry, and went to Christian Camp every summer. I knew that God was present in my life, but I didn’t actually know how to have God WITH me during my life.
Everyone goes through ups and downs in their lives. Whenever something good or bad would happen to me, I would just wonder what God’s purpose was it for. I desired a strong relationship with God and wanted Him to speak to me directly, so I would include that in my prayers.
I used to hear stories where people had heard God talk to them personally, or felt a dramatic change in their life once they accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. I wanted a story to share with people. I was once asked if I wanted to write my testimony and share it on this website. Of course I wanted to, so one night I sat down and wrote up some events that had occurred in my life. I stared at it, and realized there really wasn’t anything major I could share with others. I hadn’t gone through a struggle I thought I needed to in order to have a story.
Then one day my parents told me our church pastor was starting affirmation class. I was really excited because I thought that this was finally my opportunity to grow in my faith. And honestly, it was. During those months I felt my relationship with God change as I learned the answers to my unanswered questions and learned how to defend what I believe. I am here today affirming my faith because I truly believe that Jesus Christ died for me and my sins, and I accept Him as my Savior.
“For we live by faith and not by sight” 2 Corinthians 5:7
First, I now talk to God like He is my friend. I tell God everything on my mind because I know He is listening to me, and wants to be involved in my life. I learned not to block God out when I am struggling, but to invite Him in, to let Him feel it with me.
“I have called you friend” Jesus John 15:15
Second, I now know how to backup what I am saying in a conversation about God. In school, it is hard to find Christian friends. I am faced with the challenge of being excluded by peers because of what I believe.
I used to be scared to speak up about it because I wasn’t sure if I was saying the right things. I realize now that it isn’t about getting embarrassed if you don’t know something because no one has all of the answers. It is about saving someone’s soul for eternity, which is most important. I can now use this to defend my faith and share it with others if the topic of Christ is brought up.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15
Lastly, I know there is only one way to get to heaven. You don’t go to heaven by simply doing good works. You can still be a good person, but there is more to it. You have to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and believe that he died for your sins.
Overall, after attending these affirmation classes, I realize that this is my testimony. My story is MY story. I grew up in a Christian household, and found a way to grow in my faith, and truly believe what I have been taught. I feel like I have the real relationship with God I always longed-for. Affirmation class was an answer to those prayers. So, thank you God for always watching over me. Thank you, Jesus for dying for me so I can be saved, and go to Heaven.
How about you? What’s your story? Did you always believe in God? Are you still trying to find some answers? Or did you have a dramatic experience that started your faith?
Alexis is a frequent attendee of Her Life Speaks Beauty Projects for teen girls. Interested in joining and meeting other Christian girls? Sign up here for the next one on February 9, 2019! https://www.herlifespeaks.org/events.html
by Pat Cocuzza
I'd like to begin my praise story with; I am a breast cancer survivor of 16 years. I say this right away so that you won't feel sorry for me because it is past history.
Prior to 2002, I had begun a closer relationship with God. I had been attending bible studies and realized how much God loved me and how important He is in my life. So when I was told that I had breast cancer, I admit I was shocked and afraid. I pleaded with God to let me live, I wanted to see my grandchildren. It was too soon. Though that afternoon was full of fear and uncertainty for myself and my family, the day was over and a new day began. My life had not changed. I still got up made breakfast and continued my day and the next and so on. I thank God that I had people in my life that I turned to for prayer and support.
God was and is my strength.
God is always there waiting for me to realize that I can always turn to Him. "So be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you or abandon you." Deuteronomy 31:6
Right after I was diagnosed, I was at a church service and one of the readings were Psalm 103:1 and 3 "Let all that I am praise the Lord with my whole heart. I will praise His holy name. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.” I felt God was letting me know He heard me.
It has been many years since and my relationship with God has grown. Spending time with Him in prayer and attending bible studies has increased my joy and faith in God and my Savior Jesus Christ. One of my studies and book that I read was the "The Circle Maker" by Pastor Mark Batterson. I learned to circle my family and friends in prayer for their redemption, health, protection, etc. One of my prayer requests was to be blessed with grandchildren. My faith and trust continued to grow through my prayers and time spent with God. The first prayer asking for grandchildren was in 2002 when I was diagnosed and neither of my sons were married. When I prayed again asking God to circle them with blessings, protection and health and praying for a grandchild, God answered my prayer. Within a year of my prayer requests, I was blessed with the announcement that I was to be a grandmother and my grandson was born on January 1st, 2017.
God hears our prayers and answers in His time. I had learned trust and patience.
One final note on God answering prayers. My father's name was John. He passed away when I was very young. I thought it would be nice to have the baby named John though I never mentioned this to my son and daughter-in-law. They told us of their decision to name the baby Ian Tyler when we were vacationing together. When I returned to work I told my friends the baby's name was Ian Tyler. We decided to look up what the name means. Ian is Scottish for John. And the name Ian means a gift from God. What overwhelming joy I felt when I heard this. To know God hears us and answers our prayers. Only God can grant our prayers when we are faithful and if it is for our good. Isaiah 30: 18-19 "So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion for the Lord is a faithful God."
Have you had a time in your life that you had to put your trust in the Lord and patiently wait for His answers? Have you experienced God's answers and was it the answers you wanted or needed? Comment below.
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.